Ecotherapy For A Restorative Vacation Experience

Implementing ecotherapy during vacation can increase its restorative effects on our mental and physical well-being. Ecotherapy on vacation provides an opportunity to unwind, reduce stress, and appreciate the beauty of nature.

The Importance of Having Restorative Vacations

Taking regular vacations is crucial to maintain a healthy physical and mental state. Taking a break from the daily routine and stressors can reduce anxiety, and boost mood. Vacations provide an opportunity to unwind, relax, and recharge.

However, vacation choices are highly individualized. We do not have the same choice when it comes to the way we choose to relax. While many prefer to travel and stay in the resort, others choose restorative vacations that get them in touch with nature.

This kind of getaway can be therapeutic for many individuals. Nature therapy or ecotherapy has been used for centuries to treat depression and other behavior-related ailments.

What is ecotherapy?

Ecotherapy, green therapy, or nature therapy is a way to treat people who suffer mainly from depression.

It focuses on connecting individuals with nature to improve mental and emotional well-being. It may involve gardening, hiking, or simply spending time in natural settings to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Another term for ecotherapy is Green Care. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information “Green care offers a portal for individuals with different depressive symptoms and severities to be treated alongside each other while receiving targeted interventions to meet the needs of each participant.”

Green care focuses on social support, self-efficacy, and behavioral activation.

Social support

Also known as social networking, social support means having someone or a group, family, friends, or like-minded individuals, to lean on when in need. It could be in a formal or casual setting. This kind of support has been shown to reduce stress and depression by providing a sense of belonging and security.

Self-efficacy

According to the American Psychological Association, self-efficacy is the person’s ability to execute a behavior to achieve a specific outcome. It shows one’s confidence and self-control.

Behavioral activation

Behavioral activation involves getting into an activity that creates a satisfactory feeling when the individual is down. Such activity promotes positive attitudes, inspiring the person to achieve more.

nature and people

Types of Green Care Therapies

  • Horticulture therapy includes using plants and gardens to promote mental and physical well-being. It promotes gentle social interaction and enhances self-efficacy and physical activation by completing novel small tasks.
  • Animal-assisted intervention is a common treatment. It can provide social support for individuals who have difficulty dealing with people. Also, taking care of the animal promotes self-efficacy and behavioral activation.
  • Care farming involves tasks led by a guided farmer to provide social support. The elaborate tasks at this level impact greatly self-efficacy and behavioral activation.
  • Green exercise involves group activities held in nature, such as a walk in the park or kayaking in the lake.
  • Wilderness therapy takes a group of individuals to a wilderness, such as the forest or the mountains. Getting out of the comfort zone into a new challenging environment helps increase all three elements of green therapy.

Conclusion

Disrupting the routine can have a beneficial impact on one’s psychological well-being. Introducing variations in surroundings and experiences can effectively mitigate stress and reinvigorate cognitive faculties.
Spending time with family and friends can provide emotional support, strengthen bonds, and create cherished memories. It can also help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Learning new skills involving nature can improve our cognitive health and strengthen self-confidence, decreasing risks of depression and cognitive decline.

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