Monday, August 01, 2016

How taking up a hobby can reduce workplace stress?

Over the last decade, the workplace evolved into a fast-paced and competitive environment that urban professionals just love and hate at the same time. People work to live, but with the current setup of the world, where money is king, materialism is in and technology runs everything, stress is inevitable. More so with work-related stress. We are all in a rat-race to do more, earn more, have more and experience more.

From here, our question stems. How do we battle work-related stress?

There are short-term fixes when it comes to overcoming stress, a weekend getaway, an extravagant night out, a binge-eat session; these band-aid solutions may be effective at first, but do it over and over again… you’ll get used to it that it doesn’t quite take the stress off anymore, worse, it might take its toll, on your budget.

To reduce work-related stress, it is highly recommended to find a hobby. Now, there are some hobbies that might cost a lot to maintain, but there are also those that you can do with things that you already have, at the comfort of your home, with maybe a little help from trusty ‘ole Google. Some of these hobbies include gardening, crafting, games, cooking, volunteering, or fitness classes. There are limitless choices, based on your interests and preferences.

Now, how exactly do these hobbies combat stress?

Stress is often caused by things that overwhelm us. In the workplace setting, it could be a routine task, a tough project or a difficult boss. We get overwhelmed because these things seem or actually are beyond our control. That’s where hobbies come in. With hobbies, whether you start out as a total newbie or you’ve been doing it before, a sense of growth and achievement each time you progress within the realm of your hobby is felt and better appreciated because you do not work with pressure, or expectations. You do hobbies at your own pace, and if you don’t feel like doing it anymore, no one will hound you for it.

Hobbies also keeps your mind off of the pressure you experience in the workplace, and may serve as a temporary comfort.

Hobbies, even if not as physically challenging, keeps us healthy, as it makes us feel good – and a happy body is a healthy body.

Time passes quickly while doing a hobby you are particularly interested in, and if you’re really enjoying it, you even lose track of the time. Remember: Time wasted doing something that you love and makes you happy is actually time gained.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Breakfast is our body's initial fuel for the day. It jumpstarts our brain and bodily functions so that we can perform well for our daily activities. This is vital as it sets our mood as we take on the next 16 waking hours or so of our busy lives.

It has also been widely circulated that breakfast eaters are less likely to suffer obesity. When you eat your breakfast early on, your metabolism kicks in. Metabolism as we all know, slows down as we age and is the culprit of weight gain as we get older, if we work on firing up our metabolism, it stays active, thus keeping it from being sedentary and causing us to get bigger.

Eating breakfast also keeps you from starving mid-day. When you are so starved, the tendency of you reaching out for that sweet treat or sodium packed snack is quite higher. Breakfasts keeps you fueled enough for the first 3 - 5 hours of your day so that you will not decide on suddenly binge-eating 2 hours into your day.

While merely eating breakfast is the first step to health, we must also choose carefully what we put on our plates for breakfasts. It is said that having fruits and protein for breakfasts is preferred for weight loss. However, having a balanced breakfast of about 400 calories with the basic macro nutrients - carbs, protein and fats, and addition of useful fiber and sugar is a sure way to start the day right.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Took Carl Jung's personality test and this is the result:

