PERFECT IRONY | BY AKASBY PANTE

“It has to be perfect.” This statement has become a mantra in my mind, constantly ringing in my head, reminding me that I cannot afford to make a single mistake. The constant  pressure I put on myself has become some sort of a defense mechanism against what I fear most: failure. This is because failure means judgement, losing things and people I care about, and most of all getting hurt. This fear controls me but it also paralyzes me. It makes me take extra precautionary measures in almost every aspect of my life, from major decisions to the little habits I’ve developed over the years. Due to this fear, I feel the constant need to gain complete control of my life to make sure that it’s perfect. This explains why I do so much planning, from plan A, plan B, and the list goes on. However, due to this need for control, it has become incredibly difficult for me to accept the uncertainties of life. Therefore, when it decides to give me the unthinkable, I’m completely unprepared. I overthink. It’s an endless spiral of “what if”s and the infinite possibilities of what could go wrong that eat away at you.

When I was first asked to write this article, I didn’t really know how to start. I thought about simply talking about the “science” of perfectionism, writing a poem, or maybe even a story. I avoided the prospect of writing about my own personal experiences in fear of what people may think. However, I realized that this is what people need to see: the ugly, unfiltered self of a person. This because at some point in all our lives, I’m pretty sure we’ve experienced similar struggles. Some of us may not be perfectionists or may not be as afraid to fail but we’ve all had things just completely go against us–most of the time, when we least expect it.  As humans, it is also common that we invalidate our own struggles, labelling them as petty or an overreaction. Through this article, I also hope that we all gain a slightly better understanding of what perfectionism is and what it does to us.

Perfectionism is defined as the “need to be or appear to be perfect or even to believe that it’s possible to achieve perfection” (Good Therapy, 2018). Generally, there are two types of perfectionism, based on an article done by the Harvard Business Review:

1.       Excellence-seeking perfectionism: A person with this kind of perfectionism holds extremely high and unrealistic standards for themselves and others.

2.       Failure-avoiding perfectionism: A person with this type of perfectionism is driven by the obsessive fear of failure to reach high standards and worries about others will think lowly of them if they fail to achieve it.

This kind of behavior, although often associated with work and academic outputs, can actually be applied in almost all areas of our lives such as housework, close relationships, physical appearance, sports, and health (Centre for Clinical Interventions, 2019). This means that having extreme perfectionistic tendencies could be extremely detrimental as it can affect one’s life in so many different ways. As shown in various studies, perfectionism is actually more harmful than it is helpful. While perfectionists can be highly motivated and conscientious, they are also more likely to experience stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression (Swider,et al., 2018 & Centre for Clinical Interventions, 2019).

           Over the years, I’ve slowly gotten better at dealing with my fear of failure and perfectionism. It’s been a long and tiring process, and in fact, I’m still nowhere close to getting rid of it. Nonetheless, I’ve taken with me a few important lessons that have helped keep my fears from taking over.

First is to take it easy on yourself. While it is important to acknowledge your flaws and shortcomings, it is also equally important to give yourself recognition for the good qualities you possess. Take the time to reflect not only on the things you’ve done wrong but also the things you’ve done right. Ensure that you work on your failures but remember that self-improvement takes time. It’s a long and uncomfortable process and you must be patient with yourself.

Second is to accept the existence of uncertainty and focus on what you can do now. Although, that is so much easier said than done, it is an essential part of creating the balance between slacking off and perfectionism. There really is no such thing as having complete control of your life and things will never perfectly go to plan at all times. However, you must not let that stop you from enjoying the life you have. All we can really do is give our best in everything that we go through. Take everything one step at a time and then face the obstacles, should they come, once you get there. Worry about them then and not when you’re probably years away from experiencing it.

Finally, reach out for help when you need it. Sometimes, you really can’t do things on your own. You need people to help you carry that burden, to give you advice, and to somehow momentarily help you forget your worries. There are people out there who care for you, whether that is your family, friends, a partner, or teacher. They are willing to be there for you when you need it. All you have to do is ask.

To everyone reading this, you have an amazing life ahead of you! It will never be anything close to flawless, but believe me, there is beauty in imperfection. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to fail. The basis of your self-worth does not lie in how “perfect” you can become, whether that be in terms of work, academics, personal relationships, and many more. As long as you keep striving, and doing your best, it will be considered a life well spent.

References:

1.   Swider, B., Harari, D., Breidenthal, A., & Steed, L. (2018, December 27). The pros and cons of perfectionism, according to research. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2018/12/the-pros-and-cons-of-perfectionism-according-to-research

2.   Centre for Clinical Interventions. (2019, October 24). What is perfectionism? Retrieved from https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/Resources/Looking-After-Yourself/Perfectionism

3.   Good Therapy. (2018, August 3). Perfectionism. Retrieved from https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/perfectionism

How to Care for a Struggling Friend | By Mary Joy Viernes

There’s no doubt that life is tough. At some point, we need a friend who will be there for us when we are at our lowest. At the same time, there are times when our friends are the ones who need us. Yes, this is difficult especially when mental health is involved. It’s hard to be of help to our friends when they’re struggling when at the same time, we’re also struggling in our day-to-day life. Sometimes, we just really don’t know how to help a friend even if it’s at the best of our intentions and if you’re feeling the same way, you’re not alone.

