And we’re both frugal, so it took a while to subscribe to Apple TV. Once we took the leap, we were thrilled to find so many of our Nonprofit Wellness leadership tips and Immune Boosters embedded in the Ted Lasso characters.
Here they are, titrated in daily doses as you shift your habits for 2022. We did daily posts on our Nonprofit Wellness blog starting at new year’s; below is week 1 of lessons and prompts for you and your team. Here’s Week 2.
Forget New Year’s resolutions. We are all about New Day resolutions. Seize the day, whatever day it might be. There are 14 days to choose from here.
And feel free to “seize” this content, below, for your work team’s newsletter — we are all about “Team Care” and eager to spread the word about cheap ways to boost our immune responses, here in Covid-landia.
DAY 1: Take on Uncomfortable Challenges
It’s always an appropriate time to take on a new wellness challenge, but especially winter with all its germs and slumpy seasonal depression.
Remember? “Life starts at the edge of your comfort zone.”
“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, if you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.” — Ted, to Beard, on the plane to England
“Change can be scary. … Most of the time change is a good thing and I think that’s what it’s all about — embracing change, being brave, doing whatever you have to so everyone in your life can move forward with theirs.” — Ted, to the team
DAY 1 PROMPT: What is a specific new thing you can try in the days/months ahead? Download our Personal Stress Prescription if you need ideas.
DAY #2 LAUGH OUT LOUD
“What does a British owl say?” “Whom, Whom”
Coach Lasso prides himself on making others laugh, and he stays present in conversation to find comedic opportunities. Asides, puns, private jokes, and metaphors abound, contributing to the series’ seven Emmys.
“Boy, I love meeting people’s moms. It’s like reading an instruction manual as to why they’re nuts.”
Laughter creates endorphins, which are natural pain killers, emotionally as well as physically. Laughing heartily tones the core. It resets the nervous system, lowering cortisol and engaging the “safe and social” mode.
“That was a branding joke. If we were in Kansas right now, I’d just be sitting here waiting for you to finish laughing.”
This is why most speeches start with a joke.
“If that’s a joke, I love it. If not, can’t wait to unpack that with you later.”
But as Robin Williams and countless comics have shown, being a “clown” can hide crippling depression.
“Knock knock” “Europe” “Europe Who?” “Europe late.”
Ted’s joking is, at first, an admirable reaction to fan negativity. Over time, though, we see how his joking inhibits therapeutic conversation (w/ Dr. Sharon), and it masks emotion about his breakup (w/ Michelle, and even with the Diamond Dogs).
“It’s just a group of people who care, Roy. Not unlike folks at a hip-hop concert whose hands are not in the air.”
Is Ted a sad clown, a coaching genius, or both? Ted Lasso sucks us in with the power of positivity. Then, Season 2 explores the dangers of toxic positivity (more on this on Day 8). Need a hearty dose of laughter? We recommend spending $4.99 for one month to binge both seasons of this joke-fest.
THIS JUST IN: just heard that one of my college roommates, Sarah, took my rec and during a family Xmas Covid isolation, got through two seasons in four days, within the free-trial period … WEPA!
Ted: “Sounds to me like someone’s trapped inside life’s most complicated shape: a love triangle. Second place of course is the ‘I just walked in on my mother-in-law changing into her swimsuit’ dodecahedron.”
Roy: “Does my face look like it’s in the mood for shape-based jokes?
Ted: No Roy, it does not. But in my defense, it rarely does.”
DAY 2 PROMPT: What will your next LOL comedy therapy be? (When in doubt, ask for recommendations; people love to give them).
DAY #3 CRYOTHERAPY
“Look at you in there. Lookin’ like a brunette Oscar the Grouch.”
— Ted, to Roy, who watches football commentary in a recycling bin ice bath.
Cold therapy provides anti-inflammatory benefits, boosts white blood cell and cytokine levels, produces endorphins and circulates oxygen rich blood, which is why it’s great for athletic recovery as well as immune boosting.
