What Is ‘Self-Care’ and How Do We Do It Effectively?

Self-care is a general term describing anything you do to take care of yourself so you can maintain or improve your mental, emotional, or physical wellness. It is commonly associated with how we can pamper ourselves for a single day, like planning a spa day or going to the salon.

While these one-off occasions are one of the ways we can recharge, we can look at self-care as something deeper.

Here are some ways we can take care of ourselves that will have a long-lasting impact:

1. Practice self-awareness

Be mindful about your decisions, thought patterns, emotions, and how you interact with others in a continuous effort towards self-improvement.

2. Set boundaries

While it is great that you strive for excellence at work, you may notice that you are staying in the office longer than necessary, and this is reducing the amount of quality time you spend with your family. Setting boundaries within the different spheres of your life can help you allocate the appropriate amount of energy to your various activities.

3. Ensure that your stress outlets remain part of your routine

Don’t forget to add some time for de-stressing to your daily schedule. This could be anything from exercise, spending time with loved ones, or hobbies. De-stressing can help you regain your strength and energy so you can continuously persevere through any challenge.

4. Prioritize authentic relationships

Identify the relationships in your life that help strengthens your resilience and help you grow as a person. Cultivating these relationships strengthen our support network and are key for our personal growth.

5. Learn how to self-soothe

Our ability to speak to ourselves with kindness when things go wrong helps us become more motivated, confident, and productive people.

Did You Know?

Therapy helps equip you with coping mechanisms despite life’s stressors. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, we invite you to book a session with one of our licensed psychologists.


What You Should Know About Stress

1. Stress is our body’s natural response to pressure. It is often triggered by new or unexpected experiences.

2. There can be different kinds of stress.

  • Routine stress over daily
  • responsibilities e.g. school, work or family
  • Stress triggered by negative events e.g. losing one’s job, divorce or death
    Traumatic stress e.g. car accidents, natural disasters, assault or war

3. Not all stress is bad for you. Stress can act as a motivator to take action, or an opportunity to do something better. When we overcome a challenge, we become better problem solvers, and we adapt to what we initially found stressful.

4. If we sustain chronically high levels of stress without dealing with it or turning to our healthy coping mechanisms, it can affect our physical and mental health in the long term. For example, it can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

How can I better manage my stress?

Manage your stress – don’t run away from it, or see it as something to be afraid of.
If you can’t change something, change your perception of the thing. Seeing stress as part of life and an opportunity to problem-solve will help reduce its intimidation factor.

Make use of your healthy coping mechanisms.
Exercise, spend time with loved ones, and invest in recreational hobbies. These activities will release “feel-good” hormones and help you power through your challenges, while also providing a good distraction. Doing this can help bring more clarity when we return to the issue that is facing us.

Ask yourself important questions.
In the moment, small challenges can feel bigger than they are. How significant are these stressors in the grand scheme of things? Will they matter in a week, a month, or a year’s time?

Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Over-exerting ourselves in only one aspect of our lives can lead to us over-stressing about that area when it is threatened. Be mindful of finding balance in all corners of your life (e.g. friends, family, career and personal hobbies).

More questions you can ask yourself when you are stressed

Exploring what makes us feel stressed helps provide clarity on how we can manage it as it happens, and how to deal with it better in the future.

  • Why am I stressed?
  • Am I stressed about this one challenge or are there other things bothering me?
  • How is this stress affecting me?
  • What is within my control, and what isn’t?
  • Am I doing things that will help lessen the stress that I feel?
  • Will anything change by worrying about it?

Mind You is on a mission to help 1 million Filipinos overcome stress, anxiety and depression by 2025.

We currently provide organisations with access to preventative therapy sessions with licensed psychologists, as well as data and insights that enable the management teams of our client companies to make informed business decisions. Included in our services are wellness webinars, mental health first aid training and certifications, leadership training and weekly educational campaigns, to round off what is a comprehensive mental health care solution for companies of any size. Soon, it will be launching its services to the general public, where individuals can book sessions with psychologists in a few simple steps.

