Let there be light!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Pro-Development have had a big focus on wellbeing over the last few months, and at York Business Week we shared our wellbeing model. Click here to see the session delivered by Michelle. In this blog we wanted to hone into one aspect of our wellbeing model “creating the right environment” as one article grabbed our attention from the BBC, which highlighted a few areas we had overlooked. These being clutter, light and plants!

Working from home now, we can see pots in the sink, clothes on the bathroom floor, piles of work which gets moved back and forth from office to home, and a pile of ironing! The BBC have reported that “clutter can raise your level of cortisol” a stress hormone. That may be because clutter delivers conflicting stimuli to the brain, which then must work harder to filter out unhelpful signals”.

Generally, whilst at home we can put up with a lot of clutter. This article points out however that this is now our workplace. We had not quite thought of it in that way! Maybe we need to give more thought to our working environment at home and tidy areas we are going to work in. So, stop what you are doing and look around you right now – what’s your ‘workplace’ like? If it could do with a little work, take 10 minutes now to declutter and tidy. Next, sunlight triggers the brain to release the hormone serotonin. This helps you to feel calm and focussed, boosts your mood and reduces anxiety – sounds good to us! The article suggests using mirrors to bounce light around the place and working upstairs which apparently gets more light – who knew (now working upstairs which also means we get to see the clothes on the bathroom floor….swings and roundabouts!)

So, are you are getting enough light in your life? Where is your workspace? What can you do to bounce the light around?

The final one that struck a chord with us was plants. Now, we know being outdoors is good for us, it reduces stress, its calming and restful. We have been advocates and have written about this for years, but we had not thought about bringing a bit of the outdoors in. It’s obvious when you think about it! And, although we are not renowned for our ability to nurture plants (people is definitely our thing), we are working hard on this! Having a plant to look at allows you brain to have a break, and to focus on something undemanding, that has got to be good for us. The garden centres are open so let’s go buy some plants.

So, what’s the moral of the story? No matter how much we think we are looking after our wellbeing, there are always little tweaks and modifications we can take that will make a positive difference. If the wellbeing of you or your team is something you are wanting to focus on, get in touch with us to discuss the many ways we can support you. It might be a tweak or a more substantial intervention but the fantastic news is that there is currently funding available too, so maybe now is the right time!

Finally, thanks to the BBC for making us think 😊

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