Candy Bulletin

My 7-Step Mental Health Care Routine in Quarantine

1. I've been spending time with my family.

I am the type of person who relies on routine to make myself feel functional. It has been a difficult transition from being away from home and being at school for 5 days a week to being at home 24/7. It has also been difficult to feel motivated when you are very much aware and informed of what is happening in your country. And so to have a sense of normalcy in my life, here are the things I have been doing to keep myself occupied this quarantine.

1. I've been spending time with my family.

Spending time with my family is one of the things I have to sacrifice just so I can study in Manila and reach for my dreams. I make sure that I always go home during weekends because we have a routine to hear Mass during Sundays and eat out after. This quarantine allowed me to spend more time with my family. Since we are just staying at home, we always get to eat together and talk. And this bond with my family is the number 1 source of my strength, especially during these trying times. And for me, spending time with family is the essence of being home.

2. I’ve been communicating with my closest friends.

I am not the type of person who is very fond of chatting or texting with friends or anyone. And whenever I do, I make sure to make the most out of it. I am trying my best to check on my closest friends especially during these trying times. Whenever I am in one of my depressive moods, I talk to my closest friends namely D, Eriz, and ate Bianne to help me cope up with what I am feeling. And I can say that talking to them prevents me from getting more anxious. That is why I suggest that you should also communicate with the people you trust the most whenever you are feeling anxious because it will take the burden away. I am beyond grateful to the people who are always there and are always willing to listen even during these trying times wherein we are all fighting our own demons, you know who you are, thank you so much.

3. I’ve been watching Will and Grace on Netflix.

While scrolling through Netflix, I saw Will and Grace and gave it a try. I am so happy I clicked on the Will and Grace play button because it is one feel-good series. It is just like Friends, no matter what episode you watch, it will always make you laugh. I also like the idea that they included characters from the LGBTQIA group which further opened my mind about the said group. So if you just want to laugh and learn this quarantine, you should try watching Will and Grace!

4. I’ve been trying to eat healthy.

I was not really able to eat healthy food during my stay in Manila. That is why I always look forward to Fridays—the day when I can go home and eat “real food”. And during this quarantine, I tried skipping on rice to lessen my sugar intake. But I do not totally cut on carbs as I get them from sugar-free wheat bread which I really love eating in the morning. I am not trying to lose weight but cutting on rice allowed me to lose 2 kilos in just more than a month.

5. I’ve been working out.

Working out is something I try to do everyday for at least 10 minutes. But there will be days or weeks when I do not have the motivation to workout. Working out allows me to enhance my focus. Because when I work out, I put 100% of my attention to the routine. And even though it was tiring, I always feel good after a workout.

6. I’ve been writing.

One of the things that helped me cope during this quarantine is blogging. I tried putting my personal life in this online diary. I am more comfortable in expressing my thoughts in words that is why maybe blogging helped me cope with anxiety.

7. I've been dressing up.

So during these trying times, I try to be productive as much as possible. I am used to always doing something— may it be for school, friends, or family. However, this pandemic slowed everything down. Not doing anything is like the “new normal” for me especially when the term ended. So instead of not doing anything, I try to follow a routine, and dressing up has been a part of my weekly routine. Every week, I try to be creative and just experiment with the pieces of clothing that I have since I now have all my clothes from Manila.

Every week, I try to put different pieces together just to try something new but I make sure that I am comfortable with what I am wearing— one of my non-negotiables. All of us are fighting our own demons most especially during these trying times, I hope that my ways of coping up helped you in any way. Remember to always take good care of your mental health and do your ways of coping—whatever it may be. And as they say, "it is okay not to be okay". Whatever you are feeling is valid and valued.

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