Tag: Pinoy in Dubai

How to Deal with Sadness and Depression

I’m back in Dubai and catching up with my work mails. As much as I want to tell you stories of our Hong Kong trip and adventures in the Philippines, I don’t have time.

I’m not depressed nor sad but I was notified by Facebook that someone shared this post from my other blog. I re-read it and still find it relevant so why not share again 🙂
I just made some typo and grammar edits (although for sure it’s still not perfect)

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How to Deal with Sadness and Depression
06 Feb 2016

My gosh! My last post was in October!!! What happened? Real life kicks in. I am busy with work, family, my mom visiting us in Dubai, holidays. Reasons! Reasons! I know.

But what made me decide to write today? It’s something I read on my Facebook timeline.
I don’t understand why some people dish their dirty laundry, angry outbursts and sad sentiments on social media. Why?!
Well, maybe some people are more emotional than others and they don’t really care if readers will have an opinion of them afterwards.
As a reader, we can always un-friend them if they make us feel negative. But since I’m a tsismosa, I don’t.

Anyways, going back to my Facebook friend. She is an Overseas Filipino in UAE and left her husband and kids in the Philippines to earn a living. She just came back from her vacation back home and is now depressed despite being surrounded with friends. And she said she can’t understand why.

To be honest, I felt sad after reading her post. I felt a certain degree of empathy. Not because I am missing my kids (they are with me) but because I have felt sadness and depression before. I still experience it from time to time. Sometimes it is just a fleeting moment but there are times it lingers longer than usual. And it ain’t fun.

So how to deal with sadness and depression? For me there are two steps. If you can perfect these two things, you can get out of it in a snap and will turn around your life completely.

1. Think positively

What?!? That’s it??? YES. That’s it. 

As I keep on telling you my friend, thinking positively will alter your life completely. Thoughts become things. The Universe gives us the energy that we vibrate, may it be positive or negative. You’re feeling sad and drowning with sorrow, don’t expect to get out of it very soon unless you change your mindset. Honestly, no one can really help you unless you change your outlook.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful and sensible your family and friends advices are to help you get out of your depression. They won’t help. What will help is your attitude. Nothing else.

2. Plan and Take Action

Ok. That’s two steps, right? But I will just consider it as one, as planning without action is futile and taking action without planning it first is doomed.

What causes your depression? Is it your weight? Is it money? Is it your relationship? Is it your work? Is it health? Or it could be a combination of these things.

This is what I want you to do. Take down a notebook and a pen and write down your thoughts about that ‘thing’ that makes you depressed or sad.

Example:

“I’m so sad I am away with my family and I need to earn a living away from them. Our circumstances won’t allow me to go back home very soon. I think I’ll spend long years in this country and my children will grow up without me.”

“I cannot recover with my loan and credit card debts. I am trying my very best to get out of it. I am constantly saving and spending less but it’s not enough. Banks are calling me now for late payments and started to threaten me with legal actions.”

“I’m 36 and still no husband and kid. I want to settle down soon.”

“My boss is from hell and going to work is like going to a warzone. But there is no way I can resign. I need money right now and although I am looking for a new job, there are no calls. I hate my life!”

 

Is this the story of your life? I can feel you. One way or another, I’ve been there. And the feeling is not good, I know. I’ve also cried out of depression. Hated life. Hated myself. Even now, from time to time. I feel sad but I just practice what I preach and to be honest with you – it make wonders.

Going back, after writing that ‘thing’, imagine you are the friend of a person who experiences that ‘thing’. What will be your advice to him/her? Write it down. Why am I asking you to do this? Because I want you to use your brain rather than your heart in looking into your problem. Whenever we give advice to our dear friends, we are always reasonable. We always enlighten our sad friend with words of wisdom which is practical and logical. I want you to do that with your self. Be logical.

And the good thing about being logical is you can always find a solution. The solution is all about taking in-charge.

The root cause of our depression is the feeling of being powerless. We feel that we are stuck in our situation and there is no way out. That our circumstances won’t change. And even though we are trying our best to get out of it, we feel we’re still doomed.

But if you start thinking logically, you know it is not true. There is always a way out. Planning is one way of winning the battle and taking action will surely lead us out of our situation and into our goal.

Let’s take for example my Facebook friend. She’s depressed because of loneliness. She’s away with her family because she needs to earn a living. I think if she focuses more of taking in-charge of the situation rather than feeling a victim of circumstances, everyday will become an opportunity to change her life.

And what are the ways to take charge of the situation? In her case, she can:

* Call her children and husband every time there is an opportunity. Talk to them through Skype, Viber, Messenger and whatever means of being connected.

