[COVID 19 Diary] Be Healthy

One of the things I’ve been asking these days just being at home, “What would the new normal be?”

It’s hard to say. It’s very uncertain. No one really knows right now.

But I’d like to prepare for what that new normal might be. One of the most practical preparations is to BE HEALTHY. What does this mean? Not just the physical body but overall.

This time has really helped me to do a detox not just with the food I eat but in all aspects of my life. Before this COVID pandemic happened, I went through burnt out, stress, anxiety – whatever you want to call it. It was a battle I had to fight and deal with for several months. And the moment I decided to quit my job was when this COVID started to become an outbreak.

I neglected to make time to process thoughts in my mind, take care of my body, cook & eat healthy food, exercise and rest my mind.  When I work, I really work hard that I become hard on myself also. I’m grateful that I can do this right now. Not everyone has the luxury to do this. So, I will use the time I have right now to be better so that I can also be a better influence and be usable for the community of what’s ahead.

What have I been doing for the past days?

  1. I’ve been a gym member for years now but I never get to maximize my membership. So now, I’m catching up with exercise at home. I found this really good YouTube channel called – Faithful Workouts. I like the workouts because encouragements & devotions are part of it. It’s body & soul workout.
  2. I enjoy cooking especially for people but when you are cooking for 1, sometimes, it’s better to just buy cooked food. But, because I neglected healthy eating last year and really ruined my diet, I now have to cook and try to eat healthy. It was difficult in the first 2 weeks because I overate. And with so much “quarantine” food, you can’t help but just keep eating. Now, I have adjusted and I’ve cut down on my meals already. I do a one full meal for brunch then a light meal late afternoon.

Some easy ways to make sure you have nutrients in your meals:

    • Oven Roasted Veggies are healthy and so easy to prepare (bell pepper, carrots, onions, broccoli, squash, yams, etc.)
    • Turmeric Tea – it helps boost immune system. I always make a batch and I try to drink a cup a day.

3. Do one chore at a time. As I don’t work, I have a lot of time to clean up. So, I don’t  rush into finishing everything all in one day. I take my time in cleaning. I’m so used to multi tasking that I’m really learning now to do things one at a time. It’s really hard to unlearn and it takes a lot of discipline.

Some examples:

    • I organized our bathroom cabinets on a day. I organized our kitchen cabinet that stores all our food containers on a different day. I cleaned my bedroom cabinets on another day.
    • I wash dishes once a day, I just pile up all I’ve used for the day then do one washing.
    • I take my time doing laundry – coz this is not really my favorite thing to do. So I take my time! LOL

4. Detox the mind. During the start of the outbreak, I was watching news like crazy. I would be on the news for almost the whole day. I would be on social media reading all related posts to COVID. I decided I had to put a stop on it. It wasn’t doing me any good anymore especially that I feel so limited not being able to really do something, it became frustrating for me.

Here are the things I’ve been doing:

    • I watch the news only every night – I watch the recap of Global News for Canada and government updates for Philippines.
    • I deactivated back my Facebook account.
    • I read my devotion book daily.
    • I read Book of Psalms for my quiet time.
    • I’m doing the Daniel prophecy series from Bible Youversion app and do some deep dive.
    • I listen to a lot of Christian songs when I do chores.
    • I watch video messages & listen to podcasts of Tim Keller & Ravi Zacharias.
    • I read book & articles with Biblical principles.
    • I rest my mind – looking out to my window, looking at nature.
    • I pray – talk, whisper, pour out my heart to God.

5.Get connected. Always talk to someone – family, friends. Pray for or with people. Encourage people. Be a listener. Just stay connected. Be part of a support group like for us, we have our discipleship group.

Hopefully, I will start doing online classes & training so that I will also grow and learn more in my line of work. This is something I need to work on as I’m not really a fan of online classes.

How about you? What practical ways have you done to be a healthier you?

If you’ve read this and you need prayers or just need someone to talk to, feel free to comment and I can definitely pray for you or talk to you.

Let’s use this time to become a better version of us! And always remember, God loves you so much!!

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‘Twas a good year

First blog entry of 2018! Wooohooo! I thought I would be writing more last year as I hope I would, but there was just too much to write that I can’t keep up. LOL…

But of course, I will never start the year without a recap of my 2017 and what to look forward to for this new year.

Last year was about taking more risks, as I wrote in my 2017 first blog entry.

As I mentioned in my previous shares, I am not the type of person that would really take risks. I always want certainty. Every time I make a decision, I always make sure that’s really what God wants me to do. And, God has been so gracious to me that He truly works in my life that way also. He does not allow confusion in my life. He really knows me well. 🙂 It’s always a Yes or No.

