Surviving January

I never make New Year resolutions, I’ve written about it many times before, for me it’s just an additional source of anxiety and we all know that most of us don’t really stick to them. Instead I make a wishlist, and try to make some of those wishes come true. Some will and some won’t. That’s OK. As long as I try and as long as I’m well and as active and creative I want to be, that’s all that matters.

In the last few years I started a tradition with an annual wish I make at the end of each year. This is for 2023.

I want to wish everyone health, love, a year full of beautiful memories and above all, remember to look after and love yourself, stand for what you believe, don’t sacrifice your time for anything that’s not worth it, and chase your dreams whatever those maybe. Life is too short to wait or put up with anything that tortures your mind and soul.

Since most of us struggle with January blues, inspired by a mindfulness advent calendar, and after a discussion I had with one of my best friends, I decided to put together a ‘Surviving January’ advent calendar, where I share an activity you can do each day to cheer you up and keep you going. Thank you to all my friends on social media who shared their ideas, I used almost all of them in one way or another!

You can find the calendar here in Greek and in English:

If you don’t want to wait each day to open the relevant box, you can have a look at all the activities here and decide when to do what.

Let me know what you think and if you need the calendar in another form.

Happy New Year!



My 2020 New Year Wish

I’m holding a coin wrapped in tin foil and everyone is cheering me. Surreal.

It had just turned 2019 and I was the ‘lucky’ one, the ‘lucky charm’ was in my slice of Vasilopita, the traditional New Year’s cake. Who knows, maybe luck would be on my side this year. That will be a first!

That’s how 2019 started and what a year it’s been!

I regularly self-reflect, that’s how this blog started afterall, but inevitably this is a great time to look back on the year that’s ending and remind myself of all the lessons I learned from my mistakes, my achievements and more importantly everything I’m thankful for.

This year has been, literally and with no exaggeration life changing. I left Southampton and the UK after 10 years which felt like a huge, unimaginable task at the time, I spent a month in Cambridge studying for something brand new, the CELTA and somehow managed to get an A, I moved back to Cyprus for about a month and on another, unexpected turn of events I ended up teaching English in Southern Italy.

Whilst going through all these changes I had great adventures with loved ones, climbing up and down hills on our Jurassic Coast Macmillan Mighty Hike, exploring Bruges and Brussels with my little sister, an awesome holiday at Rhodes with my middle sister, I made great memories with friends and family, who I wouldn’t survive with at times, and for that I feel blessed and happy.

It’s also been a challenging year at times. I struggled with severe anxiety especially during those life changing moments and I’m still dealing with grief as my mind still can’t process how in just over a period of three months we lost my beloved pappou, grandpa Costa and my dearest uncle Spyro.

It’s not only the end of the year but the end of the decade and well, where to start from?

I can’t possibly reflect in detail and I’m not sure it will help in anything but tο sum up (take a deep breath):

I left Cyprus to do my Masters, I had my first long term relationship of 7 years that left me with emotional scars but taught me a lot and made me who I am, I ended up staying in the UK for 10 years, I had my first ‘proper’ job at Solent Uni where I worked for almost 8 years and lived in Southampton where I met some of my greatest, life-long friends, volunteered, lost myself, found myself again and learned to live on my own and with depression and anxiety, struggled with grief after losing grandma Frosou and aunt Anna, learned how to love myself, tried new things and discovered how to be happy on my own, doing what I like, singing, volunteering, theatre and musical trips, blogging, vlogging, hiking, reading, yoga (with Adriene). And that’s just a summary (breathe again).

I guess that’s life. It’s never a smooth ride. It’s full of surprises, ups and downs, easy and tough. Each of us follows their own path and are on their own timezone, so you can’t and shouldn’t compare your life to others but we all go through the same motions. So what matters at the end of the day?

I don’t do New Year resolutions, I find them pointless, I just make a small bucket list with things I’d like to do hopefully in 2020 but that’s another story I’ll post about later.

So what I learned in the last ten years and is my 2020 year and decade wish to everyone other than health, physical and mental (which is THE most important), is be happy, and never let it just depend on others, love, yourself and each other, and enjoy the little things, we truly live in a beautiful world and we often don’t appreciate life’s precious moments.

