Two happy Asian women, one posing in front of flowers and the other by the ocean.

In the last few years, healthcare workers have been under more stress than ever. On top of their usual work routines, they deal with the very real need to protect themselves and . According to a study published in , nurses around the world have experienced increased PTSD, depression, anxiety, and high emotional exhaustion since 2020. Here, four Filipina nurses share how they care for their physical and mental health.

Keep Moving and Invest in Me-Time

Justine Lumague is an ER nurse and nursing educator in London, England. On top of taking care of her patients and addressing their needs, she also has a much bigger responsibility as an instructor. Under this role, she teaches and prepares other nurses for their licensure exams. “With all the demands I face in my job, it can be tiring and draining,” she admits.

“As much as possible, I squeeze in a bit of time to work out. I sometimes do Pilates and ; I also swim to clear my head. I stick to my skincare routine, eat healthy, and get enough sleep,” Justine shares.

At work, Justine makes it a point to observe proper handwashing. “A simple gesture like can really do wonders. As a healthcare professional, you wouldn’t want to be the reason someone might be sick at work or at home. I wash my hands before cooking or . I also make sure to freshen up and right away when I get home.”

Avoid Fast-Food, No Matter How Convenient

One of the biggest challenges for health care workers is time management. “We have to use our time wisely, kasi ang daming ginagawa on duty. If one task takes longer than necessary, others are affected,” Felice Postigo, shares.

To maintain her physical and mental well-being, she is strict about taking her daily vitamins and avoiding processed foods. “It’s difficult because those are the most accessible to us. In our line of work, we only have a few minutes to eat – only 25 minutes max for our breaks!” She adds that she also wears a facemask when going out to avoid spreading any germs.

Felice also emphasizes the importance of handwashing. “Ito yung minsan ang nakakaligtaan ng tao, kaya dapat hugas lagi ng kamay. If soap and water are not accessible, alcohol muna ang gamitin.

Observe the “5 Moments of Hand Hygiene”

As a nurse working in Singapore, Xaviera Leigh Benosa deals with an ever-shifting daily schedule. “I have the evening, morning, and on rotation,” she explains. “I also deal with geriatric patients with cognitive impairment or dementia, so I need to be physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared every day.”

Over the years, Xaviera has learned to manage her reaction to . For her, taking breaks when on duty really helps prevent exhaustion, as does getting enough rest and on her days off. Meanwhile, eating right and staying hydrated throughout the day keep her energy levels up. “I also protect my skin (and delay wrinkles!) with a good broad-spectrum . Don’t forget to reward yourself!”

As a healthcare worker who interacts with delicate patients, Xaviera observes the “five moments of .” “Before and after touching the patient, before and after doing any procedure, and after touching a patient’s surroundings. Every corner of the hospital has an alcohol dispenser. By doing this, we protect ourselves and everyone from diseases,” she explains.

Make Your Home a Relaxing, Inviting Place

Angeline Alarcon works 12-hour shifts as an A&E (accident and emergency) nurse in the UK. “Every time I come to work, I worry about the uncertainty of staffing, the skill mix, increased workload, the acuity of the patients that I will handle, their demands, and the demands of their relatives. Nakaka-stress talaga.” she shares. “I usually go home quite knackered because most of the time, we are short-staffed.”

Maintaining a happy home has also been good for Angeline’s . “When my daughter is in nursery school (she goes twice a week), I can carry on with household chores. It surprisingly improves my mood even if it’s exhausting.” 

She adds, “Most of all, I love spending time with my family as it reduces the anxiety and stress that comes with my job. My husband and I work opposite shifts due to childcare, but when we have the same day off, we hang out by having coffee together in the morning or taking afternoon walks. Family time fills my cup; it keeps me going as a .”

Like many healthcare workers, Angeline is quite paranoid about bacteria and viruses going around. “I would always wipe down any visible surface with anti-bacterial wipes, especially the telephones and keyboards. And since we talk a lot at work – to patients, their next of kin, colleagues – I keep a mini toiletry bag in my locker for my products, which are also handy for freshening up after lunch/dinner break.”

Build Your Own Hygiene Kit

Healthcare workers work long shifts that require next-level personal hygiene habits. Nurse or not, having these can help you avoid diseases and protect your loved ones, too. Build your own by putting together some of your essentials (these differ for everyone!) along with some non-negotiables like sanitizer, deodorant, and toothpaste.

Stay fresh through long shifts by taking breaks and cleaning up! Refresh your underarms without your scrubs with Rexona Advanced Brightening + Anti Stain Deodorant Roll-On. It keeps sweat and odor at bay while giving your skin the TLC it needs.

While you’re at it, brush your teeth with closeup Menthol Fresh Toothpaste, which kills bacteria and prevents cavities for a healthy mouth and .

Finally, keep a bottle of LIFEBUOY Antibacterial Handwash Total 10 handy to get rid of disease-causing germs without .

When it comes to personal hygiene, healthcare workers set the bar high. Take the advice of these inspiring, hardworking Filipinas: don’t neglect your physical, emotional, and mental health – whatever industry you’re in. Just following a few of the tips above can have a huge impact on your well-being.