The Power of Nature: taking action for wellbeing

Post author image. Guest Editor
Dr Fiona Adshead, expert adviser to Business in the Community’s (BITC) Wellbeing Leadership Team, on the many benefits of designing nature into business.

What an extraordinary year we’ve just had. Disconnected from each other, threatened by an ever-present health crisis, it really has taken a psychological toll on each of us. Yet the silence of our disconnected days has been filled by the sight and sound of nature. We have noticed the emerging buds of spring, delighted in our parks and often welcomed new pets into our homes. From the sound of bird song to the news headlines of goats reclaiming towns, we’ve remembered why nature is so important to us.

Relearning the lessons of our ancestors that nature in one way or another underpins our whole economy and way of life, it is perhaps no surprise that nature also nurtures us in times of crisis. The healing power of nature is increasingly being used by our health service, in communities and now in business. Business in the Community’s (BITC) toolkit The Power of Nature for Employee Wellbeing, published during Mental Health Awareness Week, outlines the latest evidence and provides some great examples of how businesses are taking practical action on harnessing the power of nature for wellbeing.

The examples prove that designing nature into business does not have to be expensive and can be fun for our people and communities. From sharing photos of experiences in nature, to rewilding abandoned spaces, to making it easy to rediscover nature on our doorsteps and building it into our office spaces, there are lots of opportunities to hold onto our delight in nature and make it part of our everyday experience.

At the heart of this call to action is the recognition that what is good for our wellbeing and mental health is also good for our planet. Nature based solutions can be used both to tackle climate change as part of a green recovery, and to strengthen our resilience as individuals, teams and businesses and are a key pillar of wellbeing strategies. So, join us on our nature and wellbeing journey for business, read The Power of Nature for Employee Wellbeing toolkit and find out about some really practical ideas to make sure everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the power of nature every day.

Dr Fiona Adshead is an expert adviser to the BITC Wellbeing Leadership Team. She provides independent advice on wellbeing and sustainability and is passionate about promoting collaboration between sectors on the environment and health. She chairs the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition and contributes to the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership programmes.