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Personally, I had a friend who was struggling with her mental health and I was distraught as I didn’t know what to do. I saw the physical manifestations of her struggles and feared that I might make matters worse if I spoke to her about it or reach out for help. When she opened up to me, I honestly didn’t know what to tell her or how I’ll be able to stop her from harming herself. To make matters worse, I felt like a bad friend and blamed myself for not being able to help her because as much as I wanted to, I didn’t know how.  I chose to keep silent and that’s a decision that I still regret up to this very day.

You might have had a different experience but all in all, there’s no step-by-step guide or rule book that will tell us how to be a good friend. During these difficult times however, the least we can do is try and look out for one another. But what can we do to help a friend? 

Prior to this, how can we know if our friend is struggling with their mental health, especially if they’re not the type to open up? Here are some signs

  1. Frequently seems “down” (i.e. seems sad or tearful)
  2. Has less energy, is listless or has trouble concentrating
  3. Lost interest in daily activities and/or things they usually love doing
  4. Neglects personal hygiene
  5. Gets upset easily
  6. Has been under-/over-eating or sleeping
  7. Has physical symptoms: feels distress or pain in various parts of the body and/or has [self-inflicted] scars or bruises
  8. Talks about feeling worthless/hopeless and of death/suicide

Knowing these indicators, we now move on to how we can be of help (Note: This is no step-by-step guide that works for all situations as presented below are just some general things to keep in mind):

  1. Communicate concern and be there to listen

Tell your friend that you’re concerned about her but give her space to tell you what she is going through. Always remember to be sensitive! Express interest and ask appropriate questions but do not prod especially when your friend isn’t feeling like telling you (and that’s okay). Know and respect each others’ boundaries but intervene when necessary. More importantly, empathize but do not try to “fix” her! It might be difficult to think of what to say or how to reply, but try to acknowledge what she’s going through and validate what she is feeling. As much as possible, avoid comparing their experience to yours and don’t give advice unless asked for. 

  1. Reach out and offer help to your friend

When we’re struggling, it gets harder and harder to keep going on every day. There are periods when we just lose the motivation and energy to get out of bed and do the tasks we usually do. During these times, let’s encourage and help each other out! Reach out to your friend and show her than you genuinely care for her well-being. Plan to spend time with her — whether it’s through doing tasks or just simply hanging out but understand when she’s not feeling like it. Offer to help even in daily tasks and initiate some form of action (even in the simplest of things). As cliché this may sound, small actions can make a big difference! 

  1. Learn more about their condition

Educate yourself about what your friend is going through and the different forms and manifestations it can take. This includes but is not limited to terminologies, symptoms and treatments. Doing so can help us set our boundaries and increase our sensitivity. Moreover, this is crucial in helping us understand how we will be able to provide support and be of help to our friend.

  1. Be patient and help them find support

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Recovery is a long and difficult process thus as much as possible, support should come from numerous sources. It may get draining and frustrating especially when your friend doesn’t seem to get any better. She may also say or do things to you that she may not mean. However, this doesn’t mean you should be an emotional punching bag! Continue supporting them while also helping them find other sources of support, whether it may be through other friends or through therapy. Moreover, have hope that your friend will get better.

  1. Don’t be afraid to seek help from others (especially professionals)

Sometimes, you really just have to trust your intuition as to when intervention is needed. Know when it is time to intervene and seek the help of professionals or your friend’s family and actually do so. Do know that you aren’t alone in helping your friend and you shouldn’t be. However, there are just really situations that we cannot handle alone and there are also certain aspects such as medication that are better left to professionals. 

  1. Take care of yourself!

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Know that self-care isn’t selfish! Practicing self-care might probably be the most difficult one because being there for a friend can be draining and in our desire to help others, we may forget about ourselves. Think of yourself as a battery that cannot power a machine when drained and like certain batteries, you also need time to recharge! Learn to set boundaries and recognize that what your friend is feeling shouldn’t necessarily be yours too. Moreover, strike a balance between being there for your friend and yourself. Still find the time to recharge, rest and do the things you love. It would be much harder to take care of someone else if you’re drained yourself!

As I end this article, I want you to know that whether you are the one struggling, the one who has a struggling friend or both: you are not alone and I really cannot emphasize that enough. We’re all fighting our own battles and trying to find our way through this tough world but you don’t have to go through everything by yourself. There will always be people who are struggling but at the same time, there will also be other people and organizations (like us in Talang Dalisay) who want to and can be of help. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help or to be of help, as during these difficult times, I believe the least all of us can do is to keep going on and help each other out. 

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Image source: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/691443349024843535/

*Visit this link if you want to learn more: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-help-a-depressed-friend

*Here are just some numbers you can contact: 

National Center for Mental Health (24/7): 0917-989-8727

*References:

Healthline (2019). How to help a depressed friend. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-help-a-depressed-friend

Weisinger, H. (2011). When your friend is depressed… dos and donts. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.ph/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/thicken-your-skin/201105/when-your-friend-is-depresseddont-and-dos%3famp

What It Means To Be A Youth In Revolt with UC Davis Professor Margaret Ronda | My State of Mind A1 (by Macy Lee)

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Davis, California

Youth In Revolt.

What an interesting set of words, right? That’s exactly what I thought to myself when I came across this specific course when I was building my class schedule for the fall quarter. I immediately read more about the class objectives, and signed up for the class. And man, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I have youth in revolt every Tuesdays and Thursdays in the late afternoon. That’s usually when I take my afternoon naps and am sleepy, but I always feel otherwise and look forward to the lecture every time it’s this class. It’s interesting, eye-opening, and refreshing.