Business & Mental Health

Reducing Stigmas Surrounding the LGBTQIA+ Community

The stigmas that the LGBTQIA+ community faces continue to be pervasive. Members of the community are often discriminated against, made to feel shame and isolated, especially in countries with a more religious orientation.

Possible consequences of the stigma:

  • Suppressed or repressed emotions and feelings about their sexuality, leading to poor mental health
  • The internalised stigma that reduces one’s self esteem and sense of identity
  • Continued discrimination towards the community in work and social contexts, leading to inequalities in job and career opportunities and persisting social isolation
  • Increased risk and incidence of violence and other forms of abuse towards members of the community.

Given these consequences, it is imperative we find ways to help reduce the stigma surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community.

While progress will largely be felt and made by top-down measures, it is important to acknowledge that there are things we can do as individuals to help reduce the stigma surrounding the community.

How can we help shift from ‘tolerance’ to ‘acceptance’?

Provide your support to members of the community

Be vocal of letting your loved ones or coworkers that are part of the community know that you are there for them, that you are willing to listen and unconditionally love them exactly as they are.

Normalise conversations about the topic

Speak about LGBTQIA+ as if it was already a socially acceptable topic to other people. It is easy to feel aggravated or frustrated speaking to those that do not yet share your opinion on unconditional love and acceptance, but it is only by communicating with compassion to these individuals that they may consider changing their own opinions.

Advocate unwaveringly

Even when you feel you are not making progress with certain individuals and their beliefs about the community, remember that your beliefs transcend these roadblocks. In other words, don’t let these moments discourage you. Keep spreading the love!

Stay educated

There are non-profit organisations, such as Metro Manila Pride, that are dedicated to educating and empowering the community through their work. There’s also Rainbow Rights Philippines (RRights), another non-profit primarily focused on legislative and policy work, research and capacity building. Additionally, there’s a Facebook group called ‘LGBT Philippine Community’, which helps connect people in the community and allows them to share content relevant to them. Being knowledgeable about these resources will also help you point others in the right direction, should they be seeking additional resources.

Share your story

If you yourself are part of the community and are comfortable sharing your experience, consider doing so. Making our own trials and triumphs known to the world helps validate others by showing them that they are not alone in their struggles and that there is still hope for things to get better for them.


If you are part of the community and feel you do not have someone to open up to, please do not hesitate to book a session with one of our licensed psychologists, where you will be heard and guided in a judgment-free space.

Business & Mental Health

Mind You Management Training & Wellness Immersion in Puerto Galera

At Mind You, it is important that we are able to provide opportunities for growth for our team in both a professional and personal capacity. It is equally as important that we recognise that, no matter how passionate we all are about our mission to transform mental health in the Philippines, we cannot do this if we do not take time to rest and recharge.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Boquete Island, Puerto Galera, we were able to achieve both. The business training consisted of studying proven business strategies and frameworks of successful organisations, followed by focused learning groups to discuss all new learnings and how to cross-pollinate them into Mind You. Another goal of the trip was to achieve interdepartmental alignment, and the breadth of the material covered helped us achieve this objective. The content covered various departments, including Marketing, Sales, HR and Accounting, which allowed the attending managers and associates to achieve two things:

  • Provide strategic management skills and collaborative team frameworks for managers in each department, and
  • Develop a deep connection and understanding of how various departments are inter-connected to the organisation’s overall vision, mission and goals

While the priority was team alignment, being surrounded by nature also meant an opportunity for personal alignment as well. We began each day with a daily practice facing the sun, which included guided meditations, free-flow dancing, learning about new breathing techniques such as the Wim Hof Breathing method, and ice bath plunging. The team spent short breaks and early finishes at night swimming in the ocean, snorkeling and exploring the island, which was much-welcomed, much-needed bonding time outside of our office space.

The immersive learning experience paved the way for professional and personal breakthroughs for those attending. The business training in conjunction with the daily immersive behavioural health practices allows us to really practice what we preach. We all came away feeling inspired, rejuvenated and recentered in our personal and collective energies: all necessary ingredients to prepare us for a ground-breaking year ahead.

