How can we prioritise mental health at work?

Image of happy woman using laptop while sitting at cafe. Young african american woman sitting in a coffee shop and working on laptop, workplace wellbeing

Article by Helen Burt, Video Campaign Executive

Many of us step into sterile, corporate environments everyday that can feel very unnatural and negatively impact our mental health.

We sometimes need a reminder that we are part of nature and should be much more connected than commuting to these stale boxes that disconnect us from the outside.

Human beings possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature. “Being around green stuff makes humans happy.” Sir Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project

We can prioritise our mental health at work by making small changes that intentionally connect us with nature:

Nature in the space

Add natural elements to your work environment such as; plants, animals, water, breeze, scents, light and shadows.

Maximise natural light

Open curtains and windows and be guided by the daily movement of light and allow air movement and natural fluctuations in temperature.

Nature themed artwork

Choose colours, patterns and prints that mimic those found in the great outdoors.

Nature sounds playlist

Listen to calming sounds to focus your mind such as; rainfall, birdsong or gentle waves.

Short meditations

Try removing your shoes and feeling the earth under your feet, or watch water flowing from a tap.

It can be so easy to wholly throw ourselves into our work, instead of addressing any underlying mental health issues that may be affecting us. However, the more honest we can be with ourselves about what brings us joy, the more loving and peaceful we become, and we can find true integrity and balance in our lives.

Nature has the power to nourish and heal, and during difficult times we need the sanctuary of the outdoors more than ever before. Wigwam® Holidays have just launched At Home, Outdoors – a web video series to help us reconnect with our roots in nature. Each episode showcases an extraordinary connection with nature.

The first episode; Nature Therapy, features Carmen Rendell who used walking in nature to leave her corporate life, regain her freedom of choice, and find her home in the outdoors.

During her business career, Carmen always felt like a square peg in a round hole and knew there was something else for her, but just didn’t know how to get there or what it was. After 20 years of soul searching, she now works individually with people as a walking therapist in Richmond Park, London.

“I would put on a different persona almost as soon as I stepped into that corporate space. It was a role I played, it didn’t feel like the real me. I fully connect with myself when I go out into nature, and in particular I like to walk in Richmond Park – I always tend to come in with problems and leave with answers.”

There are many ways we can prioritise our mental health at work, and living in a city doesn’t prevent us from connecting with nature. There are trees along our roads – take a moment to just stare at one – some are straight and some are gnarly and twisted, but they’re all beautiful. Alternatively, we can always bring the great outdoors, indoors.

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