INFJ Personality
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness." -- Martin Luther King
The INFJ type is believed to be very rare (less than 1 percent of the population) and has an unusual set of traits. Even though their presence can be described as very quiet, INFJ personalities usually have many strong opinions, especially when it comes to issues they consider really important in life. If an INFJ is fighting for something, this is because they believe in the idea itself, not because of some selfish reasons.
INFJINFJ personalities are drawn toward helping those in need: they may rush to the place of a major disaster, participate in rescue efforts, do charity work, etc. INFJs see this as their duty and their purpose in life. People with this personality type firmly believe that nothing else would help the world as much as getting rid of all the tyrants (though preferably in a non-violent way). Karma and similar concepts are very attractive to INFJs.
These tendencies are also strengthened by the fact that INFJ personalities have a unique combination of idealism and decisiveness. This means that their creativity and imagination can be directed toward a specific goal. Few other personality types have this trait, and this is one of the most important reasons why many INFJs are able to eventually realize their dreams and make a lasting positive impact.
INFJs are masters of written communication, with a distinctively smooth and warm language. In addition, the sensitivity of INFJs allows them to connect to others quite easily. Their easy and pleasant communication can often mislead bystanders, who might think that the INFJ is actually a very sociable person.
INFJs should be careful to avoid “overheating” as their zeal and determination can sometimes get out of hand. As Introverts (I), INFJs need to have some “alone time” every once in a while; otherwise their internal energy reserves will get depleted really quickly. If this happens, the INFJ may surprise everybody around them by withdrawing from all their activities for a while, and since other people usually see INFJs as always friendly and sociable, this can leave them both surprised and concerned.
INFJs take great care of other people’s feelings and expect others to return the favor. Unsurprisingly, people with this personality type are very sensitive and vulnerable to conflicts. Even the most rational INFJs may find it quite difficult to not take criticism personally—this is the INFJ’s Achilles’ heel. If someone with an INFJ personality cannot escape the conflict, they will do their best to deal with it head on, but this will result in a lot of stress and may also potentially lead to health problems or highly irrational behavior.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thesis Survey

I was asked by a student to answer a survey for his research/thesis. The last question really got me worked up.
10. Please write briefly how you feel about religion, atheism or your ideas related to faith. 
Religion is rooted in authoritarianism -- that something, a higher power, controls us and humankind have no control over their lives. This is especially unfortunate to the uneducated/uninformed who surrender and sacrifice their lives to serve cults/ cult leaders believing that they will be redeemed by a savior in the end. Our elders on the other hand grew up not knowing any better and so they subscribe to it as parenting from the past generations is rooted in authoritarianism as well, where the parents are authority and kids cannot ask why. Religion gives some sort of reason and purpose to people who'd feel helpless and powerless in the middle of the universe where nothing is really predetermined. Simply, religion is placebo.
Development, progress and evolution made the world more rational and asking why and keeping curious and exploring is highly encouraged; and in my opinion, religion is an outdated concept. 
If anything, religion is an arbitrary divide created (as race, gender, political affiliation, heirarchies, etc) and used to justify hate and wars. If people realize that we are all going through our lives with no definite purpose or reason, all suffering at the same time, maybe there will be more compassion, and more peace, because we grow to know that we're not competing. We will put spotlight on the human experience and we'll all be more likely to use our faculties of reason and logic because nothing really happens for a (vague, divinely predetermined) reason, and we'll understand more, learn, analyze and adapt more and from that greater progress will be the output.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Today, I woke up amidst a dream that takes me 7 to 10 years back. I felt like my college self, waking up to a sweet dream full of hopes for the future, and upon waking up, deciding to stay in bed and imagine how the rest of the dream ought to end for hours.

Then I realize that my dreams were not reality. The future then is now present. And it is different from how I envisioned it then.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hashtag Work Hashtag Shock

Last night I heard news of retrenchment in the company I work for, 25 people ended up without jobs. Effective immediately. Allegedly some performance based, some due to redundancy, some due to cost. I don't understand really, here I am on a leave of absence and somehow I am still secured of a job I can go back to in a month's time, but some people are not. I don't know what really drove this, only the higher ups will really know--Big Brother and cohorts. While the company I work for drives for transparency as much as possible, we all know that in reality, there's only really so much that we can know straightforward; the rest will need major research to be discovered or it will gently unfold in front of our very eyes before we even realize it. People will hide things from you to protect you, or because they need you and they can't lose you, or because it's the only way they'll survive, they'll swim at the expense of you sinking -- without letting you into the real score.
If it was up to me, I'd want dinosaurs to be around. It maybe unsafe but it is fun in a nerve-racking sort of way.
But they're gone and humankind came up of ways to achieve the same "unsafe but it is fun in a nerve-racking sort of way" sensation through cliff diving, sky diving, bungee jumping, among others.
It  really sucks that some of the people who ended up losing their jobs are the ones that I've grown close to, even worse, especially those who I know really NEED the job more than anything. The ones who didn't have an option and just decided to stay because their survival depends on it. I wanted these people to still be able to enjoy the security of job and income, but there really is nothing to be done right now but just hold our heads high and try again. Do what it takes to release emotions, the tension; know that there are people around you who are empathizing. Get mad, cry, question everything in your lives, move on, shrug it off. It might not be an easy feat, but it is part of the human experience; and know that you're not alone -- people suffer and fight battles everyday.

