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Recreational Amenities - Meditation Gardens

As many states are giving the green light to reopen, employers are developing plans to bring employees back to work safely, giving careful thought to schedules, seating configurations, visitor policies, elevator usage, food deliveries, and much more. Managers will be taking on increased responsibilities in helping manage employees well-being. This includes familiarizing themselves with the warning signs of stress, anxiety, emotional distress, and factoring more time into their days for checking in with staff. Let’s face it, until this pandemic is over, there will be more stressful days ahead. With all of that in mind, while most of our suggestions for recreation amenities have focused on physical activity, this week’s amenity, the Meditation Garden, highlights a way for your tenants to gain a little tranquility and reduce stress.

What is a meditation garden?
A meditation garden is any natural space that allows you to disconnect from real life for a while and to slow down. It’s an area that invites you to be still, reflect, dream, and be quiet. It’s not designed to be overly visually stimulating. Let’s be honest, few offices inspire serenity. If you manage a commercial property with office space, be mindful of that. Sometimes people just need a space to smell fresh air, breathe, and refocus. Let your tenants have a place they feel safe to just sit quietly, pray, draw, practice yoga, or do anything that allows them to recharge.

How do you set up a meditation garden?
While you could really set one up anywhere on your property, there are a few key elements to a meditation garden. The foremost element is to create a sense of enclosure. This can be accomplished with a fence or even a hedge of plants. This allows you to block out the rest of the world for a little while. The space should also have a defined entrance. You want to let the user know they are entering a special place. A gate, arbor, or even small decorative sign would easily accomplish this. Seating is a necessity as well. It could be as simple as a log or as fancy as a cast iron bench. If the space has room, ideally there would be a water feature of some sort. A gently bubbling fountain or a reflection pool would be a perfect addition. If at all possible, try to incorporate curving shapes into the landscape. A winding path, a round pool for your water feature, or an elliptical wall are all good choices. Curves force you to slow down and are a contrast to the sharp, straight lines in an office. Lastly, consider plants that are calming. Greens, blues, purples, and silvers are better choices than red, yellow, or orange hues. Invite nature in by using plants that are attractive to birds and butterflies.

Meditation gardens can take many forms and sizes, however, they should be a place for people who use your property to reconnect with nature and themselves. We think such a place would be well-received and often-visited.  If your property already has a similar space or you plan on creating a garden, please consider sending us pictures so we can highlight what you’re doing.