5 ways to bring nature into your work day

5 ways to bring nature into your work day

Writing this during the heat of a early summer's day in May I am reminded of the school exam season and all we wanted to do was be outside but we had to stay in and revise? It felt so cruel.

I wonder how many of us today are sat at our computers instead of being able to allow our soft, animal bodies to revel in the warmth?

It's amazing how in our Society we stick to timetables and schedules regardless of what's happening in the environment around us; working our designated hours even when it's absolutely glorious outside and our bodies are desperate to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin or take a wild swim in the sea/lake/river.

It's so unlike the way the rest of nature where plants and animals and fungi are completely responsive to their environment. For example, when birds are laying their eggs, they can put off incubating them if it’s too cold therefore delaying their chicks hatching until the temperature is just right.

Instead, we are expected to go to work at set times like small cogs in a machine (even though our bodies evolved as hunter gatherers deeply in tune with the environment).

Alas, (until the revolution - ha!) many of us can't change our schedules in response to the beautiful sunshine outside.

But we CAN begin to weave in moments of wonder and joy for the web of life into our lives and as we do so feel the grip of being a constant productive cog in the machine of work loosen a little.

I used to do it all the time when working a 9-5 office job. Slowly I wove nature back into my daily life despite not having the autonomy over when to start and finish work – these are the tips I used and I hope they help you do the same.

  1. Find a moment of wonder on your commute

In your commute weave in a little bit of time outside and just notice one thing on your way to and from work and take notice of how it throughout the seasons. For example, if you drive most to work is there a tree in the car park you can start to be more intentional about noticing? If you’re on the train is there a wood you always pass you can begin to focus on every day? Could you get off one stop early and find a route through a park and take daily notice of one particular bird or plant?

  1. Al fresco not al desco - Get into a habit of taking meetings and lunch outside

If there is a meeting that doesn’t need a screen, why not invite your colleagues to go for a little walk? Find a nice park or something to wander through and have a chat there. Similarly with your lunch, bring a picnic blanket with you and invite some friends to go and have lunch outside.

  1. Open the window and look out

If you're able to open the window (and the air outside is good quality) do it! Allow in the fresh air, sunbeams, birdsong and chatter - especially on sunny days. Use a break scheduler on your computer to remind you to look out of the window and give your eyes and mind a rest

  1. Listen to nature sounds as you work.

Research shows that listening to birdsong can be as beneficial to your mental health as being in green spaces. So bring your headphones with you and listen to nature sounds as you work (I recommend the RSPB Birdsong Radio on Spotify)

  1. Fill your space with houseplants

Houseplants not only help clean the air of indoor pollution but they are also wonderful to rest your eye on, to care for (see this as a moment of wonder rather than a chore) and to touch.

 

It may not feel like much but gradually these little moments will help you remember you are a human BEING and not a human DOING. Slowly your wild spirit will feel a greater and greater call for more time and connection in green spaces as you begin to priortise time with nature in your day-to-day life.

Which tip will you start doing?

If you want weave more joy and wonder for nature into your everyday life join the waitlist for my membership, The Stardust Collective.

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