Self-Care During a COVID Scare
I hope that everyone is well and healthy at this time that we’re facing a global health concern. For those who continue to risk their lives by continuing to go to their workplaces (our health workers, members of skeletal forces, transportation – thank you for your unwavering service to our nation. May you continue to be healthy as you go about taking care of the needs of others.
For the rest of us, let us do our part by staying at home. Even if you’re still working from home, not having to commute gives us extra time in our hands. Here are some ways you can make the most of this extraordinary time.
- Be active. Just because the bed is three steps away from your home office, that doesn’t mean you can lie down every chance you get
- Keep healthy – vitamins, sunshine, healthy food
- Don’t eat all that junk food you bought in one sitting. Like your canned goods and rice, practice rationing.
- Sleep, use the extra time to catch up on sleep that you were deprived of during the pre-enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) days. Try to keep your waking time as close to your usual as possible. This will help you get back to your routine when all this is over. That means don’t stay up late and wake up at noon just because you can.
- Learn something new – a language, a hobby, whatever interests you. There are learning platforms that offer free classes like Udemy, Coursera. Even UP Open University has some free learning modules available.
- Catch up on your reading. Pull out those books from the shelves or maybe you can even find some that are still in the paper bag.
- Practice skills you want to perfect – cooking, sewing, yes even singing
- Revive an old hobby you’ve forgotten about or start a new one. Remember your New Year’s solution to finish that personal project, but couldn’t find the time to do it? Well, what do you know? You now have the time for it!
- KonMari your closet, bedroom, or house. Being in a cluttered and disorganized room might add to your distress, so go clean up.
- Meditate. Find a quiet place to just be still and quiet. You might also want to try meditation apps like Calm to help you get started.
- Social media fasting. It can be overwhelming to process all the news and stories that you find online. Personally, I was stressed by Day 3 watching and listening to news left and right! So, my suggestion is to limit your social media screen time; choose your sources of information (say, one global e.g. WHO or an international news channel; one local e.g. DOH or local news; and one for your city or provincial level social media account). Same goes for chat groups – it being in a chat group will only bring you stress instead of virtual moral support, mute it out.
- Acknowledge your feelings and worries. You don’t always have be in high spirits. It’s okay not to be okay – just don’t stay there for too long.
- Reflect on the blessings or lessons of this pandemic. Not having to deal with Metro Manila traffic is a blessing. Depends on how ready you are for emergencies could be a blessing or a lesson.
- Read the bible or a spiritual book – alone or with your family.
Hear online masses. Treat online masses as sacred as would you when you are at Church. Keep distractions away, dress appropriately, respond to and sing Psalms.
- Stay connected with your loved ones and check up on each other
- With people you are quarantined with, catch up and bond – play board games, pull out or arrange those family pictures in your photo album or gallery and reminisce great memories, and yeah, ok, give in to the TikTok dance that the kids are crazy about these days.
- Review and note all payables – bill due dates may have been extended, but just so you don’t forget, note all of these, so you do not incur charges later on.
- Don’t go crazy with online shopping. Stop clicking on “add to cart”. If it’s not necessary, don’t buy it. Even if your 13thmonth bonus was given in advance, that doesn’t mean that you can spend it like it’s Christmas. Reserve your cash and savings for more important expenses.
- If your income was largely affected by the ECQ, check your options:
- Prioritize what needs to be paid immediately when the ECQ has been lifted
- Let go of less essential items or downgrade (gym membership, subscriptions)
- You may consider loans, but study the terms and conditions thoroughly and compare so that you get the best option
- Think of other possible sources of income that will help you get back on track with your budget. That new skill you learned while in quarantine could be your next business venture.
There are a lot of negative feelings that come with a stressful situation like the coronavirus outbreak. And you’re completely entitled to feel those feelings – loneliness, fear, anxiety, boredom. What’s important to know is that, no matter how serious this is, it is temporary. So make sure to take care of yourself during this time.
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