The main aims of the activity are:
- Awareness & development of knowledge in individual mental wellbeing, mentally sustainable teamwork, as well as the deepening of knowledge within the general theme of Health & Wellbeing.
- Learning to take control of balance between professional, ESN, and personal life.
- Learning the importance of how caring for yourself is a reflection of your capabilities to care for others, therefore learning how to recognize, optimize, manage and support team members’/loved ones’ and your own state of health.
- Strengthen knowledge and understanding of maintenance and development of an improved physical & mental health, and how these go together.
- Recognize personal limitations and cues in work- and personal life, such as the timing of short mindfulness practices in a busy schedule, social media’s positive and negative effects on mental health and wellbeing, and the timing of a mental health break.
- Learn how to create and/or partake in a stable, open and supportive work environment.
The event is the National Training Event of ESN Sweden, and the target audience is ESN volunteers. The topic is Mental Health & Wellbeing, a narrowed-down focus into one of ESN’s causes Health & Wellbeing.
The core idea of STIMUL8 was to reinforce our volunteers’ personal and group-focused knowledge in mental health, so that they could not only find an individual balance between personal, professional and ESN life, but bring back valuable practices of mental wellbeing, mindfulness, stress management and team synergy to their ESN sections.
The training took place in a lakesite camp surrounded by nature, 15km away from Borås. Every day there included a mixture of both indoor- and outdoor activities, workshops, and focus groups. We covered topics such as health beliefs, mindfulness, team support structures, and social media & mental wellbeing.
We had some constants during the event to enhance the active presence and wellness of our participants, for example:
- No-phone dinners, an initiative to increase active listening and mindfulness of the present together, logging off the stress surrounding our online lives and instead enjoying the company of each other in the moment.
- Accountability Buddy: Randomly assigned participant who checks in on another’s water/food/sleep habits during the training, as well as stress levels, and a special request which was collected from all participants before the training. Accountability Buddies were also meant as someone to turn to, to have a support system in place at a micro-level during the event so that communication of needed me-time, state of mind and other important topics could be directly turned to. No buddy had the same buddy back; there were no pairs as to increase the socializing factor of the training, making people interact in a considerate and loving way with one another.