Achieving wellness in the comfort of your home with Bea Alonzo
In a span of days early in 2020, COVID-19 obliterated our concept of the normal life.
We couldn’t report to work or school, buy necessities in person, clock in at the gym or hang out with friends. For eight months and counting, we’ve woken up, worked, chilled out and so much more in the same space. Such a limitation involved overstepping some of life’s most sacred bounds. Tasks at school and work have intruded our dwellings. A change of scenery to destress has been next to impossible. Our balance has been shaken, our wellness imperiled.
What can we do? To help us answer the question, leading developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. and Inquirer Property held a webinar called “Wellness at Home” on Nov. 6. The powerhouse panel included Sta. Lucia brand ambassador and award-winning actress Bea Alonzo; interior designer and Inquirer Property columnist Tessa Prieto-Valdes; and Inquirer Super editor and mental health advocate Pam Pastor. The webinar was moderated why Inquirer Property editor Theresa Samaniego.
“This time became a very important tool for me to be even kinder to myself and the people around me,” said Alonzo. Over the lockdowns, she reconnected with friends, learned to paint with YouTube videos and founded charity organization I Am Hope, which has helped front-line workers and school kids.
“Mom, why are you home,” her kids would now ask Prieto-Valdes, a well-known globe-trotter and socialite. Grounded at home, she learned to prioritize family: “You realize your home is where your heart is.”
Pastor meanwhile only reported to the Inquirer office five times since March and did most of her work from home, a far cry from her jampacked schedule pre-pandemic.
“After we ask all the whys and get over the shock of what’s happening, people adapt,” Pastor observed. People are learning to maximize the limitations and push the boundaries with resources available to them.
“It’s just the longest time I spent at home since I started working when I was 13, and I am now 33,” said Alonzo. “It’s essential now that you only let positivity in your space and you feel safest at home. I feel like it’s not just a matter of luxury to fix your house but of self-nurturing.”
“The borders and the lines are so blurry,” noted Prieto-Valdes. “It’s past work hours but you’re still working because e-mails are 24 hours. Kids are so good with multitasking, they’re watching Netflix while on Zoom with school, and they’re in bed!”
“It is important now more than ever to be disciplined with schedule,” she added. People should carve out time for physical activity and self-care. They should also communicate with their housemates, even when they are exposed to one another all day. In fact, Prieto-Valdes emphasized the need to “treat the weekend as the weekend… Get out of the house, visit parks, walk, have some sense of normalcy… Treat Monday like Monday and Friday like Friday.”
Establish a space for healing, suggested Pastor, recounting her story after being diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety disorder in 2015.
“I went through a process I call nesting. I was creating a space at home that was just mine, a space to recharge and have some quiet if that’s what you need… This is also a place where you can do what you love,” Pastor said.
Appoint spaces to exercise, binge-watch and do various activities, she noted. Recounting her year long stay in a 13-sqm condo unit, she said small spaces should not hinder a full life. To avoid feeling trapped, one can always make friends with neighbors.
Over the pandemic, Alonzo learned to expand her concept of productivity beyond work: “I had felt idle and useless. I had to get over that and use my energy to do things I really like or have always wanted to do.”
She cooked, redesigned her home and decluttered her house, tasks that gave her a sense of control and achievement. She also stressed doing things that made one feel good, like wearing nice clothes, makeup and heels even at home.
“It’s essential to simplify our life. We do so many things, buy so many things … we don’t really need,” Alonzo added. Relationships are part of this process for her. Among those she has cherished is her connection to Sta. Lucia Land.
Recounting that her first investment in a home was with the respected developer, Alonzo said: “I trust the company, what they stand for and how well they take care of the people they serve.”
Sta. Lucia is now among the nation’s foremost property developers, with a portfolio of over 250 world-class, innovative developments spanning more than 10,400 hectares in 15 provinces. The company has offered safe communities promoting wellness and set in beautiful, accessible communities.
“Now you have to rethink expenses, your future, and you want to invest in a property that has credibility … [and a developer] that is not just going to sell property for the sake of profit,” Prieto-Valdes added.
Beyond the pandemic
Look beyond the pandemic, suggested Pastor. “This isn’t forever. While we’re here, instead of wallowing in despair, let’s all do the things we love; get creative and do them at home.”
“Don’t get stuck,” Alonzo said. “Bloom where you are planted. We are better than this pandemic.”