Building Blocks for Wellbeing is a new initiative which aims to support youth workers through weekly mindfulness practices and activities. Building Blocks for Wellbeing is not a training or a substitute to meditation/mindfulness training but additional support to assist the ongoing wellbeing of youth workers both at this unprecedented time, and long after Covid-19.
This week’s activity is ‘When I was… I Noticed’ – a communication exercise.
Communication among our peers has changed, both from the absence of face to face meetings, having to work from home with kids and pets and partners, as well as a dodgy WIFI connection thrown into the mix. Also, a lot of the communication has, of necessity, been around Covid-19 related information. NYCI staff value the contact with we have with our colleagues, so the Sanctuary have come up with a fun and important way to maintain this and also connect and enhance our wellbeing. These are a series of wellbeing challenges for youth workers to do and share with each other.
The idea behind these are a light-hearted – way to keep contact and community with each other but in a positive way. The challenges are also designed to bring the youth worker to the present moment, through informal practices. Facilitate them to pause and concentrate but not thinking. Our minds are so busy and constant, these ‘challenges’ offer our minds a break and the ability to focus on the present and also the senses. So, the challenge is twofold, while attempting the challenge over the week, we are training our minds to the environment and the world around us. Drawing us into our senses and developing our wellbeing. The sharing of these challenges deepens it further – like with the ‘smile in the envelope’ exercise. It is important for us to connect with our environment but also with each other.
These, ‘When I was…I noticed…’ exercises should be sensory but simple and fun. They can be used at the beginning of a regular forum that you are currently using and at the end of that meeting where you set the challenge for the next session, give them a few days to complete the activity – so not part of a daily contact. Give a new challenge weekly – no sooner than that.
So, our first challenge to you is as follows:
When I was outside I noticed the birds singing…..
Over this week give us three adjectives to describe the birds singing.
Each week, use this statement but change it to a different activity.