Hello there!

Nice to meet you!

Hello there!

My name is Melina. It’s lovely to meet you! Thank you for taking the time to visit my site.

As you can probably tell, this is my first blog post on my new site. I used to have a different WordPress blog some years ago, but I didn’t really progress with it. No matter! I’ve now created Mel’s World, which I’m really excited to share with you guys.

Since I’m still relatively new to the blogging world, I’m just trying to navigate my way around what kind of content I’ll be providing for you guys to read.

I currently have an interest in travel writing, how-to guides and advice for physical and mental well-being. If there are any topics you guys would like to suggest in addition to these, please don’t hesitate to voice your opinion in the comments.

I was thinking of having 3-5 different categories for my posts, but there may be more/less in the future depending on what direction my writing takes!

Once again, thank you for taking the time to visit my site. I look forward to posting more for you all.

Have a great day! 🙂

A Childhood Memory

Hello, everyone!

I hope the month of September has been good to you so far and that you’re healthy.

I had a nostalgic thought recently, and it has to do with a childhood memory that I wanted to share.

I was lucky to grow up in a neighbourhood full of children around my age. Whenever we had free time, we would pretty much always play out together or go to each other’s houses and spend time together there.

Often, if we wanted to go to the park or have a general walk outside, my mum opted for taking a group of us out to get fresh air. I remember one time (it was probably at least ten years ago now), my mum must’ve taken a group of at least five-ten of us out for a walk. She gathered us all, and we set off for our evening outing. We walked past a small field between my old middle school and high school, playing a little on the large, single hill protruding from the ground. We then went to get ice cream down by the coast and made our way back home from there. I just recall it being such a wonderful experience because not only did I get to spend quality time with my mum and friends, I also remember feeling pure happiness in that moment.

This memory has stayed with me today because I now would like to give my own children the same kinds of experiences. Allowing them to play out with their friends and taking them out for quality time. I’ve been thinking these thoughts, especially during these times where social interaction has become so precious and many of us have learnt to bask in the present whilst appreciating the small things in each day. I definitely want to teach my children to be grateful for each day.

I am very thankful to my parents, additional family and friends for such a beautiful childhood, and it’s one of my goals in life to provide the same beautiful experiences to my own children. That means a great deal to me.

Have you been thinking similar thoughts to me lately?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and thank you for sparing some time to read it!

As always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

5 Things You Can Do to Comfort Yourself

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all keeping well and taking care of yourselves. Whether you’re feeling great or not so good, I think comforting yourself is super important, and you deserve to be comforted and loved! Of course, we mostly like to be comforted if and when we’re not feeling good. If you’re reading this and you’re not feeling 100%, I hope that I could help even just a little by writing this post. 🙂

So, let’s get into the five things you can do!

  1. Always Speak to Yourself Kindly

This is super important! We all make mistakes, we’re all learning and growing, and we all have flaws. Whether you’re going through a high or low point in life, what matters is that you try your best to speak to yourself kindly throughout. You messed up? That’s okay! If you’re feeling nice in a specific outfit, compliment yourself! Always try to be good to yourself, no matter what. You’ll notice huge differences if you do this as much as you can.

2. Take a Nap

I’m not actually much of a napper, but if you are, go for a nap if and when you can. Taking a nap will recharge you and leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up, and it’s very comforting to take out some time for a good rest in your day.

3. Take some Deep Breaths

Take a couple of moments in your day to just sit and breathe. Being aware of your breathing will help soothe you and keep you in the moment, no matter what you’re doing. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, breathing is the simplest way to comfort yourself and take a break. If you’re feeling good, deep breathing is always a good form of comfort for yourself, especially since you’ll keep feeling good, or even better afterwards.

4. Cook or Bake

If you’re quite the chef in the kitchen, a lovely thing to do to comfort yourself is to make your favourite meal or dessert. Not only will you feel good during the cooking process because your mind is focused on making your masterpiece, you’ll also get the luxury of enjoying it afterwards. And it’s well-deserved!