Be like Roy: you could jump in a recycling bin or kiddie pool full of ice water, or you could turn on a cold shower and count to 30 or 60.
Our instagram feed and YouTube videos include our intern Roxana explaining the (ancient) immune benefits of cryotherapy.
→ Or you can support cold plunge activism! Consider sponsoring the darling daughter and I, signed up on Feb 12, 2022 for another year of the Polar Bear Plunge to “keep winter cold,” benefitting the 20th anniversary of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Last year, we couldn’t believe the laughter and adrenalin rush that resulted from a 60-second dip into ice water; this year it’s a hybrid event so perhaps we’ll go back to the frigid Potomac.
DAY 3 PROMPT: How might you incorporate a cold blast into your life? Just 30 or 60 seconds of cold water at the end of your regular shower is effective. (Download our free Immune Booster list, in English or Spanish).
DAY #4 Create rituals (& relationships) with food
“To the family we’re born with, and the family we make along the way.” -Higgins
At the year-end team holiday meal, most of the players on the Richmond team attend, and bring a traditional food from their culture. They have to make a longer table to fit all the players (before Ted coached, only a few showed up for this ritual). Higgins knows/announces all of their hometowns. Afterwards, Ted and Rebecca serenade the players and the family/neighbors with jazzy, dance-y Christmas carols outside (See: Moving with Music, day 7).
Ritual, celebratory meals build relationships — especially when work is NOT discussed. These relationships are critical to worker happiness, productivity, and even retention. Don’t believe me? Check out this Gallup article called “Why We Need Best Friends at Work.”
But everyone knows the main Lasso Way food ritual: “Biscuits with the Boss.”
Homemade treats serve as Ted’s daily excuse for quick check-ins w/ Rebecca.
“We can’t really be good partners until we get to know each other, right?”
He persists. She can’t resist. Sugar, butter, flour: comfort food. Soothing.
“I come bearing sweet treats to numb the sting of defeat.”
Some of the rituals you create with your co-workers can include coffee, sweets, immune-boosting foods or even intoxicants. Breaking bread (and/or drinking together) are age-old ways to put aside differences and connect on a human level.
To make your own biscuits for your boss (or your “Boss Ass Bitch” self), check out this a classic recipe from Salt Harvest Creatives or an almond flour version from Mummy to Twins Plus One or the vegan one from The Carrot Underground.
Let’s not forget the food-related relationship-building that happens over incredibly spicy Indian food (with Ted & Trent Crimm), doner kebabs (Roy & Ted), and ice cream (Roy & Phoebe).
DAY 4 PROMPT: What food rituals will you share with others this year?
DAY #5: Move LYMPH with YOGA
“I do yoga with a group of women in their 60s. They have no idea who I am; it’s twice a week and it’s really good for my core. Normally it only takes an hour but Maureen’s just been going through a divorce and she needed to talk about it and blow off some steam.” — Roy, to Keeley
Extra points! Not only is Roy working his core and moving his lymph with yoga, he’s also engaging in safe and soothing social group activity. We dislike that he is shy to admit it, as professional athletes could/do benefit from the practice, but yoga has a perception problem, we know.
Ty and I are big fans of yoga for many reasons…here’s one related to immune boosting:
To tune up your immune system, you want to move infection fighting LYMPH around, and inverting your body is a great way to do it. Ty’s two-year-old is also a fan of bouncing on a mini trampoline, an excellent lymph-mover called “rebounding.” We show you other ways to move lymph, including my skin brushing, on Instagram and Ty’s YouTube video w/ simple head and neck lymphatic massage exercises.
Below, Susan explains the lymphatic system and demonstrates four lymph-moving yoga poses on YouTube where your head is below your heart, or level with your heart: down dog, revolved chair, wheel, and legs up the wall…
Maybe you can practice yoga alone but most of us need to sign up with a studio or an online platform to support our practice (I’m a Registered Yoga Teacher and even I have difficulty with a personal home practice). We like spark, or Conscious Healthy Mama, or Glo (or you can support a local studio) to support your practice within a community of like-minded teachers, mamas, or neighbors.
