Stuck in quarantine, wondering what to do with your free time? Why not invest in some reading material and self-development while also taking care of your mental health & wellbeing. There is no better time than the present to pick up a book, learn something new, add to your vocabulary, improve your confidence, or just cement the things you already knew.
Why reading is beneficial to your mental health & wellbeing
Our brain might not be a muscle, however, there is plenty of research done which proves that treating it like one has a lot of benefits. The simplest way to train your brain is to read books, either fictional or nonfictional.
With regular stimulation by reading books, you can strengthen your brain and improve its performance. Not only that it can also improve your memory, vocabulary, relieve stress, help you sleep better, and assist you in improving your mental health.
Oyster as a fast-paced recruitment agency understands the importance of mental health and wellbeing. From personal experience we know how important it is to encourage our people to destress, exercise, take a break, and switch off. We also fully understand that the usual methods we all use to destress might not be available to us, which is why picking up a book might be just what you need to switch off for a bit.
“Having spent 10+ years working in recruitment, an industry that can burn you out physically and mentally, I am a big supporter of mental health and well-being at work and at home. I always look for new ways to improve the well-being of my team. Wether it’s yearly summer bootcamps, early finishes, cryogenic chamber sessions, spa days, suggestions on what books to read, mental health first aid courses or workshops at the office. Even though recruitment is a stressful industry, the managers and I do all we can to support our people with their mental health and well-being needs.”Sasza Bandiera, MD, Oyster Partnership
As great as the modern world is it also adds a lot of anxiety and stress to our daily lives. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in. You can be a recruiter, a salesperson, a lawyer, or a banker, no matter the job title you still need to look after your mental and physical health to live a more happier and fulfilling life.
Vocabulary & Communication Skills
Researchers have found that people who start to read regularly from an early age over time develop a large vocabulary. Whether you work in recruitment, the property industry or any other sector where talking to people is part of your job, effective communication skills are essential.
Having an extensive vocabulary will contribute to improving your communication skills with your colleagues, clients, and even with people in your personal life. A survey released in early 2019 shows that ‘Effective Communication’ is one of the top soft skills sought after by 69% of employers.
A group of researchers performed a study on students in demanding health sciences programs in the USA in 2009. The study measured the effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress levels of the students.
The study showed that 30 minutes of reading a book lowered heart rate, blood pressure, and feelings of distress just as well as humor and yoga did.
Prevent cognitive decline caused by aging
Rush University Medical Center conducted a study in 2013 showing that people who have engaged in mentally stimulating activities most of their lives are less likely to develop lesions, tau-protein tangles and plaques found in the brain of people suffering from dementia.
Studies also show that seniors who solve math problems and read books or magazines daily have maintained and even improved their cognitive functions.
Improve your mental health
When working in a high-pressure environment or dealing with stresfull situations it is very important to take care of your mental health. Reading is an easy and non-expensive way to do this.
Because of the importance of mental health and the effects reading has on it NHS has started the Reading Well program. The Books on Prescription program lets medical experts prescribe self-help books for people with certain conditions.
Reading allows you to destress, get advice from people in the same situation, improve your mood, learn new things, or find coping mechanisms that you might have not thought of yourself.
3 books we suggest you read while in lockdown & why
By now you might have gathered reading has a long list of benefits, from improving your vocabulary to generally making you feel better. As we are all currently stuck in lockdown it is a good time to turn off the TV, put on your reading glasses and spend some time on self-development.
”In a time of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power.”John F. Kennedy
As a recruitment agency we work with people within the property industry on a daily basis. Our team and the people they work with face many uncertainties and changes to their daily lives at the moment. We are fully aware of the many hardships our team and other individuals within the industry are currently facing at work and personally. This is why we do our best to promote the benefits of mental health and wellbeing within the property sector.
This said self-care and development should be practiced regardless of the industry you work in. One of the easiest ways to begin is by switching off Netflix and by picking up a book.
Whether you work in recruitment, the property industry, sales, marketing, or any other field there is something useful you can pick up from the 3 books below recommended by our MD Sasza Bandiera.
SELLING BOLDLY: Applying the New Science of Positive Psychology to Dramatically Increase Your Confidence, Happiness, and Sales by Alex Goldfayn
‘‘This is a great book whether you’re in sales or not, in my opinion, people across all industries are required to ‘sell’, whether it’s a product, solution or idea. Convincing others is a large part of our day to day lives. This book not only gives you confidence, but it makes you think, why worry so much before you’ve even asked?’’Sasza Bandiera, MD, Oyster Partnership
Fear is the reason most salespeople don’t like to pick up the phone (salespeople average just four hours per week on the phone, and our job is to talk to humans!). Fear is the reason we don’t ask for the business more, even though our customers want to buy from us. Fear is the reason we don’t offer our customers additional products and services, even though they would love to buy more from us. This book deals with that fear.