We discuss different kinds of literature, social issues, social constructs, norms, and how we can use our voice/actions to disrupt certain things we encounter in our lives. We analyze questions like: How does this certain character implicate both innocence and experience through his/her social dynamics? How is resistance seen in this situation and how is it emulated by the people in that certain environment? Why is freedom absolute and abstract in almost every situation? So far we’ve also learned about anti communist parables, repressible ideas, equality, individuality, and conformity in context of world views. Recently, we discussed the questioning of sexuality in terms of cultural narratives. The book I’m currently reading for class (The Girls by Emma Cline) was able to give me no pretentious realm of allegory. I learned more about the vague concept of desire and the ironies we do to “fulfill” whatever it is we want to achieve.

Basically, I learn a lot in this class. My list of insights and learnings can go on forever. But if anything, one of the most important realizations I’ve had is the fact that all of these things have a lot to do with mental health.

In retrospect, being a youth in revolt means being mentally strong, voicing out what you believe in, and being able to actually do what you think.

Oftentimes, I find myself creating agendas in my mind that I never do. I find myself wanting to tell something constructive to someone but never do. I sometimes give into overthinking the smallest situations even if I remind myself otherwise.

All these are completely normal, and in all honesty being a youth in revolt means trying to resist against these temptations we face.

Last week I was able to interview my teacher for this class, Professor Margaret Ronda. I knew she would give wonderful insights regarding youth in revolt and mental health as she does in class, so I decided to ask her a few questions that will surely help inspire anyone regarding this topic.

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Professor Margaret Ronda is an English Professor at UC Davis teaching Youth In Revolt, Environmental Literature, and American Literature.

You can view the full interview here, just click on this text!

In the interview, she gives such amazing insight on an adult’s perspective on the youth and why literature is so important to mental health. She describes reading literature as a way for us to be able to “connect with others and ourselves.” It makes us feel like we are not alone and that we can relate to literature on deeper personal levels.

She loves teaching the specific subjects she teaches since it relates to what is currently happening in our world and sheds light to what is urgent and needed. One of which is the climate strikes happening all around the world, which is why she is passionate in teaching environmental literature to her students.

One of the other questions I asked her was regarding a text we read during class which was Howl by Allen Ginsberg. It’s a lengthy poem with most lines beginning with the word “who.” The author starts off by talking about the destruction of “the best minds” of his generation. The latter part of the poem is addressed to one of his friends, Carl Solomon whom he thoroughly admires and is “always there for.” He met this friend in a mental institution and since then has always thought of him ever since. This complex poem has so many themes including free and confinement, madness, and visions of what could be. It’s essentially an intense narrative from an author who is mentally ill.

Professor Ronda was able to give insight on what life was like for people with mental illnesses in the past compared to now, as well as those questioning the bewildering intricacies of their sexuality. In 1950’s America, prominence of mental health issues arose but was not tackled in the right way or direction. This is why she emphasizes how lucky this generation is to have so many resources and studies that help and aid individuals to fully be comfortable with themselves. We are a “disruptive” generation because of the fact that we were able to disrupt the past norm of being fit into a box in a plethora of ways.

At the end of the interview, Professor Ronda expresses her excitement to see more of what the youth will do in the near future. She knows even more positive change will come throughout time.

So how can you be a youth in revolt? What does it take?

All it takes is desire & action. You are a youth in revolt if you believe you can be.


 

To get more from My State of Mind, Talang Dalisay’s global branch, follow the links below!

https://instagram.com/themhinitiative 

https://www.facebook.com/TheMHInitiative

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not all in your head: Battling Schizophrenia | BY ELISHA PEJI

“There were some things in my past that I remember that turned out not to have been real, so it took a while to figure out what reality is. I would have sensory experiences that weren’t brought about by any stimuli. I would hear voices and people talking to me. I would see people, but they weren’t actually there. No one could corroborate my sensory experiences.” — RJ*, CNN Philippines interview

“Believing something existed and then finding out it didn’t was like reaching the top of the stairs and thinking there was one more step.” — Francesca Zappia, Made You Up

Over 40 per cent of Filipino patients who sought professional psychological help have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Still, despite being one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, little is known and understood about it as, like most mental health disorders, schizophrenia is hard to spot and, therefore, typically diagnosed a little too late.

Rarely ever a straightforward condition, schizophrenia has five main subtypes, all of which manifests through different symptoms that typically fall into three different categories.

WHAT IS SCHIZOPHRENIA?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects a person’s way of thinking, behaving and feeling. People who have this disorder may not be able to tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t, leaving them feeling like they have lost touch with reality. 

The disorder can manifest as early as 16 to 30 years old. Children can also have schizophrenia, though cases like this are rare.

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WHAT ARE THE FIVE SUBTYPES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA?

  • Catatonic schizophrenia involves having rigid, peculiar posture and speechlessness.
  • Paranoid schizophrenia involves having delusions and hallucinations that follow a certain theme. 
  • Disorganized schizophrenia involves disorganized speech and behavior. 
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia is symptomatic, but it can’t be classified into the other subtypes. 
  • Residual schizophrenia involves the absence of positive symptoms; however, the negative symptoms are still present.

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WHAT ARE THE THREE CATEGORIES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA’S SYMPTOMS?

  • Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors that are not normally seen in healthy people. People who experience this type of symptoms often feel like they have lost touch with reality. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, unusual and dysfunctional ways of thinking, and agitated body movements.
  • Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These include reduced facial expressions, reduced expression through voice tones, reduced feelings of pleasure, difficulty in starting and committing to activities and reduced speaking.
  • Cognitive symptoms are generally considered more subtle. These may include changes in memories, the inability to interpret new information, the inability to make decisions and trouble focusing.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF SCHIZOPHRENIA?

Schizophrenia might be genetic, although not all people with schizophrenia have schizophrenic family members. The disorder may also come from environmental factors such as exposure to viruses, malnutrition before birth, problems during birth and psychosocial factors.

It can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. If one’s brain lacks or has too much of dopamine and glutamate, it may contribute to the manifestation of schizophrenia. 

Brain development before birth may also be a cause since the brain goes through various changes during puberty, which can trigger psychotic symptoms.

HOW CAN THIS BE TREATED?

Antipsychotics are medications that can help treat schizophrenia. They often come in pill or liquid form or taken through injections. Antipsychotic medications are usually taken daily. Common side effects, which typically go away after a few days, include dry mouth, weight gain and sleepiness. 

Schizophrenic patients may also undergo psychosocial treatment to supplement the medications. These treatment helps the patients face the challenges that come with schizophrenia, allowing them to go on with their daily life and pursue their life goals. Patients who go through these psychosocial treatments regularly are less likely to be hospitalized and rarely suffer relapses. 

Coordinated special care is a combination of medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, and family involvement. It also supports education and employment services. This aims to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients. 

SOMEONE I KNOW HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA. WHAT DO I DO TO HELP THEM?

All you have to do is love and care for this person. Having schizophrenia isn’t easy, and you should acknowledge that and be patient with them. Encourage them to get the treatment they need. Remember that the hallucinations of schizophrenic people feel real to them. Never ever tolerate dangerous and inappropriate behavior; having a mental disorder does not give them the excuse to do bad things. 

Always remember that these people are still human. When they ask for help, don’t turn your back on them. Love them for who they are.

*Name was not disclosed


References:

 

Resisting Against Standards (A Mid-Year End Update) ft. The New Team, International Growth, & Seeing New Horizons | by Margaret Lee

Hello everyone! It has been quite some time since I was able to make a very personal sharing of how things are going at Talang Dalisay, so I decided to write this out all for you.

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(This was a picture I took at this place called Sycamore park! It reminded me of my friends and people back home. I’m not so sure why.)

Before anything, how are you? I know I don’t have the means of knowing whatever your response may be, but I hope you’re doing well. I miss this question. I rarely hear it nowadays.

Last September, I moved to Northern California for college and I feel like I haven’t stopped moving since then. I’ve met so many new people, learned so many new things, and was able to see so many new places. Time went by too fast. I can’t believe I’m in that part of the school year where I have midterms already!

Whenever I meet someone new here, I always get asked what my name is and where I’m from. Whenever I talk to people back home, they excitingly ask me what’s up and how my adventures are here.

One day I received a text from my parents asking how I was. All they asked was a simple “how are you?”

And that felt nice.

It felt nice because I felt like someone cared about the way I felt at a certain time. I felt important and somehow that one question slowed my pace down. It calmed and reassured me that someone was there to listen.

One of the things I was really scared of before coming to America was how I was going to manage Talang Dalisay. I would always get asked that question during my summer: “how are you going to do it?” Academics here is no joke. I feel like everyone in my school is a genius. Everyone’s so passionate, so outspoken, and ready to revolt against the conventional. I feel like I have to keep up with the standard set in my school, as well a piece of my heart left back home.

I know I made many many sacrifices during my summer to somewhat establish a system that would work when I would leave. I did my best in trying to look for ways that would make it all work.

But in all honesty, I still don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t think I’ll ever answer it because I don’t truly know how “I’m going to do it.”

I also don’t know how I’m going to keep up with all the brilliant people I’ve met so far in college.

But that’s okay!

I’m not going to try to keep up to that standard, because I figured that making your own is easier. Standards are mere social constructs and I truly believe that. Making your everyday life revolved around living up to that is bad for your mental health. So if you’re pressured by anything, reconstruct the way you think.

I guess a vague description of how I’m “managing” things is just trying. I’m trying my best. I’m trying my very best to constantly talk to my team, to send out emails despite the time differences, to help individuals who privately send me inquiries on how they can manage their mental health.

Trying is much better than living up to a standard. Remember that you spend most of your time living inside your head, so make it a good place to be!


 

TEAM UPDATES

Now I’d like to take this time to thank the wonderful NEW executive team at Talang Dalisay for all their hard work and efforts! Our new executive team had their first team meeting last August.

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Our new team members are:

CORE TEAM

Assistant Executive Directors

Sam Maceda, Javi Del Mundo 

Directors of Content Creation & Marketing 

Nasstaja Bautista, Francesca Duenas 

Directors of Social Media & Global Operations 

Erica Chua, Quentin Calleja 

Directors of Management & Human Resources 

Marian Meris 

Directors of Finance 

Patricia Arago, Avram Liban 

Logistics & Program Systems Directors

Nicole Go, Bettina Martirez

Editors in Chief & Assistant/Co-Editor

Bianca Dabu (Assistant/Co-Editor in Chief) 

COMMITTEE TEAMS

Content Creation & Marketing

Margarita Matti, Nina Co, Isabelle Medalla, Sam Veguillas, Renee Umali, Mika Avellaneda, Bella Aprecio, Jada Bautista, Alexa Brotonel

