Social distancing and lockdown restrictions have not stopped FEU Guidance and Counseling (G&C) from continuing its service of providing psychological support for its students. Mental health issues among the youth are on the rise all over the world because of isolation and uncertainty brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr. Sheila “Shake” G. Hocson realized the need to adapt in the “new normal” considering that her roles as FEU G&C Director and motivational speaker required face-to-face interactions. Despite receiving invitations from different sectors like schools, churches, organizations, and business, she did not jump in immediately to the world of webinars until she was ready. “To get my message across, I had to do much research and altered my materials so it can be easily picked up by everyone,” she explained.
In addition, FEU G&C’s online counseling service called “TeleWellBeing” has been enhanced to better serve the FEU community.
The demand for counselors and mental health specialists has considerably increased as people have struggled to cope with the situation. But this challenge has only encouraged them to adhere to their roles in society. Since the start of the Community Quarantine, Dr. Hocson has conducted at least 15 webinars.
“When we get messages saying that they are inspired, touched, enabled, and influenced by our positive messages, that makes the extra effort worth it.”
These are tips from Dr. Hocson on how to maintain a healthy psychological well-being:
- Develop a growth mindset that is open to challenges, criticisms and success of others and exerts a lot of efforts.
- Practice empathy, compassion, and kindness.
- Invest on your psychological capital of optimism, hope, self-efficacy, and resiliency.
- Learn new things and establish healthy hobbies, interests and lifestyles that will give you pleasure and peace.
- Use online platforms in moderation and avoid spreading fake news.
- Have quality connections with your God, loved ones, mentors, counselors, doctors, and pets.
- Anchor to your true north that will provide meaning in your life.
- Have clear short- and long-term goals.
- Enhance your ability to know your limits and make the right choices for a responsible decision making.
- Educate yourself about mental health and make your own practical coping mechanisms and well-being plans.
- Back up yourself with FEU core values and character strengths of bravery, fortitude, excellence, uprightness, gratitude, humility, simplicity, patience, and transcendence.
- Contribute by being a great Tam example and well-being advocate online and offline.
Dr. Hocson hopes that these practical tips will help everyone maintain a strong mind to avoid worries, mental health concerns and other sickness most especially in these trying times. “We need to be safe, be calm and be brave,” she said.