Interview Lars Münter, the winner of Self-Care Week Europe, part of SafeConsume team.

What is Self-Care Week Europe?

A joint platform to share knowledge and experiences about self-care tools, projects, research, or other initiatives across the self-care continuum. This means everything from health literacy, self-care in minor ailments, to self-management of chronic conditions, community/citizen/patient engagement.

I understand that this event engage professionals, decision makers and citizens to implement self-care in practice. Is there also the politicians voice heard? I mean, are they also involved in promoting self-care actions?

They are involved in the communication, by showcasing supportive policies and strategies, and by promoting practical actions. In 2019 EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis submitted a series of videos to support the campaign – additional will be very welcome in 2020 also.

What initiative did you have?

We structured the 7 days into 7 distinct themes that enabled us to share good advice, videos, tools, reports, and more across both local, national, and international networks – and connected about 50 European organizations in a joint effort to share tools, ideas, and visions.

What would be the most important self-care action, from your point of view, that people should or have to take?

In times of corona: wash your hands. Choosing a song for you and your family is one of the key ways that you can actually help yourself to remember to use the soap, to scrub as long as you should and of course to dry your hands afterwards. But more basically, the most important action if to look in the mirror and remind yourself, that even your smallest step towards selfcare are giant leaps for your future. Most of the people know that it's a good idea to wash their hands, but that is not the same as if they've known what soap actually does, it's not the same as if they've known how to educate their children, is not the same as if they've known that choosing a hand-washing song is a good idea.

What would be the first step in creating self-care communities?

Remember to talk. Meet. Share phone numbers. Remind yourself, that probably there’s always one or more people out there, that would like to join you in your activities. People are very willing to care and self-care – but they can always need an extra nudge. Which also means that every time you bat your butterfly wings, good things can happen.

What will happen in 2020?

In 2020 we hope to repeat and expand the Self-Care initiative of 2019, we hope to get a couple of more local events, it would be wonderful if people could physically meet and I hope that we will have webinars and seminars from at least 7 different countries, show casing initiatives in different ways across Europe and I would also hope that we will be able to share some great experiences on how would you actually be more self-caring.

Interview taken by Daniela Lupașcu