I hope you all do whatever makes you happy (don’t compromise that for no reason), quit your job if you hate it, devote time on what you love doing whatever that might be, make great memories with loved ones, enjoy every moment with them, you never know when it’s the last time you’ll see them (such a cliche but true), always be kind and try to make the world a better place. If we all do a little, as much as we can, who knows, we might make a huge difference.

Happy New Year! Here’s to a new year and a new decade. Here’s to 2020!



My 2019 New Year Wish

I’m holding a coin wrapped in tin foil and everyone is cheering me. Surreal.

It just turned 2019 and I was the ‘lucky’ one this year, the ‘lucky charm’ was in my slice of Vasilopita, the traditional New Year’s cake. Who knows, maybe luck would be on my side this year. That will be a first!

I don’t do New Year resolutions. Instead since last year I make a wish.

(And the family and I started a New Year Day tradition from 2019, baked Camembert and fresh bread for brunch!)

I read somewhere a few days ago, a post reminding me and all of us not to believe the ‘perfect lives’ and ‘reflecting on another amazing year‘ social media portray and oh my God is so true.

I regularly reflect back on my life but inevitably it also happens once a year.

It hasn’t been an ‘amazing’,’incredible’ year. There’s been highs and lows. I’ve climbed Ben Nevis (if you want to find out more on Ben Nevis you can do so here) but on other days my anxiety was so bad I was paralysed, I travelled on my own for the first time but also lived with a flatmate I didn’t get along for six months, I sang at the Mayflower with my Solent Choir gang and made great memories with family and friends, I felt loved and at the same time I experienced rejection. I signed up to volunteer for two great charities but I’m still stuck at a meaningless job.

No matter what happened I had wonderful moments with my nearest and dearest who I wouldn’t survive with at times, and for that I feel blessed and happy.

That’s life. Good and bad. Easy and tough. Each of us follows their own path and are on their own timezone, so you can’t and shouldn’t compare your life to others but we all go through the same motions.

So I won’t say much this year, the only thing I’ll wish to everyone other than health, physical and mental, which is major, is happiness and love. I hope you all do whatever makes you happy and make great memories with loved ones.

Happy New Year! Here’s to 2019!


Endings and beginnings (and Spa day)

After a long, eventful day of travelling (crying baby for the whole 4:40hr long flight, train delays and a windy and rainy ‘welcome back’, God I didn’t miss the UK weather) I made it back in Southampton last Tuesday. It was tough to say goodbye to my family and friends but I was ready to start the new year. I have a good feeling about 2018.

It’s been a non-typical first week of January. It’s been busy at work since day one, but exciting new opportunities, my best friend staying with me for her last week in Southampton, catching up with friends and colleagues and a wonderful leaving lunch at Mango and after work drinks at Tapas Barcelona more than made up for it.


The day I looked forward the least has arrived. My best friend, my third sister, my partner in crime is leaving Southampton for good today. I will miss seeing her every day, having lunch together at random places, sitting at the park chatting about nothing and everything. I’ll miss our adventures, our laughs, our cries but I’m excited and so proud of her.

She is following her dreams to travel, explore the beautiful world we live in and then have the career she always wanted. She is the kindest, bravest, sweetest, most intelligent, sensitive person I’ve ever met. It is rare to meet humans like her and I’m lucky and blessed to be her friend.

I’m already excited for our first catch-up who knows where!

Next week I’ll be leaving my cosy, little flat. It’s been an incredible year and this studio felt like home more than all the other places I lived in Southampton, maybe because it’s been my shelter and safe place when I was anxious and depressed but also my creative hub. This is where I started my yoga journey, where I played my guitar until my fingers hurt  and sang at the top of my lungs, where I read my favourite books, wrote my blogs, where I was re-born.


But now it’s time for new beginnings! I’m terrified and excited in equal measure.

I wake up at the middle of the night wondering whether I made the right decision, ‘Should I check more places before I decide where to move?’, ‘What if I don’t get along with my new flatmate?’, ‘what do I do next?’ and million other thoughts.

