Coping through journal writing.
The month of May is Mental Health Awareness month and it feels so timely as we are still in a pandemic.
In the Philippines, the National Capital Region and 2 other emerging provinces will still be on modified enhanced community quarantine starting tomorrow. That is after 2 months of most part of the country in lock down. There are guidelines that will tell which businesses can be operational, who are allowed to go out etc.. but essentially, it is still a lock down.
And a lot of us went through or might still be going through something. Some lost their jobs, lost a side job, got a pay cut. Some might have just started their business and was forced to be on shut down. Lots of cancelled or rescheduled important events in our life. Weddings, parties, concerts and travel plans we were really looking forward to.
What is grief?
According to helpguide.org,
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to loss—and the more significant the loss, the more intense your grief will be.
Maraming Pilipino ang nakikipaglaban ngayon sa war against COVID. Patients, Survivors, yung mga nawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Mga Medical frontliners, essential workers pati na yung ginagawa ang lahat ng paraan para may maipangtawid ng araw.
Yung iba naman, nasa bahay lang. May trabaho pa rin, may nakakain. But still… the actual disruption of our daily routine is taking a toll in our emotional and mental health. Yung kalayaan na gawin yung mga bagay na nakasanayan mo..being in lockdown, we are obliged to live life on certain stricter rules.
Stages of Grief:
Denial: Noong na-announce ang lockdown, ang bilis ng mga pangyayari. Ang daming balita. Siguro dahil doon, matagal rin nagsync in at matagal maprocess ng utak natin. First time (I guess) in our lifetime yung epidemic. Ganon ang peg. Di ka makapaniwala na pwede pala mangyari ang mga nangyayari. Na pwede pala ma-invoke ng pangmatagalan ang BCP. Noong una, iniisip ko na maswerte pa rin ako kasi may kakayanang mag work from home. So hindi ko ko inaacknowledge na affected ako.
Anger: Hindi makauwi ng probinsya sa pamilya mo. Feeling helpless. Somehow, nakakagalit. Pero di mo alam kanino magagalit.
Depression: Siguro more of anxiety? Di mapakali. May times na down na down ka lang talaga.
Acceptance: Yung “finally”. You just wake up one day na magaan na yung loob mo. Siguro kasi nakahanap ka na ng bagong routine. Or accepted mo na yung mga nangyayari at pangmatagalan ito.
Even if I want to, I’m not an expert to provide coping techniques. But for me personally, this act of writing journals helped me a lot. I wrote a few journals on what I’ve been feeling at a certain time. Some of them are really sappy and negative. I try to end in a positive note kaso against sa nararamdaman mo. But now, writing this, I know for sure na I am better.
One time, I posted in IG a question. That time I was really feeling a little down. And some dear friends messaged me and gave me tips. So I am sharing them with you too.
For me, what’s most helpful is to limit news consumption.
Another dear friend sent me this link and I find it helpful as well (at least for me who was really fond of the Gallup Strength Finder).
3. Other warmly advises from friends: “Do not overthink, busy yourself” and “start something kahit maliit basta consistent day by day maglearn ka..”
Ika nga, we all are fighting our own battles.
Also, staying connected to loved ones and close friends helped me maintain my sanity. Thanks, technology!
How are you coping these days?
Hope these will help you too!