It is sad, that there is no way we can attain balance without having some people being worse off, getting the shorter end of the stick. Pareto in application. There is a balance, though not always rooted on equality and this can lead to the inevitable Marxist grand narrative. But in the end it just makes you feel powerless, people are dispensable; for the big players, we're mere means to an end. We're gonna be living for a much longer time with things like this happening, screwing up our lives one after another. We'll work our asses off with promises of a good great life. We sacrifice because there could be something better waiting for us at the other side. Until the final time when the universe decides that were more of a liability more than anything and we should just cease to exist, and there are no rewards -- just void.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Look Before You Cross the Road

It's been almost a month since the incident happened. I'm doing self-therapy. I've read more books in the past twenty-something days than I did the last half a year. I've read pages upon pages of news, articles, infographs, gossip, stories in the net; some useful, mostly trivial. I've discovered manga too, all thanks to my husband who introduces activities and movies to keep me busy and forget just even for a bit. My husband brought me paint and brushes and a big paint pad too.  Here are some of my artworks, they are not outstanding or anything, but it keeps the tears from falling or the person writing this from downing a whole bottle of meds.

But I still hurt, physically and emotionally. I still find myself crying alone before I sleep, silently so I don't wake other people. I cry over human interest stories that I relate to. I want to slaughter everyone who posts a baby anecdote or photo in facebook for lack of sensitivity that while their source of unending bliss is reminding me of something that I might not have always wanted, but somehow fail at. How fucked up is that? You don't even want it in the first place, it comes unannounced in your life but you're gonna fail in it anyway, just so the plot thickens. My facebook is right now mostly showing huffington post, mental floss and i fucking love science feeds. I don't have the time to deal with other people's bullshit. Leave me alone in my magma chamber of rationality and facts. I just want to be left alone. I don't like being asked how I am. It will spew out a Pandora's box of incoherent emotions. I'm not in the mood to be chatty. I am miserable.

People will probably judge me about my negativity, but this is reality and I can't be genuinely happy right now. I like to plan my life, that's my obsessive-compulsive disorder on hyperdrive and what I have here in front of me is not going according to plan. Seriously, my life is not even half perfect enough for such a mess to shake things up. Have the rich kids go through this, have Heart Evangelista, Paris Hilton or something go through this, because their families won't budge and hurt financially over these mundane expenses. I on the other hand though, am the breadwinner and I don't get why am I being fucked up like this, when I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I am angry. I'm delirious.

It's taking time, I know but I'll go crazy if I force my moving on, grieving and healing to happen. Things will fall into place, I know. But grieving and healing takes time. I will take my time. Not everything is predetermined and not everything happens for a reason. Things happen because people drive them, and I'm driving into something that will unfold in a longer period of time than expected.
"I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road." - Stephen Hawking

Saturday, May 03, 2014


Today, after spending a suffocating fortnight at home, Mike and I decided that I can go out. I can sit, stand and walk small distances without hurting so much, and we did not want to waste the cinema tickets for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Getting in and out of the car was a chore, I felt like an old lady having to hold the grab handle and positioning my legs awkwardly so I don't suddenly twist and strain my waist. Walking was painfully slow, with the pace I was in, an ant or a turtle could probably outwalk me. Standing for long periods of time waiting for the e-plus woman to give us our ticket was tormenting.

