Dealing with this crisis is not easy for everyone. The feelings of isolation that come with staying indoors can take its toll on our mental health and wellness. This is why we must remember to check up on others and learn from their best practices when it comes to keeping it all together during these times.
That said, we reached out to actress and known mental health advocate Kylie Verzosa to ask how she’s been dealing with the situation. ICYDK, our Miss International 2016 has been at the forefront of the campaign for mental health awareness for years. In 2019, we even recognized her as one of our Women of Influence awardees for her contributions to the cause as the founder of organization Mental Health Matters.
For your dose of positivity, here’s our convo with her about all things quarantine and how maintaining her mental health and physical wellness has helped her amidst the crisis.
Tell us a bit about your quarantine situation these last four months.
This quarantine period gave me so much time to get to know myself better. I had more time to work out and be with my furbabies, Nuggie and Leo. Also, I was able to give more time for my advocacy through webinars and other online platforms.
What are some of the struggles you encountered during the quarantine? How did you adapt to the situation?
Dealing with social issues and accepting the new normal are some of my major struggles during the quarantine. I want to do something for the people but given limited resources and manpower, it becomes more complicated to help out.
Social media detox has helped me overcome my anxieties. I now filter the news that I read and dwell more on helping people to promote a more positive and healthier outlook in life.
Why should women prioritize taking care of their mental health right now?
Mental health problems affect men and women equally, but some issues are more common among women. Lockdowns and self-quarantine measures have increased women’s workload as we’ve been staying at home for a prolonged period of time. Women nowadays are expected to do “this and that” that we often forget that most caregiving tasks must be shared.
Above all, we must remember that women have feelings, too. We get tired, sad, and very emotional. We must prioritize our mental health over anything in order for us to become more motivated and inspired in everything that we do.
How have you been furthering your advocacy? Does Mental Health Matters have ongoing projects or programs?
I believe that mental health should be a top priority these days. As an advocate, I continue to find or search for ways to help people. Recently we had an IG Live with a life coach that explains how to handle anxiety during the ECQ. We’re planning to create a series of this.
Our team was also invited to different online webinars to talk about Positive Mental Attitude and Mental Health 101. As of the moment, we’re working on a collaboration with World Wildlife Fund about mental health and the environment. We are also working with other support groups and the Department of Health in creating a well-founded system for mental health.
What would you like our readers to know when it comes to caring for your mental health? Any tips to help them stay positive?
Keeping yourself positive is hard, but keeping yourself distracted and busy with the things you feel good about can help. Like what I always say, I think the first thing we need to acknowledge is that this new normal causes anxiety and stress, and is difficult for everyone. Dealing with uncertainty instills a lot of fear, nervousness, and even guilt for not being able to do the things that we normally do.
Try to focus on the things only you can control. Anxiety is rooted in worrying too much about things beyond our control.
You can start by having a list of agenda for the day that will help shift your focus to what you really need to accomplish. Do stretches and a bit of cardio workout in the morning. Sweating will help relieve your body of tension, stress, and even anxiety. It will also help regulate blood circulation, leaving you feeling energized for the day.
Remember to always eat healthy, too, but treat yourself with food that you love every now and then. Balance is the key. The important thing is to keep both your mind and body healthy, inside and out.
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The impact of this crisis may be far from over, but adapting certain lifestyle changes to maintain a healthy well-being will definitely help us cope with the situation.
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