As nationwide quarantines are carried out. The younger generations’ motivation, including my own, fell into hibernation as we lost battles against online shopping, binge-watching and junk food.
Stretches of time ticked away as we were occupied by passive pursuits.
With distance learning, students are expected to self-learn and answer all the activities that pile up with little time to rest. This leads to stress, showing that too much work is not good either.
Time, then, is a significant factor when it comes to mental health. Managing it and spending it wisely are important ways of dealing with stress.
When lockdowns were put in place, we were suddenly faced with what felt like indefinite, free time. As a young adult, I relished it because I could stay up all night, sleep in, and do whatever I wanted. But that didn’t last long as the repetition of meaningless activities started to mess with my temper. I knew I had to turn to creative outlets.
Seeing how well-off our family is compared to some of our fellow citizens made me ashamed of how I spent my time. I got out of my shell, comfortable as it may be, and started thinking less of myself and more of how I may be of help to others, first and foremost to my family. Paying attention to what makes them happy is good practice for me to improve my relationships.
Both of our parents are hard at work most of the time, so I took the initiative to help my younger sisters adjust when they started their online classes; and regulating their device use so that they won’t forget to rest their eyes and stretch some muscles.
I also met a number of talented local artists on Instagram (@haruzaki_illust, @julieverse14, @rio_san2004, @shopbyandie) and did my best to support their small shops not only by purchasing their products but by sharing their content as well.
Truly, health is wealth. Junk food is one of the myriad temptations at home. I found that actively participating in the preparation of food and cooking it ourselves is not only recreational but beneficial to our health as well.
Cooking activates our olfactory and visual senses to signal the digestive process to start. Eating quickly does not facilitate this and overburdens our pancreas and liver.
I was able to reconnect with my food experiences, how it connected me to the people I love. The fast pace of university life back then did not allow me to enjoy food as much as I wanted to, as I was constantly working against the clock and I couldn’t exercise often.
Now I am encouraging my younger sisters to be as health-conscious as I am, inspired by the prevailing strength given by God to my father and mother who are over 70 and 50 years old and which I know they earned by perseverance.
Taking my time in cooking, sharing meals with my family and reminiscing together, and thinking about health have made me pause and be grateful for God’s blessings.
I’m not a plantita but I have enjoyed growing plants in the past. My parents are invested in agriculture so I am aware of some of the issues going on in the industry. I was reminded of these issues again as the pandemic hit our country and the demand for food security increased. So when I’m not cooking, journaling, doing science experiments, solving personal quandaries or exercising, I study about Israel’s agricultural advancements and watch documentaries on YouTube with my parents.
Managing stress amid this pandemic isn’t easy but with the right practices to help us achieve the right mentality, it just could be. Every skill can be learned through patience and perseverance. Let us pursue the changes we want to see. —CONTRIBUTED
The author is a 21-year-old Philosophy student at The University of Los Baños.