2020 was supposed to be our year"New decade, new me," right? Yet who could have predicted a global pandemic, and how it would impact today's society. With all the anxiety piling up from work, managing or contributing to a household, sudden long-distance relationships, and more, it's no wonder stress levels are through the roof and people are experiencing job burnouts


Cosmopolitan Philippines asked readers in their Cosmo Community on Facebook for advice on how to  keep your mental health in check, and here's what they had to say. 


1. Toxic positivity never helps.

"Sit with your feelings and don't distract yourself from negative emotions. Observe how your body physically reacts to your emotions and identify what you're feeling. Remind yourself that your thoughts create your feelings-you are in control. Also, take a break, girl. Removing yourself from situations that trigger you helps a lot. Lastly, having an online consultation with a therapist helps you process everything. (P.S. Don't pressure yourself to feel better right away. It's never easy but you'll get there.)" - Ira

2. Stay active!

"I started to use my time to work on myself physically...Working out alone isn't easy though because you won't stay motivated all the time, so I joined a workout group. We have zoom workouts 1-2x a week so when there are days or weeks when I really don't stick to my routine, the two days really just jumpstart my system." - Kim

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3. Try to be a little kinder to yourself.

"Journaling or taking at least a 5-15 minute break from everything heavy. [For] my mental health, either [taking a] nap/gaming/painting/yoga/breathing exercises/a long bath. Also trying to be a little kinder to myself these days, even though it's toooo hard to do so but I remind myself that this year has been too tough for most of us already. [I] don't have to make it crazier for myself. Virtual pats [on the back] and hugs for everyone struggling mentally." - Coleen

4. Deal with your emotions.

"I try to deal with my emotions rather than distract. It's best to sit with yourself and analyze how you're feeling, what you're feeling, and, if you can, why you're feeling those things. Reflecting and learning about yourself helps build resilience for the next time you're faced with things challenging your mental health." - Andrea

5. Start a personal journal.

"Decorating it is super relaxing. I write down the things that stress me out and putting my thoughts into words somehow helps me release bottled up emotions." - Pierrei


6. Learn to put yourself first.

"Back when I was still on Tumblr, I read this quote that I *think* is by Nayyirah Waheed: "I am mine, before I am ever anyone else's." I live by it. I say it in my head whenever someone-anyone-feels entitled to too much from me. It's not the easiest thing to believe or defend in our culture 'cause we're expected to be collectivists (vs. individualists) but having this "motto" helps me feel safe and secure in my decisions and reminds me not to feel guilty (guilt is a really big issue for me when it comes to mental health, lol)." - Vivien

7. Set work-life boundaries-and stick to them.

"One thing that helped was turning off my work app notifications at a set time each night. That way I'm not tempted to keep checking "just in case may breaking news." Boundaries really help and my sleep has been a lot more restful lately!" - Andie


8. Don't overwork yourself.

"Get rid of the notion that doing more is better." - Nicole

9. Create a self-care plan.

"It's very important to look after yourself so you can continue to help others. A self-care plan should include physical, emotional, mental, social and most of all spiritual [aspects]. You have to make sure to do an activity for each of this and allot time for it." - Trina

10. Learn to say no.

"Detach yourself from things that don't make you happy. Always think of yourself, too. Not in the selfish way, more of remembering that you matter, too!" - Retty


11. Do things you enjoy and don't let people give you shit about it.

"If you like Pokemon cards, go ahead! Collect 'em all, lol. Plant pretty flowers. Bake all the bread. As long as you arent hurting anyone, if it brings you joy, you owe it to yourself to go after it." - Nikki


12. Take a mental health day.

"Take a mental health day, or two [days] off if you can. Remember: You are not your job, and there is life beyond office hours." - Timmy

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