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January 2022 is Lost to Omicron, How Are You Holding Up?

Ready for the next 11 months?
by Clara Rosales
Feb 4, 2022
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

The past two years under lockdown have been a test on both the Filipinos’ physical and mental health. With the first month of pandemic year eaten up by the omicron surge, people are finding ways to take care of themselves to survive the year.

With most people self-isolating due to COVID-19 or exposure to family friends and co-workers who caught the virus, the unofficial lockdown allowed for time for self-care and reflection on where careers are headed.


New Year, New Me: How to Succeed at New Year's Resolutions

Written in the Stars: Why You Look to Horoscopes for Love and Money

These themes were well-respected in our Life Kit explainers for the month:

We all related to Disney's 'Encanto'

The animated picture 'Encanto' with the colorful Madrigal family hit too close to home for Filpinos, flooding social media timelines with memes, jokes, and comfort in the collective experience of family dynamics.

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The film bubbled with song and dance on the surface, but a deeper look uncovered bigger issues that affect the mental well-being of so many people—perfectionism, the perils of deviating from expectations, and years-long frustration that arises from sweeping family issues under the rug for the sake of peace.

Turns out too much perfectionism is bad for you, especially when striving for it becomes a burden and starts to affect your self-esteem. Here’s how to overcome unhealthy perfectionism.

When it comes to family problems, some choose to evade conflict completely to maintain peace over potentially hurting feelings. Confronting problems within the family is a different challenge altogether as it relies heavily on a group dynamic influenced by culture, age, even financial status.

The gift of open communication is tough to come by, but families must try even when it’s hard—especially when it’s hard—as refusing to do so can further drive a wedge between relatives. Humility on all sides is key.

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We took that mental health break 

Learning or working from home spared Filipinos the hassle of dealing with traffic and commuting. However, the convenience of working from home meant blurring the lines between work and rest and constant pressure to perform well even as COVID-19 claims lives.

Students got an academic break to help them deal with the mental burnout, COVID surges, and the toll of Typhoon Odette. Employees working to put food on the table were not as lucky, as sanity breaks are uncommon in plenty of workplaces especially in fast-paced industries like the media and healthcare services.

Responsibility falls on the shoulders of employees and employers alike, as both must move to address the problem before it gets worse. Employees must rest when they need it, and companies must be attuned to what workers need, be it in the form of mental health assistance, fair breaks, or strictly respecting time off work. Here’s how to talk to your boss about it.

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You’re not alone—it’s gotten so bad that a measure has been filed in the Senate seeking to prohibit employers from requiring their employees to work during rest hours.

We took that first step to improve

A new year means new beginnings in the realms of love, work, and self. Horoscopes may not always be true, but comfort us with some sense of direction or prediction regarding the future. Just don’t let it rule your life.

With vaccines and more knowledge on the virus, hope may come stronger on year three of the pandemic which can lead to big resolutions. Regardless of what you want to achieve, just remember to keep them grounded and realistic.

Losing weight and getting fit makes it to almost everyone’s list and whether you’re headed for the gym when restrictions permit or planning to work out at home, approaching workouts can feel intimidating especially if you’re new. Don’t let gymtimidation get to you.

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Love is also a struggle during a lockdown and meeting up in person to break things off might not be possible. You’re so much more than a break-up text. You can move on and move forward.

If you’re looking for a change of pace in your career, here are the jobs on the rise for 2022. Looking to make more money? Here are jobs that pay the highest salaries in the Philippines. Take note of what employers look for.

What’s next?

You might have lost your job, a loved one, or yourself the past two years. There’s only so much self-motivation you can do before resilience fatigue kicks in. Yes, that tiredness you feel is an actual thing. People are tired of walking back to fetch a mask because they forgot one on their way out, or following protocols so strictly. Caution fatigue is also very real.

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There are ways to keep your symbolic glass of water half full. Pick your battles and seek help if needed.

Keeping in touch with friends is just plain hard in adulthood. It was already hard pre-COVID, but loneliness is superpowered during a pandemic that forces people to keep their distance. As you conquer the remaining eleven months of 2022, may you do so with the right company. Here's how you can slowly ease into the process of making friends again in three ways

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