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Mindfulness in quarantine: How to take care of your physical and mental wellness |

Health And Family

Mindfulness in quarantine: How to take care of your physical and mental wellness

Chonx Tibajia - The Philippine Star
Mindfulness in quarantine: How to take care of your physical and mental wellness
Here are some self-care tips from Dr. Michele Alignay to make life under quarantine a little friendlier to the mind, body, and soul.
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MANILA, Philippines — The benefits of committed self-care go beyond moisturized skin and OOTD goals. The enhanced community quarantine has taught us that genuine self-care entails paying attention to one’s well-being—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Whether you’re on a home quarantine alone, with a loved one, or with your entire family, here are some self-care tips from Dr. Michele Alignay to make life under quarantine a little friendlier to the mind, body, and soul.

Self-care must be proactive, not re-active

De-stressing activities and self-care have a lot in common and are often interchangeable. Your intentions, however, are not. During this time, try to see self-care as a proactive strategy rather than something that you do to fix your mood.

By proactive, Dr. Alignay means self-care has to be “nourishing, so that when a stressful situation comes along, you have the energy to tackle it.” In light of the global health crisis, self-care has become more about protecting oneself, whether you’re a frontliner, a head of the family, a business owner trying to keep things afloat, or someone who is physically vulnerable to the virus.

Make self-care a part of your schedule

Aristotle said, “Quality is not an act, it is a habit.” Set aside a part of your morning to fortify your immunity. Take your vitamins. Drink a full glass of water. Get some AM sunlight. Have some fruit. Being mindful of when, where, and why you practice self-care renders a deeper meaning to the action and allows you to find purpose in it, making it easier to repeat and remember.

“There is no place for ifs, buts, shoulds, and musts if you really want to take care of yourself,” says. Dr. Alignay. Be disciplined about it and practice with conviction.

Choose activities that nourish you

Since none of us can go to spa, or get a haircut, or bike around the city, it’s important that we dig deep and figure out which activities we find nourishing for the mind, body, and soul. Everyone on social media seems to be baking bread—does that mean you should do it?

“Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it; do it because it is uplifting for you,” says Dr. Alignay. She adds that binge-watching K-dramas, while fun, may not necessarily be good for you. “If it’s making you lethargic, it’s not self-care—self-care is supposed to make you feel energetic and like you have more to give.”

Maybe watch one or two episodes at a time. Then read a book, or water your plants. If cleaning the house makes you feel accomplished and a clean house contributes to your productivity, by all means, scrub away.

Go for single-tasking

Dr. Alignay recommends enjoying oneself “in reckless abandon,” rather than thinking of a million things while supposedly practicing self-care. Give yourself to it. While multi-tasking may seem like the productive thing to do, pressuring yourself into being productive when your energy and creativity reserves are depleted just isn’t healthy.

We’re facing a unique, stressful, and terrifying situation—you deserve a break. Take it one task at a time and fully commit to it, whether it’s listening to old records, cleaning makeup brushes, fixing your bike, or editing old photos. Enjoy it, and let it feed your soul.

Use your special occasion things

There are two ways to view the situation we’re in: we’re either “under quarantine” or “sheltering in place.” The latter has a gentler message, and if that’s something you need, feel free to shift your perspective now. This is probably the longest any of us has been home, which makes now more than ever the best time to turn our homes into sanctuaries of wellness, safety, and joy. Use your special things—glasses, dinnerware, candles, or soaps that you’ve been saving for special occasions.

“Make the quarantine a special period so you feel good at home. Life does not stop at ECQ. We don’t want to come out as victims—we want to come out better versions of ourselves,” says Dr. Alignay. As we are all coming to learn, life is short and there is no occasion more special than now.

Focus on progress, not perfection

Are you trying to learn a new skill? Savor the experience rather than the end result. In the same way, if you’re feeling sad or frustrated, be kind to yourself and tell yourself that it’s okay. “Recognize that we are going through something and that it’s okay not to be okay,” says Dr. Alignay.

Letting go of control and being open to feedback and new ideas is important at this time, because these unique circumstances mean things that have worked for us in the past may not necessarily work now. Embrace the new normal, slowly, daily, by being mindful of how you practice even small tasks.

Spend time alone

Never underestimate the rejuvenating benefits of alone time. Even if it’s just 30 minutes in the bath, time alone—which is when we naturally reflect and unwind—is the key to wellbeing. “You need reflection to avoid stagnation,” says Dr. Alignay.

Use the time to sort out which things are of value to you and are worth your energy. Use it to practice gratitude. Or just simply enjoy the quiet. If you’re living alone, turn alone time into a ritual. You have the benefit of time and space—use it to your advantage.

Knowing that this is a stressful time not just for the body, but for the mind and spirit, as well, PLDT Home is working to ensure that it contributes to the wellbeing of Filipino families by enabling them to work, learn, unwind, and connect with loved ones.

Watch Dr. Michele Alignay’s #StayHomeSeries Talk powered by PLDT Home which will be live on her official Facebook page on April 27, 9:30 a.m. for Mindful Mondays.

During the enhanced community quarantine, PLDT Home helps families turn quarantine time into worry-free quality time by providing subscribers with convenient means to enjoy strong internet connection at home.


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. 

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