No doubt, the global pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. Our anxieties and stress get triggered whenever we read about the news, add that to our loneliness and fear from self-isolation. And there's the other issue that those who have contracted the novel coronavirus and those concerned for them are also more at risk for anxiety, depression, and other conditions.
Simply put, everyone's mental health is also at stake.
However, despite the overwhelmingness, it doesn't mean we can't do anything about it. Now more than ever, as these six wellness professionals share their most impactful self-care tips, we need to focus on ourselves to help us get through these times.
[related:In Focus: Jessy Mendiola's 16 Tips To Cope With Anxiety During Lockdown]
Joey Atayde, dance/movement therapist for Magis Creative Spaces
"Dance/movement therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the body and movement as way to integrate an individual's mind, body and spirit. Everything we need to know about ourselves—memories, feelings, thoughts—are stored in the body and through therapy. We work on resolving past issues and trauma and it's a holistic approach to therapy that utilizes both verbal and nonverbal communication.
My advice is to just feel what you feel. Remember, no one has ever gone through anything like this. I have had people tell me 'I shouldn't be feeling worried or scared because I have everything I need and I should be grateful.' No! Feelings are never wrong. Just because you're blessed and lucky, doesn't mean you can't feel anxious and nervous. Feel your feelings, it's okay It might be helpful to take note of these feelings in your journal and you can look back to see your journey through all this."
Bettina Jose, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Spring Philippines
"During this period, I have been exposed to the complicated grief of losing a loved one (and) have (also) seen so many families deprived of closure due to the current circumstances. Somehow, my two worlds as a mental health advocate and as a death-care practitioner (I am also the Sales and Marketing Manager of Arlington Memorial Chapels) have collided, and it has become imperative now, more than ever, to care for the mental health of the general public.
In general, I’ve always encouraged the audiences I interact with to become comfortable with asking for help. I think that the same applies at a time like this. Self-care is really about knowing when you need help and knowing that it’s absolutely okay to ask for it. Surround yourself with loved ones—whether that’s physically or through constant calls and messages. Now, more than ever, it’s important not to feel alone or isolated.
I would also encourage creating some kind of schedule or routine that you can follow. I work from home, and when I started with this set-up, there were very little boundaries. I would work until the wee hours of the morning, and would answer texts even at 2 in the morning. I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be good for my mental health. I suggest that you start drawing clear lines between your home and your workplace (especially given that they’re basically one now.) It’s really little things—moving from one table/room to another to help you shift your mindset from bedroom to work and vice-versa.
I have also tried to make a more conscious effort of engaging in activities that I’ve found help clear my mind and put me in a good headspace. This is as simple as 20-minute yoga session, painting (even for those who aren’t experts like me!) or just listening to good music."
Kimi Lu, licensed Certified Master Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapy Life Coach, Reiki Master Practitioner, and certified NIA instructor, author of “Masturdating: Intentional Guidebook to Celebrate Life!”
"(When it comes to self-care), drink lots of water. I know it can be tempting not to take a shower, but please do. It’ll really make you feel better instantly, especially if it’s a cold shower! Try it. Also, since the bed is easily accessible, I make sure I get to squeeze in a nap! It’s been known to increase happy hormones in our bodies.
We are all coping differently. Just make sure you grow through this experience. Let us allow this to shape you and the entire world for the better. Focus on what you can do now!"
[related: In Focus: What Wellness Experts Themselves Do To Cope With COVID-19 Related Stress]
Michelle Calasanz, Theta Healing & Sacred Activations Practitioner, and certified in Reiki, Millennium Method and Divine Alchemy
"People have this perception that self-care is really hard or boring, but it's really not rocket science, it's simply do what you like doing. Do what makes you happy. I like to tell my clients to treat themselves the way they would treat their lover. Making yourself happy should be the simplest and easiest thing in the world. To me, that is self-care. It's time to re-prioritize.
Also, we need to change our perspective.
I always ask my clients what the big lesson is—especially now with the pandemic. Is there something they should be learning, realizing or doing? Every person will have a different answer. I truly believe that once you know what purpose the pandemic is serving, then you can separate yourself from the 'reality' of the situation, and learn to go with the flow. Instead of seeing the negatives, we have to see the beauty that comes out of it. The blessings in disguise.
Balance is key, information is important, and I believe we should be responsible enough to share truthful information that can help others instead of mass sending things that may or may not be verified. This just causes mass hysteria. Balance out (what you read) with a sense of humor like reading 2020 memes or watching funny shows. We have to have balance or else we will lose our minds.
As I said earlier, self-care is self-love. I know many people are worried about our front liners, but let's not forget to care for ourselves first. Make sure WE are OK first, before we head out and help others."
Lia Bernardo, Personal Development and Behavioral Specialist
"One of the most effective resources towards creating self love and happiness is the ability to calibrate to our vibrational frequency. It's all about what you are feeling. Vibration is about feeling the energy of a person or a space and even a situation. When we are mindful about raising our vibrational frequency, we feel good within. When we feel good from within, we automatically feel good about ourselves, this is when we come from the best version of ourselves. We also respond to others based on how we feel about ourselves. This is why actively and consciously choosing to raise our frequency is such a powerful tool.
My formula for raising my frequency is Move, Learn, Grow, Create and this what I advice people to do to daily for their mind, body and spiritual wellbeing. This is a very powerful tool towards feeling good about yourself and those around you.
Move. Do some form of movement every day. Take a walk in the park or dance to your favorite song. Tai chi or Qi gong have amazing benefits, and of course, yoga. Aside from the obvious reasons why movement is important, it also allows you to be comfortable in your body and in your own skin.
Learn. Whenever we learn anything new, this adds to our self-esteem. Learn something new every day like a life skill, a new hobby, or even a new fact. Be mindful about learning something new each day, there is no such thing as too small or too trivial. Learning is the best resource for building confidence.
Grow. Spending time alone in the pleasure of your own company each day. Stillness is essential for personal growth and for raising your frequency. Meditation, reflection, and introspection all fall under the Grow category.
Create. What are you doing today to create your own heaven on earth? 'Create' can be something expressive like writing, drawing, listening to or making music, and painting. It can also be something you decided to create in your own space, such as decluttering or setting healthy boundaries from this day forward."
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When we thrive, we become the best versions of ourselves, free to be our most authentic self.The foundation of all this is self-nurturing, self-acceptance, and self-sovereignty. It cannot be done without looking inward with the intention to love and accept, as opposed to fix or change who we are. When we focus inwards, our intent ought to be, to like and appreciate what we see. Through the years, my intent was always to look inwards to fix. I always saw myself as broken, as needing to mend and put back the broken pieces to make myself whole again. But this only led to fuel the belief that I was not whole, that I was broken, and that I was not enough. The real transformation happened when I shifted my perspective and turned my focus inward with the intention of liking myself, of seeing myself as whole and complete, to not fix but to like and appreciate who I am, to be okay with just being me. I would now like to share the process with you. #selflove #theselflovesolution #happinessdoctor #justbeingme #lovingme #gratitude #atmaprema #atmapremawellbeinggroup #wisdompractices #selfacceptance #selfnurturing #selfsovereignty #selfrespect #drliabernardo #happinessisyourbirthright
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