Kea was an incoming college freshman when the pandemic started. A part of our savings was really for her first year tuition fee, if she did enroll. Because of the school uncertainty, Kea talked to us and she decided not to enroll yet. She graduated Senior High School with Honors, and we know she would do good in college. But, she was uncertain and doesn’t want to stress and force herself into remote learning. She feels like it could be a lot more stressful to new college students like her, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I am no expert in the medical field or mental health in specific, but I am a Mom. I just know and feel when something is troubling my daughters. Everything here is based on an ordinary mom’s own thoughts, learnings and experiences. You see, it is always best to write down your thoughts, I believe so. And, that’s what I tell my girls, aside from continuously praying for healing.
When the quarantine started, families from all walks of life were required to stay home. A number of small to medium sized companies closed down. Many lost their jobs. The others were provided with peripherals for a work from home setup. Some were able to travel back to their provinces to be with their families, some weren’t able to do so. Some were able to catch up and did grocery shopping that is good enough for two to four weeks, but some weren’t and couldn’t do so.
Sedentary During the Pandemic
There are four of us in our fambam, so, when all of us together 24/7 happened, it was a mixed of emotions. Although I was scared, I was also a little happy I have them in sight, and could easily hug and kiss the girls when I want to. Sorry about feeling that way, but time with family is definitely precious to me. At the same time, that is the one way to keep the family safe.
The pandemic and these different levels of quarantine protocols is when I realized we aren’t living healthy, really. We may have our vitamins, eat fruits and veggies, limit junk foods, but we are most of the time seated. Our tiny home may be one of our limitations, but I should not use it as an excuse. Being sedentary isn’t a help to each of us.
Bad Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle
- Weight Gain
Weight gain has quite become a common issue to freelancers who work from home. I myself, is one example of a work-from-home mom who has the same concern. Even if I started to be conscious about my weight gain, and tried controlling food intake, there are circumstances outside my control – Covid-19 Pandemic happened.
I managed to maintain my weight though. I watch what I eat, sometimes skip rice, more veggies and fruits, fresh fruit juices instead of the ones in sachet. I bought a digital weighing scale and monitors my weight…I lost 2 kilos last time I checked.
- Affects Mental Health
In all honesty, my elder daughter, Kea, has been underweight since she turned into a teen. That is an issue we have been monitoring as well. Besides that, she easily gets distracted and emotional. There were times she feels bleak. She would break down and cry whenever overwhelmed (with school works and tasks) and she feels like she’s failing. Big tight hugs, and a lot of listening and advices are what I always provide to her. Now, I can see that she’s helping herself – get rid of anxiety and over thinking. She does it by praying and ignoring words that belittle, question and mock her.
- Blood Sugar Level Increases
Being at home all day, especially for the kids, is like an invitation for them to keep snacking. My daughter Roey is a testament to that. You’d see her digging in the zippered grocery bag, searching inside the fridge and selecting something sweet she can readily eat from our little pantry cart. At 11, she still consumes 2 or 3 glasses of milk daily.
And as a mom, I am always ready to remind her to drink water afterwards. But just to add, even if she has the busiest mouth chewing, she is also the most active amongst us. We have made her aware about diabetes and it’s effects early on, and that there is family history. We still encourage her to continue light exercises to burn the calories from her snacking, and practice volleyball.
- Increases Risk of High Blood Pressure
Physical inactivity can cause high blood pressure, and we don’t want that. My grandmother, although was very much active, died of a heart attack. Most of my aunts have Hypertension too. Being physically inactive may not be the direct cause of hypertension, but a contribution to it.
These list only goes to show that a sedentary lifestyle is a serious health concern. A doctor also mentioned to me that house chores isn’t considered exercise, but more of an added stress. So, I should stop using the perspiring chores as an excuse, and get into the real deal.
Now, one trick we remind each other is to stand up and walk around our little nest every 30 minutes. I also invite the girls to go up the rooftop to play. A cousin of mine encouraged and inspired me to get myself a skipping rope. We already have access to weight calculator apps and websites, the tools and right info, and just need the more important thing – the will to exercise on a daily basis. Believe me, I remind myself that shifting to an active lifestyle is not just for me, but for my family too. Practice what you preach, they say.
So, this time around, I am not allowing my lazy butt to keep being sedentary. I can continue working while standing. I can walk around inside the tiny house we live in, and I will allot some time stretching before I sit in front of the computer. These are the simplest things I can, and we can start with to avoid a sedentary lifestyle while we are still in this pandemic. Stay safe everyone!