5. Give Yourself a Hug

Have you ever given yourself a hug? It may not be the same as having another’s arms embrace you, but sometimes, giving yourself a tight hug can help comfort you, even if you feel a little strange doing it at first! Giving yourself a hug can be especially good if you’re not in anyone’s company at the time you feel like receiving comfort, so why not give it to yourself?

Thank you for reading! I hope this post reminded you to comfort yourself in the best ways you can and as much as you can, no matter how you wish to do it. Enjoy the rest of your day or night!

As always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

A Post Dedicated to my Friends

Hello, everyone!

I hope this post finds you safe, well and enjoying your day/afternoon/night, wherever you may be in the world!

Today, I was really inspired to share with you how grateful I am for my friends. Back in November I wrote a post titled ‘5 Things I’m Thankful For‘, where I mentioned how appreciative I was for my friends and I wanted to expand on that a little!

In these difficult times, having a group of wonderful friends (in my case, I see them as family) around you is so, so crucial and it’s something I value very highly. My friends and I have been seeing each other a lot more lately, especially during these times, and I cannot stress enough how much they brighten my day every time I see them. We have light-hearted conversations, we have deep conversations, we laugh, we sing, we dance, we may even cry a little, but if I’ve learnt anything during this tough chapter, it’s to cherish each and every moment with them.

We find ourselves eager to see each other again and tell each other that the thought of meeting gives us something to look forward to that day/week, especially if we’re a little stressed! Whether we go on socially-distanced walks or sit in each other’s driveways, I always think about the unique things of the experience that made me enjoy our time together.

The times where we’ve spent hours on end together and have lost track of time, the times where we’ve created a joke special to us and laughed until our bellies ached, or even the times we’ve addressed more serious topics have all been great in their own way. And I love that.

I’ve always seen the importance of the human connection, but now I can see that more so than before. It’s all about the love you have for each other and standing by each other’s side, and my friends have always stood by my side.

If you have a specific friend or friends (family members too, of course) you keep close to your heart, send them a message today if you haven’t already. Give them a compliment. Thank them for everything they do. Put a smile on their face!

Dear friends, I just wanted to take the time to thank you for being you, for making me smile, for supporting and encouraging me and for always being so good to me. Thank you for being in my life and I appreciate you all more than words can say!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it made your day a little brighter.

Thank you for reading and as always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post! 🙂

Why It’s so Important to Love What You Do

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all safe and healthy and that this week has been treating you well. Today, I’ll be chatting to you guys a little bit about why loving what you do, no matter what it is, is so crucial in life.

I was very excited to write this post because it’s a topic very close to my heart, and I hope I can provide you guys with a little bit of inspiration!

For me, as I’m sure is the case for many of you, too, being blessed enough to wake up and look forward to going to work, working from home or just the day in general is one of the best feelings in life. It gives us a sense that we’re fulfilling our purpose, which is unique to each and every one of us.

I also wanted to take this time to remind you all that no matter what you do, as long as it makes you happy, that’s the main thing. Your self worth doesn’t come from what you do, but how you feel from the inside. And if the inside is happy, you’re unstoppable!

I think one of the main reasons that loving what you do is so important is because, when you love what you do, you’ll always be fulfilled and whatever you’re doing certainly won’t feel like work.

I remember coming across a quote which basically encapsulates what I just said:

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

-Steve Jobs

I truly believe in these words, because when you’re pursuing your passion, you’ll pour everything you have into it without losing your energy and drive. Your work will reflect your passion, you’ll be beaming, and it won’t feel like anything close to a chore.

I speak from current experience! Right now, I’m completing a travel writing internship. And let me tell you, I absolutely adore it. I’ve always had a passion for writing and my wanderlust is never-ending, so combining the two seemed like a no-brainer for me. The feeling of waking up in the morning and being excited about what destination I’m going to write about next makes me feel very thankful. It also makes me feel very thankful that I’m able to connect with and inspire others through writing. That’s certainly where I feel like I’m fulfilling part of my purpose!

