Edited by Serina Mara Alonzo
Three months ago, I tendered my resignation from my then job not knowing that my end date with the company would be the first day of ECQ. As someone who has always found her worth in the competency to attend to responsibilities, I was definitely shaken that I was going to be staying home with absolutely nothing to do — no pending work to finish, no Zoom call meetings, no progress reports, just plain live your life day by day until the quarantine ends.
I knew I was slowly slipping into an anxiety episode when I suddenly remembered how hell was portrayed in literary texts, the worst day of one’s life happening over and over again: waking up every day without any sense of purpose, my personal taste of hell.
Thankfully, I had learned to live with my anxiety over the years of going through episode after episode; I now know better than to let myself fall into another rut. So I got up and showed up for myself. I started creating a routine that enabled me to focus on myself in a way I never did before. Being stripped of the responsibility of attending to other people paved the way for me to attend to my responsibilities to myself. As my surroundings started to grow quiet, I got better at listening to my body, mind, and soul.
I don’t think I ever got to stare at my body well enough as I now have the time to do. I was always in a hurry to go to school, go to work, put makeup on, dress up, and present myself to the world. If before the quarantine, I would spend so much time being seen that I didn’t even have time to look at myself, part of my quarantine routine is staring at myself in the mirror and appreciating what I saw. The more I did, the more I wanted to take care of my body and treat it like the temple that it is. I started doing home workouts, no longer because I’m preparing for my beach body for the summer and bikini photos, but simply because my body needs it.
After going through a more thorough introspection, I came to a decision that social media no longer serves my best interest and decided to delete them. I know we are all stuck in our houses and social media is the only shot at social interaction, but I find that what I need now is a connection rather than a mere interaction from everyone’s inflated social media personas. I started listening to podcasts more, I finally finished books I started reading a long time ago, and I continued learning through masterclasses and informative YouTube videos — subscribing to quality content gave me the connection I was looking for, thus giving me a peace of mind.
Art truly feeds the soul. If there was one thing that really saved me from insanity during this time, it’s how I was able to create something once again: I started writing again, creating digital art, and telling stories. Somehow, in the middle of a pandemic, I was able to find a higher purpose for myself. Suddenly, I was not just created to attend to my responsibilities to other people; I was created to create. When I realized this, I no longer became anxious or worried about my worth. My worth comes not from my achievements or my job or my value according to other people; my worth was just within me all along. The nourishment of my body, mind, and soul all started with the decision to show up for myself.