You will learn exactly how to overcome this destructive fear in sales and replace it with confidence, optimism, gratitude, joy, and proactive sales work. These are the powerful principles in the new field of positive psychology which are transforming how we work and succeed.
Selling Boldly is the first book that leverages positive psychology to help you sell more. You’ll also learn a series of fast, simple sales-growth techniques–like how to add on to existing orders; and how to close 20% more quotes and proposals instantly; and how to properly ask for and receive referrals–that will grow your sales…dramatically and quickly.
Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall
“Great read for anyone in a management role; business leaders or aspiring leaders/managers. The book explores a new way of managing and debunks work-associated myths while challenging most conventional ideas about the working environment. We all live in a world that can change within a blink of an eye – as leaders we also need to be able to change with times. The practices that were used by managers and leaders 5 to 10 years ago will not be as effective now. Marcus Buckingham explores how we can approach things, what we can do differently and how to be more human when dealing with various personalities. I’m a strong believer that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not an effective way how to manage. We are all different and respond to things in different ways. Being able to find ways how to approach each individual is what makes a good leader. For anyone open to change and looking for ways to improve as an employee and leader Nine Lies About Work is the book to read! “Sasza Bandiera, Managing Director, Oyster Partnership
You crave feedback. Your organisation’s culture is the key to its success. Strategic planning is essential. Your competencies should be measured and your weaknesses shored up. Leadership is a thing.
These may sound like basic truths of our work lives today. But actually, they’re lies. As strengths guru and bestselling author Marcus Buckingham and Cisco Leadership and Team Intelligence head Ashley Goodall show in this provocative, inspiring book, there are some big lies–distortions, faulty assumptions, wrong thinking–that we encounter every time we show up for work. Nine lies, to be exact. They cause dysfunction and frustration, ultimately resulting in workplaces that are a pale shadow of what they could be.
But there are those who can get past the lies and discover what’s real. These freethinking leaders recognise the power and beauty of our individual uniqueness. They know that emergent patterns are more valuable than received wisdom and that evidence is more powerful than dogma.
With engaging stories and incisive analysis, the authors reveal the essential truths that such freethinking leaders will recognise immediately: that it is the strength and cohesiveness of your team, not your company’s culture, that matter most; that we should focus less on top-down planning and more on giving our people reliable, real-time intelligence; that rather than trying to align people’s goals we should strive to align people’s sense of purpose and meaning; that people don’t want constant feedback, they want helpful attention.
This is the real world of work, as it is and as it should be. Nine Lies About Work reveals the few core truths that will help you show just how good you are to those who truly rely on you.
One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days by Brendan Kane
“We live in a digital age. Everything happens online. Social media and the way we portray ourselves, personally or as a business online, matters more than ever. Even if you are not a marketing-expert, an understanding of what good content looks like, how to attract audiences, add value, and how to improve your brand’s reach will help you immensely. A person who liked your post last week might become your candidate or client this week. This can simply happen because you produced content that resonated with them or added value to their life.”Sasza Bandiera, MD, Oyster Partnership
Over 60 billion online messages are sent on digital platforms every day, and only a select few succeed in the mad scramble for customer attention.
This means that the question for anyone who wants to gain mass exposure for their transformative content, business, or brand or connect with audiences around the globe is no longer if they should use social media but how to best take advantage of the numerous different platforms.
How can you make a significant impact in the digital world and stand out among all the noise?
Digital strategist and “growth hacker” Brendan Kane has the answer and will show you how—in 30 days or less. A wizard of the social media sphere, Kane has built online platforms for A-listers including Taylor Swift and Rihanna. He’s advised brands such as MTV, Skechers, Vice, and IKEA on how to establish and grow their digital audience and engagement. Kane has spent his career discovering the best tools to turn any no-name into a top influencer simply by speaking into a camera or publishing a popular blog—and now he’ll share his secrets with you.
In One Million Followers, Kane will teach you how to gain an authentic, dedicated, and diverse online following from scratch; create personal, unique, and valuable content that will engage your core audience; and build a multi-media brand through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and LinkedIn.
One Million Followers is the ultimate guide to building your worldwide brand and unlocking all the benefits social media has to offer. It’s time to stop being a follower and start being a leader.
We live in a fast-paced world, where transferable, soft skills are becoming more and more desirable. Mental and physical health is something that is freely discussed and self-development is encouraged. There is no better time than the current lockdown to pick up a book and learn a thing or two… your brain will thank you for it later!