We're months into quarantine, and we don't know what's next. People have had different reactions to this uncertainty: Some have found themselves randomly crying, while others have felt this weird sense of calm. No matter where you are in the spectrum of ~feelings~, don't be ashamed: It's all valid.
Below, women from our Cosmo Community open up about how their feelings have shifted since the beginning of the ECQ.
- "My emotions have been like a roller coaster since the ECQ started, so I'll say not much has changed—except maybe my acceptance of the situation. I've learned to fully accept that this is really happening, nothing will ever be the same again, and this is part of the 'new normal' from here on. I think I was in denial in the first month. Most days, I'm calm and normal (I've got my work and artsy stuff to keep me busy), but I still feel sudden, little bouts of anxiety and paranoia every now and then. But the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, thank goodness." -Jane
- "We started the quarantine fairly comfortable in terms of our accommodations, access to food. If there was anything troubling us, it was mostly the lack of clear guidelines of what to do and what happens next from our government. After two months, we're still comfortably quarantined. But I have had to tune out the barrage of news and instead, foster a more healthy relationship with it (i.e. reading articles in my own time, rather than keeping with the pace of the 'Just In!' reports and the screaming matches that ensue on social media). It isn't because I care any less. It was just mentally exhausting." -Mmina
- "I learned how to be more introspective and focus on working through my issues, which I chose to ignore pre-lockdown. I realized that I busied myself with external distractions to escape personal problems. I wasn't emotionally well before the lockdown, and it really exacerbated the situation that I sought telemental therapy. These past two months were initially dedicated to productivity but I just didn't have the motivation and energy. I focused on mental and emotional recovery instead. I'm thankful to be safe and comfortable and there are less gloomy days but it's still there and so I've learned to limit my social media use so that I'm not weighed down by the collective anxiety due to the global pandemic and general mismanagement.
I've got a 'new normal' routine now and I cannot emphasize the importance of talking to someone (friend or professional) when you're feeling unstable. I feel angry and powerless but have looked for other ways to help out like participating in volunteer efforts. I feel like you can look out for your mental well-being by minimizing exposure to the newsfeed without being ignorant of the pressing issues that affect our nation." -Karen
- "At the beginning, I was scared and restless. I felt powerless and unable to do anything. Now, I'm still anxious, but with a certain level of feeling resigned (but not powerless) to the situation. The company I work for has asked us to use our leaves until they run out, and mine will last until end of May. I've been applying online for part-time work but haven't gotten any positive feedback. I know I have enough of an emergency fund to last for another one and a half months after I deplete my leave credits which hasn't left me in a panic.
What's keeping me grounded right now is gardening. My arms and face have some color that I don't really miss having a beach glow at this time, haha." -Nikki
- "I try not to get too angry at what's happening to the country, especially when I see other Asian countries that are handling the pandemic/situation so much better. Am having a really hard time keeping my emotions in check, but am okay naman on most days." -Lily
- "I get really anxious when things change drastically so since ECQ, I focused more on things that I can control. Coping mechanism na rin siguro siya but okay na rin kasi mas marami akong natatapos na projects na sinimulan ko na way before ECQ.
Napansin ko din na mas nagkaroon ako ng pakialam on what's happening sa bansa natin and I think most of us ganun din? I hope next elections we all vote wisely and help educate other people na rin.
But there are days na nakaka-overwhelm talaga. On those days, for the sake of my mental health, I stay away from social media, cancel my to-do's for the day and just pig out! Haha!" -Rochelle
- "Two months into the ECQ and the numbers aren't as reassuring as I hoped they would be at this point. Seeing updates on the Telegram channel makes me feel like we aren't 'flattening the curve' as planned...I've [also] been struggling with personal and professional productivity.
I've been working remotely since August 2017, so our company hasn't missed a single beat despite the outbreak (thankfully)!
There are days that really get to me when I feel exhausted, but I really just give it my best shot and try to do better than I did yesterday." -Erika
- "It's been like a forced retreat for me to deal with issues I've avoided contact with. I struggle with anxiety and I've had some pretty stressful moments which weren't helpful to my Type 2 Diabetes. So, learning how to keep my stress down is an awakening experience. I find myself turning to hobbies and keeping myself busy to manage on most days. As a freelancer, this experience has also forced me to re-evaluate how I work from a distance. Unfortunately, even on good days, I'm constantly bugged by the fact that I'm one of the lucky ones because I can't help but wonder how it is for people whose homes aren't safe at this time." -Miel
Answers have been edited for clarity.
Follow Ysa on Instagram.