Mental health is everyone’s business.
For most people, mental health goes hand in hand with ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’. Just as important as good physical health, our mental health requires our attention and love. There are times when we feel down, stressed or frightened. Usually, those feelings pass, however, they sometimes develop into serious long-term conditions. It could happen to any of us.
We are currently dealing with a difficult situation. In contrast to what we are used to, we’re now living in isolation and trying to stay safe while a global pandemic is raging around the world. The key to overcoming this challenging time is good mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity that provides a variety of advice and techniques to help us reduce stress and take the lead in protecting our wellbeing. As I was browsing their website for some inspiration about things to do with my daughter to relax our body and mind at home, I found some helpful booklets that include tips and ideas on how to manage and reduce stress. We decided to give it a go.
On the first day, we tried some mindfulness meditation. It worked really well as we started to feel better even from the next day. On the second day of our trial, we practised some reinvigorating breathing exercises, which reminded us of a yoga session we had recently tried out. Those exercises should be done just before you go to sleep as they prepare the body to relax.
On the following day, we felt that our passion gave its way to a daily habit. I asked my daughter to share with me what she would love to do the most and she answered “Arts and Crafts”. She asked me what I would like to do and I said “Play my guitar and sing”.
So, here we are.
My daughter and I have now built a lovely and fun daily routine that doesn’t include only cooking, home working, studying, answering emails or talking to friends and family; we also meditate, talk about our feelings, we paint and sing. We try to make the most out of each moment because it helps us keep our emotional levels in good condition.
Through this journey, we found out that the more things we do to keep our mind busy, the better. However, always bear in mind that you should do something that you love and which makes you happy. By keeping your mind bright and happy, you protect your body from diseases. This is the best self-defence!
I have been writing since I was very young.
I don’t always know what I write about, but I write.
The person who had the greatest influence on me as a writer was Dr Dimitris Aristidopoulos, a great Greek modern philosopher. He read one of my stories when I was, I think, 11 years old.
I will always remember what he said when he commented on my writing; it was something like:
“Brilliant! One can say with confidence that your strength is in your hand!” and he pointed to my hand!
At that moment, I thought he was talking about my handwriting, but later, I understood.
No matter what I ended up doing for a living, I should never quit writing.
At present, I am working as a specialist teaching assistant and school librarian at St Cyprian’s Greek Orthodox Primary Academy. At the same time, I am studying for my diploma to become a fully qualified teacher. I still have a long way to go. But time flies!
I finally decided that this was the best course of action for me to take. After completing my studies in Professional Translation, learning 4 foreign languages, gaining work experience as an editor for renowned Greek publishers (Vimagazino, Athinorama magazine, Eleftherotypia newspaper, Status magazine and Greece travel magazine) and obtaining my Tour Guide licence with several and amazing trips in Greece and abroad, as well as a background in jewellery design (this was a result of my contact with Mr Ilias Lalaounis after he employed me in his jewellery museum in Athens – such an inspiration!),I knew I had to write again.
I am currently focused on writing for children.
And after all, what better inspiration could be for this than actually working with children?
It’s a great pleasure and honour for me to be a member of Greek Teachers!