Social Media & Global Operations 

Sabine Jayme, Gabi Romeo, Maia Villaluz, Caia Pujol, Yanni Cordova, Sophia Concio, Iris Castelo, Jaden Cordova

Management & Human Resources 

Kiana Salapare, Bea Macalalag, Elisha Santuyo, Miko Cano, Dominique Parado, Jasmine Ong, Aija Lajara 

Finance 

Nasya Pangilinan, Anya Inocencio, Jericho Urbano, Carl Danao, Nina Agcaoili, Shamala Musngi, Sharky Roxas 

Logistics & Program Systems 

Camille Jaurigue, Nia Yeung, Hillary Lao, Nina Lim, Priya Picache, Bianca Manese, Yobel Bautista, Louise Ferrer, Dharline Sy 

CORRESPONDENTS

New Correspondents  

Teresa de los Reyes, Andee Bautista, Margareth Geluz, Tanya Budhrani, Elisha Peji, Chanel Ang, Akasby Pante, Patty Tamesis, Jairus Sarmiento, Maria Canlas, Francisco Pantaleon 

ADULT ADVISORS 

Camille Millioga, Ysabel Banez, Nicole Batungbacal 

ACCREDITATION UPDATES

We were recently part of the Mental Health Innovation Network’s monthly newsletter! We are so honored to be part as recognized non-profits alongside other organizations from around the world.

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Our project with the National Youth Commission regarding mental health by-laws are almost done processing! Updates on the project will be released before the year ends. Let’s all hope for a successful outcome for any one of our proposals!

Special thanks for Deveoph as well for helping us promote it with other interested parties.

Lastly, our accreditation with the UN SDSN Sustainable Development Goals are almost done! We hope to attain our accreditation with them soon.

INTERNATIONAL BRANCH UPDATES – MY STATE OF MIND 

Our international branch applications started late September, and have received applications from all over the world! We are so excited to expand and make our advocacy accessible to more people.

We are present in:

USA – California, New York, Washington DC; Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, & Singapore!

We will be releasing the new branch directors by this week! Artists and writers who signed up so far have also been contacted. Please check your emails if you signed up!

If you’re not living in the Philippines and also want to help out with this cause, please sign up at: tinyurl.com/msom-application.

UPCOMING AND PAST EVENTS & PARTNERSHIPS 

We’ve had an overwhelming amount of invitations for various partnerships these past few months!

We kicked off the summer with our partnership with Developh, and later on had one with Mano Amiga Academy where we taught self care to children there c/o Girl Up International, a female empowerment organization. We were also a partner organization for She Talks Asia who had their event a few weeks ago. Talks have also been given to the Immaculate Concepcion Academy, Keys School Manila, and many more.

We have upcoming invitations and partnerships from: Xavier School, Youth for Mental Health Coalition’s Public Health Convention, In Touch Community Services’ Kapihan Event, the Sustainable Development Goals’ Event at UP Diliman, Ateneo De Manila University’s Mindfulness Batulao Program, and many more!

We will be creating comprehensive posts on our FB and IG pages with full details with our partnerships! We are excited to share our advocacy and our team before the year ends.


 

That was probably one of the most comprehensive updates I’ve done. So many things happening! The world just doesn’t stop moving. People keep on going! And you should too. Keep on going! But don’t forget to take a healthy pause once in a while.

Thanks for reading if you reached all the way here! And thank you for supporting Talang Dalisay. I can’t believe this organization would ever grow to what it is now. I am in a loss of words as always. Thank you, thank you!

Sincerely,

Margaret Lee

Founder & Executive Director

Talang Dalisay + My State of Mind 

Mindfulness: There’s an App For That | by Nicole Profeta

In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to go a full 24 hours without your smartphone. We use our phones to do everything, from sending text messages to our friends, calling our parents to update them, posting IG stories of the concert we are watching, posting updates on our class group on Facebook, to reading about the latest gossip on Twitter. Smartphones have become a very integral part of our lives. So many aspects of our lives have become much easier and have been made more accessible thanks to the technology of the apps on our smartphones.

And who’s to say mental health can’t do the same? Over the past few years, more and more mental health apps have been developed and used by many people, those with mental illnesses as well as those who simply want to take better care of their own mental health. Such apps have presented exciting advancements for the field, including the possibility of educating patients better, monitoring more accurately mental as well as physical symptoms, and even offering immediate yet not clinical-level assistance.

SOME USEFUL MENTAL HEALTH APPS:

  1. Daylio

(Available on Google Play and App Store)

As the name implies, this app is best used daily to track the different moods you experience as well as your activities.

Features

Track your daily activities and correlate these with the moods you experience. You will soon notice patterns between certain activities and moods – do you always experience more positive moods when you are hanging out with your friends? Do you feel anxious whenever you are at school? These correlations can later be looked into by your psychologist or health professional (or even yourself). The bonus addition of turning your data into a printable PDF offers the advantage of having something concrete to show to your psychologist. Additionally, you can also log a short entry at the end which can serve as a mini journal.

You can also track habits and goals and set reminders to achieve these. Do you need to be reminded thrice a week to hit the gym? Or do you need to be reminded to do your grocery shopping at least twice a month? This app has got you covered. 

This app is more of a self-awareness tool than a specific self-help tool. It does not offer advice or activities to do, but it does present data that can help you or your psychologist analyze your day-to-day moods and activities. It is most helpful for those experiencing mood disorders, but anyone who wants to become more self-aware can use this app. 


