"Make Time for Me-Time" and Prioritize Self-care

I love every single minute I got to spend with my daughter. I look forward to taking care of her and watching her grow up. As a parent, I am expected to constantly give, and constantly take care of our family---things which I do whole-heartedly. 

And I do love every chance I get to look after every single one of them.  I often lose myself in caring for both my own family and elders simultaneously. Overwhelmed and pressured to provide for all their  needs, I tend to neglect my own exigencies due to time constraints.

Like myself, most people in their midlife find themselves "sandwiched" between the obligation to care for their aging parents—who may be ill, unable to perform various tasks, or in need of financial support—and the physical toll of raising children, who require financial, physical, and emotional support as well.

Sandwich Generation caregivers face mental health challenges caused by struggling with balancing other relationships, their families, their job and time for themselves. And this can lead to burnout, depression, isolation and guilt.  

Making self-care a priority this 2023

AXA Philippines aims to be the partner of the sandwich generation to address these challenges and empower them to break the cycle by making time for the most important person in their lives –- themselves, through the "Make Time for Me-Time" campaign. AXA  Philippines believes that Sandwich Generation caregivers occasionally need a little nudge to take a break from life's hustle and bustle to recharge. 

AXA believes that self care is health care. The more you care for yourself, the better you can care for others. "Making time for Me Time" allows an individual to effectively take care of others.

Rebuild, Reset and Renew

The two-day Make Time for Me-Time Retreat at the Anya Resort in Tagaytay made me realize that alone-time is my non-negotiable need. We underwent curated activities from January 19 to 20, 2023 directed at achieving holistic health.  And here are my takeaways -

Spending time in solitude will be a support and a home for you. Your alone-time can revive your body and soul. Taking time to recharge allows  time spent for introspection---to accept yourself, love yourself, and to keep moving forward.
When you're alone, you're free from obligations. There is no need to put on a show, hence you can hear your own thoughts.

Managing  your emotions affect your loved ones. Emotions are contagious. Your loved ones can sense it when you’re happy, upset, or angry—and your feelings may be projected to them. Being healthy and happy on your own first is a way to share the positive energy. Radiating positive thoughts will help draw in good things to you and the people around you.

Having mental space for happiness

When you are rested, you feel happier in doing fun activities, compared to when you’re overworked, anxious, or stressed. When you're burned out, you lose the mental capacity to be happy, let alone enjoy whatever other fun pastime you've planned. You must take breaks to make room for the things that are meant to be enjoyed.

Stress can be beneficial at times.  A considerable amount is good to push you to the level of optimal alertness and performance, but  you need to know your limits. 

When you push yourself past your limit, your body goes into survival mode. Working too hard causes too much stress, and can lead to a vicious burnout cycle. 

You need to rest and you must allow yourself time to recalibrate, and reset. Resting is a necessity, not an option. 

Find time to focus on yourself

You need to keep yourself healthy. Too much stress can weaken your immune system and invite sickness and disease to come along. When you are sick, your body is telling you to rest—and no one can listen to that other than you.

"When we choose ourselves, we are often afraid to come off as selfish. However, we need to understand that we also need to take care of ourselves in order to care of our loved ones even better,” said AXA Philippines Chief Marketing Officer Nandy Villar. “It is time to leave behind this guilt and commit to making time for me-time. We at AXA Philippines are here as your partner to support you in achieving holistic health this year and beyond.”

Self-care is an integral part of maintaining our overall health. Taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health is crucial for survival. Self-care helps you manage stress,and lower your risk of illness. Nourishing yourself to promote optimal health and well-being is worth the effort.

Choose someone willing to be your accountability partner 

Anxiety has a way of burrowing deep into our brains.

To be worry-free in 2023, you need a partner who can help you feel safe. AXA Health Care Access is a comprehensive health insurance plan that covers all potential healthcare needs, from prevention and diagnosis to hospitalization and treatments. Select plans even include teleconsultation and mental health services, to truly cover your holistic wellbeing.

AXA Philippines also has health plans that cover exams to diagnose critical illnesses that must be dealt with immediately. AXA's Health Start plan covers critical illnesses, including cancers that affect women. This is especially favorable for mothers because they can also choose to share the coverage with their child. AXA also has other health insurance options, such as the Health Start Lite plan. This already covers the top three critical illnesses, namely cancer, stroke, and heart attack, as well as nine minor critical illnesses to which women may be predisposed.

Moreover, AXA offers Global Health Access, a health plan which offers best-in-class global health coverage of up to PHP 100 million and comprises the diagnosis and prevention of illnesses through extensive medical checks and outpatient benefits, cancer coverage, reimbursement supplements, as well as cash benefits for pregnant women.

Taking care of your family entails taking care of yourself as well. Making time for me-time is an essential component of self-care and overall health and well-being. With an AXA health insurance plan, you can also be financially healthy and have an additional layer of security against health issues, allowing you to truly enjoy having time for yourself and your family as you move forward in life this year.

Do visit axa.com.ph/health-protection for more information about AXA Philippines’ health offerings.