Call a friend! Now more than ever, friendships are essential in preventing isolation, depression, irritability and loneliness. This long-lasting pandemic has heightened the feelings of anxiety and hopelessness that can wreak havoc on our mental state. These feelings, left unchecked, inevitably shake up our relationships.
In the face of all this chaos, it is important to maintain healthy habits—and friends can be wonderful reminders to keep us on the path of self-care and wellness. This may be one reason strong friendships can lengthen your life, because we look after and care for one another.
Personally, through this pandemic, I have kept in touch with my running buddies, Girls Run for Breakfast. Before this new surge hit, we had some short, socially distanced runs with face masks, and much-needed catch-up sessions over yummy outdoor breakfasts.
Aside from running, I also made sure to practice yoga and meditation often, for both my mental and physical health. While studios were not open, I was grateful to have online sessions with Bikram Yoga Manila studio owner and instructor, and my longtime friend, Ollay Aninion.
Despite the ease and privacy of home practice, there is nothing quite like being in a room with other dedicated yogis. I was overjoyed when Bikram Yoga Manila finally opened its doors a few weeks ago and allowed a limited number of participants in studio. Due to the recent lockdown, I have returned to only participating online.
Ollay will teach physical classes on Balesin Island for the Aegle Wellness Center (email [email protected]) Serenity Series, which has been moved to the weekend of May 14 to May 16.
Bible study group
When stressors build up and cause significant distress in our lives, it is important to have friends who know how to listen, help brainstorm solutions and, above all, provide a shoulder for us to lean on. Being in lockdown away from my running buddies, mahjong mates and other friends I usually see often, I have reestablished new, closer relationships with my kids. My kids are my friends now, and they never fail to surprise me with their unique takes on the world.
It is good to seek out different perspectives from our own; in wanting to have more divine guidance in my present challenges, I have turned to an online bible study group.
My fave couple and Red Charity Gala sponsors Dr. Vicki Belo-Kho and Dr. Hayden Kho invited me long ago to join their insightful bible study group every Thursday. I have also added another bible study session on Wednesdays with a couple of my Assumption HS ’81 classmates.
After one session, Dr. Vicki Belo told me that Belo Medical Group (BMG) confirmed ordering doses of the Moderna vaccine to be given to all employees of BMG and Belo Essentials for free. BMG is targeting to distribute the vaccine by June, after all the necessary approvals and permits are in place to ensure the safety of the people.
This initiative is made possible through a tripartite supply agreement between the government, International Container Terminal Services Inc. and BMG. BMG stays true to its “people before profit” principle. In fact, when the pandemic first hit Manila in March 2020, the company took the initiative to temporarily close down their clinics for the safety of their patients and employees way before the government announced a country-wide lockdown.
The pandemic has forced us to adjust many different aspects of our lives, but it has also shown us the true nature of our relationships. Your loved ones are there to help you with your problems, whether emotional, physical, or technological!
My close friends Vina Francisco and Jojo Ongsiako taught me how to shop online so that I can feed my need for retail therapy. With store operations at a halt, anyone can shop safely through Trunc, SSI Group’s multilabel e-commerce site with over 100 of the world’s most-coveted brands. Customers could shop hassle-free online.
With safety essentials as its top priority, Trunc unites fashion, function and practicality with its top “new normal” must-haves like face masks.
The reusable, washable, virus-killing Sports Face Mask by Fine Guard is the choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Endorsed by Olympians and Medical Wellness Association, this ultrabreathable model is protected by Livinguard technology that kills 99.99 percent of viruses on contact.
Another option is Fine Guard’s N95 Mask, which was specially designed for prevention from flu and influenza. To maintain comfort, it is enhanced with a valve for smoother breathing and it is made from comfortable, soft material suitable for all-day usage. The mask is reusable for a year and can be washed up to 30 times.
For a more casual option, Kenneth Cole’s face mask has a multilayer filtration system with an antimicrobial finish on interior and exterior surfaces. Neck Gaitor by Kenneth Cole protects the neck and face from dust and pollution.
Trunc also carries Pili Ani’s Clean & Green Alco-Sanitizer, a must to bring around or keep at home. It is formulated with 70 percent ethyl alcohol, Elemi Hydrosol and elemi oil, which has antibacterial properties that help in cleansing the skin. The online shop also carries China Blue Hand Wash by Marks & Spencer, which makes our sanitation rituals more relaxing as it evokes the scent of clean, fresh linen.
Shop responsibly. Shop online. Shop safely with Trunc. SSI Group is the Philippines’ largest specialty retailer. They lead the country’s specialty retail market, with 94 brands and 593 stores.
This is a good year to take life one day at a time. It is vital to be patient with ourselves as we navigate this pandemic and all of its complications. We all need more self-compassion; even if we may not accomplish our goals in the time frames we had envisioned, we should still celebrate our incremental progress and small accomplishments. INQ