With the combination of new changes and health risks brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many may have been feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and scared. To help minimize the pandemic’s damaging effects on people’s mental health, AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, has started the #HowAreYou Mental Awareness campaign to encourage open and honest conversations on mental health among the company, its clients, and the community at large.
To further highlight this, AXA recently participated in Belle De Jour Planner’s #PowerThrough webinar. Streamed on Belle De Jour’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bdjbuzz), the webinar featured mental health advocate Dr. Gia Sison, founder of SOS Philippines (Survivors of Suicide and Depression) and Kate Alvarez who shared tips on how to stay strong amid these trying times. Here are some of the tips:
Ask “how are you?” Every once in a while, don’t forget to check in with loved ones and friends. Listen to the answer. Don’t make it just a ‘by the way, how are you?’ but really listen.
Ask for the support of loved ones. According to Dr. Sison, what has helped her power through was the support of her family and friends. “It is even more important now, especially for me when I had days when I was down and out. Reaching out to them and knowing that meron talaga makikinig helped me power through.”
Give people time to open up. People are a little bit more sensitive during the pandemic. As such, Alvarez advised, “Everyone is going through something. We have to understand that we’re a little more sensitive about how we react to each other so if today, your friend didn’t reach out, give him/her some time to open up to you.”
Solve one problem at a time. Doing everything all at once can lead to anxiety and stress so pick one task that you need to do, address that, and you’ll get through it.
Find what works for you to fight off anxiety. When it comes to fighting anxiety, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The important thing is to keep trying. If meditation doesn’t work for you, find something else that makes you happy. It can be reading a book, playing online games, or watching Korean dramas.
Include me-time and family time in your schedule. Have a fixed schedule for family time and time alone with yourself because otherwise, you’ll be swamped with work. Limit your work hours just like when you were in the office as this can really help you balance work life and home life.
Times are tough, but anyone can overcome it with these tips for staying strong amid the pandemic.