How are you? We are on the 18th month of this pandemic and so many things have already happened… deaths left and right… Covid getting closer and closer to home (if it hasn’t hit yours already… it surely did mine. 5 of our family members caught Covid and thankfully survived it despite not getting vaccinated)… businesses shutting down… people suffering…. freedom getting suppressed in many places around the world…. and all this is starting to get on my nerves. Do you feel the same? Am I alone in feeling this way? If you’re on the same boat as I am, don’t fret. There are ways we can do to try to ride these waves. And we must. I just read an article on Bloomberg that this pandemic can last for a really long time. We can’t just give up, can we?
So what can we do to help reduce our stress during these hard times? Let me share with you some ways we try to do at home to help cope with this depressing worldwide situation:
1. BE GRATEFUL.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to be thankful. No matter what your situation is, try your best to see the glass half full instead of half empty. This way, you get to attract more good things, no matter how small, and it helps keep depression at bay.
For me, I thank God everyday that Mahal, Tuz, and I are all together and healthy. Despite the fact that 4 of our family members here in Oslob got Covid last month, thankfully, they’re now all okay. Then my mom in Manila just recently tested negative after battling with the delta variant for two weeks and thankfully, she’s getting better now. We are also thankful for every little thing that comes our way each and every day — we have healthy food on the table, we live near the beach, and bills are always paid on time. These things alone make us feel so grateful because we know that not everyone is as lucky especially in these trying times.
Our life these days during day time: “Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat.” Thank you, God!
I’ll say it again… Be grateful. Focus on the remaining good no matter the numerous negative things happening around you. It can really do wonders to your mental health and well-being.
2. GET BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE.
When Cebu went on a lockdown last month, our mini resort here, Oslob New Village, closed down. Mahal laid off some people. No income came in. But despite that, we focused on the positive and got busy with the following:
- Mahal finally had the time to dabble in bonsai-making again, his most favorite hobby which he stopped doing for 4 years until last month because of his hectic schedule.
Mahal’s all-time fave hobby is bonsai-making. Hours would just pass him by sitting in his corner outdoors tweaking, breaking, tying branches of certain potted plants. This activity was the first thing he showed me when he brought me to their beach house back in 2012 when we first became friends. He missed doing it so much that when Cebu went on a lockdown last month and the resort was closed, he started working on his beloved bonsais again. These are just a few still in the works. When he’s not busy with mushrooms and not working on his bonsais outside, he’s online studying and participating in forums to learn more from the masters and then shopping for Bonsai materials on Shopee.
- Mahal, Tuz, and I also found the time to construct a vegetable and herb garden. This is where we now get our daily supply of vegetables and herbs that we incorporate into our drinks and meals. Let’s stop this pandemic by strengthening our immune system, right?
- When I did an inventory, I was so amazed at all these “food” growing in our garden:
- Veggies: Malunggay, Camote Tops, Spring Onions, Alugbati, Sibujing, Kangkong, Arugula, Pechay , Kale, and Lettuce;
- Herbs: Tarragon, Basil, Greek Oregano, Lemongrass, Pepper Elder, Blue Ternatea, Tawa-Tawa
- Fruits: Gensan Mango or Hebe or Bauno, Coconuts, Lime, Lemon, Grapes, Apples, Dragonfruit, Mulberry, Atis, Guava, Rambutan, and Tambis
- Because of the lockdown, Mahal was able to have the time to beautify our place with the given resources we have. He does DIY landscaping / repairing / renovating around here while I make sure that our little piece of heaven inside the mini resort is always fun, clean, and orderly.
- I take charge of homeschooling Tuz. He’s now in Kindergarten level but is also doing some Grade 1 level workbooks. He’s homeschooling in his own pace and level of interest and we’re so proud of how quickly he is learning!
- Mahal, his older brother, and I still get busy with orders of our Tuscany Highlands oyster mushroom products which we are really thankful for.
- I’m the busiest I’ve ever been and for this I am extremely thankful! As the saying goes, “when it rains it pours”. I always feel immense gratitude for the blessings that come and in the process, this other saying becomes true as well: “what you focus on expands”. Try it!
Getting busy can really help us take our mind off the negative things happening in and around us, while also helping us focus more on how to positively contribute to the lives of our families and loved ones.
3. SPARE SOME TIME TO RELAX AND PLAY
While it’s good to get busy and productive, we also don’t want to get burnt out. When we’re burnt out, it’s hard to feel grateful; When we’re overly exhausted, it’s hard to be productive. So before this happens, make sure you also have time to relax and play.
One of the things I do with Tuz is to play some online games. There’s this online site (https://plays.org/) that Tuz and I explored and it really took my mind off all these pandemic issues. The site is always getting updated with new games. They list their newest added games here in case you want to check it out: https://plays.org/games/. With so many to choose from, it really helped me get through these tough times. If you go to the “new” section, it might be partially complete as they are constantly adding more games, even over the weekend. So for sure, you will never run out of new games to play. Tuz and I never did!
When Tuz and I first discovered the site, he played the games he wanted to try (like Scooby Doo and Blaze and the Monster Machines) while I searched for those that resembled the games I knew when I was a kid… you know, games like Tetris which they call Tetra Blocks; Galaga which they call Space Alien Invaders; Pacman, etc. Here’s a little sneak peek at the games Tuz and I played the first time. It was so much fun! This happened at dawn during our break time from work and homeschooling. So pardon our zombified faces, hahaha!
One time, there was a point when Tuz couldn’t scroll down anymore and he thought there were no more other games to play. I thought he was going to cry! Lol! I told him that the words he saw down below at the footer section are actually game categories for their game collection. Since then, he would just happily click at any of the categories and more games would show up to his delight! This is one of the things he does during his break time.
We’ve discovered as well that the games here are not just purely for entertainment, but many of these games are very educational too which Tuz loves! And of course, as his mom, I love them too! Anything that will make my child develop his brain cells is good enough for me. We are actually incorporating these games into his homeschooling! Less work for me! Teehee! If you have a homeschooler like Tuz, you can check out these categories that we frequent for more educational games:
Aside from playing online games, we also do the following to relax and de-stress:
- go to the beach owned by Mahal’s sister
- bike around Cuartel
- watch Netflix — a little side note: I was so into playing the online games above that the title SQUID GAME caught my attention on Netflix and just this weekend, Mahal and I finished the series! OMG! It was so different from the online games I was playing, lol! Suffice it to say that we ordered Squid Game costumes for our upcoming Halloween celebration. I hope they get here on time! Hahaha!
So anyway, those are the 3 main things that we live by to help us cope with this pandemic.
BE GRATEFUL. GET BUSY AND PRODUCTIVE. SPARE SOME TIME TO RELAX AND PLAY.
They’re simple and easy to follow no matter what your personal circumstances are. They help bring joy to our daily life and I hope they help you as much as they are helping us not just survive this pandemic, but thrive as well.
That’s all for now. Stay safe and stay well. Til my next post!