The pandemic has undoubtedly taken a toll on our mental health. While difficult circumstances such as these are often beyond our control, how we react to them can make a big difference on our well-being.
To help Filipinos protect their health, AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, recently held a webinar entitled “Care for your mental health in the new normal,” featuring keynote speaker Dr. Gia Sison, a mental wellness advocate and the Philippine leader of the Live Strong Foundation.
“In the time of COVID, we feel [more] anxious, and there’s heightened emotions as we transition to the new normal. There’s also the additional threat of isolation and loneliness,” she said.
To address these concerns, the AXA webinar shared mental wellness tips for people to adapt now and in the future:
Keep a gratitude journal. Even when faced with negative situations, you should also recognize that positive things are still happening — even during a pandemic. Be intentional in recognizing what you are thankful for and write them down in a gratitude journal.
Adopt a routine. Working from home has blurred the lines between work and rest. To avoid burnout, it is important to maintain self-control through routines and setting activities to simulate your usual schedule before COVID-19. However, routines can also become mundane, so you may integrate new activities in your schedule once in a while.
Consider mental health and media. The onslaught of negative news seen in traditional and digital media can affect people’s mental health. If you feel that your peace of mind may be affected by the news, limit your time reading or watching them. In addition, try to minimize sharing content that might be distressing to others.
Identify your coping strategies. It is vital that you reflect on what your coping strategies were before the pandemic and see if these are applicable in the current situation. Then, examine the barriers of your self-care. Also, avoid coping strategies that are negative by nature, which include drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and other practices that might hurt rather than help you.
Ground yourself. When faced with overwhelming stressors, it is important to limit the stimuli you are exposed to. This may include tuning out noise or dimming the lights. Ground yourself in the situation, especially during moments of anxiety. This can be easily done by using your five senses and identifying five things you can see, smell, and hear to help restore a sense of calm.
Practice mindfulness meditation. In situations you can no longer control, meditation can help relieve stress. Some mindfulness exercises include taking deep, slow breaths or practicing progressive muscle relaxation which entails tensing some of your muscles and slowly relaxing them afterwards. Explore these easy relaxation techniques and find what works best for you.
When it comes to self-care, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy; it is a process that might involve trial and error. To better protect your physical and mental wellbeing with a health plan that suits your needs, visit AXA Philippines’ website, https://axa.com.ph/, or talk to an agent via the landline +632 85815-292.