Mental illness could happen to anyone and it could be difficult to recognize.
Unlike a physical wound that is easy to spot, mental illness is an internal war hidden behind a smile, a hello, and the telltale phrase, “I’m okay.”
According to Mayo Clinic, some of the warning signs you should watch out for are “excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt, significant tiredness, low energy, and inability to cope with daily problems or stress.”
If you recognize these symptoms in a friend, colleague, or family member, check out these tips from Beyond Small Talk hosts Peter Kairuz, Sonjia Kakilala and psychotherapist Alain Dizon to know how you can better support them in this journey.
1. Make the person feel that nothing has changed
You might feel awkward when approaching them, but try to relax. Make them feel that you’re the same person they have known and you still see them the same way. Create a safe place for them to unload and share their struggles without judging nor condemning them.
2. Ask them how you could help
It’s okay to be honest and to admit that you don’t know what to do. Ask them how you could help. Always take the cue from the person.
Tell them your limitations and boundaries when helping, but assure them that you’ll journey with them to recovery.
3. Learn how to listen
Avoid acting like an expert by trying to fix your loved ones’ problems. What they need are your heartfelt presence and listening ear to make them feel that you genuinely care.
Also, don’t force them to speak if they are not yet ready to open up. Just make yourself available whenever they are comfortable to finally talk.
Did these tips help you? Feel free to comment on the online discussion and make sure to catch the next webisode of Beyond Small Talk! Watch it next Saturday, October 23, 2021, 7:00 PM, on The 700 Club Asia Facebook page and YouTube Channel!
Also, we would love to pray for you and your loved ones who are suffering from mental health problems.
Call 8-737-0-7-00 if you’re in Metro Manila. If you’re outside Metro Manila or the Philippines, contact us through CBN Asia Prayer Center.
Taking care of your overall well-being is integral to being a healthy and productive person.
It enables you to be more productive, it boosts your immune system, enhances your self-esteem, and improves your compassion towards others, says Katherine Hurst of The Law of Attraction in her article What Is Self-Care And Why Is Self-Care Important?.
But then, a lot of people still think that self-care is being selfish and inconsiderate.
In this webisode of Beyond Small Talk, hosts Peter Kairuz, Sonjia Calit, and Zenia Panahon discuss the importance of self-care. They also share tips that you can apply to have a healthier body, soul, and spirit.
1. Learn to listen to your body
Are the pressures of life crushing you down? Swamped by your daily tasks and cannot function well?
Be sensitive to detect the messages that your body sends to you.
“Self-care is not being selfish, it is being healthy,” Zenia Panahon emphasized.
Can you hear your body groan and complain? It’s okay to take a step back and retreat.
2. Set aside some time for yourself
Stress is everywhere. It is inevitable.
You need to find some time to slow down, clear your thoughts, and get replenished. You may try meditating, take a 10-15 minute walk every day, or clean and declutter your desk.
According to Zenia Panahon, “Self-care routines vary for different people. It still depends on what works for you and what recharges you.”
3. Make a habit of spending time with God.
Dedicate a time for just you and God.
Say a word of prayer, give thanks to Him, and read what He wants to say to you through His Word.
You can come to God in all your brokenness. Allow Him to make you whole and to comfort you while in the midst of your raging sea of stress and negative emotions.
Peter Kairuz says it beautifully, “When God comforts you, it’s all-encompassing. It’s not just your spirit, but your body benefits from that moment with God.”
If you’re suffering from mental illness, Beyond Small Talk is here for you and ready to listen.
Do not hesitate to join our online discussion and share your struggles with us.
These are real battles people with mental illness deal with every day because of stigma from society.
In fact, the Department of Health, as cited by Philippine Star in their article DOH: It’s time to talk about, address depression made an alarming statement, “We need to start talking about depression to end the stigma surrounding mental health because, when left unattended, it can lead to suicide.”