An energised and newly inspired team says goodbye to Puerto Galera

How to Prepare for Your First Therapy Session

It’s understandable to feel a little nervous before your first session. Even so, there are proactive steps that you can take that will dually alleviate some of your nerves, but also help make the first session with your mental health professional, productive and insightful.

Be proud of your decision. First and foremost, give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to seek professional help. You are choosing to put yourself and your mental well-being first, and you understand that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength.

Set time aside for self-reflection before and after your session. Giving yourself some time before your session gives you the opportunity to collect your thoughts and clear your mind. After a session, it is always important to reflect on what has been said to ensure you process and absorb the information imparted to you.

Take down notes. Write down what you hope to achieve, or questions you have regarding confidentiality, the process of therapy and your therapist’s counseling style. You can write about significant life events and how they have affected you, your current circumstances and coping mechanisms you employ at the moment. Taking some time to do this allows you to organise your thoughts and helps make your session more productive.

Think about what your objectives are, and communicate these to your psychologist. What do you want to achieve from attending therapy?

“I would like to eventually overcome my anxiety.”
“I want to learn how to set boundaries in my personal and professional relationships.”
“I want to learn better coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of my life.”
“I would like someone to help me process my trauma so that I can aim to live a life free of fear.”

If you’re unsure about your goals, that’s okay, too. Finding clarity in this regard is part of what therapy can offer you.

Manage your expectations. This session is the first opportunity that your psychologist has to get to know you better. From here, they can begin painting a picture of your circumstances, goals, and areas in your life that you would like to see improvement in. Painting a full, comprehensive picture will take some time. The average therapy course typically lasts about 3-4 months, according to the American Psychological Association. Trust in yourself and the process, and understand that change takes time.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable. You have taken a huge step agreeing to attend your first session – how your mental wellness journey progresses is up to you. You are letting your therapist into your inner world so that they can help you, not so that they can point out your flaws and make you feel ashamed over your perceived shortcomings. That said, it is completely normal to experience good emotions, bad ones, and conflicting ones, too. Just as is in life, therapy is a process and a journey. Ultimately, it is from the acknowledgement, exploration and processing of these emotions that help you come closer to finding your authentic, happier and healthier self.

More resources:

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

Follow us @mindyoumhs on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Tiktok & Kumu.

If your organisation is interested in availing our services, reach us at or visit


How to Have An Effective Therapy Session

Having the courage and open-mindedness to attend your first therapy session is a huge step. However, in order to continue to have effective and meaningful sessions, one must have confidence in the following beliefs.

People can change. Therapy emphasises the importance of choice over circumstance, providing options that can help guide patients’ behaviour. Nothing is predetermined and unchangeable, and with the presence of a psychologist, clients learn to take control of their lives. Emphasis is not placed on fixing symptoms, but rather, developing the client’s trust in themselves to change.

Change takes time. Making long-lasting, positive changes is a gradual process, and therapy normalises that progress is not linear. There will be peaks and troughs, good days and bad days. Change requires a shift in mindset, habits, attitudes and actions, all of which cannot be transformed in a day’s work. Clients are encouraged to manage their expectations in a realistic and positive manner.

Authentic relationships play a key role. Research has shown the importance of developing a supportive social network to lessen the effects of negative psychological symptoms, such as depression and trauma. The therapeutic relationship between a client and a psychologist is also seen as an additional social network that helps strengthen the client’s emotional resilience and coping mechanisms.

Negative life events can be seen in a different light. While events of the past cannot be changed, therapy allows the client to frame the experience as an opportunity to grow and to learn while at the same time validating every emotion and thought associated with that point in time.

Emotions are part of human existence. Emotions, both positive and negative, are normalised in therapy. In fact, when clients feel distressed, they are encouraged to acknowledge and express themselves, instead of ignoring or suppressing their thoughts and feelings. It is only through the acceptance of emotions that can help start the process of making powerful changes. Emotions also inform psychologists about clients’ states, and provide a new way of interpreting their thoughts.

