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A Fresh Approach to Employee Wellbeing

How do you offer wellbeing programs when teams are remote and screen fatigue can be an obstacle to available options? With many wellbeing programs being offered online, a screen-free option in nature is welcome by many.


Employee Wellbeing is Essential...

Life has been disrupted at a scale and pace that's never been experienced before. Your teams have adapted when change was needed and shown resilience when faced with endless ambiguity. For many people, this has come at a cost:

  • anxiety

  • depression

  • insomnia

  • exhaustion

  • lack of focus

  • decreased creativity & critical thinking


"In a recent study, 36 per cent of Canadians indicated that they were concerned about a fellow employee’s mental wellbeing."



Screen Fatigue is Real...

I wonder how many hours your employees spent sitting in front of a screen today? How many times have they checked their phone? Did they notice if the sun was out or the temperature of the air?


"A recent survey shows that the majority of people are now spending over 19 hours a day in front of screens. During breaks from work, almost half choose to spend their "free-time"

on social media."


Employers Investing in Wellbeing...


This comprehensive Wellable report investigates and quantifies the wellness strategies companies are implementing in 2021. This year, the report also includes a special section dedicated to COVID-19 and its impacts on the future of work and well-being.


https://www.wellable.co


"For 2021, employers are investing most in mental health (88%), telemedicine (87%), stress management/resilience (81%), mindfulness and meditation (69%), and COVID-19 risk intake/wellness passport (63%) programs. With three out of five rising stars closely linked to mental health, it is clear that companies are extremely focused on and dedicated to supporting mental well-being. These programs have been growing in popularity in recent years, and the unique challenges created by COVID-19 have only accelerated the demand for mental health solutions. Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Encouragingly, employers are taking notice."



A Screen-Free Mindfulness Practice in Nature

Staying connected to the natural world is essential to our wellbeing and resiliency. Being outdoors, breathing fresh air, feeling the breeze against our skin, sensing the sunlight on our face, listening to birdsong and noticing beauty in landscapes simply makes us feel good.

I lead my remotely-guided walks via a simple audio conference call. This is more than a walk outside, it's an appointment to experience mindfulness with a guide.

Forest Therapy is a practice inspired by the Japanese practice of “Shinrin-Yoku” which translates into “forest bathing.” As a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (ANFT), my two hour Forest Therapy walks are an invitation for anyone to step outside, tune into their senses, slow down and breathe deeply. Perhaps think of this experience as "noticing and dwelling" while being fully-present rather than walking or hiking to get somewhere.


Anyone can participate, regardless of location, age, ability or access to the outdoors.


People are welcome to join from wherever they are. Everyone participates from a safe and familiar outdoor space near them, such as their garden, a local park or a nearby greenspace. If they're unable to leave their home, they can participate by looking at nature through their window, or sitting next to an indoor plant and gathering items that represent nature to them (such as rocks, seashells, favourite images of nature, etc.).




Over 40 years of global research has proven significant health benefits such as:

  • reduced symptoms of anxiety

  • reduced blood pressure

  • a reduction in stress and cortisol levels

  • improved mood

  • increased ability to focus

  • higher energy levels

  • better sleep

  • greater clarity of thought, creativity and critical thinking

  • a strengthened immune system


Wellbeing for Teams and Individuals...

A remotely-guided Forest Therapy walk is about being mindful and arriving in the present moment. More than ever, people need permission to slow down, to notice what's around them and to escape from the impulse to be "doing something" in nature. With carefully-crafted invitations and prompts, participants are able to slow their pace, quiet their minds, let go and enjoy the experience.


Employees are far more likely to participate in wellbeing activities when they receive them as a gift or when their leader books it for their team as a shared experience. A "should" or a "could" is replaced with scheduled time in their calendars. Receiving a remotely-guided Forest Therapy walk as a gift or an invitation shows that the leader and/or organization endorses making time for personal wellness.


GIFT CERTIFICATES:


This is a simple way to give the gift of mindful time in nature to your employees. Each gift certificate will provide a 2-hour remotely-guided walk with me. You may either print them or send the certificates by email. A link and a special one-use code will be included to be used when registering for the desired walk. Recipients of each gift certificate can join one of my many public remotely-guided forest therapy walks each month.


PRIVATE GROUP WALKS:

Tired of connecting to each other via a video call? Trying to find an option for Team Building with a remote team? Book a private group walk for your team. Participants can dial-in from wherever they are in the world. You may be far apart, but you can still be close together in support of each other's wellbeing. With sufficient notice, I can coordinate personal gifts for participants to make this experience even more special.



For more information on Forest Therapy, please visit the Forest Library.


 



"When people feel grounded and have accessible tools to stay grounded – they have deep roots that sustain their resilience. They don’t fear storms - they dance with the wind.”




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