The decision to study Psychology and Counselling was of a spontaneous nature. However, it was based on a long trail of experiences and thoughts. Just like our choices, our mental health constitutes a continuum rather than a one single moment. I do think that there are powerful decisive moments, yet they do not happen in a void. Because of this, I believe that understanding mental health constitutes a laborious work and only achievable with patience and hope.
I decided to study Psychology and Counselling because I wanted to be part of a profession where my work has a direct and meaningful impact on others wellbeing. My empathic personality and my instinctive interest in humanistic sciences made this the perfect choice.
Even though ahead of me lies a road full of possibilities regarding the profession of being a psychologist my dream is to become a clinical psychologist. Yet I often found myself looped in another field of psychology or inspired by someone from a different path. I think what is most important, especially as a student is to keep an open mind, seek new opportunities and explore all the avenues. Changes can always happen but without knowing what the options are we might so often find ourselves dissatisfied.
"We are all in different situations, facing different challenges with different mental and physical health problems therefore our coping mechanisms and resources might also be very different." - Eduard Margarit
While the slogan “We are in this together” is by now familiar to all of us, the applicability of it might not resonate just as loud. Some of us are facing this alone or in total isolation. I think this is a very important factor that people need to understand in order to allow themselves to cope with the current pandemic. We are all in different situations, facing different challenges with different mental and physical health problems therefore our coping mechanisms and resources might also be very different. I found that accepting your own needs, problems and resources is crucial. By comparing or trying to adhere to 3 exercises a day routine, baking banana loaf cakes and reading War and Peace might not be the thing you need. One thing is for sure, you do not need any extra pressure.
For me some days are better than the others. Having all my family in a different country is hard at the best of times, even more now. I discovered that during some days having a bar of chocolate helps while during others cooking a healthy salad does; some days are filled with cheap comedies while others with Blue Planet; memes on Instagram proved just as efficient as did reading Kundera.
The free courses from https://www.edx.org/ and The Open Yale course on Psychology are the best help in keeping me motivated. Overall I try to celebrate the small successes and appreciate the efforts different people are making in trying to make me smile, laugh and worry less. In return, I try to do the same for them.