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How to take care of us and make that a habit?

Demystifying our emotions and concepts of mental health being accessible to all in an honest and understood way, in a setting beside the Baltic Sea in Liepaja.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute and 55 seconds

© Mariana Almeida

More and more people are talking about the importance of mental health, good communication between people, knowing how to be a good mentor to both others and ourselves, and we often hear about this without having the right tools to start working.

The  Radi Vidi Patz organization provided us with 10 days of training courses with three different mentors who came to teach us about three topics. We learned how to approach our emotional and mental challenges in an efficient, dynamic and very enlightening way: first, through a brief theoretical presentation which was then put into practice, always promoting the interaction between the participants. We shared how this very important subject is seen in the organisations and countries that each of us came from and the changes needed to make society more aware of it.  We were able to identify the burnout syndrome and realise how easy it is to get there and ignore all the aspects connected to it, as well as recognise volunteering as a tool and network to achieve the potential for international cooperation.

This learning took place in several workshops, through communication and cooperation of the team in sharing experiences, always accompanied by laughter, some tears. in a relaxed atmosphere and of course music, lots of music.

It was 10 days of personal growth, creating connections with people from 9 different European countries, sharing stories, emotions and learning beside the Baltic Sea in Liepaja, Latvia. Connections not only with other people but also with myself, closing old doors and being able to answer several questions that travelled with me for years, feeling free and responsible for the new things I was creating within myself. Learning to be “here and now”, feeling connected to nature in a way I thought was completely crazy the first few days, and by the last few days, I just wanted to walk on the white sandy beach and see that house again, where so many people were honest and vulnerable and nothing but themselves. People, places and moments that I brought with me to Portugal.  

Youth workers' mobility “Caring as Second Nature'' is financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union that in Latvia is administered by Agency for International Programs for Youth. This publication reflects only the viewpoint of the author.

Mariana Almeida