Updated: Feb 3
Stress, depression, fear. Who hasn’t experienced at least one of these? Our lives are becoming faster, the demands from the modern workplace are ever-increasing, and we are expected to work more and longer hours for less money and remain as productive as in our 20s. From data gathered between 1999-2007, over 20% of employees in Europe declared having too many tasks at work, while over 60% admitted working under tight deadlines and constant pressure . Many respondents named stress, depression, and fear resulting from work as factors contributing to poor health and well-being .
Short-term stress can lead to poor performance at work but in the long run, it can lead to serious health issues, such as insomnia, back pain, autoimmunological diseases, high blood pressure, ulcers, or even suicide attempts and the list goes on. This usually means going to the doctor more often, buying and taking prescription medicine, taking sick leave or time off, or, in worst-case scenarios, resigning from work (one study found that as many as 20% of resignations can be linked to stress) . For employers, this entails absenteeism from work, loss of productivity, and as a result, lower incomes. The actual cost of health-related issues was estimated between an astonishing 185-289 billion euros each year, as a study by the European Commission found in 2002. Finding a better working environment is not always possible for financial or other reasons. Besides, you might actually like your job, but maybe all you need is a better work-life balance. Since our lifestyles are so fast-paced and focused on productivity and profits, it is sometimes difficult to slow down and… fully relax.
There is actually one simple and inexpensive solution to feel better almost instantly–being regularly in nature. Even if you live in a big city, there might be parks nearby that offer a respite from the stresses of daily life. Forest, beach, mountains, lakes… anyone can find something they prefer. If this seems overwhelming to you, and you are wondering how to find time for quality me time, start small with short walks outdoors. If you would like to know more about the benefits of forest bathing, we recommend our previous articles What is nature connection?; A simple way to boost your well-being naturally or Forest Bathing as preventive medicine and nature connectedness practice. You’ll find a lot of useful information not only on the benefits of forest bathing but also on being in nature at large. If you would like to go through a full forest bathing experience with our trained professional, look no further than Kamila, our certified forest bathing guide.
Additionally, we offer relaxing sessions in Trinity College Botanic Gardens, in Dublin called Nature Connection Workshop, where we create Ikebana, a Japanese flower arrangement, which is an excellent activity to reduce stress and boost your well-being as evidenced by a Japanese study from 2015 .
Check the youtube video by Dr Michelle Williams on Native Trees in Trinity College Botanic Gardens.
 Hassard, Julia, et al. "Obliczanie Kosztów związanych ze stresem pracy i innymi zagrożeniami psychospołecznymi." Europejska Agencja Bezpieczeństwa i Zdrowia Pracy, no. 1831-9351, 2014. Accessed 17 Jan. 2023.
 European Commission, Health and safety at work in Europe (1999–2007): A statistical portrait, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, 2010. Available at: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-31-09-290/EN/KS-31-09-290- EN.PDF.
 CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), Recruitment, retention and turnover, CIPD, London, 2008a. Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BE3C57BF-91FF-4AD0- 9656-FAC27E5398AA/0/recruitmentretentionturnover2008.pdf
 Homma, Ikuo, et al. "Effects of Practicing Ikebana on Anxiety and Respiration." Journal of Depression and Anxiety, vol. 4, no. 3, 2012, https://doi.org/10.4172/2167-1044.1000187. Accessed 23 Jan. 2023.