I’ve also come across a fair share of wonderful individuals who care and have a deep love for their jobs. These are the people who motivate me to go out and chase my own dreams and never be ashamed of where I happen to be in the process.

We all deserve to do what we love and have our dreams fulfilled, even if it means we have to do some things we don’t necessarily want to do in order to get there. But no matter what, go forward in life with the aim of doing what excites you the most.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post and thank you for visiting my blog. I plan to keep spreading words of positivity, especially in this time.

As always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post. Have a great rest of the week. 🙂

Why I Love Arabic Music

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all having a great morning, evening, or night wherever you are. I was just listening to an hour-long playlist of Arabic music and I immediately thought to share with you why I love it so much.

Lately, while I’ve been doing some work from home, I’ve been listening to it a lot. Whether it’s instrumental or not, it really helps me focus.

But, it’s not just focusing that I listen to it for. For me, Arabic music has some of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard. It genuinely sounds and feels magical to me. You know when a piece of music sounds so good you get goose bumps? Yeah, that’s what I get! If the music isn’t instrumental, the singing voices are also so enchanting. There’s just something about this type of music that makes me feel totally at peace and takes my imagination on a beautiful journey.

Sometimes, I love to dream about my future travels when listening, which really makes me excited for the next time I get on the road or on a plane. Or, I just close my eyes and enjoy, taking in the relaxing melodies. I sometimes even think about fictional scenarios where I’m under the blazing sun in a desert.

I definitely know that part of my love for Arabic music comes from the fact that it sounds very similar to Greek music. Its sounds often remind me of Greece, which takes me back to all the years I’ve visited my family in Thessaloniki and its surrounding areas. It specifically reminds me of summer in Greece, where the sun is hot and everywhere you look glows under its rays.

I remember once when I was revising for my university exams in a bookstore and stumbling upon the most marvellous Arabic instrumental playlist. As soon as the first track began, I was in awe at how purely magnificent it was (and how I hadn’t found it before)! I remember stopping and looking around. That music coupled with the inspiring surroundings of the bookstore just made me smile from the inside out. It motivated me so much.

If you’re looking for ultimate relaxation, instrumental Arabic music is great to meditate to, or perhaps accompany you when you take a warm shower/bath. I haven’t actually tried it for meditation yet, but I think I’ll give it a go for one of my self-care activities.

It’s amazing what the power of music can do. If you’re also a fan of Arabic music or have a different type of music that you love, have a listen today if you want. I hope it boosts your mood! If you’ve never listened to Arabic music before, I 100% recommend you do. See what you think. 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s post. It was such a pleasure to write! As always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

It’s Okay to get Writer’s Block!

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well, keeping safe and enjoying your day/night wherever you are.

I’ve been getting quite a lot of writer’s block lately regarding blog posts, so today’s post was inspired by that! I wanted to write a little bit about why it’s okay to get it and what you can do when you do experience it.

Pretty much everyone who’s a writer or loves to write has most likely had this feeling before. When you’re sat in front of your computer screen or you have your pen to paper, and nothing comes out. You want to write, but you’ve no clue what. Whether there’s pressure of a deadline or not, it can be a little bit frustrating when you just can’t seem to get your ideas or words out.

When writer’s block comes knocking, the number one thing to do is to not beat yourself up about it. Writing is a creative process and it’s okay if you don’t always have your creative hat on. If you were always getting ideas, you’d most likely overwhelm yourself!

So, what you can do is remind yourself that your ideas will come to you, and that it’s totally normal to get writer’s block. It’ll pass!

So, what can you do? First, take a step away from the screen or notebook and go and do something that you feel gets your creative juices flowing. Read a book, listen to music, have a nap, have a cup of your favourite drink, anything you like!

