Each week, ICBA’s Jordan Bateman reflects on what we’ve learned as we participate in ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program. This program is free for all ICBA members – check out icba.ca/wellness for details.

A while back, I first heard the term “forest bathing” and I rolled my eyes. Probably some hippy dippy nonsense, I thought.

Later, I learned it came from a 1980s Japanese psychological exercise – shinrin-yoku. While it has been translated “forest bathing,” it could also be interpreted as “taking in the forest atmosphere.”

Whatever it is, it works. A walk in the woods, or in some sort of natural landscape, helps us soothe our anxieties. During COVID, we walked a lot in Derby Reach Regional Park near Fort Langley, and the birds singing, the branches crackling, and the smell of pine trees cleared our senses.

In this week’s ICBA Wellness learning, we have a section on getting outside. “Connecting with nature can feed your soul,” it says. “It’s that re-connection to the world around you and the reminder that you are part of something so much bigger than yourself that can instantly restore your sense of perspective, peace and clarity.”

In other words – go for a walk in the forest, and let nature soothe your mental health. Sounds good to us!

ICBA’s Workplace Wellness Program is helping more than 50 companies and 6,000+ construction professionals, better understand mental health. The program is free for ICBA members — see icba.ca/wellness.