Finding Joy in the Everyday

December 12, 2023

Nikoletta A. (she/her) is a Master of Clinical Psychology student who is passionate about trauma-informed mental health care and amplifying lived experience voices. She is committed to creating spaces where individuals and communities can feel safe, seen, and heard. Nikoletta believes that storytelling in all forms is courageous and that nobody’s story is more important than anyone else’s.

Nikoletta has experience working and collaborating in many areas of the mental health field, including peer support, advocacy, service design, research, program development, and trauma prevention and recovery. She is passionate about fostering safe communities and minimizing the prevalence of sexual violence and harassment for people of all ages.

To rest and recharge, Nikoletta loves to read, crochet, and be out in nature. Nikoletta acknowledges the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which she lives, works, and plays. Nikoletta is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on Born This Way Foundation’s Advisory Board again in 2024.

This story took place in Australia

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver once wrote: “Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.” 

Mary Oliver was known for her poetry about the natural world and observations of the landscapes, animals, and events around her. The line I just quoted is from the poem It Was Early and it reminds me that in most situations, you can find something wondrous, joyful, beautiful, or compelling about the space around you.

I like to go on walks and notice the things around me, whether they be birds, trees, or most often, leaves, and flowers and photograph them to make collages. It is a lovely way to record the changing of seasons and the ever changing landscapes and colours of the world around me. I find it to be a great grounding exercise! You could even take photos for your friends or relatives and make a collage or seasonal zine for them too.

Here are just a few of the photos that I’ve taken recently that made me smile:

A rose that I spotted while walking to university.

Some pretty bluebells! I love their vibrant colour.

This is a bougainvillea! It was raining when I took this photo and the raindrops on the petals make them look like tiny stained-glass windows.

Here are some paw prints of my favourite four-legged friend! Our dog couldn’t wait to escape the rain and come inside to sleep on her warm dog bed 🙂

Crocheting in the sun using fuzzy yarn. This stitch looks a bit like honeycomb!

Pink clouds before the rain.

These delicious strawberries perfectly matched the colour of this cup! 

Baking some gingerbread men! They look like they’re having a sleepover, haha.

Autumn in my favourite month! This leaf was so big!

Taking photos of your neighbourhood or local community can be a fun way to notice and appreciate the world around you. It’s a fun activity to do on your own, on the way to work or school, but you can also organise a photo walk with your friends to explore a new area. ☺

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