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

Follow us @mindyoumhs on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Tiktok & Kumu.

If your organisation is interested in availing our services, reach us at or visit


What Is The Difference Between Perfectionism and Self-Improvement?

As we set goals for the year, it is important that we look at progress in a healthy and sustainable way. ‘Perfection’ leaves no room for growth but ‘self-improvement’ can set you up for success. Read on to learn more.


This is a personality style where the person needs to be or has to appear perfect. This often involves a critical evaluation of the self and others.

With perfectionism, we attach our self-worth to something unattainable, which sets us up for failure.

Perfectionists often come from environments where they were only acknowledged for achievement, which creates a belief system that says: I am only what I accomplish.

With this mindset, we limit our identity and give our power away.


This mindset, on the other hand, starts with the acceptance that we are not perfect, but we can strive to be our best.

Our best can look different everyday, and can depend on the situation or person. Moreover, it is more sustainable because self-improvement is as much about the journey as it is about the end goal.

With self-improvement, you are not threatened by making mistakes or criticism – you instead see these obstacles as an opportunity to grow. With this mindset, we take control of our situation and are better equipped to persevere.

Need guidance on how to shift your mindset from perfectionism to self-improvement? Book a session with one of our psychologists today.


Find Your ‘Why’ This Christmas Season

During the Christmas season, there is a general misconception – or even pressure – to associate the holidays with happy memories and emotions, when in fact there are many people around the world who feel otherwise. Living in the Philippines may add another layer of stress: not only because of how much importance is placed on seasonal festivities and reunions, but also because of the general stigma surrounding mental health and expressing feelings of vulnerability. Whether you are excited or anxious, or both, here is your reminder that it is okay to feel both. At Mind You, we always say it is possible to feel happiness, sadness and everything in between at any given time – and Christmas is no exception. When you approach a stressful time with the right attitude and mindset, you will be able to persevere through any challenges you may be facing. 

While Christmas is widely recognized as the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be recognized as a time for change. This time of the year you can change the way you are used to holding in your struggles and anxiety and instead learn to recognize them, bring them to light and make them a priority this time of the year. When you are experiencing ‘negative’ emotions, take note of them and identify when they happen. Give yourself the time and space to process what may initially feel overwhelming – when we think about why we are feeling these emotions, it gives us better clarity on the steps we can take to improve the situation because we begin to identify the causes or triggers. 

There may be instances where you are pressured to attend parties or events, but remember that you reserve the right to say yes and no. Putting yourself first may feel wrong initially because you don’t want to offend the people inviting you, but because they value you, they will understand – if not now, then eventually. It’s in setting those boundaries that you are able to work with what makes you feel comfortable, which in turn will allow you to enjoy the holiday season at your own pace. 

December is one of the busiest months of the year in the Philippines: the traffic jams are made worse by people doing last-minute Christmas shopping and attending Christmas events, which can no doubt add stress. Remember to plan your logistics to minimise risk of the worse of these traffic jams, but also take some time to breathe. If you’re in the car with family members, take this opportunity to have conversations with them. 

You may also feel the need to go overboard with gifts and decorations. For instance, as a parent, you may feel a lot of pressure to make every Christmas the best one ever for your children – and that means countless gifts. But you need to remember the true essence behind all of these gestures: it’s gratitude, and spending quality time with your loved ones. Allocate some budget for these items, but do not reach the point where it becomes a financial discomfort. In this way, you also teach your children how to appreciate what is given to them. 

At the end of the day, we all come from different backgrounds. Moreover, our unique human experiences contribute to the values and traditions we uphold. While there may be a general perception of how one should spend Christmas, how you choose to spend the season is wholeheartedly up to you. For Catholics, Christmas means the birth of Jesus Christ, for children, it’s the time where Santa Claus comes to bring gifts,  for others, it’s a time to gather with family members and showcase gratitude, while for some it’s a time to give back to the community. There are a multitude of reasons behind the meaning of Christmas, so the important thing is  to remember your “why” behind spending this holiday. When you are able to find your “why”, the yuletide season ultimately becomes more meaningful and memorable. 

