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Women alumni learn stress management and self-care strategies

Posted: 24 August 2023

Nepal, Alumni, Gender, Impact,

Twenty-five Australia Awards women alumni gathered in Kathmandu on 18 August 2023 for a stress management and self-care workshop organised by the Australia Awards Women in Leadership Network (WiLN) – Nepal.

Trainer Sagoon KC, psychologist and nurse working in the field of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing, led the two-and-a-half-hour interactive workshop. Participants learnt to define and identify stress and the various types of stress, including eustress (beneficial stress) and distress (stress that has a negative impact). They also learnt techniques to manage stress through physical and psychological means, and strategies to develop resilience and coping skills in the face of stress.

Trainer Sagoon KC delivering the workshop.

Alum Dr Samarika Dahal volunteered as WiLN coordinator for this event, from conceptualisation to delivery. Dr Dahal is Forensic Odontologist/Head of Department at the Dental Teaching Hospital, Institute of Medicine in Kathmandu. She received an Australia Awards Fellowship in 2013 to pursue training in forensic odontology at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine.

After the workshop, one participant shared that she had frequent panic attacks due to stress. From the session, she learnt to ‘take time to understand your present and work on mindfulness.’

Another alum who was frequently challenged by anxiety and stress, noted that the deep breathing techniques she learnt in the workshop were particularly helpful.

The interactive workshop featured active group discussion on stress and its management.

A third participant said, ‘I learnt to be conscious of where I am in body and mind’.

Sharing that ‘I lead a very busy life and have to eat while walking or working on my computer, so I never see what I am eating,’ another alum appreciated learning the mindfulness stress management technique called the “54321” grounding method. This technique incorporates employing all five senses to refocus on the present moment.

A fifth participant said, ‘I am practicing stress management but from today, I understood self-caring is also important.’

Alumni participating in the workshop.

Launched in 2017, WiLN–Nepal is a loose network of female Australia Awards alumni. The network has organised alumni engagement activities such as public lectures, book launches, leadership workshops, panel discussions, and virtual dialogues on contemporary issues around women’s leadership.