You can help your struggling friend, workmate, or family member with mental health problems. You just have to be willing to learn, unlearn, and relearn hard truths about it.
Take time to check out these 10 common myths on mental illness debunked by Beyond Small Talk hosts Peter Kairuz, Sonjia Calit, and Zenia Panahon.
Myth #1: Mental health problems can only be experienced at a certain age.
Truth: Mental health problems could manifest at any age. According to Mayo Clinic in their article Mental illness in children: Know the signs, like adults, children can also develop the same mental illness such as anxiety disorders, Schizophrenia, and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Myth #2: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.
Truth: Not all who people who have mental health problems act violently. It still varies on the condition and MentalHealth.gov says in their article Mental Health Myths and Facts, “only 3%–5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness.”
Myth #3: People with mental health problems cannot deal with jobs and/or school.
Truth: There are people with mental health issues who are highly functional and productive members of society. This is why you should be sensitive to signs of mental illness in your loved ones.
Myth #4: Personality flaws are often cause of mental health issues. You could snap out of it over time.
Truth: Mental health issues can be sourced from different factors such as genetics, environment, socio-economic standing, and temperament, says Zenia Panahon.
Also, you can’t snap out of it. You need professional help and ongoing family support which are both vital toward healing from mental health issues.
Myth #5: Once you experience mental health problems, you will never get out of it.
Truth: Mental illness is treatable. If you seek help and gain support, you can recuperate from it.
Myth #6: Taking medications is the only answer.
Truth: Some recover from mental health issues solely with the help of friends, family, and mental health professionals, but there are others who also need medication.
Myth #7: It is impossible to prevent mental illness.
Truth: You cannot really control life’s trials and challenges, so there are times that it may push you to your limit.
But, Mayo Clinic explained in Mental Illness that “If you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control.”
Myth #8: Mental illness is a form of brain damage.
Myth #9: I can’t do anything for people who have mental health issues.
Truth: You can do something about it by being a good support system to them. Show your support by learning how to deal with your loved ones who have mental health issues and accompanying them when seeking professional help, Zenia Panahon explained.
Myth #10: If I seek help, others would think I’m crazy.
Truth: When you seek help, you are investing in taking care of yourself, says Zenia Panahon.
Now that election day is getting closer, we see more and more campaign ads on public spaces and media outlets.
Candidates all over the country are putting their best foot forward to prove to Filipinos that they deserve a seat in the national and local government.
While their attributed charisma and campaign jingles make them look convincing, these political publicity stunts should not be the only guide to making your decision on whom to vote.
Your vote matters. So, here are 3 things you must do before casting that crucial vote next election as advised by Beyond Small Talk hosts Peter Kairuz, Jericho Arceo, and Paul Herrera.
1. Research the candidate’s background.
There’s more to campaign materials than meets the eye. Of course, candidates will not show you their weaknesses and wrongdoings. It’s your responsibility to do your research.
Look at their political records, leadership skills, and where they stand on important issues. Among other things, these will help you weigh whether he/she is qualified for the position they are running for.
2. Assess candidate’s character.
You wouldn’t want to vote for a leader who is just eloquent in speech. Instead, look for a leader who has integrity, commitment, faithfulness – one who stays true and fulfills his/her promises, and someone who would be always available in times of need.
A leader who serves and sacrifices for the good of his/her people just like how it was demonstrated by Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, is worth our vote.
3. Pray before you vote.
Above all else, seek for God’s wisdom and discernment. Make a decision to fervently pray for the right candidates for the position because your vote determines the direction of the future of our country.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV, it says, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Follow this prayer with us:
“Lord, we come humbly before Your throne today. We acknowledge Your sovereignty and power over our beloved nation, the Philippines. We know that when we pray, You hear us. So with confidence, we ask for a safe and peaceful election process. We ask for divine encounters for our government and future leaders, and wisdom to every Filipino voter. May You hold everything in the palm of Your hands. We ask all these in the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen!”
