Wellness Corner: Penelope Robotis, IMEQ Center

In our special column, ‘Wellness Corner’, Penelope Robotis, Clinical  Psychologist- Psychotherapist, IMEQ Center, highlights the importance of establishing boundaries in all areas of our lives and balancing the demands of everyday life by creating routines and engaging in acceptance.

She also suggests that maritime companies create healthier work environments and wellbeing guidelines that encourage a ‘culture of openness’ on mental health problems.

SAFETY4SEA: What does ‘wellness’ mean to you? What do you do in your every day life to embrace wellness?

Penelope Robotis: Wellness means to be happy and live well with meaning and connection to myself and others.  I embrace wellness by eating healthy , exercising , working   and  having loving  relationships in my life.  I try to set small attainable goals that I consistently apply myself to achieving them.

S4S: What are the two things to do that can make you feel happy after a challenging day?

P.R.: Having a routine that includes walking and  spending time with my loved ones; like having a nice dinner or watching a movie together; in general connecting with the people I care for in meaningful ways.

S4S: What is the most worthwhile wellbeing investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?

P.R.: Psychotherapy trainings, group therapy and travelling.

S4S: What do you do to keep balance between your personal and business life?

P.R.: By prioritizing tasks  and  attuning to  myself and others.  I think the most important  lesson I  learned over the years is setting boundaries to all areas of my life. Balancing our needs wants and goals can be challenging especially when feeling overwhelmed  and frustrated ; I discovered the best way to  balance the demands of  daily life by establishing routines and practicing acceptance.

S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your personal life?

P.R.: Being a perfectionist I always worked  hard to achieve perfection in everything I do , whether it is being a mom, a professional, a friend etc.,   accepting my flaws has made me a better person to myself and others by  being  kind, compassionate and understanding. I think letting go of high expectations and standards  liberated me to have  more of a pragmatic approach  to living and dealing with issues as they arise.

S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape with regards to wellbeing?

P.R.: Having an understanding  that wellbeing is related to mental health and that  the prevalent attitude  of the “Alpha Male”,  encountered in male dominant industries including the maritime industry, needs to be redefined ; Human needs are not defined by sex, nationality,  age or culture. All people are equally susceptible to life stresses and illnesses and working in toxic environment can take a toll on people’s health. Adopting a holistic approach to defining wellbeing will help organizations to  become proactive in  designing  work environments where people feel safe, secure and  have a sense of   belongingness. Industry leaders need to realize that organizations can transcend from a transactional  leadership style to a transformational style,  that is people focused,  and  this can be attained by  fostering healthy working environments.

S4S: What wellness-promoting initiatives would you like to see in the workplace?

P.R.: Designing wellbeing policies that promote a culture of openness on mental health issues, support employees dealing with mental health issues, establish positive working relationships, encourage a healthy work life balance  and provide opportunities for self or professional development.

S4S: What is the one thing that you are feeling grateful at the moment?

P.R.: My  family and friends.

S4S: What are your hobbies/ favorite activities?

P.R.: Walking, reading and watching films.

S4S: What is your personal motto

P.R.: ‘’Be kind to everyone you meet’’


The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.

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