Japan's COVID-19 Unique Stress Relievers: Coffins and Chainsaws | Lifebru
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Japan’s COVID-19 Unique Stress Relievers: Coffins and Chainsaws

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Suppose you are a fan of exhilarating activities such as going to a horror house to scream and release that pent up stress inside of you and loves to get that adrenaline pumping without exerting too much effort and physical activity, Tokyo. In that case, Japan offers entertainment just for you. They allow costumers to enter mock coffins wherein the participant lies inside the coffin with plastic shields to maintain social distancing amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). 

Customers can experience realistic scares as they lie inside a 2-meter (6 1/2-foot) windowed box designed just like a coffin, while listening to a horror story, watching actors perform, and getting poked with fake hands and squirted with water for fun.

The coordinator of production company Kowagarasetai, also known as ‘Square Squad,’ Kenta Iwana, said that, “The pandemic is stressful, and we hope people can get a bit of relief by having a good scream,” they expect this to happen while they are putting on the 15-minute scare shows.

Japan is also struggling just like other countries combatting the COVID-19. They even had a rise in cases recently with 1,034 infections of the coronavirus. For an entertainment producer like Iwana, who is only 25, it is also hard to provide work for his actors and actresses, who typically perform at venues such as theme parks, which accommodate large crowds.

Despite the struggles, Kowagarasetai offered drive-in horror shows just last month of July. Many customers are also looking for alternative forms of entertainment, stress reliever, and ways to blow off steam.

Many customers have testified to be relieved of their stresses after the show.” Lots of events have been canceled because of the coronavirus, and I was looking for a way to get rid of my stress,” said Kazushiro Hashiguchi, 36, after lying through the 800-yen worth ($7.60) show. “I feel relaxed now,” he added.

The shows’ customers are held in a rest lounge usually used by passengers arriving in the capital on overnight bus trips. Shopping mall owners and operators of other venues are also included. Iwana hopes that these venues would also host his mobile shows.

Iwana said that to get the business booming, the show must keep going, so he thought of creative ways to continue his business and yet stay safe from the virus while traveling. “We needed to have something that we could take anywhere, and coffins are easy to move. All you need to do is put them in a dark room,” said Iwana, “It’s good business for us and satisfying for our customers.”

The price for each show ranges from $1 (= 105.7800 yen) and above. 

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Adaptive Leadership: Modifying Your Leadership Style in This Virtual World

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Work from home arrangements were increasing prior to the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. Such arrangements became even more rampant—and increasingly necessary—as more and more countries adopted massive lockdowns and physical distancing protocols due to the on-going outbreak. Hence, experts stress the need to use adaptive leadership when dealing with day-to-day work via digital means.

Remote work can be very stressful especially because it inhibits the capacity of both leaders and employees to initiate traditional face-to-face activities. Scientists, therefore, point out that best practices must be discovered and perpetuated, given both the constraints and benefits of these WFH necessities. The virtue, they say, of adaptive leadership is the ability of managers and bosses to pinpoint and highlight the benefits of remote working rather than resist the inevitable changes dictated by these trying times.

To further comprehend the workings of the adaptive leadership framework, here are several key points for managers and bosses to bear in mind.

First, adequate communication between the leader and his subordinates is crucial. Despite the limitations of the WFH design, it is important for leaders to maintain transparent, consistent, and frequent contact. In a recent study, 47% of employees mention that they feel isolated due to being physically away from the office. It is, then, essential for a leader to maintain open communication with his team. A two-way conversation between a leader and his subordinate encourages rapport building—a significant ingredient in effective and adaptive leadership. Employees, who feel comfortable speaking with the boss, are deemed more efficient in their assigned work.

Second, adaptive leadership stipulates the need for employers to trust their employees. WFH arrangements can lead to disruptions due to intermittent internet signals and other interferences. It is essential, then, for employers to trust their employees as regards work completion and time management. Leaders must focus on output rather than micro-management, so to speak. The difficulties brought on by inevitable remote working points out the need for leaders to acclimate themselves to the constraints that are experienced by their subordinates as they grapple with deadlines.

Third, leaders must reset their expectations. Face-to-face contact is entirely different from WFH arrangements.  Permitting a subordinate to work independently must be encouraged as constant checking cannot be sustainable during remote work. Perfect work can eventually be achieved when leaders allow their subordinates a larger margin of error for some time.

Finally, creativity must be supported. Adaptive leadership calls for leaders to allow their employees to be comfortable with the remote work design. To do that, they must permit their subordinates to do their tasks with as much creativity as possible. In time, such open support for independent thinking among employees can be more beneficial for the company as employees get to feel more valuable when they get to input their own designs in the different outputs they submit. Open praise for an employee’s good work is also essential. Adaptive leadership points out the necessity for leaders to encourage their subordinates to be at ease with their work despite the unprecedented changes that arise.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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Masks Take the Fashion Industry by Storm

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Masks are now taking the fashion industry by storm. Instead of the normal-looking masks of old, more and more people are now donning various styles. Aside from the light blue surgical masks and white N95 masks typically worn by doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners, many people are now wearing masks with different styles and colors. In a sense, these masks are now fashion statements, permitting the wearers to showcase their tastes, personalities, and even identities.

Before, disposable light blue surgical masks were the regular ones worn by health workers especially when on duty in various clinics and hospitals all around the world. Now, these masks have been replaced by homemade and store-bought alternatives. Due to the earlier scarcity of surgical and medical-grade masks earlier this year, people were forced to make masks at home. Different text guides and video tutorials even gradually appeared online, instructing viewers on how to sew their own. By using different materials including used cotton-based clothing and other breathable implements, many were encouraged to create their versions of the anti-COVID-19 shield.

A recent survey done by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) involving more than 90,000 respondents showed that 92% prefer wearing masks when in public places. The said survey also quantified that most respondents support the wearing of face masks over following the other mandated guidelines including frequent handwashing and social distancing. Thus, these significant results stipulate that face masks such as the light blue surgical masks, N95 masks, and alternative ones have now become essential, everyday accessories.

Subsequently, Musa Widyatmodjo, an Indonesian fashion designer, predicts that facial masks will be a far lengthier fashion trend. Although an effective vaccine against COVID-19 may be in sight, these masks will stay with us for longer than we think. Widyatmodjo supposes that fashion masks, if not light blue surgical masks or even N95 ones, will still be fashionable even when the present pandemic finally ends. He, then, thinks that this period can be a great opportunity for designers and artists to develop trendy masks innovations.

“In the past, we made face masks [without considering other features],” he says, as he relates the widespread availability of different mask designs in the market. He mentions that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can further capitalize on this current trend and hopefully find an excellent livelihood opportunity during this dragging pandemic. Widyatmodjo, however, stresses that there is a need to create safer and more durable face masks, noting the rapid spread of the infectious disease.

The production of these face guards, including light blue surgical masks and N95 ones, has aided various businesses as they strived to save themselves from the massive recession brought about by this deadly pandemic. At present, more and more designers are seen to be producing various face mask styles. Big designers are now selling stylish face masks, as well. A more diverse selection of face masks can be browsed online, although many purchase the good ole’ light blue surgical masks still.

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