Friday, May 22, 2020

Quarantine confession: I feel guilty that I'm happy

People are like water. Bruce Lee once said that water takes the shape of its container and when it gets transferred to another vessel, it takes the shape of that new container. It doesn't resist. It is fluid. It changes its shape but it is still water. In the same way, people should be like water. Be fluid. Adapt, change, make the best of where we are contained. And right now we're all contained in our homes because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He turned 8 while in quarantine. All he wanted for his birthday was to go out of the house.

Matapos ang dalawang buwan ng quarantine and I've gone through so many emotions throughout all the fear and anxiety and incompetence of the government and the amazing feats of ordinary citizens and the private sector. What a summer! But now, right at this very moment and maybe for the last month, as I've adapted to the new normal, I've been really happy. But I'm afraid to say it because no one's supposed to be happy in such a terrible time.

It is still a terrible time. Namumutla na kami dahil condo-living kami ang our admin is super strict with us so my kids haven't felt sunlight on their skin for 68 days. My emotions have been wild every day. Especially at the start of the quarantine. Fear, anger, anxiety, worry, helplessness, despair. I lost my lucrative PR clients. Past clients aren't paying me so wala talaga akong pera. Buti na lang may work pa asawa ko. I'm angry at our government. I worry constantly about the future. And I'm afraid of the novel coronavirus and what it can do to my family.    

Then as the days wore on, it slowly dawned on me that I'm no longer worrying about certain things that made me unhappy. I don't wake at dawn anymore. I don't need to force my kids to eat their vegetables and take their vitamins. I don't worry about being a bad mom anymore just because my kids don't play outside or they spend too much time watching TV. I finally have time to fix and organize and clean. And for the first time in 5 years, I'm not gritting my teeth about tuition and enrolment, labeling and covering school books, and sewing name labels on uniforms. I'm finally NOT busy and it is glorious!

I have finally found time for self-care. Like, doing my own LED facials!

You know what's truly different for me? For the first time in the 10 years I've been a mommy, I am finally just here for my kids. Puttering about, cooking, cleaning, reading books with them, playing. Or not doing anything with them at all. Just letting them be kids without me hovering. So nice to just be me—not anxious mommy—just me. Full stop. 

I'm cooking every day, trying new recipes!

I still have a few writing projects to keep me occupied and that makes me happy and fulfilled. My husband is also happy I'm finally paying attention to him! He even joked that working-mom me seems to be happier being a housewife. I don't think I was an unhappy working mom. I love working! But I admit I am a lot less stressed and, well, this is nice. This is really nice. 

Little boy with big leaps in the art department!

I am super happy. I'm writing. I'm with my family. We're safe and healthy. So it is such a special time for me and my boys. Just cooped up in our home, safe from the world. It's almost magical. Like water, I have adapted to the shape of my new situation, flowed into my new container, and I may not like how I got into this state, but I like this cup I'm in.  

I know many people don't like the cup they're in. So I feel guilty that I'm happy. The only thing now that makes me unhappy is the certainty that not everyone feels the same. The world is changing in many scary ways. I'm still scared, too. So I'm extra grateful I have this little piece of heaven, made all the more precious because we don't know how long it will last.
 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Strong immunity is now a top priority: 4 health tips from Watsons


PRESS RELEASE - Our global health situation has affected us critically and required us all to make wellness a top priority. As we turn our attention toward making good health a new way of life, you can count on Watsons to be with you every step of the way. Here are a few recommendations from Watsons on what you can do at home to help keep your immunity strong and your family healthy. 

Be active. 
Exercise has many known benefits such as helping us become fit, improving our mood and helping boost the health of our internal organs. But did you know that staying active also helps strengthen our immunity system? Make sure to allot time for exercise even for at least 30 minutes to one hour a day at least four times a week. Go for exercises you can do with a group like dance or cardio workouts so you can involve the whole family. It can even be cleaning the house or folding clothes. 

Eat right. 
Our diet is important in the overall state of our health. There are plenty of immunity-boosting foods that you can incorporate easily into your daily recipes, from vegetables such as carrots and broccoli to aromatics like garlic and ginger. Additionally, you can also finish your meals with a warm cup of Nutrabliss by Watsons Tea. Tea is also a powerful antioxidant.

Get quality sleep. 
Did you know that getting proper sleep helps increase our defense against sickness? Now that we have more time on our hands, we can sometimes easily sacrifice rest for activities such as binge-watching or staying on up while scrolling through our gadgets. To help avoid this, make sure to set a proper time for sleeping. Manage the household’s schedule and make room for most of your activities in the morning, so the family can sleep soundly at night. 

Take vitamins regularly.
With our current situation, some natural sources of vitamins may be hard to come by. With trips to the grocery stores becoming more challenging, you can count on taking vitamins to strengthen your family’s immunity. We all know Vitamin C is critical for family members of all ages. Pro tip? Stock up on your supply of Watsons Generics Ascorbic Acid.

But Vitamin C isn’t the only vitamin that can keep you healthy, Conzace Soft Gel—rich in Zinc, Vit. A, C, and E—helps boost immunity and promotes healthy hair and skin. Myra E 400IU, on the other hand, is also rich in Vitamin E to help fight cell damage. For the kids, let’s help support their growth not just in height but in strength with Growee Syrup and Cherifer PGM with Zinc capsules.

