Some habits underly all health and wellbeing. Nutrition is an obvious one with Hippocrates saying “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Gratitude may be one of those underlying habits as well, and there is more and more documentation of scientifically validated benefits like better mental health, improved sleep quality, reduced inflammation, quicker recovery from health events, and so much more!
Through BeWell@Big Village, our HR-led health and wellbeing program, we kicked off 2022 with gratitude by asking our employees to participate in a 7-day Gratitude Challenge. This simple challenge included making a list of 5 things you are grateful for, spending a full day without complaining, and expressing gratitude to a colleague. This challenge was a different journey for every individual, but fulfilling for all who participated.
15% of our employees participated in this challenge by sharing in our big-village-wide slack channel. The rest of our employee population read and enjoyed the uplifting topics that others were sharing. One employee was grateful for the simple act of enjoying the sunshine in the winter. Some were grateful for simple tools like a slow cooker and others were grateful for events like recovering from COVID. To quote one participant, the gratitude challenge had them reflect on “the individuals who gave their life meaning, purpose, joy and love.” Employees also expressed sentiments on how this challenge changed their disposition moving forward, for the better.
“Early in the year I happened to be outside on a crisp, clear night taking on the task of getting the dog out for a walk. As I glanced up, I saw the glitter of the constellation Orion, and I stopped for barely one second to register that fact. Turning around to tug on the dog, intent on my task, I briefly saw the Big Dipper and my mind forced me away from the sky onward to the task at hand. My heart regrets not simply gazing up in awe and gratitude at this great big universe that sparkles around us that evening. Having the gratitude challenge at the beginning of the year changed my perspective ongoing!” -Lynne Deyo, HRIS and Benefits Manager
Gratitude forces us out of the restriction of our own mind and perceptions, and trains us to see something larger than ourselves. We recognize that there is so much goodness constantly happening around us which, in turn, improves our mental health. This is something that we try to focus on and assist in at Big Village.
Earlier in the year, in February, Big Village also participated in an “Random Acts of Love” challenge through our benefits broker, Sequoia. This challenge spreads love across the globe. Some of the ways employees participated were by paying a family’s rent and utilities, donating a couch, and financially supporting Food Bank for NYC. It’s not surprising that Big Village is one of the winners of the challenge and has had the opportunity to donate $1000 to the non-profit Last Bell, helping Ukrainian orphaned youth to receive hygiene kits and support/assistance during this devastating wartime they are experiencing.
We are grateful that Big Village has been able to do so much and assist so many, near and far, during this first quarter of 2022. We look forward to continuing to spread kindness, assist others and express gratitude here at Big Village.