Business Mentor: Maintaining your mental health during the pandemic

Armando Bartolome

Posted at May 23 2020 02:28 PM

Quezon City San Juan City businesses remain closed during the Coronavirus Quarantine on April 29,2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

COVID19 is causing a lot of anxiety. It is really hard to keep a positive attitude when you know that the solution to the problem is still not clear. Many can suffer from mental health problems. 

We all have been through bad situations in our lives even before COVID19 happened. How were you able to deal with it? Entrepreneurs often come across these challenges and this is the reason why 30 percent of startups do not get past their first year because the people behind them gave up. 

In my almost 30 years in the business, I have not been spared from going through struggles. I must admit, it is not easy getting out of these dark holes. 

You just need to be patient and program your mind to take little steps until you free yourself from fear, hopelessness, and insecurity.

When I feel troubled, I pray hard and condition my mind that everything will get better eventually. 

Watching the news and reading other information shared in various social media platforms about various tragic news can all be discouraging, especially for entrepreneurs who need to sacrifice so much. It is fortunate that some businesses were able to continue their operation despite the enhanced community quarantine. 

But the situation is still not normal, and it may drive people crazy thinking about how to survive this global disruption.

Keeping a Healthy Mind
COVID19 has changed our lives. But, instead of seeing the situation in a negative way, consider this as the best time to bond with the family and at the same time to give yourself the much-deserved break.

Develop a powerful attitude. Acknowledge and accept that you need to play a role and you have the ability to change course. You can say: “I failed to take care of my family by providing them what they need because I spent so much time with work and with other people that I overlooked their needs. But, I can do better. I can work harder for the family and will have quality time with them.” 

Let’s say you are an entrepreneur and your business has been terribly affected by our current situation. But you may still have a lot of products which can still be sold at this time. There is still time to turn things around. You just need to believe that you can still salvage your business and that your employees will still be there to help you.

Give yourself time to be with yourself. Learn to know yourself more. Make a small part of your house as your meditation spot and tell family members to stay away from that spot when you need to meditate. 

You need to relax your mind and body and not be overwhelmed with what is happening. Give your brain time to fix itself. We can only do so much on our end. 

Get a night of good sleep. Enjoy the comfort of your bedroom and savor the moments of not having to be up and too busy.

Not everything is within our control. Getting anxious doesn’t help. It can hurt you more than you think. When we immerse our thoughts with negative things, it weakens our bodies. Instead of lingering with such thoughts, throw your energy into a workout. It can be fun, too if you do it with the whole family.

Maybe this is also the time where you can show your family the side that they haven’t seen, like cooking for them, initiating a game that the whole family can enjoy, letting the kids learn how to clean their rooms or other skills. 

Focus on what is in front of you instead of thinking of so many things all at the same time. If we are still not back to the “normal” that we knew, the only way to live healthily and sanely is to take one day at a time. You only hurt yourself more if you linger on negative thoughts.

Make your mind busy with something positive and something that can still make yourself productive even if our movements are still limited due to the pandemic. Believe that this is just another chapter of your life and that we can all bounce back to where we should be.

If you think that it has become too difficult for you to handle this kind of stress, there are people whom you can turn to – professionals who can help you be enlightened. Just hang in there!

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If you or a member of your household are feeling anxious, depressed or mentally stressed, you can reach out to the Philippine Mental Health Association’s Psychosocial Online Support through:

Facebook
Email: pmhacds@gmail.com

SMS: 0917-5652036
Tel. no. (02)8921.4958; 8921.4959

The National Center for Mental Health also has “crisis hotline responders” who can provide psychological first aid and suicide first aid for those in distress. The following hotlines are open 24/7:

Landline: 7989-USAP (8727)
Mobile: 0917-899-USAP (8727)