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Donna Marie
January 28, 2020
VAJobs.ph Pep Talk No Comments

VAJobs Pep Talk Ep 2: Anxiety in Virtual Assistants

Mahirap magtrabaho kapag may nag-trigger sa anxiety mo.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Anxiety. Ito ang kadalasang nararamdaman natin kapag halimbawa may mag-aapply tayo sa trabaho, may scheduled interview, may bago tayong task, at kapag delayed ang sweldo. It’s part of everyday life and it dictates how we will survive. Kung nakaka function ka habang hinaharap mo yang mga dahilan ng anxiety mo, you’re okay. Pero kapag di ka na nakakain, hindi ka na nakakagalaw ng tama, that’s an issue. And yes, anxiety in virtual assistants is real.

Marami na akong nakitang thread tungkol sa anxiety, lalo na nung nagkaroon ng awareness sa mental health. Ang Filipino kasi napaka stoic. Yung may ugali at kultura na dapat dalhin mo ang sakit at paghihirap ng walang daing. At dahil nasa bahay lang tayo, ito ang kadalasang maririnig natin:

  • Nasa bahay ka lang naman, wala ka sa opisina, bakit nagkakaganiyan ka?
  • Nandiyan ka lang sa harap ng screen mo, anong kinakatakot mo?
  • Anong anxiety attack? Nasa utak mo lang yan!
  • Buti nga may trabaho ka pa eh, yung iba wala kaya tiisin mo yan.

At marami pang iba na hindi ko sasabihin kasi baka ma-trigger kayo. When you experience severe limitations on functionality dahil sa anxiety, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Ano ang anxiety disorder?

Ito yungmay intense fear na may mangyayaring masama. Na parang may nagbabadyang sakuna, na pakiramdam mo magugunaw na ang mundo mo. And it’s no joke! Ganiyan ang nararamdaman ng mga may anxiety disorders kaya hindi sila makagalaw. May iba-ibang klaseng anxiety disorders tulad ng:

  • Panic disorder
  • Phobia
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder (ito naranasan ko ‘to nung nagca-call center ako)
  • Illness anxiety disorder
  • PTSD o post-traumatic stress disorder

Paano mo malalaman na may anxiety attack ka?

Iba-iba ang sumpong nag anxiety attack sa ibang tao. Pero kadalasan, ang nararamdaman nila:

  • Palpitation o mabilis na tibok ng puso
  • Rapid breathing o hyperventilation
  • Restlessness o pagiging aligaga
  • Hirap mag-concentrate
  • Hirap makatulog
  • May matinding kaba na hindi mo alam kung saan nanggagaling
  • Panginginig

Managing anxiety for virtual assistants?

Oo nakaka-lungkot ang may anxiety disorder. Merong mga hindi makapag-trabaho at hindi na nakakapagtrabaho dahil dito. Pero may mga bagay na puwedeng makatulong sa ‘yo para ma-control ito.

Seek professional help

Mahirap ito kasi hindi pa ganon ka-aware ang mga Filipino pagdating sa mental health. Parang kapag nagpatingin ka, iisipin agad ng tao sa ‘yo na baliw ka. Pero that’s not the case. The first thing to do when you have a problem is to accept it and assess your situation. Seek counseling, lalo na kung naapektohan ng anxiety mo ang trabaho mo, pati ang professional and personal relations mo.

Make a journal and write down your fears

Journaling and documenting your attacks can help, especially if you need to undergo regular counseling. Dito makikita mo kung ano ang mga fears mo. List it down in bullet points then isa-isahin mo. Can you solve yung bagay na yon na naka-trigger sa ‘yo? Ano ang magagawa mo as a solution? Magagawa mo ba ngayon?

Take life one day at a time

Kung ano ang nangyari kahapon, kalimutan mo na. Concentrate ka sa kung ano ang kaganapan sa bahay at buhay mo sa araw na ‘to. Wag mo rin intindihin kung ano ang dapat mo gawin bukas kasi pampadagdag lang yan. Remember: baby steps.

Kumain ka – ng tama

Kapag may anxiety attack ka, minsan may dalawang bagay na mangyayari sa eating habits mo. Either hindi ka kakain, o binge eating ka ng mga pagkain na hindi tama na halos masuka ka na. The best way to fight anxiety is to have a healthy body. Kailangan tama ang diet mo at kumakain ka ng sakto. Mahirap lalo na kapag na-control ng utak mo ang katawan mo, pero this should be your priority.

Meditate

Kapag may anxiety ka, yung brainwaves mo nagwawala na parang Richter scale kapag may lindol. Subukan mong pakalmahin sa pamamagitan ng meditation. Kumuha ka ng noise canceling headset, at hindi Jabra ha. Yung gamit ng mga mahilig mag-sounds sa sasakyan para hindi marinig ang ingay sa kalye. Tapos magpatugtog ka ng recommended binaural bits na dahan-dahang pakakalmahin ang isip mo.

Praying is also a form of meditation. Filipinos are religious, and connecting to God has helped many overcome their attacks.

Be active

Mag-gym ka. Lumabas ka kahit maglakad-lakad lang sa mall. Pupmunta ka sa Folk Arts at maglakad ka sa breakwater. Pero ito ginagawa lang ito in-between attacks, ha. Wag ka lalabas ng bahay kapag may attack on going ka kasi baka mapano ka. Basta keep yourself active. Isolation can make you prone to attacks more kaya labas labas din pag may time. 😉

Have a support system

Talking to someone helps. A lot. Wag mo kimkimin kasi sasabog ka. Maraming tao ang nahihirapan sa anxiety attacks nila kasi walang nakikinig sa kanila. You need someone who will listen to you without judgement, someone who will help you focus on the now and ignore yesterday as well as tomorrow. This may take minutes or hours, depending on how strong your episodes are. However, no matter how little time you spend connecting with your support system, it can mean a whole lot on your road to recovery.

We here in VAJobs believe that we should support our VA’s with more than just their duties and responsibilities. As part of our VA’s, we encourage you to join our group Filipino Virtual Assistant Learning Network. Anxiety in virtual assistants is something that we should all address by giving out a helping hand and supporting each other.

Disclaimer: these are recommendations based on what others suffering from anxiety attacks have shared in support groups. No anxiety disorder is the same, and treatment should be tailored to your specific condition. Please seek professional help, especially it’s severely affecting your daily life activities.


About the Author

Donna Marie Fajardo is the co-founder of VAJobs.ph – a leading marketplace for Filipino Virtual Assistants working remotely, based in the Philippines. She is an experienced professional and coaches up and coming VAs. Previously, she was a project manager for Redkix (acquired by Facebook) focused on customer support and was a project manager/web producer for Socient – focused on helping non-profits and social enterprise with digital marketing.

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