Eleni Vardaki, Professional Youth Mentor for Stress Relief

Professional Youth Mentor

OUT NOW! From secondary school teacher to youth mentor: this is my story. In this video, I open up about my experience of suffering from PTSD back in 2012 when I was working in a toxic school environment over in the UK. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a mental health condition of severe stress I had (wrongly) assumed only war veterans suffered from…not teachers. I also talk about my journey transitioning from working as a secondary school teacher to working as a professional Youth Mentor For Stress Relief

I end the video by I invite those of us who have a vision of co-creating and building wellbeing education into the fabric of school curricula and of school culture to join forces. If you’d like to take part in the exchange of information that’s taking place through my monthly newsletter and be notified of new guest writer articles sharing good practice and exciting findings, you can sign yourself up to join my newsletter community

my background in international education

I’m a History teacher by trade, but I’ve taught all sorts of subjects. As a History teacher, I’ve helped hundreds of students learn how to successfully prepare for exams, be that GCSE exams, IGCSE exams, A-Level exams or IB History exams. Over the years, I’ve lived in many places. Zimbabwe, North Sudan, Belgium, Pakistan, Russia, England. I now live in Greece, and work with people from all over the world.

Experiencing Workplace bullying

At my first teaching job, I experienced a serious case of workplace bullying. The bullying was affecting my health, and I was diagnosed with PTSD.

For those of you who’ve never heard of PTSD, it stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it’s commonly experienced by soldiers and by people living in war zones. That’s what the school I worked in felt like – a war zone. A place where violence was the norm – an hourly occurrence in the classroom, on the playground, in the corridors. It was a toxic work environment, and I was stuck in a state of chronic stress.

I’d completed my teacher training, but that didn’t help me cope with the pain of workplace bullying. This is when I realised that I had to get out of my comfort zone and develop my knowledge of efficient techniques for stress relief. I spent the next few years learning more about myself and trying various techniques to alleviate the stress.

Discovering EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

The more I developed my knowledge and experience of wellbeing education for my personal life as the years went by, the more passionate I became about sharing my new-found knowledge and skills with students and young adults who were suffering from stress. I discovered that EFT, also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, is one of the most powerful self-help tools for stress relief, because of how efficient and effective it can be.

From classroom teacher to youth mentor

I knew that my role as a History teacher was to prepare my students for their exams, so the only way to be of greater service, was to go part-time so that I could start a private practice as a Youth Mentor for Stress Relief.

After 7* years of tapping on myself (*correction: 8 years. I started tapping in 2012, and it’s now 2020! :P) and seeing how tapping has changed my life, I’m excited to say that I’m now a certified and accredited EFT Practitioner, and I love the beneficial effects my clients experience from tapping.

If you are currently going through, or at some point in your life went through a stressful time, know that you are not alone. I can relate. I know what it’s like to live in a chronic state of stress. I know what it’s like to struggle to focus and to motivate yourself. And I know that it takes more than one technique or tool to climb out of a state of stress and to gradually start feeling better again.

That’s why I tailor each of my mentoring programs to meet the particular needs of the person I’m working with, at that particular point in time. I believe it’s important for you to learn a range of ways and techniques to reduce your stress, increase your focus, and motivate yourself. In this way, you choose for yourself what works best for you in different situations and at different times in the day.

Mainstream education: time for change

I believe that the outdated, exam-factory model of education is causing unprecedented levels of stress. The education system is failing to prepare even the most conscientious, hard-working students for the stresses and pressure of life in the 21st century.

In addition to the increased fear of getting a bad grade, more and more students are seeing their parents deal with their own personal issues like financial pressures and divorce. They’re growing up in a world where more and more people are suffering from a mental illness.

They’re growing up in a world where they’re bombarded with advertising and social media that pressure them to feel like they should look or be a certain way – before they’ve even had a chance to look inside and get to know who they really are.

Students are stressed. Teachers are stressed. Parents are stressed. It’s partly a systemic issue. It’s partly a cultural issue. And it’s partly because we’re living in times of rapid change.

Do you want to WORK WITH Me?

If you’re going through a lot of changes right now and you’d like my support through Skype or Zoom, reach out to tell me more about your situation. 

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