Like vitamins, supplements are a great way to give your health an extra boost. You can rely on supplements to help provide the nutrients you need on top of maintaining a healthy diet. Given that going back outdoors could mean exposure to environmental factors that may cause damage to our skin and body, make sure you keep that healthy glow from within with supplements like MET Tathione, NU Essence Collagen and Organique Acai Juice. You can also keep your defenses up with supplements that harness the power of natural ingredients such as MX3 capsules and Watsons Generics Malunggay + Mangosteen.

Preparedness is key to protection, so make sure you have your health essentials to help your home stay ready for any health emergency. These include Ascof Forte Syrup, Strepsils, Prosource Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Biogenic Ethyl Alcohol, know that you can count on these items being available at Watsons.


Watsons is here to continue providing your family's health essentials in any of its stores nationwide. You can also order online at watsons.com.ph or call on select branches to have your orders delivered. For contact details of branches near you, you can check out this list: https://bit.ly/2YMTCT1.

When you shop, use your Watsons Card to earn points and get a chance to win a UV Care Deluxe Germ Terminator, Super Power UV Vacuum or Smart Robot UV Vacuum with a minimum purchase of Php500 on select health items. Promo runs until June 24, 2020.

For more updates, you can also follow us on our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram at @watsonsph. Stay safe and healthy!

ABOUT WATSONS

Watsons is part of the Health and Beauty Store chain of A.S Watson, the largest health, beauty, cosmetics, and perfumery retailer in the world. Today, Watsons H&B Asia is the leading health and beauty chain in the continent with successful operations in 13 markets.

In 2002, A.S. Watson Group joined hands with SM Prime Holdings Inc., the Philippines' leading shopping mall developer. The partnership brought about the first Watsons stores in SM Megamall and The Podium (Ortigas). Watsons now has over 700 stores in the Philippines, serving more than 100,000 customers nationwide.

Watsons strives to ensure that their customers get the best value for their money through monthly promotions, special offers, and continuous consumer marketing programs. Each Watsons store houses nothing but the best brands from top manufacturers all over the world and also carries its own competitively priced, high quality private labels and brands. With more than 1000 brands ranging from medicines, cosmetics, and fragrances to personal care items and general merchandise, Watsons Your Personal Store delivers only the best health, wellness, and beauty solutions to each and every customer.

*To be featured on Press Release Tuesdays, send it to frances@topazhorizon.com.

Monday, May 18, 2020

7 Tips for Keeping Anxious Thoughts at Bay During the Lockdown

GUEST POST - In our everyday life, it's a challenge to keep anxiety at bay. It's especially challenging to not worry during this crazy and scary time. Without being able to go anywhere to change up your environment and take your mind off what is bothering you, keeping anxious thoughts at bay during the lockdown and moving through an anxious experience is critical. 

Here are 7 tips for how you can ease your anxiety during the lockdown: 

1. Establish a routine and stick to it. 
Many of us have a daily routine that was completely turned upside down when the lockdown happened. You need to set up a new routine because routines can establish a sense of normalcy through all this insanity. Sticking to it and taking comfort from the predictability of a schedule, even if it's a new one, can help ease your anxiety.

My new schedule: housewife and mom all day; writer/blogger at night.

2. Free your mind by moving your body. 
To help prevent anxiety and even while going through an anxiety attack, moving your body is especially helpful. Physical exercise is a way to use up all that nervous energy. If you are feeling anxious or restless you can, for example, distract yourself by firing up a few fitness apps you can use with dedicated challenges, such as a 30 Day workout challenge on 30 Day Fitness, as well as HIIT workouts you can do in your home or garden. 

3. Keep your space clean and tidy. 
Your physical space can be a physical representation of anxiety or stress. Clutter can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and overwhelm, as you feel that there is "so much." Keep your space clean and tidy for your mental health. As you clear the physical clutter, you can help to reduce the mental clutter, too! 

4. Try meditation. 
Meditation is a helpful practice to help reduce anxiety and to ground yourself. There are many apps available, such as Insight Timer and Headspace, which give you the option of guided meditations, music, courses, etc. You can also simply practice deep breathing and focusing on your breath. 

I meditate while I do my 15-minute LED light facials. Face prettified, mind cleared!

5. Do not obsess on news coverage. 
The news these days is really upsetting. From incompetent government response and the mounting death rate all over the world to COVidiots who still defend their corrupt leaders and think that the pandemic is a hoax, the coverage is definitely anxiety-provoking. While it is important to be informed, reading numerous articles about the same thing or reading the ‘fear’ stories can really take their toll on your mental health. Choose to only read news from credible media and to limit your exposure to it by turning off social media and doing something else.

6. Find a creative pastime. 
Creativity is a wonderful outlet for all that energy. A common phrase you’ll hear from artists is that their art is where they "get it all out." Your creative pastime is not something you have to be a professional in, but rather one that you enjoy to let your creativity out and get in a state of flow. For example, you could try painting, sketching, writing, photography, crafts, and even rearranging your home décor

I've been cooking, learning how to shade and sketch, and play the piano.

7. Stay together even as you stay apart.
One sad thing about the novel coronavirus is it isolates us from our family and friends. When you feel alone during a scary time, this can add even more stress. It's crucial therefore to maintain contact and connection with your loved ones. Call them up, chat over Messenger, do Zoom calls, or send thoughtful emails.

If you're doing all these and still feel weighed down by worry, seek professional help if you feel the need. Many mental health practitioners are stepping up even more during the pandemic to offer accessible mental health services. If you feel the need or would like additional support, connecting with a professional can be a powerful experience as you manage your own anxiety. 

* This guest post was written by Mary Davis, a freelance editor and copywriter.