* Be involved in school activities or child-rearing by still giving her inputs. May it be on what the kids will wear on school program or where to buy it. What will be their school snacks. Just being involved.

* Talk to husband and tell him that they need to be align on saving and spending. This is the most important part of being an overseas worker. If you want to return back home as early as you can, then you have to be wise spending your salary and finding other ways to earn.

* She needs to set a timeline until when she needs to work abroad based on how much she saved already. For example, if she can save this X amount of money for 1 year, she can then start a small business. This business will augment her salary. She can then work for another 2 years saving the same amount of cash if not more. She’s giving herself total of 3 years then. Based on her circumstances it could be longer but at least she knows that there is an end of her overseas life. It won’t be forever. Because she is taking control both of her finances and her emotions.

And taking control of your emotions and actions will empower you. You are not just drifting with life. You are in charge.

And planning and taking action apply in all facets of your life. May it be about your weight, your work life, your relationship. List down the things that you can control, both your emotions and tangible things. You are depressed at work? Have a horrible boss? Then write down the good things that your company gives you. That you have a steady income. You found good friends. You’re just 30 minutes away from work.

Find the positive things in your circumstances but at the same time start looking for ways to get out of your situation. Spend 30 minutes a day to look jobs online. Or aggressively save to start your own business. Once you set a goal, going to work won’t be as bad. It will be an opportunity to earn and learn.

Remember: There is always a way out! 

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Food trip plan while on holidays

The family will fly this Thursday for 2-weeks holiday and I’m looking forward to just take a break.

I’m quite stressed this past few days and taking some time off would be good for my mental health. Aside from my brother’s wedding and our trip to Hong Kong, I have no other plans on this trip. Oh actually, the only plan is to eat, eat and eat.

That’s why I’m trying to lose weight drastically (I know that’s bad) so I can afford to gain a lot and not end up looking like an elephant after.

I already have an idea of what and where I want to eat. (more…)

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Relaxing Friday

I was supposed to do some shopping for the salon yesterday.
But the almost 50 C temperature is turning me into an old asparagus lately.
Around 2pm, I knew that there’s no chance we will venture out so I decided to just go to our neighborhood salon.

The idea is to have pedicure and facial.
I try to do my toenails done every 2 weeks and have facial once a month.
And it’s been months since I visited a salon.
It’s about high time!

While browsing the menu, Simply Beauty has some combo offers.
Moroccan bath and Facial for AED 250 and 30-minute Foot massage and Pedicure for AED 100.
Hmmm… not bad.
And the most important question I always ask – how long are these treatments?

Moroccan and facial will be 2 hours, foot massage and pedicure is another hour.
Should be fine. Gibson and kids were having a nap and they would only missed me for 1 hour or less.
So let the pampering begin! (more…)

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My thoughts in 2015 – Revisited

I have been browsing my draft folders to see if there’s a blog post I can continue working on so I can just publish it.
Then I found this:

Five things I’m thinking today

1. When will I stop being employed and start my own business?

2. Need to fill-up our Italian visa application.

3. Waaah! Tita Beth left for good. Who’s in charge now?

4. Can I just shop without thinking of a budget?

5.

 

This is very amusing for me.

The draft is dated November 28, 2015.
I reckon the reason I didn’t publish this was because I can’t think of a 5th point, and then day ended.
If I continue working on it the next day then I’m not only thinking about these things that day but also the following day.
So it’s not only today. Get it? (more…)

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I just want to be average

My son never studies.
And I don’t push him as much as I need to.

I never review my lessons as well when I was as a kid.
But I know myself, I am quite bright.

I can memorize fast if I want to.
So I would review a few days before an examination or quiz and I would get an above average passing grade.
Sure, I will forget everything after the test, but who cares right?
As long as you passed the exam then that’s more than enough.

I think my son has the same attitude in studying.

I never saw him do his homework voluntarily.
And if he does, there’s always nagging and threats involve.
And he never reviews.

Surprisingly, he gets above average grades too.
He never gets awards or honorable mentions
But at least I am not called by school for failing marks.

And I always wonder, am I doing the right thing?

Every single day I tell him to be a star.
I heard Kris Aquino telling the same thing to his sons.

Cole never replies back until that day when he said
“I just want to be average!”

I was taken aback by his reply.

Is it bad to be average?
Should I push him to be the best?
Explore his potential and excel?

OR

Should I let him be him?
Let him figure out what he wants on his own?
And what’s wrong of not standing out?

Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up and his reply is to be a Youtuber.
Seriously.

