Theresa Iglesia was busy implementing programs to support the shift to digital learning when she had a sudden urge to leave her room, gasping for air. It was her first panic attack, as the gravity and reality of the current crisis hit her.
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Division (DRRM) Coordinator of Nueva Vizcaya recalls going through a journey of understanding her emotions so she could respond appropriately and manage her emotions. She also realized the importance of getting help from people around her.
Likewise, COVID-19 survivor and Zambales City DepEd-DRRMS Coordinator Josefina Maranon, went through a myriad of emotions while trying to recover in the hospital. “I had to seek professional help because I couldn’t serve my division if I was serving from an empty cup,” she said.
“Teaching is an emotionally-taxing profession. We need each other’s support to be at our very best. The level of care for our pupils starts with a high-level of care among the staff. Let’s work hand-in-hand towards genuine education geared to raising disaster-resilient children with grit and compassion,” added Maranon.
Theresa and Josefina shared their story as panelists in the second episode of DepEd and Globe’s TAYO Naman! (Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon), together with the facilitator, Hajar Kinabalu, co-panelist, Geronimo Burce, Jr., and expert speaker. TAYO Naman! is a 14-part DepEd and Global Filipino Teachers webinar series focused on psychosocial issues affecting education stakeholders especially during the pandemic.
During the session last Friday, guest speaker Dr. Marc Eric S. Reyes, Life Member of the Philippine Mental Health Association Inc. and President of the Psychological Association of the Philippines, provided practical tips on how to manage overwhelming emotions. He discussed that there are five basic emotions: joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust, which when triggered causes physiological responses and results to either positive and negative behaviors.
Dr. Reyes stressed the need to recognize the impact of our emotions and the importance of knowing how to express as well as regulate them. He encourages people to identify their emotions and track their mood using a journal. Whether good or bad, he said that people need to accept their emotions. However, he warned against engaging in “toxic positivity” or forcing oneself to always stay positive – and only positive – while neglecting the realities and acknowledging difficult emotions. When experiencing intense emotions, he suggested using breathing techniques as well as temporary disconnecting and giving space for one’s self.
Likewise, Dr. Reyes underscored the need to broaden mental health literacy in the country to aid in the recognition, management, and prevention of mental disorders.
“We have to break the stigma and stereotypes on expressing our emotions. It’s okay not to be okay. Every emotion is important and has a purpose. If we remove fear, for example, we will do things without thinking and engage in risky behavior. There is an urgent need to establish psychosocial education in the curriculum so students are able to acknowledge and regulate their emotions early in life,” Dr. Reyes said.
Exercise and diet are also needed to nourish mental health, as exercise allows the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals throughout the body. Physical activity also reduces anxiety and depression and enhances self-esteem. Compounds in certain foods, on the other hand, help release hormones such as serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression.
“Many people have been going through a myriad of emotions in this pandemic. Mental health is an urgent issue affecting lives across age groups. Psychosocial support is essential and Globe continues to find ways to help communities, since the mental impact of the pandemic will linger on even when it has passed,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and SVP for Corporate Communications.
TAYO Naman! provides education advocates the knowledge to care for their mental health. More than just an online resource, the program is evolving to become an avenue where everyone can share their struggles and triumphs in beating the pandemic.
It is spearheaded by DepEd-DRRMS and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD) Employee Welfare Division in partnership with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers (GFT) Series on Psychosocial Support Services, the Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc., MAGIS Creative Spaces, and Unilab Foundation.
On June 4, the subject “Dealing with Grief and Loss” will be tackled. TAYO Naman! Webinars are held every Friday until August 20 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. and streamed live over:
DepED Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/DepartmentOfEducation.PH/)
Deped DRRMS (https://www.facebook.com/DepEdDRRMS)
Globe Bridgecom (https://www.facebook.com/GlobeBridgeCom)
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 4 on the provision of quality education and UN SDG No. 3 on providing good health and well-being. Globe is committed to upholding the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles and 10 UN SDGs.
To learn more about how to be an agent of change and create a #GlobeofGood, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html