2. Headspace

(Available on Google Play and App Store)

This app basically teaches mindful meditation, or learning how to be more present in the present. 

Features

It starts off with basic guided meditation sessions which teach you how to be more present. These come in the form of podcasts which talk you through basic skills such as noting your thoughts, steadying your breathing pace, learning how to sit still and concentrate for longer periods of time. You can even adjust each session to the amount of time you are willing to meditate that day, and the session will automatically be tailored to your timeframe. 

After finishing basic sessions, you can move on to unlock more advanced sessions which cover self-improvement topics like handling stress, sleeping better, help with overcoming fears, and becoming more confident.

Although this is a paid app, some packages come free if you explore the app well enough.

Bonus: some Headspace guided meditations are on Youtube and Spotify! 

3. Calm Harm

(Available on Google Play and App Store)

As its name implies, this is an app that helps individuals struggling with self-harm or panic attacks. 

Features 

This app relies on distraction and ultimately channels the self-harm urge into something more productive. Self-harm is seen as “wave” which you must “ride out” until the urge passes. When experiencing such urges, it is often difficult to distract the mind, so this app offers a wide variety of activities with specific prompts to lessen even more stress. The activities range from those that provide comfort, distraction, release, and even explore creativity. Additionally, the app helps track occurrences of attacks for better monitoring. 

Similar apps

#SelfCare – also an app to help deal with panic attacks

4. Woebot

(Available on Google Play and App Store)

Don’t be fooled by its pun-ny name. This app is centered on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, one of the most popular forms of clinical therapy. 

Features

This app is an AI robot that holds conversations. As stupid as it sounds, it is actually very efficient at teaching lessons from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, such as determining cognitive distortions (a.k.a. Bad thoughts) like all-or-nothings and shoulds, establishing a growth mindset, and attaining mindfulness. “Sessions” with Woebot are short and consist of check-ins which are best done everyday. As with most other mental health apps, Woebot also helps track progress over a span of days. 

This is perfect for those days when your therapist is not available, but it should be kept in mind that this app cannot stand as a substitute for professional help. 

There are numerous other mental health apps that prove to be useful, but nothing still beats good ‘ol therapy and self-care. At the end of the day, these apps are not a substitute, but merely support. 

Special thanks to: COPE UP of UP Diliman, Gleeselle Rosales, and Wren Breda



CLOSURE: Grieving a Loved One | by Sakshi Sahijwani

Sometimes the hardest part of losing someone is losing all the possibilities. Losing the chances of what could’ve been. 

It’s one thing letting go of what was— saying goodbye, and moving on. It’s another thing having someone die. A death that you can’t even explain, and being forced to say goodbye; letting stories become memories. You wonder how life would go in the future if they were still with you. You wonder what moments and love you could have shared if you just had more time.

But truth be told, you can hold onto the memories, but you can’t truly hold on to the future. You can’t hold onto what might have been because it never was and it never will be. I know, losing the chances of the future is tremendously hard. Losing the chance to make new memories is terrifying. One day you had a whole future planned out with someone. You had a whole life to live together. You had endless possibilities just waiting for you. Thousands of perfect, deep conversations, and millions of beautiful little adventures. You hoped for many more perfect moments.

And then one day, one moment, it was all gone. The hopes, the possibilities, the lovely moments that the future had in store for the two of you have washed away as if they had never existed. And at that moment, you couldn’t even begin to grasp the emotions you were feeling. And even now, you still can’t fathom the loss you are feeling in your heart.

The part that really messes with you is the fact that you are never going to know what would’ve happened or what could’ve been. No matter how many times you replay the ending, nothing changes. Your future together doesn’t magically return. Your person doesn’t come back, no matter how many hours you spend hoping and hoping.

You can’t fix it. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. So your only option is to just settle with what you had, and treasure every single moment – good and bad.

Why’d you leave? 

This question haunts everyone who has lost someone. Looking for answers, seeking guidance, recalling memories, and out of all these, you try your hardest to stay strong because you believe that that’s what your loved one would have wanted. 

For me, it always felt selfish to grieve. I think of endless excuses for those who were closer to the person like my mother, my grandma, my aunts, my cousins— urging myself to be strong for them, I belittled my own feelings to be able to present a strong front. While trying my best to succeed at this, I learnt something. 

Grief is an intensely personal thing. It is not dependent on a who-has-it-worst battle. Your grief is legitimate, whether or not someone else was closer to them, or has it worse. Grief, when handled, is also incredibly unifying. This is why funerals are so powerful. Funerals, I’ve learned, are not for those who have passed but for the living. Funerals are for processing grief together. By grieving, you do not lose your ability to console and be with your mother, your grandma, your aunts or cousins. Instead, by grieving together, you strengthen that ability to be there for them when they need it most.

When you deny grief, you isolate yourself. If you shut down, and avoid, you often destroy the true possibility of helping your loved ones through their grief as well. Helping someone grieve can depend on the person or family. For me, I’ve learned that crying together is more helpful than I ever could have imagined. 

If I had shut down, I wouldn’t have been able to tell my aunt’s stories that I’ve shared with my family since her passing. I wouldn’t have talked to them about how she always fed me a lot of yummy food when I was young, or how she was so good at playing cards, or ultimately how amazing of a person she truly was. 

And one day, it’ll get easier. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next month. But one day you will see that what you had was beautiful, and you’ll be able to make peace with the ending of your story together.

