Melina Charis - Well Wild World
Melina Charis is the writer, poet, and educator behind Well Wild World. Inspired by her ongoing journey toward personal growth, self-love, and wellbeing - body, mind and soul - Melina is on a mission to share actionable tips and tricks for anyone who is looking to create a healthier and more balanced life. Writing and helping others are two of Melina’s greatest passions, and starting a wellness blog was a natural next step.
With every blog post, Melina brings her awareness, experience, kindness, and openness to guide you in finding balance - mind, body, and soul. Sharing our wellness journeys is truly an act of courage and vulnerability, and Melina’s willingness to share her journey and go-to practices is inspiring others to embark on their own journey too. Through writing about her own experiences with mental health, reclaiming her creativity, and sharing her authentic voice, Melina is following her joy and passion, all while sharing what lights her up with the world. On the blog you can find tips and tricks for practicing gratitude, getting things done when you’re feeling overwhelmed, the power of reconnecting with our childhood dreams, and so much more.
Watching Melina step outside of her comfort zone to launch and grow Well Wild World has been incredible. I’m so grateful that she’s using her experiences with anxiety and depression to help and inspire others to create a healthy and balanced life - and I’m so excited for you guys to connect with her and learn more!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
Hi everyone! My name is Melina Charis and I am the creator of Well Wild World, a personal growth + holistic wellness blog aimed at anyone seeking actionable ways to further develop themselves as people and who want to feel happier and healthier no matter where they are in their lives. They may struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues and are looking for tangible action steps they can take NOW to improve the quality of their lives. One of the main goals of my blog is to help anyone who struggles with these issues feel less alone and to remind them it’s okay if they don’t have it all figured out.
The #1 goal of Well Wild World is to help others move from merely being aware of their flaws, triggers, traps, and bad habits...to feeling empowered to take action to improve their lives. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about constantly being a work in progress and being open and willing to do the work day in and day out through small but important steps. It’s about embracing uncomfortable feelings and learning to love the unknown - something I’m always working at as well!
I’m currently working on my blog in any spare moment that I’m not planning my upcoming wedding, spending time with family + friends, snuggling with my dog, at spin class or yoga, or at my full-time job as an administrator + event planner at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California.
How did you get started?
I started Well Wild World for a few reasons - I wanted to write about my experiences with mental health and how I cultivated wellness practices in the hopes that I could help others, and I also wanted to push myself to reclaim my creativity and put myself and my thoughts out there (which was terrifying for sure).
I always loved writing as a child, and I majored in English + creative writing in college. But sometime around high school, I stopped writing creatively. I stopped thinking of myself as a creative person completely, and in college I became consumed in comparison and self-doubt, so I decided to put my passion aside (you can read more about that on my blog here). I honestly never thought I would return to it again.
But luckily, late last year, something told me I needed to start writing again. I’ve always loved blogs and have followed many for years, but I honestly never thought about creating one because I never thought I had anything to say. But one day I had a light bulb moment and realized that starting a blog was a great way for my love of wellness, personal growth, writing, and helping others to come together...and Well Wild World was born!
What inspired the work that you're doing?
I’ve always struggled with anxiety and perfectionism, but I hit a low point in fall 2014, right after I graduated from college. There were a lot of huge life transitions happening at once during that time, but the toughest was starting my first full-time job as a high school teacher. I had chosen to become a teacher out of fear that there was nothing else I could really do with my English major, and it was 100% not the right career for me. I developed intense anxiety and depression that affected every area of my life - my relationships suffered, my physical health declined, and I was barely able to sleep or do anything I had previously enjoyed doing.
I luckily found my way out of that low point with a lot of hard work, therapy, and support from family and friends. I struggled for another year or so until I finally quit teaching and was able to turn my life around. That was when I began to really focus on my own health + wellness from a holistic perspective - mental, spiritual, and physical. I began a regular meditation and gratitude practice. I cooked healthier foods and exercised more often. I made self-care a priority.
My anxiety got a lot better, but it’s always with me and something I know will be with me my entire life. So, I started the blog as a way to help others who need help reclaiming their health and happiness, like I needed to. I also started the blog as a way to tell myself the things I most need to hear and to be able to express my thoughts through writing. I hope through the blog that I can help others feel less alone and offer tangible steps they can take to become their best, perfectly imperfect, ever-evolving selves.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
Writing and helping others are my two great passions in life, so starting a wellness blog seemed a perfect way to merge the two. I do feel like I’m living my passion, which I couldn’t have said earliest last year before I started the blog, so I feel so grateful that I am finally living in my purpose now - and it feels amazing! It’s definitely not always easy and it’s sometimes terrifying, but it’s so worth it to do what truly lights you up. I also recently reconnected with another passion of mine - writing poetry. It has truly been such a gift to write poems again and I hope to keep writing many more in the future. I post a lot of my poems on instagram, so follow me @wellwildworld if you want to read them!
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I think what brings me joy has changed quite a bit throughout the years and as I enter new stages of my life, but right now it’s when I’m writing or creating content that I truly believe in and that will hopefully help others. I also feel most alive when I’m connecting with other amazing souls who are pushing past fear to be vulnerable and put their creations out into the world, who are dreaming big, and who are living their truth each and every day (not an easy task)!
I also feel immense joy when I’m in an amazing yoga or Soulcycle class (hello, endorphins!), listening to great music, spending quiet moments at home cuddling with my fiancé and our pup, walking by the ocean, or drinking an amazing cup of coffee. It’s the little things, right?!
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I’ve spent years figuring out what practices help me feel most grounded, so for anyone who’s trying to figure out what works for them...remember that everyone is different and that it takes time to figure out! (And will probably change over the months and years as well!) What helps me most is to write in my gratitude journal as often as I can, meditate, exercise regularly, eat healthy foods (and I definitely indulge sometimes, too - because life is all about balance!), and make sure I take some time each day for self-care. I love the Calm or Insight Timer app for guided meditations, though I usually do unguided meditations. I also make time each day to connect and check in with loved ones - my relationships are so important to me and I try to nurture them as much as I can.
I also intentionally reflect and check in with myself often - I do most of that actually through my instagram captions. I write my instagram captions each day (I don’t plan ahead) because I want them to be authentic reflections of how I’m feeling at that moment, and I truly enjoy sitting down to write them. I think of my instagram almost as a public journal, and it’s amazing that a lot of times those reflections I post are meaningful conversation starters. Authentic connection with others is definitely key in keeping me grounded.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
My younger self would be so proud of what I’m doing now. I had given up on a lot of my passions after high school, so my younger self would be so happy that I’ve finally found them again. It’s not easy to pursue a passion - it requires a lot of time, thought, effort, and work - but it is more than worth it. And it’s never too late to start!
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
I don’t have a go-to mantra or affirmation - my affirmations change with how I’m feeling in that season of my life.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is to become a published author. I would love to publish either a nonfiction book based on my blog posts, a novel, or a book of poems. Maybe I’ll do all three?! Who knows! But I’m putting that out there into the universe because I would love to make that dream a reality one day.
To learn more about Melina and Well Wild World you can connect with her on Instagram @wellwildworld and on Pinterest @wellwildworld and Facebook @wellwildworld and you can visit her blog at www.wellwildworld.com where you can subscribe to her newsletter for exclusive updates, wellness tips, and her latest blog posts.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here