Change can be overwhelmingly scary. It really is. But I can’t wait.

For the first time in a while I have a plan. It may not work out exactly as I thought it will. I’ll finally move on though, no matter what.

and Spa day!

For Christmas, Shebz got me something I wanted us to do for a while, have a Spa day together. And it couldn’t happen at a better time.

We had a wonderful time at the Grand Harbour hotel, enjoyed a much-needed massage, relaxed in the Jacuzzi and sauna and finally had a delicious cream tea.

The day ended like we wanted to, a take-away and a movie. I don’t know how I haven’t watched the Breakfast Club before, I now understand why is considered one of the greatest high school films of all time.

Now, time to get organised for a busy week ahead. Thank you to all my lovely friends who offered to help but I got it this time. I think…

Time for new beginnings, eek!



My 2018 New Year Wish

And always, always be kind. That’s how we can change the world. Love and kindness. OK, that’s a cliche. But it’s true. So very true.

Happy New Year! My first post of 2018 and the first ever post of Eleni’s world.

I thought long and hard about my New Year wish.

Until I came across Neil Gaiman’s (who I recently discovered and his books are on my waiting list) post below (which I just found out I shared two years ago but completely forgot about it, how bizarre is that?) and journal entry from 6 years ago and suddenly all became clear and inspiration struck again.

Neil Gaiman New Year wish

I decided I’ll post a New Year wish from now on. A new Eleni tradition, like getting a new Christmas jumper and a unique handmade tree ornament every year for the last 3 years or Pizza and Friends Friday for the last 4 years.

I tried to avoid the more generic, cliche ‘Health, Love, Happiness’ quotes and went a bit deeper and hopefully more meaningful.

So here’s my New Year wish for 2018.

Go crazy. Remember to be proud of who you are and wear your flaws on your sleeve. Embrace your inner child and your own, little world you love and live in. 

Take care of yourself.  Your health, mental and physical is important. There’s only one you after all.

Dance until your feet hurt, sing your favourite songs at the top of your lungs. Do whatever makes you happy.

Don’t work too hard. Money is not everything. Precious moments, making memories with your loved ones, doing things you love, and being happy, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what you’ll remember if you are lucky to live until you are old and wrinkly.

Don’t let anyone or anything get you down and if you go down it’s OK. It’s always OK not to be OK. Wipe your tears, lick your wounds and get up stronger than ever and if you can’t, ask for help.

Make mistakes.  That’s how you learn. Don’t be scared to push yourself. Try new things. Read books, listen to music, educate yourself. Our brain never stops developing as long as we exercise it and nurture it with beautiful, new things.

Chase your dreams.

Love and be loved. Even if it hurts. Forget about all the ‘must’ and ‘should’. Love should always be easy (this is not actually mine, my favourite Psychology Professor Dr Marios Adonis once told me this and I often share his words of wisdom with others).

And always, always be kind. That’s how we can change the world. Love and kindness. OK, that’s a cliche. But it’s true. So very true.

Happy New Year gorgeous people!



PS The cover photo is of the Greek traditional New Year Cake ‘Vasilopita’. I haven’t baked one for years but this year I made this one with my dad. It’s not perfect but is made with love and a bit of creativity, exactly how I like it. Who’s gonna get the lucky coin?




Another year is over, a new one just began…and a new name, welcome to Eleni’s world!

What a year it’s been. I’m so happy I have blogged throughout of it and just before it’s over, it’s time to look back and reflect.

A new year, a new month, or even a new day is not the only time to make changes. At any moment you can turn the page and make a new start. But reflecting and reminding myself what I learned over the last twelve months and letting the past go afterwards it’s the perfect way to start the year.

Last January up until early April I wasn’t coping that well. I can barely remember anything from those dark months other than a horrible, unsettling feeling, with depression and anxiety reaching dangerous heights I couldn’t control. After I posted about it, it all became easier. Not immediately, not in an instant. It doesn’t work like that. I tried hard. I pushed myself.

I went home for a week, it always helps, I made it to One Sound 2017, which was a big milestone of my road to recovery and by my birthday I felt better than ever.