If you have a hard time answering that question, perhaps you need to take the time to pause and reflect about your marriage today.
In a time of a global pandemic, it is not always “marriage as usual.” You may be grateful to be with your family at this time of quarantine, but worries, uncertainties, and responsibilities could still pile up and get the best of you and your partner.
To help you overcome these marital challenges, Beyond Small Talk hosts Lara Quigaman-Alcaraz and husband Marco are here to share tips on how to grow your relationship with your spouse even when you are stuck with each other 24/7.
1. Pray together and seek God as a family
Have you ever tried praying together your family? Seeking God’s presence has never been more important in these trying times.
As Marco shared, “Pray for each other, pray together as husbands and wives, and pray as a family.” Through prayers, invite God to reign over situations where you need Him most.
4. Love God more than your spouse and your children
Make your relationship with God your highest priority, over everyone and everything else in your life. You would be amazed by how He would take care of your relationship with your spouse and children.
5. Acknowledge that you cannot do anything apart from God
Recognizing God as all-powerful takes a lot of humility And it’s important for a good reason: Humbling yourself before God also allows Him to do His work in your family. You need to recognize that apart from Him, you cannot do anything.
As Jesus said in John 15:5 NLT, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
6. Talk to each other openly and honestly
You and your husband cope differently in a crisis. That’s why it’s important to openly communicate with each other to understand your needs and responsibilities as husband and wife.
7. Never stop pursuing your wife
If you’re the husband, Marco advises that you continue to pursue your wife, even after you’ve already won her heart. It’s God who gave her to you. No matter how simple, make sure to give encouraging words and gestures that would fill up her love tank.
8. Submit to, respect, and serve your husband
If you’re a wife, Lara encourages you to submit to, respect, and serve your husband. Loving him unconditionally is like serving God by being a good steward of marriage.
9. Focus on and appreciate the good things that your spouse does for you
Instead of focusing on your partner’s negative behaviors and mistakes, why not focus on the positives?
Appreciating the good things help strengthen your relationship. If a pressing matter needs to be dealt with, do it with all humility, gentleness, and patience (Ephesians 4:2 ESV). Remember that like you, your spouse is still a work in progress.
10. Forgive each other
Ephesians 4:32 ESV encourages you to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. You cannot love God and not forgive your spouse. God wants both of you to constantly forgive each other, just as Jesus constantly forgives you.
11. Put your trust in Jesus Christ alone
Above all, people and seasons change, but God’s love remains forever. As Lara puts it, “He is the only one who never changes. He is good all the time.”
For better and for worse, may you always trust Him and make Him the center of your marriage.
What was your reaction when you first heard that classes will reopen despite the pandemic?
If you were among the parents who have already expressed their opposition and frustrations about the distance learning that will take effect this school year, your reaction is quite normal.
In fact, thousands of parents, students, and groups tried to “cancel” the idea and petitioned for #AcademicFreeze, furthering the digital divide.
However, it looks like there is no turning back. Schooling will push through even outside the typical face-to-face, classroom scenario.
To help ease the doubts and worries you may have, Beyond Small Talk host FelichiBuizon is here to help you list down the blessings and benefits that come with home-based learning.
Benefit #1: Health preservation
No parent would want their child’s health to be compromised.
Now that classes will be done in your household, your child can stay safe at home and stay away from higher exposure to thevirus. If your child has other health conditions, with home-based learning, you can monitor them and watch over them better.
Benefit #2: Opportunity to strengthen the family
Home-based learning gives you more time to be with your loved ones, especially if your family is one of those who haven’t spent time together because you are too caught up with life’s busyness.
“This is a time that we can get to know our children better and they can get to know us better. And why is this needed? Experts say that children learn more when they are in good terms with their teacher. With terror teachers, children’s minds tend to shut down. No learning takes place,” says Felichi.
