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Boracay for Newbies: Self-Care When It Gets Too “Noisy”

By Abigail Lei

The transition from city to island life comes with the price of having little or no friends or family you can absolutely trust or rely on in the beginning. The challenge is greater, especially when you are experiencing down days, when you just can’t seem to function or think, or when you’re sick or simply exhausted. 

We all have different ways to love and care for ourselves, and I’m sharing mine, as we can learn from one another, I believe. When I’m all stressed out and can no longer focus on my tasks, the topmost thing I do is walk all the way to Angol Beach, undisputedly my favorite spot on the entire island. 

It could be the release of happy hormones that come with exercise, the music I listen to on my way there, or just the sight of the ocean (it is believed that we humans actually need to see a body of water every day to calm our nerves), or the reset I get when I unplug and leave behind the to-do’s for a little while, but it’s just such a basic and pure thing to do that costs nothing (well, not unless I stop for a meal or drink, that is!). 

Now, others may find that sports or any physical activity is the best way for them to recharge and get ready for more work, or simply to have a mini-break. Or perhaps what you need is to challenge yourself by learning a new hobby, one you never thought you would or could do (like a workout session at King Fisher, a Kung Fu lesson with Boracay Dojo, or a Scuba diving experience), be it merely a diversion to a tired, occupied mind. This may also mean you just might need a good boost of circulation before resuming your daily routine. Your body and mind will surely thank you for it when you do. 

Some, if not all, really would need a change of scenery. Or a change of crowd. The world can get so noisy sometimes, and it may come from the people we surround ourselves with as we can get overwhelmed with differences in beliefs, personalities, or standards. If you find yourself in this predicament, it may be wise to remove yourself, albeit quietly and gracefully for a little time, or even permanently. And remember, you are in no way obliged to explain your side. You do you. What’s best for you is always the priority, even when it means you get a smaller, but more quality, circle. This will also show you who really are “your people”–those who genuinely celebrate you and with you, and those who remain even in the storms.  

Lastly, I date myself almost every week. It could be as simple as dinner out, a movie, a Netflix marathon, or a photo-walk session. Never forget that we cannot pour from an empty cup, so love and look after yourself, so you can radiate and pass on the kindness you have for yourself to others. 

When it all gets too much, remember there is a helpline you can always call. And you have friends who might simply be waiting for you to reach out or open up. There is no shame in going through difficult times and not being able to handle them by yourself. Help others help you. 

I’ve come from a heavy place recently and I’m more than grateful for the island life that serves as my free therapy, and my “bestest” friends who never fail to understand me, even in my silence, and becoming my third leg whenever I lose one of my two, and doing so while highly respecting my privacy. They, in turn, of course, have earned my respect, too! Salamat! 

Island life has its ups and downs, for sure, but still, no man is an island, even when we have been raised and have adapted to become very independent and self-reliant. 🌴


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