Through this loss, I’ve realized a lot. That grief is not a sign of weakness but strength. I no longer wish to avoid and cause unnecessary additional pain. I wish to grieve with my family. I wish to heal, and I hope that you do too. It’s going to hurt a lot. It’s going to punch you over and over again. You’re going to cry every single day. But through all the tears, you’ll realize that what you had was something so special. Something that you will hold onto as you move forward on your own. Something that will always be with you, even if the person is not.

I hope you remember that by grieving, you are not forgetting them. You are not dismissing their life. You are not selfish. You are not alone. But rather, you are celebrating their life and their impact. You and your loved ones are stronger together. Never forget that.

UNTITLED JOURNEY | BY ANTONIO SISON

It’s a new month, it’s the middle of 2019, some of us may know where we are going but some of us may be confused on where to steer our boats for the next few months of the year.

In line with this, the team would like to share a poem on the importance of embracing our struggles and pushing thru it all no matter what the circumstance.

We got this, Talang Dalisay family! We will resist thru it all.


 

________________

By: Tonio Sison

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What to write?
Will it be enough?
It’s looking like one of those days,
Where I don’t know what to say.
The page is empty,
It’s at a blank again,
My fingers are typing down random words,
At random times for the sake of the rhyme.
With this comes the temptation of erasing everything by pressing a button. Funny how it all is so simple…

What do I do now?
Am I doing enough?
For so long I was comfortable with expressing the way I feel,
Being vulnerable, opening up and living by the moment, that was my forte.
But right now its like I’m trapped inside of a cold, lonely and worn down cage with nothing I can use to escape.
These feelings are all over the place,
Confusion, guilt, and regret go from being cameos to a more recurring role.

Will it ever stop?
Is it enough?
My mind is running laps around the oval,
Circling over and over and over again.
With every kilometer that’s been recorded,
Another memory deleted…at least for now.
Suddenly there’s a shift that didn’t seem all strange.
A certain calmness,
Comforting yet a little bit alarming.
It’s a different set of lenses.
Clearer, brighter, and better.
I can see the most intricate of details down to the tiniest dust particles that needs to be vacuumed away.

Despite it all there still are the few that get away,
Astigmatism, nearsightedness and all the other genetic terms used, Are enough to make things resurface.
These temporary corrections were just band-aid solutions,
Only designed for the short-term but will not last for the long-run. Alas this new perspective became one I didn’t quite conform to. And just like that it all began to change.

Out with all with the questions and just embrace all the reflections. The page is different from before,
What started out as a blank became something filled with experience. I close my eyes and begin to think of the journey:

The pain I went through,
The problems I tried to ignore,
And all the times I felt I was bottling everything up and becoming a mask, hiding my own self.
Everything that has happened was necessary and became the push I needed.
I know I’m far from where I want to be,
But for now a deep breath and a little bit of time to write is enough.
It may not be perfect but that’s okay,
As long as I’m satisfied and fine with it,
It is enough.


 

About the author

An incoming college sophomore at UA&NP, Tonio Sison is passionate about poetry and his ability of expressing himself freely – sharing his journey in life through good times and adversity. You can view more of his poems at sisonpoems.blogspot.com! 

TO THE COLLEGE FRESHMAN | BY RAINE RIVAS & KARMELLA TAPIA

Summer break is supposed to be just that: a break. As a senior high graduate, chances are you’ve been looking forward to this blissful vacation/reward for a very long time. Well then, you should be feeling relaxed, right? …At least until you notice the fast approaching first day of freshman orientations on your phone calendar. And then get hit by the realization that you’re going to be the new kid surrounded by strangers in an unfamiliar environment again. Oh, and that you’ll be handling a college-level workload complete with college-level expectations of independence. Plus a dozen more changes to your high school-set routines.

Are you anxious yet? Well, if you are, you’re in good company.
Hi. We’re Karmella and Raine, a dynamic duo of Talang Dalisay editors, and yes, we’re fresh high school graduates. Are we worried about entering college? Definitely.

K: I’m worried about having to get out of my comfortable social circles in awkward attempts to make friends. I’ve quite literally forgotten how to initiate conversations with strangers.
R: And I’m scared of becoming complacent. I’m terrified of waking up one morning and realizing that I’ve been letting college pass me by… I don’t want to just be cruising through college—I want to experience it fully and be satisfied with what I’ll be doing.

We all have our own sets of worries. So if thinking about the upcoming school year makes you feel queasy and stressed, you should know: Your worry is completely natural and valid. In fact, it’s not just you who’s freaking out. Major change is a widely-acknowledged reason to be scared and doubtful. Change is scary, and so are the uncertainty and instability that tend to follow in its wake! Chances are, your world’s gonna shift 180°, and we can all agree— that’s a big deal. So, the big, looming question is: what do we do with all that worry? (And how do we save our summer from that ominously encroaching cloud of fear?)

We find that widening one’s perspective of what’s to come can do wonders for transforming a negative mindset.

First off: we’re well aware of the fact that we’ll be surrounded by strangers and saying goodbye to our respective barkadas (“No!” an inner voice screams. “High school is forever!”). This sounds pretty terrifying, but we can’t ignore all the possibilities of meeting amazing new people. Strangers? More like a ton of future friends.

It’s possible that most of us have forgotten what it’s like to be the new kid—nervous, self-conscious, and brimming with the simple worry that you won’t have anyone to sit with. Remember this, though: Everyone else will probably be just as nervous as you. Every person you’ll see in that freshie orientation room will likely want to make friends too. Don’t sweat it too much. But in the event that friend-making doesn’t come as easily as you had hoped, you can always join an org to meet those with similar interests or advocacies as you!