Instead of scolding or mere lecturing your child, have a caring conversation with them. Ask them how they are doing because they, too, are affected by the pandemic. They, too, lost their connection with friends, teachers, and their normal way of life.
Benefit #3: Motivated learning
Because your child’s learning takes place near you, you now have the chance to encourage them and develop their love for learning.
To Felichi, excitement is contagious, that is why you can inspire your child to learn by joining them and showing that you are excited for them.
You don’t need to take over their tasks. Allow them to be independent in completing their assignments. However, you can motivate them to adhere to their class routine and reassure them that you always got their back when needed. In return, you may get a deeper appreciation of your child’s learning experiences.
Benefit #4: Extra time to enjoy their hobbies
Piano, guitar, or dance lessons?
Home-based learning buys your child extra time so they can pursue their other interests and hobbies. Felichi, who is also a homeschooling parent, suggests that you allow your child to enjoy and explore other things that could expand their skills.
“If you have pre-schoolers, let them play! Experts say that playing is important for their growth. If your child likes to dance or play musical instruments, you can help them look for online tutorials and lessons,”Felichi said.
It might take time before you and your child could fully adjust to home-based learning. But what good would it bring if you focus on what’s lacking or missing?
Allow yourself and your child to focus on the good things that you have at hand.Allow yourself to be grateful, prayerful, and faithful – in lack and in abundance.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV)
Let us know what you think about these benefits, and feel free to add more!
Join the online discussion and don’t miss the next webisode of Beyond Small Talk as Felichi talksmore about how you can support your child’s home-based learning.Catch the new webisode on October 3, 2020, at 7:00 PM on The 700 Club Asia Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Is it possible to live a happy, positive life amid the pandemic?
You can be a more positive person starting today! But what makes people happy and positive? What makes them see the glass as half full and not half empty?
It’s simple – positive people make it a habit to be positive. They act, think, and see the world differently. Here are 5 habits of positive people you can try out for a happier, more positive you:
1. Positive people accept their past, live in the present, and stay optimistic about the future
Some people live in this mindset: “I am poor, I had a painful past, I was given a hard life.”
Positive people think otherwise. They have the courage to accept that everything that happens is for their growth – no matter how bad it may have been.
Choose to believe that life’s challenges make you stronger, wiser, more loving, and more faithful. Use your gifts, strengths, and even your struggles to create something of value to your life and to the world.
Instead of harboring resentment, focus on the things you have and can do in the present moment. Have faith that in the future, everything will work out for your good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
2. Positive people practice self-love
Do you love yourself?
Positive people would answer a resounding yes to that question. They know that self-compassion lets them experience more happiness, optimism, and motivation in life – affirming what Social and Personality Psychology Compass found in their research.
So, take care of your well-being so you can take good care of others, too. Likewise, embrace your identity which is wonderfully made in the image of God.
Avoid comparing yourself with others. Whenever you catch yourself thinking this way, be careful that you don’t fall into self-pity. Remind yourself of your worth and potential. Trust the process. Run your own race!
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:14,17 ESV)
3. Positive people surround themselves with positive people
What kind of people do you surround yourself with? Do they fill you up, or drain your energy? Do they lift you up, or bring you down? Are they supportive, or critical?
For positive people, friendships have a huge effect on positivity and happiness. In fact, a study called Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network suggests that those who associate themselves with happy people have a happier demeanor – and that happiness spreads through their social network!
So, surround yourself with friends who are happy, wise, and supportive. Build lasting relationships with individuals who can inspire you and help you grow in faith.
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26 NKJV)
4. Positive people find joy in the little things
Positive people know that our days are numbered, so they make the most out of it by finding joy even in small things.
Avoid overthinking and overanalyzing because not all things are worth worrying about. Don’t take yourself too seriously – have fun!
Finding joy and humor in little things in life is an attitude that can be cultivated each day. Enjoy your time here, so go ahead and dance, sing, crack jokes, and smile a lot!
