Time. It’s what we all yearn for more of, and no matter how we look at it there is only so much we can do to get the most out of the 24 hours we are given each day.
If you’ve ever had a long commute to work, you are probably pretty adept at packing it all in. Using that wasteful driving time to listen to radio or podcasts to be across what is happening in your world, dreaming up ideas or contemplating the day ahead. I used to work in radio, so I started work the moment I turned on the ignition as I listened to the breakfast show and mulled over ideas to develop stories as I crawled down the A19.
Now my commute is just an eight-minute walk in across the park by the Mere or a four-minute car drive if I’m out at meetings. I barely get chance to hear the 6 o’clock headlines.
Creating a space for nature
More than ever I find I need to create space to be creative. There isn’t a big yellow button I can slam when I need an idea for a client, and if there were it would be broken by now for sure! Instead I strive to make my environment clean and inspiring to work in. We have lots of space, pops of colour to inspire us, fruit to energise us and plenty of plants to oxygenate the air.
Plants not only clean our air, reduce stress and look pretty but they can also help us be more creative. Various studies have shown creativity can be boosted by 15%, as employees feel more engaged in their surroundings, increasing creativity and focus.
Attention Restoration Theory suggests spending time in, or looking at, nature can improve concentration and mental fatigue. Even just looking at plants can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making people feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.
Try a spot of forest bathing
Some researchers suggest we have an innate need to be connected with nature, also called Biophilia. Incorporating nature into the workplace can take many different forms including gorgeous living walls, indoor trees and planter boxes. Even views of nature on screens or prints on the walls can positively impact on our mood and wellbeing.
I’ve always felt inspired by nature and find if I make time for a lunchtime walk with the dog it can really help fine-tune that killer concept for a client or come up with a strapline for an ad.
Bear with me on this but have you tried forest bathing? I had no idea it was a ‘thing’ until I was explaining my love of nature to a friend and how a walk at Knettishall Heath is my favourite pastime. Walking through the forest and connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch – and it’s free! Apparently in Japan, forest bathing or shinrin-yoku is a thing. Shinrin in Japanese means ‘forest’, and yoku means ‘bath’. So, shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. The perfect way to reduce stress and get creative in my book.
Wellbeing for businesses
On Monday morning (3rd September), Diss Business Forum is holding a wellbeing event at Diss Rugby Club. An energising yoga session, a nutritious and healthy breakfast, networking and a mental health awareness workshop and all before 10am on a Monday morning. The perfect way to start your working week.
Tickets are just £10 for members and £12 for non-members so if you’d like to start the week feeling in touch with nature come and join us for a 7am yoga session on the pitch! www.dbf.org.uk