Recognizing that there’s something wrong is key
In the constant stress we’ve all been in over the past year, it can be overwhelming to process our emotions, especially when working isolated in a foreign land. Constantly having a mental health check is important for OFWs to keep one’s mental state stable and thriving in these times. Here we list down some basic steps to take when things get a little too difficult
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Recognize the Struggle
In the constant hustle of life as an OFW, checking up on one’s mental health can often be overlooked. Thinking that some other important matters have to come first, recognizing that you’re tired, exhausted, or even struggling shouldn’t be an act of weakness. In fact, there are clear signs that manifest when one is going through mental struggles and it’s crucial to acknowledge when they are happening so you know what to do next. Simple shifts such as appetite or sleep changes to more radical changes like mood swings or increased nervousness can all be tell-tale signs that maybe one should assess their mental state. Acknowledging that there is a problem is the first step to fixing it.
A major factor in the mental struggle of many OFWs is the sheer isolation that they’ve put themselves in. A long-distance away from loved ones and the familiar is something to be expected, but the tolls of it can sometimes be understated. It is always important to stay connected with your far-off loved ones every chance you get. Simple messages and video calls can greatly benefit you by making you feel less lonely. Making new connections and friendships in your new environment is also recommended to slowly grow new roots in your place of work.
It has been scientifically proven countless times that staying physically active can directly boost one’s mental health. Establishing a steady weekly exercise routine can create a habit that will give stability to one’s mental state. Simple exercises such as jogging or yoga can be a good start, and can even lead to more advanced regimens such as weightlifting or calisthenics. Plus, there are many video resources online to learn from, which means access to a fitness style that fits you is always available.
Write it Down
After all the efforts put in place, recording your actions can be a good way of tracking your progress. A simple journal of your thoughts and mental health status can be a good release, and time can be a healthy indicator of progress. A daily or weekly entry is enough to record yourself and see the progress, or it can even just act as a safe place for your thoughts and feelings.
Sometimes, even with the application of all the previously mentioned tips, the struggle to stay functional and thrive as an OFW can still be difficult. This is when one should consider seeking professional help. Counseling should never be an avenue one should shy from as it can be beneficial in the long run—if you have the capacity to seek therapy, then all the better to avail it. There are many ways to receive therapy online, which means that you can establish that 1-on-1 dialogue within your own time and place.