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 ESV)
5. Positive people cultivate an attitude of gratitude
What are you grateful for today?
For positive people, gratitude helps them refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. They believe that what they focus on grows, so as they focus on gratitude, it naturally brings positivity and abundance into their life.
To feel better about your life, cultivate gratitude on a daily basis.
Instead of complaining or sulking, step back and take time to pray and thank God for the life He has given you. Praise Him for the tiniest things to the grandest of blessings. Thank Him for His promises that are yet to be fulfilled.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV)
Are you looking for some positive vibes to start your day?
Imposed quarantines from time to time, news about the rise and fall of COVID-19 cases here and there, plus health and safety reminders everywhere. Can you believe that the world has been battling this pandemic for a year and a half now?
How are you holding up?
If these unsettling scenarios stress and fill you with anxiety, know that God wants you to be free from all worries (Psalm 34:4).
God gives you the power to break free from stress!
Here are 5 essential tips to help you cope with your pandemic stress, from inspirational speaker and Beyond Small Talk guest, Carl Pascua.
Tip #1: Slow down and rest
Did you find yourself feeling extra stressed when the pandemic started? You are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during the pandemic.
Perhaps, uncertainty becomes the gasoline that fuels your stress fire.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to force yourself to be okay all the time. Carl suggests that you process your emotions. Take time to figure out where the sadness or stress comes from and take a much-needed rest.
Tip #2: Exercise and stay healthy
Science has long proven that your mind and body are strongly linked.
“Remember, a healthy body can result into a healthy mind and a good emotional condition,” Carl reminds.
So, get off the couch and start a simple exercise routine. Also, be extra mindful of what you eat!
Tip #3: Talk about your problems
Whether it’s with a family member, a trusted friend, or a mentor, sharing your thoughts and concerns with other people can help relieve stress.
Likewise, you can help others feel that they’re not alone, too!
Like you, each person you know could be fighting a battle you don’t know about. So don’t hesitate to reach out. Encourage each other and build each other up! (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT)
Tip #4: Let go of the idea about control
Who would’ve thought that by 2020, going to malls, restaurants – or even work – could be a health risk? Who would’ve thought that by the summer of 2021, you would still be cooped up in your home and praying for a pandemic to end?
But it happened. This goes to show that no matter what your plans are, you cannot control everything. Ease your pandemic stress by letting go of your need to control things, and trusting in Someone greater who is always in control – Jesus Christ.
As Proverbs 19:21 ESV puts it, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
Tip #5: Put your faith in Him
If anything, the pandemic proved the famous saying, “Everything changes, except the word change.”
If you put your happiness and trust in things that change – like your career, health, or even relationships – you might feel stressed when things don’t work out the way you had hoped they would. It’s high time to put your joy and faith in a God who never changes.
“Other people may not understand everything that is going on in your life, but God knows. That means you can go to Him, cry to Him, and you can seek help from Him. Problems can be big, but our God is bigger, our God is stronger!” Carl concluded.
No matter what you’re going through, keep going! You can always find comfort and overcome through the help of your merciful God!
“In the multitudes of anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19 NKJV)
The pandemic has taken away many things for many of us.
Maybe you have lost your dream job or the business that you have worked so hard to build. Or perhaps, you have lost a loved one to COVID-19.
But apart from the things and people you have lost, the pandemic keeps on shaking up the peace in your life on a regular basis. Do you feel troubled and worried?
Regain your peace today!
Here are three practical ways that can help you find perfect peace amid the pandemic:
1. Spend time with God in prayer
For more than a year, the pandemic has kept us from socializing with the people outside of our homes, including our best friends.
You might be missing having someone genuinely listening to you while you are going through tough times. You wish they were beside you right now when life seems so overwhelming.
The good news is, you do have someone who wants to listen to you and free you from your worries and pain: God! You are never alone. God is just waiting for you to go to Him.
