Sanofi Philippines celebrates international self-care day

International Self-care Day was held last July 24, an annual celebration to raise awareness on the importance of integrating healthy lifestyle choices to our daily routines.

To underscore the importance of self-care, particularly in the context of today’s global pandemic, public health expert Dr. Marthony Basco and International Coach Federation-certified professional coach Vanee Gosiengfiao of Sanofi Philippines led a discussion on the biggest mental health challenges Filipinos are dealing with while in quarantine.

“A common misconception about health is that we need to take care of ourselves only when we get sick. What self-care really teaches us is that it’s important to prevent sickness in the first place, and this helps ease the burden on everybody later on,” Gosiengfiao shared.

She also emphasized that the skills we are learning to take care of ourselves in quarantine will be helpful moving forward, adding that “this may be the biggest crisis we go through as a community, but it won’t be our last. So, we’ll need the same skills of focusing on what we can control, compartmentalizing our work from our personal life, and finding a community to provide us support.

Dr. Basco reiterated this forward-thinking attitude, noting that hospitals have been overwhelmed not just because of the covid cases, but also because of patients experiencing symptoms from other preventable diseases such as the flu. “Even before covid, there were many vaccine-preventable diseases causing patients to get sick,” he shared.

To help ease the burden on our frontliners at the hospitals, Dr. Basco encouraged everyone to remember how self-care can be done through a simple acronym:

         Staying Connected with loved ones
            Being Observant of our mental and physical states
           Taking Vitamins to ensure proper nutrition
         Getting Immunized to avoid other illnesses
    Adopting a Discerning attitude towards our challenges.

The webinar’s focus on resilience and recovery highlights the value of self-care beyond the current health crisis. Although many are now working with limited resources, the speakers emphasized that self-care begins with simple steps that are done from one’s home.