Recharging Rooms Gain Acceptance at Work

August 31, 2021

How can we manage stress and anxiety when our circumstances and emotions threaten to overwhelm us? During the height of the pandemic, this question was undoubtedly at the forefront of every frontline healthcare worker’s mind. Watching patients die and families suffer while wondering if they would catch the virus themselves, most American healthcare workers were exhausted and burned out.

Neuroscientist David Putrino and design firm founder Mirelle Phillips saw the desperate need for a quick way to unwind and reset amidst these intensely draining conditions. Guided by years of studies asserting the restorative benefits of the natural world for the human mind, Putrino and Phillips worked together to bring nature in an accessible form to New York frontline workers. For many, taking a midday walk in the park was not feasible, so Putrino and Phillips created a “recharge room” that simulated the experience of being immersed in nature. Such spaces included:

  • Soft lighting
  • Artificially created breeze
  • A light scent of forest trees
  • A variety of plants
  • A large-scale projection of a beautiful landscape

Putrino studied workers who spent 15 minutes in these recharge rooms and found their stress levels had decreased by 60% during that time. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, agrees with years of research affirming that the experience of nature boosts our mood, productivity, and even our short-term memory. This assertion is central to Putrino and Phillips’s work and, encouragingly, suggests that all of us can improve our mood, stress levels, and productivity with some tweaks to our indoor environment.

To harness the benefits of nature at home or the office, try working by a window, placing an array of plants in your space, or even getting an aquarium to watch some natural movement. Additionally, a lamp that alters brightness as time progresses, or a diffuser that emits energizing scents in the morning and relaxing smells later in the day, may benefit your environment and mental alertness. While Putrino and Phillips continue to bring the health benefits of the outdoors to facilities like nursing homes, schools, and hospitals, we can utilize these principles in our own spaces to become a little bit healthier, happier, and more productive.

At Synchronicity, we understand the importance of the environment in helping us recharge and manage our physical and mental health. Whether you need a quick reset in the cold pool plunge or cryotherapy chamber or a little rest and recovery in the massage chairs or infrared sauna, we are here to help you be at your best.


The article we used: “Inside the Oases That Save Frontline Workers From Burnout”

A new take on the staff lounge helps frontline workers avoid burnout by tapping the brain’s natural cues to chill. The good news for the rest of us: You can try this at home.

By: Lina Zeldovich – Read in Popular Science:


Modern Minds with MUSC Health

Synchronicity is a subsidiary of Modern Minds, a non-profit organization dedicated to treating and empowering mental health and wellbeing. We often partner together to offer truly integrative care for Modern Minds clients, Synchronicity members and the greater Lowcountry community.