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FIVE QUESTIONS is where we ask members of the community to talk about how they stay HEALTHY. CEO of the Canterbury City Community Centre, Esta Paschalidis-Chilas, who recently attended the Canterbury Head to Health launch, shared this:

1. What did you eat yesterday?

I ate bircher muesli with yoghurt that I made at home and took into work. I also ate an apple, some crackers and cheese as snacks during the day. As a late lunch I had a lentil salad that I buy from Aldi which is really nice. For dinner it was my turn to cook and I made chicken schnitzel and apple and walnut salad. Our dinners 3 times a week are pre-ordered healthy meal kits which makes planning and preparing dinner much easier for all of us.

2. What exercise did you do yesterday?

I am lucky enough to have a great community pool and gym near my home and I am a member there, so tonight I did a pilates class with my younger daughter.

The instructor is fantastic and I enjoy her classes very much. It isn’t always easy to make the time to exercise because I juggle a fair bit in my life, like everyone these days. I find that I feel so much better when I make the time though.

3. When did you last see a primary health professional?

Probably about a year ago to be honest.

I have some outstanding blood tests I need to do to make sure I am doing well from a diabetic perspective. I worry because my Dad was a diabetic and the disease was not kind to him towards the end of his life last year.

4. What do you do to improve your mental health?

I work in a place that makes me happy and with people who are motivated about making a positive difference to our community. I believe that a workplace plays a significant role in fostering a healthy mind because we spend some much time in them and they form a large part of how we see ourselves.

In addition to that, when I do physical exercise I sleep better and bring greater balance and calm to my life.

There is a history of mental health issues in my family over several generations and we sadly lost my Uncle to suicide in 1981. Given this history I am mindful about doing things that bring me joy and steering clear of situations that do not assist my positive mental health.

I have wonderful friends I have been blessed with for many years and we anchor and support one another.

My Husband, my Daughters and my extended family play a significant role in my life as well. Before my Dad passed away last year I played a significant role as a Co-Carer of him and doing that while juggling full time work and family had its pressures.

Alongside that I saw a Counsellor and it made a major difference as to how I turned up and also managed the various aspects of my life and the roles that I hold.

I would not live the life I do without all of those strategies and support structures.

5. What are your health goals for the next month?

Keep going to the gym a few times a week, planning my meals better so that I have the fuel I need to stay energised and focused and getting onto the blood tests and other preventative health tasks that I must do!

Read previous ‘FIVE QUESTIONS’ here