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Self-Care in Youth Work

During the month of March, we had the opportunity to participate in an Erasmus+ Training Course organized by NaturKultur in a rural house near the city of Bremen, Germany. The project focused on the importance of self-care for youth workers. Now back to reality, it's time to reflect on our experiences and put them into words.

The week started off intensely, as we got to know each other in a very unique way: through artistic expression, drawing mandalas - a representation of our inner selves that would accompany us throughout the entire week until the last day of the exchange. Naturkultur's proposal was to help us reconnect with our needs and talents, both in our work and personal lives, through workshops on psychology, communication, and meditation, to name just a few. The charming house, surrounded by forests in the middle of nowhere, was the perfect setting for it all.

One of the most interesting lessons we took away was the concept of "islands of self-care". By creating spaces for activity in different areas of the rural house, we learned to dedicate time to taking care of ourselves and our personal needs. It struck us as a super original approach to promoting a mindset of self-care and proposing activities during free time, which we are sure to apply in our future exchanges.

The second major lesson we took away is the importance and necessity of promoting a more sustainable lifestyle in our daily lives and in Erasmus+ projects. We can confirm that we survived a week eating green, with a vegetarian diet prepared with love and that was anything but a challenge. It was amazing to see the passion with which the kitchen team presented each dish, seeking to surprise and demonstrate that one can eat in a more conscious and responsible way. A thousand thanks to Juraj, Anna, and Marilena for all their passion in the kitchen.

One last reflection we took from the training was learned during the forest bathing workshops. Dagna, one of the trainers of the project, invited us to participate in several meditation walks, group reflections, and other activities centered around a simple yet powerful idea: that connecting with nature has positive effects on our mental and physical health.


From reducing stress, to improving mood, increasing immune system activity or enhancing cognitive function, as mystical as it may seem, we invite you to give it a try and discover it for yourself. If you feel sad or need to vent, approach a tree and tell it your sorrows. It will listen attentively, provide shade, and fresh oxygen in return.

We don't know if it's because of the environment, the community we built during these days, or simply the luck of finding ourselves with such a diverse and special group, but this has been one of those projects that are not easily forgotten. We want to express our gratitude to Naturkultur (Germany), our friends from Brisaintercultural (Spain), and each and every one of you who made it possible.


It's not a goodbye, but a see you soon.

Fixing what you didn't break


There are moments that we keep

just by looking at them,

just by being there,

just by observing them from the inside,

from the outside,

from the back

and from the front,

By being the main character

or one of those

who have the privilege

of being a secondary one.


Because there are moments with a particular smell,

with the sun that never shows,

and the snow that falls at night.

Moments with a background song

we listen to for the first time

or songs we just know too much about.

And moments that we may forget

and moments that we won't.


People

who will keep impacting us,

who will keep arriving

with their deep talk

in the green room,

with their mind games

in the seminar room,

with a bright smile

every time we cross in the house

and with their funny falls

in the dining room.

Does anyone still remember the tennis night?

Should we let our inner child free again?

Should we just keep living it all over again? Because there is life

to experience

and experiences

to live.

There are people

we were meant to meet in no other way,

forest walks

we were not planned to take,

and cities we may have never come to see.


And this is the moment,

this exact one,

when I decide to keep it.

Keep it

just by looking at it,

just by watching people

creating our mandala.

That,

that speaks many languages

that I don't understand,

and hides countries I've never met,

with traditions that are not mine.

In this finite second,

in this particular feeling,

in this moment

that creates experience,

experience that may always stay,

even when

everything

is done.


And here it is the booklet which we created during our training! Read our story ❤️

Text: Lucas Docampo

Poem: Paula Esteban

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