by TJ RAMOS-GUZMAN
Vice President and Training Consultant for Sales and Customer Service Programs
From 16-31 May 2020, high-risk areas in the Philippines have transitioned from Enhanced Community Quarantine to a Modified Community Quarantine. And with the island of Luzon (apart from other parts of the country) on lockdown for two months, not a few can’t help but feel anxious, even helpless.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), stress during this COVID19 outbreak manifests in various ways — from problems concentrating, difficulty sleeping or eating, as well as endless worrying over one’s health and those of loved ones. And for most employees, the work from home setup is starting to feel like a 24/7 job on top of the cooking for the family, doing the laundry, washing the dishes, and even acting as teacher to children.
In the absence of answers to Are-We-or-Are-We-Not-Flattening-the-Curve pandemic, I interviewed working professionals from different parts of the world to see what they have been doing to manage their mental health during these uncertain and unpredictable times.
Bogdan Prelipcean, Logistics Specialist, UK
“There is a big park 15 minutes from my home so I go there everyday to walk around with an audio book. Sometimes, I listen to music.”
Angelina Lee, Solution Consultant, Malaysia
“I am very busy with work so I basically have no chance of boredom… but trying to do yoga or exercise at home at least three times a week helps a lot… I do it with my husband and son to make it more fun…”
Rajesh Gurupatham Jayaraj, Automotive Expert, Germany
“My advice is to do three things: First, spend more time in the garden. The past few weeks, since I wasn’t at work, I started experimenting with a vertical garden and studying how to grow orchids. Secondly, drawing or sketching anything you like… for me, I have been experimenting on pencil and charcoal. And lastly, read…I have been reading German magazines to help me improve my German.”
Mark C. Crowley, Change & Leadership Consultant, Author of “Lead from the Heart”, USA
“I live near the beach and after my gym was closed, I started going for a long walk around 5:15 each morning. Crazy time but I’ve had a beautiful beach to myself many mornings because the sun hasn’t come out yet. It’s exercise but also a kind of sacred time.”
The Mental Health Foundation and the Mayo Clinic also recommend the following self-care tips to keep stress and anxiety at bay:
How about you? What are the self-care activities and habits that keep your stress and anxiety at bay?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Daily Life and Coping, Stress and Coping. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website
Reichert, S. (2020). Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayo Clinic Website.
Look after your mental health and wellbeing when staying at home. UK’s Mental Health Foundation Website.