In June, after I came back from my summer break home for my annual sea and sunshine fix, I climbed Snowdon and raised money for a great local charity and I had a great rest of the summer seeing Richard III at Salisbury Cathedral, volunteering for the graduation, Southampton Pride and singing for Summer in the Square amongst other.

In July I discovered Yoga and Adriene Mishler and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me, not exaggerating to the slightest. I can’t wait for Adriene’s January 30 day yoga revolution, starting on the 1st!

In September my highly anticipated, incredible holiday in Rome and Florence with my sisters finally happened, followed by a great day at Friendsfest.

Later on I made amazing new friends through Women Who Do, I tried Hot Power Yoga (I can’t wait to get back into it after I move closer) and finally did Blogmas for the first time.

It was also a year full of delicious food (Lakaz Maman, Carnicero , Enoteca, Kupp, the Real Greek and of course a taste of Italy in Italy were some of the highlights).

It’s been a great year with many ups and downs, good and bad moments, rejection, disappointment, frustration but also lots of music, love, fun and laughter with colleagues, friends and family and that’s exactly how it ended, having fun with friends and family, my loved ones. (the Christmas party, the last Christmas meal of 2017 in Southampton, Christmas baking with the family, a day trip to the gorgeous village of Lefkara, Christmas with the extended family, co-hosting a festive radio show with my sis and our guests little nephews and niece singing Christmas songs, catching up with friends and spending New Year’s eve at home, after 8 years!).

I don’t do New Year resolutions, but I now know what I want to do next, I learned how to be patient and cope until I get there and I have my friends, old and new and my family who love me and support me, so I have no doubt 2018 will be much better than 2017.

Exciting changes coming up, moving in a new flat in a couple of weeks, more plans I’m hoping they will follow through, oh and a small announcement just  before 2017 is over.

What I learned before/after I turned 30 has changed and became much broader over the last year and a half so it’s time for a new name, as you might have guessed.

Welcome to Eleni’s world!

A big big thank you to my incredible colleagues, friends and family. I love you all.

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2018 brings you whatever you wish for and even if it doesn’t, enjoy every moment!







Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year everyone! I don’t have high expectations for 2017 but whatever happens, don’t allow anyone (a lot of as****** out there I know) or anything knock your confidence and self-belief. I hope 2017 is full of love and laughter, no matter what life throws at us.

I’m supposed to be packing as I’m moving at the weekend but it’s too cold and I’m too tired, first day back at work was exhausting, so I’ve written this instead 🙂

I don’t do New Year resolutions because I’ve tried it before and I find it pointless so I’ll try to tick off things on my bucket list instead. Much more fun! And one of the things I want to do is write/blog more often and I’ll try to post more regularly, I forgot how insightful and therapeutic it can be.

Christmas is over and it’s been amazing. After 8 years I surprised my family and had the most amazing week with my parents, sisters and dog, watching Christmas movies, snuggled up on the sofa with popcorn and chocolate.

I caught up with friends and family and spent Christmas day with my aunt and cousins like when we were kids.

And so happy to be there for my godson’s first Christmas!

AND I got to spent New Year’s eve in Edinburgh sending off 2016 whilst watching Paolo Nutini live (that’s ticked off the bucket list!) with my favourite!

New year is perfect for clean sheet/new beginnings/ new year new you, but one of the most important lessons I learnt is that you can change your life whenever you want to and life can change you when you least expect it, so if you want a new start do it now, your new life can start on the 3rd of January instead 🙂

So back to now. And now what? No idea! I’m moving in a couple of days. I don’t know where and a lot of you are asking and are worried, especially my family but don’t! Everything will work out fine. Absolutely no point in panicking and worrying. I’ll let you all know when I know.

My next post will be about my little sister, my little star, my little duckling, as I promised to her a while ago and then (OK she might not like it but) one for my second sister, our hero!

Here is a little preview of my little star, Anna x


For now, I hope January blues are not too painful for any of us.