You held my back getting out of the car; you found the nearest available parking slot to the mall entrance; you held my arm as I walk in a pace slower than that old lady (that you jokingly said I should ask to race); you carried my bag (despite our staunch advocacy as a couple that women who carry around tons of shit inside their purses should be able to carry their own purses and not emasculate their boyfriends/husbands with stupid rhinestoned, sparkly, pink purses); you stopped each time I said that things are starting to get painful; you were very protective of me, reminding me to be extra careful as people might accidentally bump me even how careful we try to be; you bought me my favorite subway sandwich; you treated me to frozen yogurt so I can sit peacefully in the kiosk while you queued and paid the bills in the bank; you made me stand in the mall entrance so I don't have to walk again to the car and you picked me up, valet-style.

I'm very happy coming home -- despite all the tragedies that found its way in our usually action-comedy life -- that you are with me, holding my hand. I'm gonna throw in the waterworks as well when I say that today I realized that you meant what you said that first day of March, two years ago and eighteenth of December, four years ago. The grammar nazi in me couldn't help but notice the mispronunciation of the word poorer into foorer, and it always brings Adolf Hitler into the mix; for I was a Nazi and you unconsciously just said fuhrer (Fuhrer in German means leader which was what they called Hitler). You occasionally have those inevitable p-f and b-v deficiency; after all, you are a civil engineer, not a call center agent.

But I remember how you said to me twice as a couple, that you'll be with me "for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health". I just realized that we are a walking proof of those vows and for that I'm very thankful for you. Prior to our wedding, we had an engagement shoot, we chose Mr & Mrs. Smith as the theme because we love action movies, we love Brangelina and we know that love is NEVER a walk in the beach, a stroll in the park, nor a picnic made in heaven; love is battlefield and we'll wear our battle scars proudly with every war we face together.

I'll marry you a thousand times over if our lives permit it, even if it means that we end up like Ellie and Carl. Just the two of us, holding hands.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Be thankful for the activists. The rights you're enjoying today but unconsciously ignoring and taking for granted, they fought for it. They are not mere nuisance who block up the road come May 1.

Democracy. Education. Suffrage. Minimum wage. Health care. Social welfare. Reproductive health.  Free press. Price hikes. Human rights. Cybercrime. Freedom of information. Women's rights. Corruption. Better distribution of taxpayers' money. Faster internet speed. Accountability of our rotten politicians...

These activists lay their lives on the line so the rest of us can enjoy ours: earning money, surfing the internet, watching TV, driving the roads.

Now think of living your life under dictatorship, where only the richest are sent to schools, you can't vote, your pay is halved. No Philhealth discounts, condoms are illegal, mothers dying one by one due to pregnancy or giving birth, prices skyrocketing, people are killed, women abused and raped unabashedly. What those activists might have achieved in the time they've been on the streets might not be a perfect society, but I'd rather have them screaming in the streets, braving the sun and rain striving for something better.

Now let me ask you a question, what have YOU done that isn't self-serving? One that serves a whole nation? Better to be an activist that be apathetic.

#Activists #Heroes #Apathy

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Losing Again

I'm a control freak. I like to plan.
"As he made his morning coffee, Tengo found himself silently wishing that this peaceful time could go on forever. If he said it aloud, some keen-eared demon somewhere might overhear him. And so he kept his wish for continued tranquility to himself. But things never go the way you want them to, and this was no exception. The world seemed to have a better sense of how you wanted things not to go."*
Things NEVER go the way you want them to go. The universe have always had a perverse sense of humor. I've said this since I was in college. Even how carefully and studiously you plan, something happens that just shakes your world and wakes you up, as if to say, you cannot have it so easy. You can't have a perfect life. It does not matter if you work your ass off to accomplish a plan, to reach a goal, to attain a dream. Something's bound to mess up.