Another big source of worry is failure, and how inevitable it seems. You’ll have no shortage of challenges when your college life begins, no doubt about it. But consider this: you definitely won’t be alone in the struggle. Having a hard time with acads? Adjusting to dorm or condo life? Realizing how hard it is to juggle everything? These can all be springboards for you to bond with someone going through them as well. You’ll find that growing in resilience together can do wonders for a budding friendship.

There’s also the fear that as college kids, we’ll still have that feeling of being lost. If you find yourself frustrated that you haven’t found your niche yet, find comfort in the fact that there really is no rush. It’s easy to forget this when some people are doing really specialized things and are seemingly set already in their respective fields. College is a time of exploration, and if we keep this mindset moving forward, it’ll save us a great deal of worry. (Raine here!) I chose AB Psych as my course, knowing that it might take some time for me to figure out what I really want to do. While it’s within my realm of interest, it’s still an extremely broad area. I plan to use it as a guide as I continue my attempts to get closer to my future profession. These attempts include: looking into how training and HR work, and writing about mental health awareness— something I’m extremely passionate about. (Shoutout to all our lovely friends over here at Talang Dalisay!)

Last, but not least: there’s the fear of falling behind our college peers. Maybe it was a long post by an honored university graduate, or the already dazzling work resume of a batchmate—something always manages to remind us that we’re miles away from matching the capabilities and prowess of others our age. There’s always the feeling that we have to. When that feeling comes, all our shortcomings come into focus, leaving many of us feeling much too mediocre to survive a year in college. The truth of the matter is that there will always be someone better than you in some facet of life. That need not be a bad thing, though! Not only can you gain help and learn from the abundance of talented people around you in college, you can also look to their example as inspiration to hone your own strengths.

So yes, fresh high school graduates! Should you be worried about college? To be honest… probably. However, that worry need not consume nor overshadow your dwindling days of vacation. Things will be changing for you, undoubtedly, but, hey, as we’ve illustrated, change isn’t all that bad. The unknown can be scary at first or second or even third glance—but it can also be an exciting, promising time of great things to come! With so many opportunities around the corner, let’s enjoy and experience the openness of life in our own places and at our own pace!

Once again, that emotional torrent of fear, doubt, and anxiety is totally valid! We’re with you. You got this. AND GOOD LUCK, CLASS OF 2019!

From the bottom of our shared article,
Karmella and Raine

THE BULLET JOURNAL AGENDA | BY GIULIA MARTINEZ

I’m sure we all kept notebooks or diaries at one point or another as we were getting through our tween to early adolescent years. For a lot of us, those were just filled with thought dumps, doodles, and terrible songs we attempted to write. Admittedly, I lost a bit of creativity in that sense once I got more and more entangled into high school. Instead of spending more time writing leisurely, I was writing purely for academics and research. From then on, the creative writing side of myself seemed almost lost. With this being said, what if I told you there was a way we could put creativity and productivity into one journal?

Over recent years, bullet journaling has been a growing journal format trend that entails a method of organizing yourself and your thoughts into a journal that aims to be both artsy and productive. Its inventor, Ryder Caroll, was forced to create a personal system that would help him become a more productive individual because of his difficulties with his learning disabilities. Through the bullet journal method, Caroll aims to promote “the art of intentional living”.

The bullet journal method may have been created by one man, but trust me when I say that each person can come up with their very own bullet journal style. Each individual should be allowed to find out what kind of journaling method will cater to their own organizational needs while still allowing them to show off their own creative flair. From checklists to diary entries, timetables to illustrated diagrams–whatever way to get you organized will work, as long as it works for especially for you. Furthermore, owning a bullet journal means creating every notebook spread from scratch. In other words, there will be no manufactured planner layout spreads needed, since you will be making the format on your own. Besides its ability to boost productivity, there is an outlet for your creative side as well! Each spread, layout, color, and motif for each page will be according to your liking. Let your imagination run freely! As previously mentioned, you just have to do whatever will work for you.

Each month begins with a title page
I write and doodle a bunch of thoughts and lessons once the month is over
I use a mood and diet tracker to keep tabs on how I feel and
how my eating habits are each day
One day = one bullet; I summarize what happens in a day +
add tickets or pictures for remembrance

Personally, keeping a bullet journal (BuJo) really helped me in high school, especially in my senior year. Because it’s very personalized, creating each spread felt very therapeutic, and it really forced me to take some time out of my day to actually sit down and write in my journal. Through this, I was subconsciously giving myself my daily “me time”. My own twist on the journal was that I would write things down only after they happened, so it wasn’t really a planner-type of BuJo for me (because I have a separate planner to write down my agendas). This way, I’d be able to reflect and remember everything that happened that day when I write them all down. Those spreads could go from stating what event transpired up until what I was thinking to myself when it happened. When everything felt hectic and stressful, it was nice to just write it down in my bullet journal so that I could have a good release without needing to publicize it so much. It really allowed me to stay in touch with both my emotions and my daily productivity, and it did so as well for other friends that I know kept their own BuJos. For them, it helped to keep their journals as planners and have recommended keeping one as well, for it helped them gain more control of their personal agendas.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a notebook now! Let your imagination run freely. It’s time to get yourself get inspired (and organized)!

For more on the bullet journal method, check out: https://bulletjournal.com/

NOTE: The images used are from the author’s own personal bullet journal.