When you are filled with anxious thoughts, spend time surrendering your worries to God in prayer.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
Set a time of the day to intentionally seek God in prayer. Find comfort knowing that God can hear all your requests amid your distress.
2. Read God’s Word
Have you ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling through your social media feeds every day?
As you browse through discouraging news, the latest trends, and so many more superficial posts, do you find yourself feeling empty and disheartened?
When events of this world shake your peace, turn to the unshakeable foundation of your peace – the Bible.
Instead of scrolling through your social media accounts, read chapters in the Bible filled with hope and promises of God.
Let the Word of God fill your thoughts and direct your life.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 109:105 NLT)
Take heart and feel the peace that comes with the promises of God in the Bible and it will make your life filled with hope every day.
3. Focus on God
As you find hope in prayer and direction through the Word of God, sustain your peace by focusing on God every day.
When worries start to kick in, let prayer and God’s Word lead you to an unshakeable peace brought about by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)
One of the ways you can focus yourself on God is by listening to uplifting and feel-good music!
Watch out for Reverb Worship’s newest single, “Love and Light” by Joselle Feliciano – a song that will inspire you to rediscover God’s love and light even amid these pressing times.
Stream the song on Spotify, Apple Music, and all digital streaming platforms starting September 24.
In fact, they are so familiar and important that you tend to give your all to provide quality learning experience for your students. They are so valuable that sometimes, these things that you love to do become the source of your stress and burnout.
Influencer, mental health advocate, and Beyond Small Talk host Jericho Arceo shares helpful self-care tips so teachers and educators like you can still thrive while staying committed to your noble profession:
1. Engage in self-care
What can you do to take care of yourself?Start with yourself.
In this time of crisis, teachers like you are exerting extra effort on their work to the point of skipping meals or not getting enough sleep. The work may feel endless at times, but taking time to take care of yourself isn’t selfish! In fact, it’s an important of part of doing well in your job too.
Take care of your sleep, make sure you eat healthy foods, and do not underestimate the value of exercise. Be a little kinder to your body. The healthier you are in mind, body and spirit, the more productive you will be!
Jericho shares, “When we take care of our bodies, eventually, our mental health is being taken care of. It is important to take care of our bodies intentionally, so we can take care of others – in line with the second commandment which is to love our neighbors.”
2. Identify sources of stress
Pause and take time to identify where your stress could be coming from, both in your work and personal life. If you can pin-point your triggers, you can find ways to successfully manage and respond to them.
So, what is your stressor? Your deadlines? The workload? Your colleagues? Or the pressure to adjust to new modes of learning?
3. Be part of a support group
Figuratively speaking, no man is an island.
Scientifically speaking, having trusted people around you is important. In fact, a research titled The Correlation of Social Support with Mental Health from the National Library of Medicine shows that having a good support system can have a positive impact on one’s mental health.
“Make sure your support group understands you, listens to you, loves you, and prays for you. They will lead you closer to God and insulate you in times of mental health problems. Choose your friends,” Jericho suggests.
4. Seek professional help
Are you struggling to sleep, feeling restless or down, becoming sick, or lacking interest in things you used to be so passionate about?
A certain amount of work-related stress is inevitable, but a burnout is a more serious type of stress. You may want to consider talking to a doctor or a mental health professional so they can help you work through it.
“If you are experiencing burnout or any mental health problem, it is important to seek professional help. There is nothing wrong with that,” Jericho reminds.
Some people feel an overwhelming sense of guilt whenever they rest. Perhaps that feeling stems out of the belief that one’s productivity equates to one’s worth.
So, take your time off – and the next time you do, gently remind yourself that rest is required, and you deserve it.
According to Jericho, one of the best things you can do as you rest is to pray and have a personal time with God, “Pray to God, because God is the one who understands you when you cannot verbalize what you feel.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (1 Corinthians 6:19)