We have all been through two difficult years. The coronavirus pandemic changed our way of life, and it’s not quite over yet. You may have struggled with health challenges, job challenges, family challenges, and we lost out on a lot of fun.
Some of the changes have been for the better. But learning new routines can be stressful, and it takes a lot of energy. Human nature takes over, and we do what we’ve gotta do: binging on streaming shows, baking bread, and starting happy hour at 2 pm.
Now we’ve integrated our old routines with our new routines. You might be going back to the office full time or just some of the time. Again, life continues to throw a lot of change at us, and we must gear up our energy to make it all work.
Did you know there’s such a thing as “change exhaustion”? The Harvard Business Review wrote about it earlier this week, and it’s getting a lot of attention.
According to a 2020 scientific study, the average person has 6,000 thoughts per day. Even if you only need to act on a tenth of them, that’s 600 tasks. And this was before the pandemic, so it’s my theory it’s even more. No wonder we’re tired!
Coffee, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, cookies… a little caffeine, and sugar can get you over the afternoon slump, right? We all know the price is getting dependent and putting on even more pandemic pounds. Believe it or not, Nature has a solution for you: adding indoor plants to your environment.
Nature helps us cope in a healthier way
In their own way, people instinctively knew what to do to cope during the pandemic. They started gardening and buying plants. Americans spent $8.5 billion more on gardening items in 2020 compared to 2019. I promise it hasn’t slowed down. There is a shortage of the most popular types of plants.
People turned their homes into a piece of nature because they quickly figured out what multiple studies have shown. Plants improve focus, decrease depression, and reduce anxiety. Your mind and your body relax. Plants add rich amounts of oxygen to the air. You breathe it in, breathe more slowly and deeply. Your blood pressure lowers, your heart rate and your fight or flight hormones drop. You don’t need all that caffeine and sugar after all.
The healthcare and hospital industry applied these principles to their facilities. When patients have a view of nature from a window or even artwork of nature, they heal more quickly. This is why Sharp Memorial Hospital added a green roof to its facilities and why Kaiser Permanente Zion has living walls and nature artwork throughout its hospital.
Practice mindfulness with plants
Now many people are being asked by employers to come back to the office after they’ve gotten used to working at home. There are conflicting feelings about it – giving up the time and money saved on commuting against the opportunity to collaborate In person. Most people say coming in just one or two days a week is all they can handle. And – there it is, change exhaustion again.
Employers need to find ways to make workplaces more appealing than working at home. Instead of having to work from a dining room table or a corner of your bedroom, how about a light-filled environment with stylish, comfortable new furniture, more spaces built for collaboration – and living plants?
Our team at Good Earth Plant Company sees the results daily. Successful companies bringing employees back into the office are adding plants and even living walls to their facilities to welcome people back. We’d love to tell you their names, but we can’t. We’re pretty sure you use their products daily or benefit from their scientific breakthroughs.
In a Japanese study, researchers found the presence of plants indoors help people recover from mental fatigue and perform tasks better than in spaces where there are no plants. In Nature, we are better able to practice mindfulness when we are exposed to sunshine, wind, water, birds, and plants.
When we spend time outdoors on a walk or a bike ride, there are fewer distractions. Being able to take a break from electronic screens helps slow your breathing and decrease stress. The simple act of walking through trees in Japan is a form of therapy called “forest bathing,” or Shinrin-yoku. We wrote about it in 2018.
When you breathe in oxygen, you increase your level of the hormone oxytocin, which makes humans feel more relaxed and joyful. Remember those 6,000 thoughts? Your mind can settle down, stop stressing and multitasking, and allow you to prioritize and focus only on what’s most important in the present.
When your mind is relaxed, your body’s natural healing can take place. We aren’t saying this is a substitute for needed medical care but reducing stress can go a long way toward regaining good health.
Employees who’ve gotten used to their plants at their home office will feel much more comfortable at the office when they can enjoy the same welcoming environment full of plants. And it’s one of the most cost-effective things a business can do. Forget bringing in coffee and doughnuts every day. As we found in the second edition of our white paper, “The Nature of the Post-Pandemic Environment,” installation of workplace greenery within an existing building project adds less than one percent to the budget. One month of indoor plant maintenance costs less than buying lunch for employees just once that month.
If this seems like the fresh solution you’ve been looking for, you’re in the right place. Our mission is to enrich peoples’ lives with plants. All you need to do is start the conversation by calling Good Earth Plant Company at 858-576-9300 or hitting up our Contact Us page. Talk to you soon!