Self-Care For Quarantine Fatigue

My idea of self-care has changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. The Philippines is on its ninth month of varying levels of quarantine. For people like me who have been diligently following the health protocols, quarantine is starting to take its toll.



David Kessler, the founder of grief.com, said that the harrowing feeling we’re collectively experiencing is grief. He shared his thoughts with the Harvard Business Review: “We’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different.”According to a report by Think Global Health, “This worldwide increase in isolation is sure to exact a psychological toll on citizens—and will likely cause disturbing neurological changes.”




I used to think that the idea of working flexibly from home was a dream. But now, the longer we isolate and the higher the numbers get, the more we drown in quarantine fatigue. How do we take a break from work, which is at home, when we’re also not allowed to freely leave home? How do we destress outside the home during window hours when seeing crowded places (the Philippines has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia) feels just as stressful?

Allow me to put on my beauty editor cap and show you how I’m doing my best to bring back the joys of relaxing at home.

1. DIY (do-it-yourself) spa

Spas and massage parlors are closed. I miss getting massages, but now I will have to settle with pampering myself once a week at home. My DIY spa regimen: 1.) Full body and face scrub in my bathroom, 2.) Apply moisturizing gel from neck to toe, 3.) Apply a skincare face mask while massaging my face with a crystal roller and watching something on Netflix. I might even down a few shots of Soju on the side. Aaah, that is my new Friday night routine.

BioAqua’s face masks are so cute and affordable at ₱25 each. Here’s a trick I learned from Asian beauty bloggers: After placing the mask on your face, use a crystal roller (my amethyst face roller is from Crystal Beauty, ₱945) to massage your face and evenly distribute the serum on your skin. Apply the remaining serum from the pack to your neck and decolletage. Kate’s tip: Place it in the fridge first for a relaxing, cooling sensation when you use it.

2. Boost your metabolism and immune system

Aside from the triad of social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing, you need to care for your physical health to survive this pandemic. I’ve been working out more and upping my intake of vitamin C and multivitamins this year.

Ladies, here’s something you can try: Skinua Collagen T Chewable Tablets, ₱995 per bottle of 60 tablets, from Biopolytech, a Korean skin supplement brand. It’s orange-flavored and has both vitamin C and collagen that enhance your skin, hair, and nails.
On top of dance cardio (Thanks, Mylee Dance and Sunny Funny Fitness!), I’ve been lifting light weights and continuing my Yoga sessions at home. Like my Yoga Joes? Click here.

3. Glam up for yourself

Have you been living in your pambahay (pajamas, loungewear, and athleisure)? While I love my ratty old t-shirts, I feel that it sometimes contributes to my dampened mood. After months of living in my pajamas, I realized I miss dressing up and wearing makeup! Call me crazy, but sometimes I work at home in my favorite summer dresses or attend Zoom meetings with full makeup just to lift my mood. Try it! Just dress up and glam up for yourself, even if you’re mostly stuck at home. See how it lifts your spirit.

I love this 16-color City Palette, ₱599, from iMagic, a Hong Kong-based cult professional makeup brand. I’ve been using it for my Zoom meetings and Facebook live episodes with Girl Talk PH. The pigment goes a long way!

4. Count your hair fall

Have you noticed a lot more hair fall during quarantine? Hair fall is a reported side effect experienced by COVID-19 survivors, but for those who did not contract the virus, increased hair loss is stress-induced. Constant worry about contracting COVID-19, change in routine, Zoom fatigue, loss of job or income, lack of socializing, separation from loved ones—these are stressors that contribute to telogen effluvium, a form of temporary hair loss that occurs after physical or emotional stress.

Hairstylists and dermatologists have noticed a surge in clients complaining about significant hair shedding months after the mandated quarantine began. The culprit? Stress and quarantine fatigue. One way I lessen my hair fall is through weekly hair treatments. As a curly-haired gal with long tresses, I use special detanglers to brush my hair in the shower as I apply the treatment or conditioner. Pictured here are Hair Masks, ₱199 each, and Bamboo Paddle Brush, ₱345, from Stylista Hair Essentials. Also check out their curl-friendly detanglers and cute animal brushes. Wanna win this entire Stylist Hair Essentials set? Click here.

According to my hairstylists Jude and Rose of JURO Salon, normal hair fall is 50-100 strands a day. Count the strands in your brush, shower floor, and bed. If the total exceeds 100 a day and you start seeing bald patches, then it’s time to see a dermatologist.

5. Consider computer eyewear

Working from home and less outdoor time means more screen time. Have you been experiencing more frequent eye strain and headaches from all those online meetings and Netflix binges? Me, too! I decided to get computer eyewear. It reduces glare, UV rays, and blue light.

Peculiar is a Filipino brand that designs affordable computer eyewear. I’m wearing the Neon Round Photochromic Transition Plus, ₱1,448.

6. Keep your mental health in check

As the pandemic surges, mental health issues have also increased. People think I have it together because I’m a mental health advocate with all the right connections and resources in the MH community. Well, my anxiety disorder has gotten worse in quarantine, so I’ve turned to online therapy sessions and gardening. Nobody is spared! If you feel that quarantine is taking a toll on your mental health, do not be ashamed to get help. Click here for my master list of mental health resources in the Philippines.

One thing I learned from therapists is that quarantine is the time to turn inward. Journaling helps you process your thoughts and deep-rooted issues. We’re so used to expressing our thoughts for an audience (social media and blogging) that we forget to have our private moments with our psyche.
Grand Christmas giveaway! I’m raffling off this quarantine care package to my readers in the Philippines. Click here for details.

What are your self-care rituals in the new normal?

  1. Self-care is a must this quarantine because it means you are in tune and your sanity is intact because of the chaotic news so I surrounded myself with positivity and prayer it works a lot.

  2. You know what you said is true. Many people who are not used to working from home are having a hard time adjusting to quarantine life – especially those who used to think that WFH people are slacking off 😛 It has it’s own challenges (and I think now they are finally realizing this) But no matter how your work set up is now, it’s really important for everyone to take some time to de-stress in their own way. Do what works for you. And, yes, do more self care! It’s not selfish, it’s not a waste of time and it’s really necessary to adjust your habits and routine to what will make you feel good at this time 🙂

  3. Haaay! I initially thought that I wouldn’t be affected that much by the quarantine ‘coz this is already my lifestyle. But as months passed, it is getting harder to get by. I started listening to songs (again) and is now considering really writing my down my thoughts (if my constantly distracted self would allow me.) Thanks for this article, tho. <3 <3 <3

  4. Thank you so much for this po :< I, myself experiences lot of stress and anxieties from everything. May mga gabi pa na I'll fall asleep habang naiyak :(( it's just so heavy and none of your friends is physically there for you and they may be struggling so much too. :((

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