“Pahinga sa bawat pahina.”
As I write this, tropical depression Agaton has been making its presence known for days now and is forecasted to intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours. According to The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the center of Agaton is in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. I am currently in my hometown in Tacloban City, so we’re pretty much affected by the tropical depression. It’s been raining almost non-stop for days since I arrived more than a week ago.
I came here with the intention to visit my family, and to take a bit of rest. It turned out to be a very important visit, one that has required me to stay a bit longer to grieve along with my family for the passing of our beloved father. The ‘rest’ will come a bit later.
Indeed, the weather these days calls for some rest. I’m writing this at a place called Deskanso Cafe. ‘Deskanso’ means rest in Waray, our dialect. A while ago, I attended a Zoom event aptly dubbed as “Pahin(g)a: Paghilom Gamit ang Himig at Pagsulat,” an online gathering that calls for us to rest our weary mind through quick breathers, word spotlight, and mindful activities.
Organized by e-commerce Looking for Juan (LFJ) and co-presented by nananadal Public Relations & Events Management, along with its partners who are advocates of healing, wellness, and mindfulness, the event encourages people to slow down through journaling, not only to help us get through the pandemic but also to aid us in whatever it is that we are dealing with in life that we needed to take a break from.
At the event, psychologist Meg Yarcia talked about what it truly means to rest and how important it is to our wellbeing.
“In a society that glorifies being busy all the time, we must realize that getting enough rest is just as important as working hard. Taking a rest does not mean giving up. It means renewing our strength so we can face another day. Getting rest is a form of self-care, which is something we must prioritize,” she shares.
“Getting rest is also a resistance against the notion of working too much. It means recognizing that our human strength can only take so much, and that we need to recharge,” emphasized Yarcia who is known for sharing her musings and thoughts on mental health and well-being on Facebook and Instagram via her page “Dear Meg.”
For the creatives, taking a break can re-stimulate fresh ideas.
“When we rest, we replenish lost energy, avoid over-stimulation, improve blood circulation, express better, as well as foster deeper connection with people and the environment,” she adds.
Journaling is just one way of getting rest and that is what I do. I jot down my stream of consciousness or reflections. At times, I write letters to myself. I find writing therapeutic. Plus it’s a safe way to unload a burden you cannot yet share with anyone else. If you are not much into writing, you can try sketching, or list-making, mood diary or whatever it is that suits you. Others turn to music, communing with nature, painting, yoga, and meditation among other forms of taking a break from the usual busy day. As for me, it has always been taking long walks and journaling.
Online store Looking for Juan launched the Pahin(g)a journal in January 2021 as a tool to help us through the pandemic. Each undated page of Pahin(g)a has various sections designed to rest the mind.
“The Pahin(g)a journal encourages users to slow down. Our hope is that through this journal we can prioritize self-care to strengthen ourselves so we can extend more to others,” explained LFJ Chief Executive Officer, Larissa Chavez.
As part of the online event, certified sound healer and co-founder of V432 wellness, Tonette Asprer took over with her soothing music.
“Sound is such a powerful yet gentle tool that allows us to pause, rest, and heal effortlessly and gracefully. Focusing and listening to music intended for healing and rest will definitely entrain you to its intentional vibrations of relaxation and ease,” she said.
Looking for Juan was created in 2019 with social responsibility at its core. It aims to promote public appreciation for Philippine arts and culture, as well as champion children’s literacy. Every purchase from www.lookingforjuan.com contributes to book donations to children in disadvantaged communities, in support of the One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children campaign of Looking for Juan’s non-profit partner, the Center of Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS). Check out or shop for Looking for Juan products at www.lookingforjuan.com.
Talking about feelings can be very hard. Words, at times, don’t come with ease. And not everyone has the gift of gab. But certainly, we all need to rest. So whatever it is that floats your boat when it comes to getting rest—be it getting a long and uninterrupted sleep; going to the spa or retreat; turning to arts, and what have you—go do it.
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