May Newsletter 2020


Welcome to our May Newsletter.

How are you going? What has changed for you since last month?

Our theme for this month is Life-Work Balance.

We’ve been speaking to a lot of people who are finding working from home challenging. As the government encourages us to continue to stay at home, many of us are starting to miss our social connections. In this edition, we’re going to share some resources to help you increase social connectivity, while maintaining responsible social distancing.

We’re continuing to host a series of free webinars this month to support you. Details are further down in this newsletter for each of them.

Finally, for all those mothers in our community, Happy Mother’s Day for 10 May!

The Magical Learning Team

Communicating Effectively During Disruption

With many of us working from home, it is important to consider how we can best communicate with others virtually.

The most effective communication method is face-to-face, because we can see and hear who we’re communicating with. This allows our brain to pick up their visual and auditory ‘cues’ so we understand what is going on for them.

While face-to-face option isn’t currently an option for many of us, the next best alternative is video. Although it’s not ‘in person’, we can still see and hear what is going on for the other person.

If video is not available, then audio is next best. While we can’t see what is happening we can still hear changes in people’s vocal tones – which gives us additional information about how they are is going.

The least effective communication methods are email and text. With no visual or auditory cues from the other person, we only have their words to interpret what is happening. With many people stressed, it is easy to be triggered by words where we have no other background information.

So we encourage you to use video to communicate with others wherever you can, particularly where you are working from home and where it is important that they get the message clearly.

Helpful Resources on Strengthening relationships

Social Connectivity Tips

Staying socially connected is really important for our wellbeing. During disruptive times, we need to connect in order to feel good. Our family has a regular catch-up every Saturday, so we can check-in with each other and make sure we’re all OK. It’s also an opportunity to have some fun, and we have a different Quiz Master each week so everyone gets a chance to try a different quiz. There‘s nothing as uplifting as seeing your loved ones laughing and having fun – even if it is virtually. Here are some ideas on staying socially connected:

  • Host a distant online movie party. The Chrome plugin Netflix Party is free and allows you and fellow party members to watch and chat at the same time.
  • Create an online Book Club – a great way to connect over a book.
  • Scheduling regular video or audio catch ups with loved ones and work colleagues.
  • Play games on a virtual coffee or lunch break (we’re using Houseparty – it keeps us all in stitches).
  • Go for a walk outside, while maintaining social distancing requirements.
  • Online ‘Lunch and Learn’. Watch an educational video or documentary together, then discuss your takeaways from the video.
  • If you like music and singing karaoke, try Smule or Karaoke Camp (24 hour online karaoke party for free).
  • Do craft together using video chat.· Go old school and write a letter, note or send a card.

Simple Things to Stay Calm and Resilient

Here are some simple things that can help you get through these disruptive times:·

  • Watch a nature meditation video for two minutes – Google ‘nature meditation’ and pick one that you think you might like.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Take five deep breaths.
  • Schedule a virtual coffee or lunch break with colleagues, friends, loved ones.
  • Start a Gratitude Journal and write three things each day that you’re grateful for.
  • Get outside in nature: go for a walk or run.
  • Take naps.
  • Listen to music.
  • Create your own music playlist to feel inspired.
  • Take up or continue a fun hobby.
  • Write a letter thanking someone who made a difference in your life.
  • Bake something delicious.
  • Do a virtual random act of kindness.
  • For some great ideas just google ‘Virtual random acts of kindness’.

Inspirational Resources To Help You Stay Positive (continued from last month’s newsletter)


  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frank
  • Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • Meditations of Marcus Aurelius by Marcus Aurelius
  • Loonshots by Safi Bahcall
  • For those with kids at home, Amazon is allowing free streaming of their books via Audible until schools go back. Click here to download free audible books for your kids.


  • Pay It Forward… yes, it is a book and a movie!
  • The Hundred Foot Journey
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • Fisherman’s Friends
  • While not strictly a movie, the BBC series version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. (This is one of Danette’s favourites to watch over a wintery weekend.)

New Learning Opportunities

Free ‘Disruptive Times’ Webinars

All times are in AEST*

Communicating Effectively Through Disruption – Tuesday 19 May, 2:00pm SIGN UP

Building Your Resilience and Resourcefulness – Thursday 28 May, 2:00pm SIGN UP

Our Regular Monthly Free Webinar: MAINTAINING LIFE-WORK BALANCE

Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 10.30am-11.15am AEST

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The new version of life-work balance
  • The costs of not having balance in your life and career
  • 4 tools and techniques to help improve your life-work balance.

Book Of The Month: Kitty Flanagan – 488 Rules for Life

Reviewed by Danette Fenton-Menzies

If you’re interested in running online webinars or workshops for your workplace, click here

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