Certain ascertainments characterize modern societies: – Economic Depression – particularly in Southern European countries – which leads in several psychological disorders such as anxiety and emotional distress. – Technological progress and automation, which leads in a sedentary way of life. – Loss of contact with nature which is partly a result of the technological progress. In order to overcome the psychological stress and feel good, people need to get in touch with nature, go outside and have fun! It is as simple as that! Involvement in “healthy behaviors” (physical exercise, outdoor activities) is definitely a means of improving the quality of life and mental health.
The project “Stay Fit – Stay Calm” which was implemented by NGO AENAO – Center of Non Formal Education and was funded by Erasmus+ program, sub-action KA1 – Mobility of Youth Workers, attempted to encourage young people to adopt an energetic and dynamic way of life, while spending time outdoors. Experiential learning, which applies in non- formal educational settings, was used to achieve the above mentioned goals. Particular emphasis was given in the personal needs of the participants, as well as their differences. The Mobility of Youth Workers was implemented in Thessaloniki, Greece (1-9 March 2015) at the hotel “Vergina” where 41 beneficiaries from 10 European Union countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Spain) were able to interact, get sensitive and adapt into the group in order to learn and develop their personal creativity. The participants got familiar with concepts such as healthy lifestyle and well-being through outdoor activities.
Outcomes of the project The participants:
- Got involved with healthy behaviours such as physical activity, alternative medicine and healthy diet, in order to improve their quality of life and psychic health.
- Built on personal skills, theoretical and psychological, in order to manage psychological issues.
- Worked in a safe environment.
- Exchanged intercultural traditional outdoor activities.
- Managed to play sports and stay fit!
- Understood the importance of inclusion through outdoor activities.
- Experienced a TC through methods and principles of non-formal education, which enabled participation, cooperation and problem solving.
- Got in contact with young people, when visited the Sea Scouts in Thessaloniki, and got familiar with the importance of volunteerism and outdoor activities.