Digital Balance: Strategies for Mental Wellness in the Tech Age

Course overview

In today’s digital age, the constant connectivity and reliance on technology can take a toll on our mental well-being. This immersive 5-day course is designed to equip participants with strategies and techniques to strike a healthy balance between technology use and mental wellness. Participants will explore the concept of digital detox and its potential benefits for promoting mindfulness, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being.

The course will delve into the impact of excessive technology use on mental health, addressing issues such as digital addiction, social isolation, and the potential negative effects on productivity and interpersonal relationships. Participants will learn to identify the signs of digital overload and develop coping mechanisms to manage the associated stress and anxiety.

Emphasis will be placed on practical exercises and experiential activities that encourage participants to disconnect from digital devices and reconnect with themselves and their surroundings. Participants will explore mindfulness practices, nature-based activities, and creative pursuits that can serve as alternatives to excessive screen time, fostering a sense of presence and inner peace.

The course will also address the importance of incorporating digital wellness practices into educational settings, equipping educators with the knowledge and tools to promote healthy technology habits among their students. Participants will learn strategies for creating tech-free zones, setting boundaries, and encouraging mindful technology use within the classroom and beyond.

To enhance the learning experience and provide a cultural context, the course will incorporate a guided cultural visit within Čakovec and Međimurje County. This visit will allow participants to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the region, drawing inspiration and insights for integrating nature-based activities and sustainable practices into their digital wellness routines.

Tentative schedule:

Day 1: Introduction to digital wellness

  • Icebreakers and networking activities
  • Introduction to the course and participants
  • Overview of the course methodology and expectations
  • Exploring the impact of technology on mental well-being
  • Identifying signs of digital overload and addiction
  • Group discussions: Sharing personal experiences and challenges with technology use

Day 2: Mindfulness and presence in the digital age

  • The benefits of mindfulness and present-moment awareness
  • Mindfulness practices for reducing stress and enhancing focus
  • Experiential activities: Guided mindfulness exercises

Day 3: Reconnecting with nature and cultural exploration

  • The restorative power of nature and its impact on mental well-being
  • Nature-based activities for digital detox and stress relief
  • Cultural visit (e.g. museum, heritage site) guided in English to explore local heritage and sustainability practices
  • Post-visit activities: Incorporating nature-based practices into daily routines

Day 4: Digital wellness in educational settings

  • Strategies for promoting digital wellness among students
  • Creating tech-free zones and setting boundaries in the classroom
  • Hands-on activities: Designing digital wellness lesson plans and activities

Day 5: Developing a personalized digital wellness plan

  • Reflecting on personal digital habits and areas for improvement
  • Creating a personalized digital wellness plan
  • Presentations: Participants share their digital wellness strategies and action plans
  • Course evaluation and feedback
  • Certification ceremony

The classes typically run from 9 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon, with the afternoon and evening reserved for self-reflection and individual study. However, the course schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the preferences of the participants and the availability of instructors or external learning locations. Participants will receive the finalized schedule well in advance, allowing ample time for preparation and planning.

Learning outcomes:

The participants will be able to:

  • Analyze the impact of excessive technology use on mental well-being, recognizing the signs of digital overload and addiction.
  • Implement mindfulness practices and present-moment awareness techniques to reduce stress and enhance focus in the digital age.
  • Incorporate nature-based activities and experiences into their daily routines, fostering a sense of connection with the natural world and promoting mental wellness.
  • Develop strategies for promoting digital wellness among students, creating tech-free zones, and setting boundaries in educational settings.
  • Design digital wellness lesson plans and activities that encourage mindful technology use and promote a healthy balance between digital and real-world experiences.
  • Create a personalized digital wellness plan that addresses their individual needs and goals, incorporating strategies for managing technology use and prioritizing mental well-being.
  • Collaborate with fellow participants to share best practices, strategies, and resources for promoting digital wellness and mental well-being in various educational and professional settings.
  • Incorporate cultural elements and sustainable practices observed during the guided cultural visit into their digital wellness routines and educational initiatives.
  • Evaluate their own digital habits and identify areas for improvement, developing an action plan for implementing digital wellness practices in their personal and professional lives.
  • Promote a culture of mindfulness, presence, and digital balance within their communities, fostering a healthier relationship with technology and prioritizing mental well-being.

Course fee:

  • 400 euro per participant (covered entirely by the Erasmus grant)

Course fee includes:

  • At least 25 hours of course content;
  • Course materials;
  • Certificate of participation;
  • Europass, on request;
  • Learning / Mobility Agreement;
  • Visits to local institutions, if available;
  • Personalized support;
  • Free high-speed WIFI internet at the POU Čakovec premises;
  • Refreshments;
  • Administration costs;
  • Dissemination materials.
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