Over the past few weeks of the coronavirus, cities all over the globe have gone into lockdown and all of us have been practicing social distancing which we never experienced before. Media provides many articles about how the general public can be affected by this in terms of mental health due to staying home.
Helpful practices generally include ideas like physical exercising, eating well, spending enough time with sleep and engaging into hobbies.
The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
But the question arises: What about social workers and mental health professionals who continuously provide their support services to the ones most in need in the middle of ‘the storm’?
They are trained to help others with their challenges but this time they are facing their own challenges too. Helping professionals may suffer from increased stress not only sourcing from their extreme work during the current pandemic but due to the general side effects of the crisis: financial struggles and family duties - homeschooling, taking care of elderlies.
It is crucial that these helping professionals create necessary time to reflect and build resilience in order to ground themselves well and experience growth out of what is happening.
HEART KA2 partnership aims to support resilience and well-being of helping professionals and adult educators with the development of easy to use tools and innovative methodologies based on artistic approaches and outdoor experiential education.
The synergy of the methodologies permits to cover fully the development of human potential, as outdoor experiential learning is meant for achievement and performance, though art is meant for waking up creative resources and self-expression. The combination of the two creates a unique synergy that addresses all: body, mind and soul.
One of the results of HEART is the ‘Collection of Easy to Learn and Use Work Engagement Tools and Processes’ including Self-directed learning tools that doesn't require the presence of a psychologist/ trainer/ facilitator to allow learning.
This easy to use Self-directed learning tools could be helpful to serve as a source of inspiration and awareness raising on how easily we ourselves can also do something for building our resilience and work engagement contributing to our general well-being. All of the Self-directed tools are suitable indoor and describing individual processes.
The tools are available on HEART project webpage:
When we are able to care for ourselves, we are stronger, more resilient. If there was ever a time for social workers to prioritize their own mental health in addition to that of the others, that time is now. Taking care of themselves will only help them to take better care of others.