How to take care of your mental health in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak

These are dark, dark days. On one hand, the country seems to be at a standstill — EDSA is clear for the first time in decades, malls are ghost towns, work has been suspended. But on the other hand, we see how the system has always been rigged against the poor. Daily wage earners are forced to go out of the safety of their houses just so they won’t starve. Public hospitals are filled to the brim, with supplies long gone. And the government, true to their incompetence and indifference for the working class, has made it clear that there is no concrete and efficient plan for all this. The question remains: What are we going to do now?

There’s a bunch of things that we can do while we’re on lockdown, like calling out the government and trying not to panic as numbers start to increase by the day, but the past few days have been emotionally taxing to all of us. There’s so much to think about, so many uncertainties and possibilities that are bound to make anyone anxious — so before you head on to that dark path, take a deep breath and try to calm down. Paranoia will get us nowhere, and it’s up to us to stay sane in the midst of all these turmoil. 


Take a break from social media

Staying informed at a time like this is a must — we ought to know what the government is (or isn’t) doing to solve the pandemic, and we ought to know what steps we should take in order to keep ourselves safe. Information is so readily available online now, but there is only so much statistics and news reports that one can stomach in one day. Scrolling through your Twitter feed all afternoon will undoubtedly cloud your mind with the world’s chatter, and will send you in a downwards spiral. So save yourself and ease out on tweeting and engaging. And try to air out your frustrations somewhere else so you won’t cause a stir in other people’s emotions. 


Talk to a friend

Sometimes, the very people you live with are actually the ones who make you want to rip all your hair out. So when you feel like your DDS parents are gonna start preaching about the President again, pull off an Elsa and just conceal, don’t feel. Message your friends, and build a support system for each other. Talk about anything other than the virus. Try to laugh about how absurd it is that our reality feels like a few jumps away from a Black Mirror episode.


Read a book

Staying away from social media can be a challenge if you’re still on your laptop and logging in is just a few easy clicks away, so take time to just go off the internet to avoid it altogether. Read the book that you bought from last month’s book sales, or re-read your favorite book from your teenage years. You’d be surprised by how much it will get your mind off of things.


Learn a dance choreography

Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make us happy. But why opt to do some miserable crunches and push ups when you can just dance to Red Velvet’s Bad Boy and pretend that Seulgi’s fan cams will save the world? You don’t need to have dancing skills like an idol’s, and nobody’s going to judge you anyway, so go and get crazy in your room and blast your favorite bops and try to dance to the beat. 


If you need someone to talk to, you can call New National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotlines at 0917 899 8727 and 989 8727, or the Natasha Gouldbourn Foundation at (02) 804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 4673 and  0917 558 2919.

#health #self

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