The Month of Love and St. Valentine

Worth Living Ambassador Linda Dias Menezes

I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Linda Dias Menezes and I have epilepsy, however epilepsy does not define me. 
I am also a wife a mother, a mentor, an ambassador, a support group facilitator, a Psychology Honors Student at the University of South Africa and an advocate for mental health and epilepsy.

I am a founding member and chairperson of Epilepsy Awareness SA an NPO aimed and spreading Epilepsy Awareness in South Africa.

The Month of Love and St. Valentine.

Saint Valentine (Italian: San Valentino, Latin: Valentinus), officially Saint Valentine of Terni,[2] is a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages is associated with a tradition of courtly love.(Wiki-pedia)
February is commonly known in some countries as the month of love. Suicides typically spike during the holidays and of course Valentine’s Day. Love is all around us on Valentine’s Day, it’s on the radio, it’s on the TV, it’s in shopping malls, and even in the classroom and office. It really makes it obvious of the relationship you have with yourself and others.

Depression has a strong link to suicide. Feeling unloved or unworthy of love can be a strong contributing factor to suicide on or near Valentine’s Day. You are not alone! Being with yourself on Valentine’s Day has its perks you just need to look for them. It’s all a matter of perception ♥

Going out with friends and family is the obvious one and usually what most single people do even though what you really want to do is just hide away at home in your own space! There are many other ways to share, give and receive love this Valentine`s Day. Volunteering has such good benefits whether you single or in a relationship.

I volunteer whenever I can and the benefits far outweigh any small sacrifices I may make to get there. By volunteering, I have learned so much not only about the organizations I have volunteered at or the people I have helped but about myself as well.

Everyone is different. Whether you love animals and would like to volunteer at an animal shelter or at a children’s home or a retirement village, the sky really is the limit. Many organizations are looking for volunteers to paint buildings and help with painting and the upkeep of facilities. If you are creative and have a love of painting and making murals, imagine your art work on a wall at an organization or community hall in your area. The amazingly positive feelings you get from volunteering really are indescribable and will surprise you. Smaller studies have shown and proven that 6% percent of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier; 94% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering improved their mood and overall wellbeing; 78% said that volunteering lowered their stress levels; 96% reported that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life; and 80% of them feel like they have control over their health. About a quarter of volunteers in the study reported that their volunteer work has helped them manage a chronic illness by keeping them active and taking their minds off of their own problems. Volunteers have better personal scores than non-volunteers on nine well-established measures of emotional wellbeing including personal independence, capacity for rich interpersonal relationships, and overall satisfaction with life. Volunteering also improved their mood and self-esteem. Making a difference by volunteering really makes a change more in your life than the organization you are volunteering at. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities, and society in general.

Through volunteering, you network and meet a variety of people, people you would not normally meet. Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and even possibly make new friends.

By being part of a community, volunteering can help you feel part of something outside of your “normal” day to day; outside of your friends, family, and social circles. You also learn new skills, gain experience, and sometimes even qualifications. What skills do you have that you may overlook? Are you a great painter, can you play an instrument, are you good at organizing and coordinating? Take on the challenge.

Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, something new. It is possible to even achieve personal goals, practice using your skills, and discover hidden talents you may not have realized you had. Most of all! Have fun! Volunteering brings its own sense of fulfillment many of the people I have met over the years genuinely have a great time, regardless of what the reason may be of why they do it.


I look forward to hearing from you and your volunteering experience.

Kindest Regards, Linda Dias Menezes Twitter: @diaslr Instagram: epilepsyawarenesssa Facebook: EpilepsyAwarenessSA Email: Website:

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