DAY 5 PROMPT: With whom will you practice in 2022 (including cats)? Making movement social helps.
DAY 6: Be Social
The top-functioning mode of our nervous system is called “Safe and Social.” Because our vagus nerve gathers information about other people and feeds it to our brain — it’s how we snap-judge whether we feel safe, or not. So, being social with people you like is crucial to your health.
Ted makes people feel safe:
“Rule #1: Even though it’s called ‘Girl Talk’, sometimes it needs to be more like ‘Girl, Listen’. Learnin on the fly here.”
Ted is fully present to his relationships:
“I think one of the neatest things about being a coach is the connection you get to make with your players. That’s a loss that hits me a lot harder and is gonna stay with me a lot longer than anything that happens while playing a game on a patch of grass.”
Being social is tough during a pandemic, but perhaps the most important thing to prioritize:
“Be grateful you’re going through this moment with all these other folks…I promise you, there’s something worse out there than being sad. That is being alone and sad. Ain’t nobody in this room alone.”
Ted uses pop culture (see also: “Rom-Communism”) for teamwork lessons:
“You don’t need to be best friends to be great teammates.Think Shaq & Kobi. Lennon & McCartney Heck, even Woody and Buzz got under each other’s plastic… What’d all these dynamic duos have in common? Mutual respect.”
Ted supports his players by believing in them, and pushing them to work together:
“Success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field. It ain’t always easy, Trent, but neither is growing up without someone believing in you.”
“Jamie, I think that you might be so sure that you’re one in a million, that sometimes you forget that out there, you’re just 1 of 11. And if you just figure out someway to turn that ‘me’ into ‘us’…the sky’s the limit for you.”
Even Roy and Rebecca see how being friends (or in Rebecca’s case, becoming “best friends” w/ Keeley) with co-workers helps:
Roy: “Wait, so sometimes the f*ing Diamond Dogs is just chattin about sh!t and no one has to f*ing solve anything and nothing f*ing changes? (Sometimes, yeah.) That’s cool.”
Rebecca: “Look, I know all too well how stunningly sh!tty the first Christmas after you get divorced can be. I just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
Here is our slide showing the “polyvagal ladder” of the nervous system (thanks Dr. Porges).
DAY 6 PROMPT: Who makes you feel great? How can you spend more time with them?
DAY 7: MOVE WITH MUSIC
“Now look fellas, performing this at Doc’s goin-away party ain’t gonna mean Bo Jackson Diddly Squat unless you can tell how hard we worked on it. It ain’t the execution — that ain’t the gift. It’s the EFFORT.” — Ted
For this team, becoming in sync to NSYNC was a team-builder, a workout, and an intended demonstration of gratitude to Doc Sharon.
You could try a K-pop combo, Zumba, Obé, workouts or yoga with music, jogging to a killer playlist, or just dancing in the kitchen while you make your dinner. Music and movement boost the immune system, so queue it up and turn it up. It’s not the performance that counts. It’s the effort!
Why is this a mashed-up Immune Booster? Well, both MOVEMENT and MUSIC have tremendous impacts on the body and brain, such as lowering the stress hormone cortisol, and stimulating Immunoglobulin A, which plays a crucial role in immune functions.
Day 7 PROMPT: How will you turn the volume up and get moving in 2022?
Thanks for scrolling all the way down!
And stay tuned — for Week 2 of Ted’s leadership and immunity lessons.
Finally, muchisimas gracias a Olivia Wilde for suggesting to her Ex (Jason) that he turn his satirical commercial fodder from 2013 into the Ted Lasso series. The world really needed this right now.
REMEMBER — FEEL FREE TO STEAL THIS CONTENT and pass it around to others; we preach Team-Care more than self-care.
(Our free resources and content like this are in the “Creative Commons,” so share and attribute away. We are now officially a nonprofit, and donations are welcome/needed to support our teacher campaigns in this wacky new year.)