I had an ectopic pregnancy which had to be removed after rupturing last week. If I don't have it removed, I might die. I also had a miscarriage 5 years ago. One of the friends who I informed of this told me that there's nothing I can't face anymore, no burden will be too heavy.

Maybe I've gone through all this and maybe I should wear my battle scars proudly, but things just make me wonder. Why can't I have it my way? Some faithful, religious, bordering-fanatic people might say that I should just put everything in some higher power's hand, that we are mere people and we cannot control anything, that what we need will be handed and what we don't will be taken from us inevitably. I have not subscribed to such doctrine. I have offended so many with my beliefs I am aware, but I just can't get myself to believe any of it.
“If a certain belief—call it ‘Belief A’—makes the life of that man or this woman appear to be something of deep meaning, then for them Belief A is the truth. If Belief B makes their lives appear to be powerless and puny, then Belief B turns out to be a falsehood. The distinction is quite clear. If someone insists that Belief B is the truth, people will probably hate him, ignore him, or, in some cases, attack him. It means nothing to them that Belief B might be logical or provable. Most people barely manage to preserve their sanity by denying and rejecting images of themselves as powerless and puny.” *
I'd rather be powerless and puny in certain periods of my life, in certain aspects. Let me lose my mind a bit. But I don't wanna give up and just let some invisible force work its way into my life. I've seen lots whose lives did not get any better after surrendering their lives into some higher power. I saw then falter and finally fall, get buried, forgotten. I won't take that. I'd rather take control. What I believe in is human's power to think, to analyze, to understand, to adapt, to learn.

One of the best messages I received was from a schoolmate back in grade school, we were not even friends then, she was a year younger, all I remember is we always end up at the top of the class and we attend the recognition rites together. As we grew older I saw how our principles coincide, and that's how I felt that we built a friendship deeper than I usually have, despite the distance, despite the differences.
"I don't pray, I don't think I have the words that can provide comfort, you don't deserve any advice from me because I have not known the pain of loss and the hardship of losing control over different aspects of your life at  the same time. But please don't deny yourself of coping as a human being, write, even curse or scream, cry all day, if you have to. Don't deny yourself of the humanity in feeling helpless, of hurting, of questioning, of being vulnerable to the things we cannot explain. You will be in my thoughts and I will hold good intentions for your recovery, from both emotional and physical pain. Breathe, live one breath at a time."
What she wrote is not the cliched "be strong". She understood that more than being strong, I need to cope, to feel vulnerable, to feel the pain, to release the anger, to question everything I believed and did not believe in -- to feel human. After this, then I can go through the waves, then I can get back on track, put fresh grease and get the gears running.

Yes, I might be in limbo, in denial. I don't want to talk to anyone about what happened. That one composition I wrote would be enough to get my message through, to inform people of the gist. This is is me in my weakest, I haven't quite taken control yet. I'm still lost. What has happened to me got me thinking, of my capacity to bear a child, my fertility. What might not be my sole purpose but my husband's expectations of me -- sure he's been supportive, taking all the emotional baggage, carrying the psychological toll and accepting all the financial blows that this brought -- all that's happened might bring him to the edge. He loves me, I know. He brought me to the doctor, the hospital, bought my meds, skipped work, made ends meet, fed me, held my hand, my arm -- in my weakest, my helplessness. He waited, I just hope he does not get tired. He's always been a patient man; cool, reserved, logical. Characteristics that I like so much -- characteristics that I need to regain. But I need to break out first, to eject the toxins. I haven't quite done that yet.

I'll write, I'll read, I'll introspect, I'll create until I climb out of this hill of unwavering emotions. I'll translate all the vulnerability, all the nakedness into something else, until I'm back to my fighting form. I will learn and I will take the world with a bigger worldview. I might get a little more somber after this, but not surrendering, not losing control but taking control

*Excerpt from Haruki Murakami's novel 1Q84.