Business & Mental Health

Mind You represents the Philippines in the ASEAN-Australia Mental Health Civil Society Cooperation Event

Mind You joins others and sets the example for “sharing is caring”

Last Wednesday, November 17, Mind You’s Head of Sales Anna Roxas and Marketing Communications Manager Sandra Oledan Rodriguez were invited to the ASEAN-Australia Mental Health Civil Society Cooperation Event as the representative delegates for the Philippines.

The event was hosted by Australia and Brunei, the ASEAN Chair, with the goal of increasing cooperation on mental health and to build the capacity of ASEAN member states to address mental health concerns, which have been exacerbated or created by the ongoing pandemic. There is a mutual understanding that in order for the mental healthcare industry to thrive, we must optimise our resources through information-sharing and collaboration.

The program commenced with presentations from Australia, Brunei and Malaysia’s Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): Professor Patrick McGorry, Executive Director of Orygen, discussed the challenge of reaching vulnerable groups and demographics, and linking people with mental ill-health to support.

Dr. Andrew Mohanraj Chandrasekaran, President of the Malaysia Mental Health Association, spoke next on how to utilise technology to expand reach. He pointed out the value of mental health apps with features like passive symptom tracking. For instance, a mobile device that can detect the number of times messages are sent, vocal tone during calls, and gather data to conclude whether a mental health professional needs to be alerted. However, there are some limitations that need to be considered. The uptake of these apps are unlikely to extend beyond urban areas. Additionally, such apps may encourage users to adopt a simplistic view of mental health conditions; a belief that this app can simply ‘solve’ what turns out to be a very serious mental health problem. We must also consider the regulation that is needed for mental health technologies, and whether developing countries such as the Philippines are ready to accommodate that level of monitoring and enforcement.

Ms. Hajah Noara, Founder of Cureheart, elaborated on the prevalence of stigmas and gave examples on the misconceptions most common in Brunei, which we found bore striking similarities to the preconceived notions surrounding mental health in the Philippines.

To end the round of presentations was Katherine Newton, CEO of R U OK? Australia, where she emphasised the importance of marrying a top-down and bottom-up approach: formal care such as access to therapy sessions combined with more informal care methods such as mental health tool kits and social media campaigns are necessary to thoroughly transform mental health at every level in society.

Mind You’s weekly social media content

The main group was then split into breakout rooms to discuss the following topics:

  • Raising public awareness of mental health issues and changing community attitudes
  • Linking people with mental health conditions to support services, and
  • Using technology to expand the reach of mental health CSOs.

The topics built on the presentations, and initiated interesting discourse between the delegates. While the conversations were diverse in content, similar points were highlighted: namely, the importance of multi-sectoral collaboration and the prevalence of cultural and religious stigmas and socio-economic barriers. Additionally, delegates spoke about the unique challenge of our advocacy: our target audience is, effectively, everyone, which means a lot of time and due diligence needs to go into crafting the message we send out to the world. We are not simply selling a product or service; we are teaching to empower and inspire in the hopes that people will make changes in their lives and pass it on.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility to not only raise public awareness on mental health issues, but bridge the gap between awareness and action. It was clear that the delegates kept this at the forefront of their strategies when executing their respective initiatives and programs. For instance, R U OK? creates conversational tool kits to educate people on how to speak about mental health with their loved ones, using easy-to-follow steps and visually engaging images. Thailand’s representative, Dr. Varoth Chotpitayasunondh, spokesperson for the Department of Health and child and adolescent psychiatrist, addressed that mental health challenges are being effectively addressed at a community level via their Village Health Volunteer program: a representative is assigned per community, and it lowers the barrier to initiate conversations with them because he or is she is already someone the individual knows, and the volunteer is also accustomed to the language and culture of the specific community.