My dissertation tutor at university gave me some brilliant advice that I still use today. While you do your activity, no matter what it is, make sure to have a device handy where you can write ideas down if and when they do come to you. It can be anything from your phone to a post-it note. This has personally helped me so much.

I’ve found that some of my best ideas have come to me while away from the desk when I have writer’s block, and I make sure to write them down so I can use them later. It feels much better to have “Aha!” moments rather than “Ugh!” moments, so do take care of yourself during the process and know you’ve 100% got this!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post. If you’re experiencing writer’s block right now, I hope it helped you and made you feel a little better.

As always, take care of yourselves and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

Rediscovering where I Live

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while! I hope you’re all doing well.

Over the past few weeks, my sister and I have been going on short walks around where we live. I’m very glad the days are longer in the UK right now. With us not being able to go out as much at the moment, we really value our walks.

As we wander around our estate and down to the beach near our home, I realise something. Actually, we both do. There are so many things we haven’t fully noticed about where we live.

We’ve walked certain paths countless times from when we were children, but we’d missed the beauty of the colourful flowers, the intricate details of houses and the salty scent of the sea air. Now that it’s spring, there are also blossom trees at every turn, their petals falling like pink snow to the ground.

On one of our most recent walks along the sea front, we saw the local lighthouse in the distance, but this time, we truly saw it for all its beauty. Standing tall, surrounded by rocks and the waves crashing against them. I had to take a picture, but even the picture couldn’t do it justice.

Photo by Melina Notidou: Nevertheless, it was a wonderful sight!

In the rare silence, we listened to the waves splashing on the beach below. We really took everything in. It was a beautiful afternoon of clear blue skies.

On a different day, we went on an evening walk. There was something quite peculiar we noticed that really stood out to me. On the way down to the sea front is a house surrounded by railings and an enormous tree. Since the tree wasn’t cut down, we noticed the railings had been built perfectly around the tree. But, it wasn’t the railings and the tree that were peculiar to me. It was the fact that we hadn’t noticed the railings around the tree before until now, and they had most likely been there for years.

We questioned if a lot of things about our area were new, but they couldn’t be. Especially not now. They only looked new because we hadn’t taken the time to slow down. To really observe and appreciate our surroundings. But now that we’ve had time to do so, it’s honestly been a blessing and I truly feel like I’m rediscovering where I live. In fact, I plan to never stop rediscovering, because there’s always something beautiful to look for where I live.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I really wanted to share this with you all. I wonder if these times have helped you rediscover where you live, too.

Have a lovely rest of your day/night and, as always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post! 🙂

Arts n’ Crafts Activity at Home: Collage

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all keeping well and safe. Wherever you are, I also hope you’ve had a good day.

With a lot of us currently staying in our homes, we may sometimes want to get a little creative! Today, I was really in the mood to share a fun arts n’ crafts activity that you can do at home.

Today’s activity is a collage!

I find these really fun to make. They truly get your creative juices flowing. If you happen to have any spare magazines that you’re thinking of throwing out, this is a great way to use them before you do throw them away. You can also print out pictures from the internet, use old book covers/pages, stickers, fabrics; basically anything you can think of that will inspire you and you want to use.

This is a fantastic activity to do with kids, too (under supervision of course)!

The instructions are simple. Grab a piece of A3 paper (I recommend this size because you will have plenty of space to fill). You can get a smaller or an even bigger size too, though. Then, find images, words or materials that mean something to you and get cutting and sticking!

Just yesterday, my sister and I acquired a rather large pile of my mum’s old Your Home magazines. We ended up making some collages of our own, and here was the end result:

Photo by Melina Notidou: The top collage is my sister’s and the bottom one is mine. We had a lot of fun making these!

As you can see, my sister decided to go with a beautiful flower theme because that was what inspired her at the time, and I went for a holiday/travel/travel home theme.

When I make collages, I like to incorporate words and phrases because they have a particular meaning for me in direct relation to the pictures I’ve chosen. For example, one of the words I chose was ‘family’, along with the bucket image in the bottom left corner. This is because I envision travelling with my family, as well as having a family vibe on my holidays.