Anyway, the risks I was telling you were really more on taking bigger steps on things that I feel like I won’t really be able to do and hoping would have lasting value. And by God’s grace, He enabled me to take some. As I look back now, I don’t know how I could have done it. But He is a good Father. He does not let us stay the same. He wants us to walk by faith. And I always tell God, if He does not want it, then just stop me from doing it. So, I still have to see how things will be. But before I talk about the future, I’d like to share what I had done last year that really made me grow as a person. It may not be risks for you, but me knowing me, I just don’t know how I could have done it. Amazingly, God also uses people to just push you, walk with you, support you, pray for you and encourage you. And, I’m truly grateful for those people!!

My 2017 Risk list… LOL…

1. Push your limit

Every summer, my church friends and I would always try to do a lot of hiking as it’s really the only time of the year we can do a lot of outdoor activities. Years before, we’ve always wanted to go to Wedgemount Lake but the trail is difficult. But, last year we just had to do it. We kinda hesitated but still in the end we found ourselves hiking to the lake. And I must say, it was really the most difficult trail I have done but the view was worth it. Though, I don’t think I will ever do it again. I don’t know how we survived the last part of the trail. I was praying endlessly as the trail was really dangerous. Thank God we made it back down!

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Another physical activity I challenged my self to do was the Rugged Maniac obstacle race. I always enjoyed obstacle races, it’s kinda like Amazing Race. However, the obstacle races I’ve done did not require strength and physical endurance. Those were just for fun. Rugged Maniac might be the easiest obstacle race compared to the other ones – Spartan, Tough Mudder, etc. But for me, it was the most extreme physical activity I’ve done in my whole life. LOL. So, I was kinda scared because I didn’t know if I’ll finish it – whole and safe. It was good because I had girlfriends with me who also joined for the first time. This one, I might do again next time. I really had fun – all mud & falling.

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Another not so physical activity that I had been procrastinating was to take my road test. For one, I never drove in the Philippines. I had some lessons but that’s it. Growing up, our family never owned a vehicle until I graduated from university. But then, I left home and moved to Manila. And living in Manila did not really encourage me to drive also. I don’t think I’ll ever dare. But when I moved here, I realize it’s really about time. I always feel like driving is not for me knowing that I’m no risk-taker. I feel like driving  is a risk…haha! I’m too cautious. It took me a lot of courage. Finally, I took my road test. And of course, I failed. Haha! But then, now I can keep moving. I just have to keep trying until I make it.

2. BIG Decisions

I was never a big dreamer until God showed me that indeed nothing is truly impossible for Him. On the latter part of 2016, I started having the desire to start my own company. This desire started when I realize how unfortunate it is for IT graduates at my hometown, Bacolod City, to not have so many opportunities for them to really work using their degree when they have so much potential. And so, when I went home that year, I asked my college classmates if they are interested to join me. I did not really get any response.  Fast forward next year , 2017. Two of my college classmates wanted to do the same. And so, we gave it a try. March of 2017, we launched our start up company and had our first client. We don’t know how to run a company. But, we do know how to provide service. And for me, that was enough to start. Our start up is based in Bacolod City. It is still struggling but I’m hoping that one day, we will be able to hire so many graduates and help build the IT workforce in Bacolod. Last December, we organized a hackathon event to really see the skills of the IT students. And, I was just impressed of how much potential Bacolod truly has. I really hope more IT jobs will come to Bacolod. And if you know potential clients, please let us know! More clients mean more jobs for the fresh graduates!

I’ve always enjoyed organizing events. God has blessed me with administrative gift that I am able to use it not just in my day to day job but also in ministries. Such a privilege. Last year, I organized two events – one for our church and one for Beautifully Waiting. And of course, I can never do it on my own. The difficult part of organizing is the time of planning and preparing. Last year was really one of the busiest and most tiring at my workplace for me. I was working on a big initiative that I felt like it used up all my mental and physical energy that every time I come home from work, I just want to go to bed. However, I trusted that God would sustain me as I took a step of faith in organizing those events. The good thing about those events were those were God’s events, not mine. And so, I just really surrendered to Him everything. And by His grace, He carried me through until the end. And also very grateful, there were people who were always willing to help. Also, for Beautifully Waiting event, it was my first time to speak and share in an event. When the event ended, I looked back of the journey before the event started and I was just in awe of how God just made everything happen. He did it!

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2017 was just the start of taking risks. This year, God has impressed in my heart that I need all the courage I could have to face all that’s going to happen this year. New opportunities, growth of our start up company, more events to share Jesus and spread His love, bigger decisions, lots of challenges. I told God to allow me to go through so many failures and rejections so that I will be more courageous. I am still that person who gets a little cautious at times. Scared of taking risks. Doesn’t want to take steps of faith. However, with what God had allowed me to go through last year, God showed to me that with the little faith I have, He can use it to accomplish big things. Really, it’s not just me being courageous but it is also because I have a BIG GOD who can do things beyond my expectations.

I know this is a pretty long blog but I hope I have somehow encouraged you, that we can never stay the same as we were years ago. For us to grow, we need to take little steps of faith, take some risks. But make sure, that those are really well-prayed. Prayer is the only weapon you have as you make those decisions.

May you have a courage-filled 2018!  God bless your 2018!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9