While there is still a lot of work to be done, we are hopeful in our objective of achieving intergenerational transformation – not just for the Philippines, but across all of our nations. One of Mind You’s main highlights this year was our inaugural National Mental Health Summit, which invited key decision makers, members of government and mental health advocates to discuss the state of mental health in the Philippines and the action steps needed to effect long-lasting change. Speakers included the author of the Mental Health Act, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Chief Health Program Officer of the Department of Health, Frances Cuevas, and sports psychologist of Olympic Gold Medal winner Hidilyn Diaz, Karen Trinidad. The event was a success, reaching over 80,000 people across the country and internationally. It is by creating spaces like these that facilitate the much-needed conversations we need to have surrounding mental health.

[From left to right] Miguel Valdez, Head of Operations at Mind You and CEO of Vanguard Assessments; Dr. Dinah Palmera Nadera, Medical Specialist and Project Leader; Rea Celine Villa, Senior Psychologist at Mind You; Michael J. Needham, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Mind You during the Summit panel discussion.

On this note, we would like to thank ASEAN, and the Australian and Bruneian governments for providing a platform for collaboration to take place beyond the national level. We look forward to connecting with the CSO participants soon!

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

Follow us on our social media pages, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn @mindyoumhs.

Business & Mental Health

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day: How We Can Become Beacons of Self-Compassion and Support

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day: How We Can Become Beacons of Self-Compassion and Support


International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is a day that allows people that have lost someone to suicide to gather together to share their memories, struggles and journey to rediscovering hope after loss. This special day finds its roots in the United States of America, when Senator Harry Reid lost his father to suicide in 1999. This led him to establish Senate Resolution 99, which officially designated the Saturday before Thanksgiving as the chosen day for awareness.

In the Philippines, much stigma surrounds the topic of mental health, with suicide being no exception. This is largely due to the traditional norms of a predominantly Catholic nation, with the perception that suicide is a grave sin against God. These opinions however cannot deny the prevalence of suicide in the country, further exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic: the latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released in July 2021 showed that death caused by self-harm increased in 2020 by 57% compared to 2019.

There are a few simple yet helpful ways you can practice self-compassion as you go through this intense and complicated grieving process. Understand that there is no timeline for grief. While it is good to open up, don’t feel obliged to be vulnerable before you are ready. You can start by writing down how you feel in a journal. This activity can help you acknowledge and process your emotions better. When the time comes that you decide to share your thoughts and feelings, confide in people you trust and feel you can speak to in a non-judgmental space.

If you have not had to experience losing someone to suicide, there are still ways we can extend our hands in support of these survivors. Show your support by validating their feelings: you can say something like, “I know this is a very difficult time for you, and I am really sorry for your loss. But I admire that you are finding a way to get through this process, and I want you to know that I’ll be here for you when things get difficult.” When someone is going through something as painful as grief, they may feel disoriented and out of balance in their day-to-day responsibilities. Offer a helping hand to help them accomplish simple tasks. You may also direct them towards grief counsellors or psychologists that can offer professional support and provide your loved one with healthy coping mechanisms. Always bear in mind that grief takes time and loss can change people, so we must learn to understand, empathize and respect every unique journey.

For the survivors of suicide loss, the team at Mind You prays that you find peace and enlightenment, while still being able to cherish the memories of your loved ones that have passed. It is one thing to lose someone in a lifetime, but quite another to lose a loved one in this way, and to be unable to speak about it openly due to the stigma that surrounds suicide in the country. Brene Brown once said: “When you shut down vulnerability, you shut down opportunity.” There is so much more to be gained in a country that openly speaks about struggles because in that recognition and vulnerability, knowledge and strength can sprout.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please direct them these free-to-call and anonymous help hotlines:

In Touch Philippines
+63 2 8893 7603
+63 917 800 1123
+63 922 893 8944

National Centre for Mental Health Crisis Hotlines
Luzon-wide Landline Toll Free: 1553
0917-899-8727 (USAP)
7-989 8727 (USAP)

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

For bite-sized versions of our blog posts, follow us on our social media pages, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn @mindyoumhs.