Making a collage is a great way to get yourself focused, relaxed and inspired. It also makes you feel accomplished and proud of your new masterpiece. You can stick it up on your bedroom wall, laminate it and use it as a placemat for your meals, or even make it part of a larger collage. I certainly know I felt very satisfied with my little creation. I plan on trying this activity again very soon.

If you’re in the mood, go ahead and try it out!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it motivated you to get in touch with your creative side. As always, take care of yourselves and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

Inspirational Quotes: Comforting Quote

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re all doing well, that you’re keeping yourselves safe and that you’re taking care of yourselves.

Today I wanted to share some words of comfort through a quote I found. Comforting each other is so important, especially in times of hardship. Today I found this quote:

“Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.”

– Yumi Sakugawa

I know that a lot of people worry about if they’re being productive enough in a day, or if they’re using their time wisely throughout the day. Let me tell you, I’m guilty of this myself. In fact, I had this very thought process not long after I woke up.

It’s so easy for us to equate our value and worth as a person with how busy we are or by how much we’ve achieved. It’s also easy for us to get frustrated with ourselves if we don’t finish a particular task we set ourselves at work, school or home.

Let me tell you something else. The very fact that you are here is enough. The very fact that you are breathing is enough. After all, breathing is what keeps us alive to do the things we do. You are loved and appreciated regardless, and no amount of work, tasks or responsibilities can replace that.

If you woke up today and were able to have a chilled day, be proud of yourself because that’s another way of realising your worth by taking time out for yourself. It’s okay if you don’t feel like doing anything. You deserve to set some time aside now and then to recharge those batteries! Taking care of yourself by resting is essential nowadays, as we can sometimes get a little too caught up in our daily to-do lists.

If you are or have been at work today, still be proud of your yourself whether you got lots done or not. A small step is still progress, and of course you’re allowed busier and slower days. Slower days can help prepare us for the busier days. Can you imagine if things were constantly non-stop? You would be burnt out. It’s good to have that balance. Success is amazing, but so is recuperation! 🙂

I think it’s paramount that we see the value in ourselves as human beings present on this Earth. Life is a miracle. If you’re doing nothing but breathing, you’re absolutely using your time well.

As I wrote this, I felt like I was comforting myself. I really hope this post made you smile or feel a little calmer about those slower days.

I hope you’re enjoying you morning, afternoon or evening as you read this.

As always, take care and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

My go-to Fast Food

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’ve been well. I haven’t posted in a while so I thought today would be a perfect day to do so.

We all love a bit of fast food now and then, don’t we? Sometimes, we may not have the time or energy to cook on a certain day, or we crave it just because. Today I’m in the mood to share my go-to fast food with you.

You know ramen noodles? Yes, those. Yum.

A lot of my friends and family have most likely heard me say that I could live on this stuff. I actually would if I could, as well, but, everything in moderation! I tend to crave ramen noodles a lot and will treat myself on the occasion.

It’s funny because whenever I eat these I like to watch food shows. I think it’s because food shows make me hungry if I’m not eating. Anyone else? 😉

I ate versions of ramen noodles quite a few times when I was studying abroad, too. Sometimes bought from the shop and sometimes from a variety of restaurants. They were also, of course, incredibly tasty. I couldn’t not try them. There are brilliant restaurants in Newcastle that sell ramen noodle dishes, too (but that’s a post for a different day)!

When my sister and I were younger and we didn’t have any other food prepared in the house, Mum or Dad would make us a packet of noodles each with a couple of sausages, boiled eggs and sweetcorn. I haven’t had that combination in a while. Now, I sometimes like to use the noodles to make some ramen noodle soup. They are honestly just so delicious.

If you haven’t tried ramen noodles before, give them a go if you want. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

I hope you liked reading today’s post. No matter what time of the day or night it is for you, I hope you have a good one.

Take care and I’ll see you in the next post. 🙂

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