Over the past decade, wellbeing has become increasingly important within social and political discourse. It would appear that the pursuit of the great capitalist agenda doesn’t really do much for our mental or physical health – Who’d have thought?!
Wellbeing is such a concern now that there is a multi-billion dollar industry dedicated to making sure we can all find ways to chill out and get back in touch with ourselves – which seems somewhat contradictory, or is that just me?
But of course, mental and physical wellbeing cannot be bought. And contrary to what Gwyneth Paltrow might have you believe, you don’t have to spend crazy amounts of money to meaningfully invest in your wellbeing – just a little time to invest in yourself.
Taking care of our wellbeing
With very little time in our chaotic modern lives to actually give much thought to our wellbeing, this has increasingly become a concern that people are trying to address within the workplace. With this in mind (pun intended), the Day One team spent a day at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the pursuit of wellness and some team building.
“It was a nice to have a change of pace from the everyday office life, and a great opportunity to speak to the people I spend most of my week with, about something other than work.” – Jack Keena (Team leader / Lead Quality Assurance at Day One)
Studies have proven that time spent around art and nature reduces stress, improves self-esteem, boost creativity and benefits your general mental wellbeing. And because of the breadth of evidence there is in support of these benefits, it is now slowly being implemented in various professions.
Most notably, art therapy implemented in social care environments has been proven to be beneficial to both staff and those receiving care. It has been found that art therapy and general engagement with art in its many forms improves individual resilience, can in some cases aid recovery, and improves overall quality of life.
When introduced in care homes, art therapy has had restorative purposes, improving resident’s memory and provides a sense of purpose and community. Being in nature has also been found to have a positive impact on individual wellbeing. Not only does it encourage physical exercise by default, it’s also believed to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression.
Implementing wellbeing in your workplace
So, of course this all sounds lovely, but why and how would you implement this idea into your workplace?
Mental health issues are being reported in record numbers, and unsurprisingly this is affecting our working environments. So, it’s imperative that businesses start to think about the wellbeing of their workforce, and start to look at way to introduce this awareness into the workplace.
It is thought by Mind (mental health charity) that 1 in 6 employees is dealing with a mental health problem right now, and these problems are only exacerbated by “unhealthy working environments”.
Harriet Calver for Employee Benefits explains:
unhealthy working environments generally lead to low productivity, low morale and poor staff retention rates. They are also the reason why so many employees are now suffering from work-related stress and other mental health issues.
So, it’s more important than ever that we start to work towards creating a work culture that is concerned with wellbeing, and further create a space for people to feel happy and motivated as much as is possible.
Forbes magazine suggests introducing things as simple as encouraging individuality, inclusive leadership and teams, and generally reinforcing the importance of wellbeing practice within the culture of your workplace.
So why not try doing yourself and your team a favour, and go and enjoy some art and nature.