People across the UK are following government advice and adapting to a new life of staying at home. While being at home may be a comfort for some, for many the lockdown period is causing a degree of stress and anxiety. According to a government survey, nearly half of adults in the UK have suffered from anxiety problems because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As you spend time indoors during the current lockdown that will last until at least 7th May, it’s important to try and create an environment that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Plants are a great way to not only brighten up your home, but they also to tap into our inherent need to connect with nature and living organisms – a theory called ‘biophilia’. What’s more, plants are important for wellbeing, and have been proven to increase productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and in some cases, purify the air.
Creating a biophilic environment isn’t just about installing plants. Our need to connect with nature can be fulfilled by our senses. This could be seeing plants or natural light, smelling ambient scents such as fresh cotton, or touching natural textures. With this in mind, here are a few ways you can turn your home into a safe haven with biophilic features:
The power of plants
Integrating plants into your surroundings is the best place to start when it comes to creating a biophilic environment. And while it may appear tricky to source plants in our current climate, many garden suppliers are now working with delivery companies to keep up with demand.
When it comes to which plants to choose, we’d recommend those that have air purifying factors, such as the Snake Plant, Peace Lilly, English Ivy and Weeping Fig – all of which been proven to remove toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene, and as a result increase levels of oxygen. More oxygen increases blood flow to the heart and to the rest of the body, which makes you well rested and more focused.
Algerian Ivy, Pothos, and Rhapis Palm also have mood-boosting qualities due to their evergreen leaves – perfect small plants to position on your desk or throughout your home. If you are concerned about a lack of light in your house, Dracaenas, Sansevierias, and Aglaonema, keep their yellow and gold colour all year round and prosper even in light-deficient environments.
Connecting with scents
Scents can also play a huge part in boosting your mood within the home. Research has shown a huge 75% of emotions are generated by smell. Even if we can’t pinpoint what the smell is, we have the ability to differentiate. This means we are highly adept at recognising a smell’s association, which is often deeply rooted in memory and emotion.
One of the simplest and quickest ways of improving the smell around you is to install an air freshener that automatically dispenses fragrance to neutralise odours and create a pleasant-smelling environment. Here are a number of scents that can positively impact our wellbeing:
- Rosemary – encourages clear thinking, improves memory and energises the mind
- Citrus – grapefruit can help to fight mental exhaustion, lemon is uplifting, orange can ease stress and bergamot oil can even be used to help treat depression
- Lavender – reduces stress and anxiety
- Peppermint – is seen as energising and refreshing, and can aid concentration and stimulate the mind
- Cinnamon – helps to fight mental fatigue and improve concentration
From helping to reduce stress to improving wellbeing and productivity, there are many benefits to biophilic design that can help us combat the blues during lockdown. It’s important that our surroundings make us feel comfortable and relaxed, so why not go online and explore the plant or scenting options available to you?