Love you all x

PS. I’ve just watched 24 hours in A&E and every time I do, I’m reminded how lucky I am I’m healthy and loved and a HUGE thank you to all doctors and nurses for working so hard to keep all of us safe and alive.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, let’s hope it’s a good one without any tears (well maybe some tears, mostly happy ones)

This is it! 2016 it’s almost over. And what a year it has been… The next few weeks will be very busy so this is the only chance I get to post before 2017 is upon us and I really wanted to so here it goes…

Many many lessons learned in 2016 that won’t fit in one post but if I have to choose the most important ones then they’ll have to be:

Trust yourself and be yourself. Self-confidence and believing in yourself is hard in this cruel world but it’s only one you and that’s what makes sou special, so trust your instincts and not be afraid to be you.

There are a lot of mean people out there, more than I thought (and fortunately a lot of nice and kindhearted, wonderful human beings), so you can’t be nice all the time and to everyone. I never really make any new year resolutions but I decided that this year I won’t let anyone spoil it for me anymore. Kick ass if I have to!

If something is too good to be true, then it probably is not.

And finally do whatever makes you happy! You see life is never easy, well not for all of us anyway, it’s hard as it is so don’t compromise, do whatever makes your heart beat faster.

All in all it’s been a fun year, full of laughter and I’m really happy I made new friends, became a godmother, tried new things, including starting this blog which helped me immensely with my confidence, getting over situations and making sense of life, done some silly things too but it has been rough at times. And I reached my breaking point more than once.

Apologies to my friends I haven’t seen for a while, it’s been tough couple of months but I promise I’ll make it up.

It’s been tough for a lot of us across the world with terrorist attacks, homophobic attacks, Brexit, Donald Trump elected as the US president, the crisis in Syria and many many more…

For me…

2016 found me starting my life from scratch, this time on my own, heartbroken, confidence at its lowest, in grief…

After 30 years I had to learn to live on my own and depend solely on myself. I never liked asking for help even from my other half or my family so it was a hell of a journey.

But I’m very proud of how far I come. I made mistakes, I took risks when I shouldn’t but I learned to trust and believe in myself and I know now that whatever happens, I can face it, however hard it might get.

And now it’s finally time for a little break, I’m going to have the most amazing Christmas and NYE and then new adventures await. I literally have no idea where I’ll be in a month’s time, but I hope everything will work out in the end. And if not, oh well I guess I’ll learn something new.

I never had much money and neither did my family. They still live in an old building which might collapse at any time.

But we learned to fight and do our best to provide for each other. We always cared more about each other than ourselves. We learned to live with little and appreciate the little things, we learned that it’s not important to get what you want, because it might not be possible, but we learned to always try our best with what we’ve got. We learned to love unconditionally.

We never needed the fanciest cars, the most expensive gifts or the newest phones to be happy.

We are the happiest when we are together having a laugh even at hard times, caring about each other, helping others, and that’s what it really matters. It’s always been about love and being grateful for what we have and I’m so happy and proud I was raised in such an amazing family. I wouldn’t change that for all the money in the world.

One day, if I have my own family, I’ll consider myself very lucky if I’m as half as a good parent as my parents are.

I have hundreds of Christmas wishes, my letter to Santa is quite long but if I only had one wish is for all of my loved ones to be happy, healthy and safe. If you are an expat or your family lives far away, you know exactly what I mean. It’s heartbreaking not to be able to be there whenever my sister or my dad has an accident or my aunt is sick or…

And one of my lifelong dreams is to one day be able to buy a house for my family (and build my own house exactly as I imagined it, but I don’t mind if that never happens) so I don’t have to worry about them. Which is wishing for the impossible but a girl can dream.

I never cared about having the most expensive clothes, bags or make-up. If you know me you probably know that. I’m not the prettiest or the fanciest dresser but I spend most of my money on bills (living on my own costs A LOT and sacrificing this won’t be easy), trips, gigs, experiences, spending time with friends, getting gifts for friends and family. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

I sometimes worry about the future, it’s only natural but as long as I’m happy and do my best, I leave the rest to the universe.

I’ll leave you with this, which couldn’t be more true.


Merry Christmas to all of you and your families.

I hope all your Christmas wishes come true!

I know one of mine will  🙂

And I hope 2017 is much better for all of us. Amen.

Love you all! x