Wellbeing in Nature: Outdoor Activities for Mental and Physical Health

Description

Concept by Marta Mandolini

If I ask you to close your eyes and think about a nice place where you would like to be now, I am pretty sure it would be somewhere in nature.

Maybe walking on the beach, or along a nice lake, maybe relaxing barefoot in a green garden, or admiring a majestic mountain, but somewhere in a natural setting.

This is not surprising; it just tells a lot about what in psychology is called “The restorative power of nature“.

Nature has a comforting and calming effect on our nervous system, helps in regulating our emotions, and re-establishes a certain level of well-being, preventing and coping with stress.

Much research in Ecopsychology shows that exposure to nature, at any age, increases mental and physical health, facilitates connection with us and others, and promotes empathy, and feelings of love and inclusion.

Nature interventions have been proven to be particularly effective in the treatment of symptoms of anxiety, depression, and addictions.

Equipping your school environment and your lessons with tools and moments that can facilitate the connection with nature will foster individual well-being in your students, promote social-emotional learning and inclusion, and foster concentration and academic performance.

During the course, participants will participate in wellbeing and mindfulness activities outdoors around city parks and gardens, engage in creative activities inspired by nature in the classes, and will be introduced to the use of Biophilic Design and technology to engage with Nature when it is impossible to be outside the classroom.

The course aims to increase awareness and knowledge in teachers and provide them with direct activities to facilitate the integration of Nature into their daily lives and their lessons and schools.

What is included

 Unmatched Support: full day chat assistance

 Fully Fundable: tailored on Erasmus+ budgets

 Flexibility Guaranteed: easy changes with minimal restrictions

 360° experience: from coffee breaks to cultural visits

 Post-Course Training: 100€ voucher on 40+ online courses

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:  

  • Increase awareness and knowledge about Ecological Psychology and the restorative effect of nature on the well-being of students and teachers;
  • Build genuine eco-attitudes towards the importance of introducing nature and nature-oriented activities in the school;
  • Explore tools and activities that they can use in their classes with students to facilitate connection with nature decrease/prevent stress, boost self-esteem and social skills, and increase academic performance;
  • Reflect on and design a physical space and/or a program to introduce nature in lessons and the school setting.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools;
  • What is Eco Psychology?

Day 2 – The restorative power of nature

  • Theoretical introduction to the effects of Nature on mental and physical health;
  • Exploring Nature, exploring our needs and emotions;
  • Outdoor activity on the beach – Strengths-based approach – My present moment.

Day 3 – Exposure to Nature and social-emotional learning

  • Can exposure to nature foster social skills? Building meaning in life and social skills in nature;
  • Team building outdoors. Collaborative activities and out-door mindfulness;
  • Group activities in the forest – Exploring Values – From “me” to “us”.

Day 4 – Creativity, Technology, and Nature – hands-on activities

  • Bringing Nature into the classroom when it is not possible: ICT and guided visualization to recreate a safe natural space to cope with stressors;
  • Creativity and Nature: Foster well-being and self-expression through creative activities inspired by the natural world;
  • Activity in the garden – “Gratitude Installation”.

Day 5 – Bringing nature into school

  • Introduction to Biophilic Design;
  • Outdoor spaces and sustainable decorations in school;
  • Create your project to bring Nature into school.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.

Dates and locations

= confirmed date

Barcelona

Price: 480€*

Lisbon

Price: 480€*

Ljubljana

Price: 480€*

Tallinn

Price: 480€*

*A 60 € late registration fee will be applied if you register less than 8 weeks before the course start date.

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