‘You First’: A Simple Program To Keep Mentally Healthy

With the rise of depression and suicide among the Youth, an Associate Professor of Psychology from the Ateneo University recommends focusing on mental wellness instead by beginning with oneself.

“We sometimes forget ourselves. So stop. Tell yourself: sarili mo muna,” said Dr. Nelly Z. Limbadan during a talk she conducted in the University of Santo Tomas on how to address mental health issues.

“Quickly, you first,” she stressed. “Meaning kayo–tignan mo muna sarili mo.”

How to check on one’s self? Dr. Limbadan enumerates and explains the following simple program to manage one’s mental health:

  1. Talk about your feelings. “But you know, talk about your feelings. But don’t talk about it to someone you barely know!”
  2. Keep active. “Regular exercise, walking–yun, walang bayad! I would just advise to get a good pair of walking or running shoes. You just can’t walk effectively with your tsinelas, sasakit din yun later on.”
  3. Eat well! “Please! I am not a nutritionist but I think the advise on ‘go, grow, and glow’ nung bata pa tayo is still true. Have a balanced diet. Everything balanse!”
  4. Drink sensibly! “It’s realistic. Mga pari at madre nga natin minsan nagwa-wine! But ‘wag ka pasaway na beer ng beer every night! If there are occasions that ask you to have fun, go and drink sensibly. But don’t overdo it! Drinking is not a good way to manage your difficult feelings. Some drink kasi para makatulog but after that you get a headache.”
  5. Keep in touch. “Write, call, visit–I don’t know how you spend your Sundays–siyempre busy ang buhay…but spend time with people your love.”
  6. Ask for help. “Even our consecrated persons are not supermen and superwomen. May kanta eh, ‘Superman’, ‘even heroes bleed’. Diba? Ask for help. Ask first.”
  7. Take a break. Kaya? I am not asking you to travel like outside the Country–but if you have the means, go ahead. Just that take a break from your routine. Eat the food na gustong-gusto mo na you have been deprived of for two months already.”
  8. Do something you are good at! “Part pala yan ng mental health, yang ‘Doing something that you’re good at’? Minsan sa trabaho natin, we are not able to do hobbies, yung mga gusto natin. So bigyan natin ng panahon things that we are good at–kaya gustong-gusto nating magvolunteer.”
  9. Accept who you are. “Accept who you are or (else) you take it out on lies if they ask the wrong people.”
  10. Care for others. “Care for others but don’t overdo it.”

“So you first,” Dr. Limbadan repeated, revealing that, “Remember that the issue of mental health is an issue of wellness.”

“We don’t have to wait for a certain mental issue to arise but we can focus on mental wellness,” she ended.

Her talk was given to hundreds gathered in the venue’s Quadricentennial Pavillion Room A and B during the second day of the 6th Philippine Conference On New Evangelization (PCNE6).

PCNE6 is an annual event to be held until 2021 by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on New Evangelization in line with the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.

With each year having a theme in line with the nine thrusts for New Evangelization in the Philippines, PCNE6 delved on the Year of the Youth with the theme, “Filipino Youth: Walking With Jesus”. (~Minnie Agdeppa)

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