Radboud Young Academy launches postcards at #ABCare initiative

15 Dec 2022

Can postcards improve the way we take care of ourselves and others? Yes, according to the young academics of the Radboud Young Academy. With their new project #ABCare, they aim to show how small cards can have a big impact.

Vegan food, poetry, a tombola, and loads of postcards filled the restaurant Veggie Galore in Nijmegen Wednesday evening when the Work-Life-Balance group of the Radboud Young Academy launched their #ABCare initiative.

#ABCare consists of a series of postcards that offer advice, pose questions, and motivate reflections regarding self-care and caring for others. Every letter of the alphabet stands for one aspect of care. For instance, ‘S’ for getting sufficient sleep, and ‘J’ for jumping around sometimes. The little notes are meant to stimulate open discussions about mental health – especially within the work field.

New culture

Meike Zandjas, student at Radboud University and contributor to the project, believes that this open discussion is particularly important today: ‘I talked to many people this evening who said that they are experiencing a lot of stress at work and are in desperate need of a healthier work-life balance. This actually shocked me a bit, but it also clearly shows that this project is really necessary.’

Photo: Jara Majerus

By initiating an open discussion about self-care, the project #ABCare aims to encourage a new culture of caring within academia – and outside of it. ‘Circumstances like the Covid-pandemic have highlighted the crisis of care that we are facing at the moment. To fight this crisis, we must think about the way we interact with each other. We must create new ways of caring’, says Friederike Landau-Donnelly, assistant professor of Geography and co-organizer of #ABCare. She is hopeful that the postcards will have a great impact: ‘I hope that the project will stimulate a new culture of caring at university and beyond. And I hope that everybody gets a postcard of care in their mailbox.’

Students interested in sending a care postcard, can find them in Landau-Donnelly’s office at Elinor Ostrom building (room 2.161) or at the office of the Radboud Young Academy at the Berchmanianum.

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