And I have all these ideas that he can be a Chef and Restaurateur one day.
Or a business magnate.
Or a CEO of multi-national company.
Or the President of the Philippines.

But no.

He wants to be a Youtuber.

So I told him that being a good Youtuber means being good speaker.
He has to be good in something to attract attention.
He should never be shy in front of camera.

Youtuber is not bad.
Sure it’s different from what I had in mind but at the end of the day, I want my son to be happy.
As long as he isn’t hurting anyone, is respectful and contributing to the world, I think I am fine with whatever he wants to be.

Anyways, he is only 10.

There’s still chance he can be the President of the Philippines.
Help me God!

 

 

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Al Hamra Residence & Village – Ras Al Khaimah

In a month’s time, the family will go for our annual trip to the Philippines yet it’s not soon enough and I just want to take a break.
I sent some hotel deals to Gibson but he didn’t reply.
When Cole asked if we can stay in any hotel this Ramadan I knew I have to remind the hubby.

It’s always a good idea to avail various hotels’ summer promotions throughout UAE because rates are really low.
And I know I can easily convince Gibson if it won’t leave a dent on his pocket.
But I have to find a place that will be acceptable to kids, specially to Cole.
That boy has some standards yah know.

I found Al Hamra Residence & Village thru Booking.com.
Prior to this, I haven’t heard of this property.
The reviews are generally positive and the fact that it’s only AED 249 per night with breakfast (yes, AED 249 with breakfast) then it’s a place worth to try.
If it turns out to be bad, I won’t feel cheated considering that we only pay for a dinner’s worth.

(more…)

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Word connoisseur

When I first came to Dubai, I thought I’m a word connoisseur (is there such a term?)
Since I love to read, I got exposed to different words and though I don’t use them often, I have fair grasp of their meaning and know how to spell them (like the word connoisseur).

And then I came to Dubai.

This is how skinny I am when I first came to Dubai. Global Village 2006.

First few weeks were struggle. I think I know how to speak English but why the hell I can’t understand my colleagues?
British, Indian, Arabs- they all talk gibberish.

This is what my ears were hearing:
Indian:  Wer ken I get ye-four and delephone? 
British: Can you shed-jool sem-ee prive-et yat?
Arabs: Akhaamed wants bizza and bebsi.

My first job in Dubai was a receptionist so you can imagine the number of people I encounter everyday.
I am so embarrassed whenever I ask them to repeat what they said since they already repeated it twice.
They might think I can’t understand english or I’m just plain stupid.

I clearly recall an Indian colleague repeatedly yelling ye-for,Ye-For, YE-FOR since I don’t get it.
He was so frustrated. I’m so dumb.

As it turned out. He was asking for A4 paper. In the Philippines, we call them ‘typewriting’
Even if he had a heart attack screaming YE-FOR, I wouldn’t be able to give it to him.
Because I DON’T FREAKING KNOW!

Over time, I told myself it’s not me, it’s them. If I can’t understand an English man, it’s not because I don’t freaking know English, but his accent is at fault.
There are some people who speaks english in neutral accent and I don’t have a problem in conversing with them.

Also, there are so many words added on my vocabulary in 12 years I’ve been living here.

Toilet – does it sound very vulgar? We’re used calling it CR, comfort room, washroom but toilet?! No.

I recall going to a mall and asked the cleaner
Me: Excuse me, where’s the CR?
Cleaner: No
Me: Bubble thoughts ‘for sure there’s CR in the mall’. Oh, I mean comfort room.
Cleaner: No. No.
Me: Washroom?
Cleaner: NO.
Me: Bubble thoughts ‘WTF’

I then started using sign language as if I’m washing my hands.

Cleaner: Ohhh! Toilet, go straight then left.
Me: Almost peed on the floor… 

Pantry – If I tell my mom to grab coffee from pantry, I will end up just taking it myself because what the hell is a pantry. We call it cabinet on our side of the world.

To Let – my first thought when I read this in 2005 – “Have they stupidly forgot the I in the banner? But why are they promoting toilet?”

Tiffin box – when my son asked if he can have a tiffin box, I googled it right away.

And you know how we are taught of US English in school? It’s quite an adjustment to write centre, colour, organisation.

And the most difficult adjustment is using day-month-year when writing.
So 5-6-2017 is not May 6, 2017. It is June 5, 2017.

When we got married in 2016, Gibson and I discussed how we should write the date on our wedding ring.
He said that we are Filipinos and we should write August 6, 2006 as 8-6-06.
I agreed.
After 11 years of marriage, I am now confused on what’s our anniversary date since I always rely on my ring to help me remember. Don’t tell my husband. I’m really bad with dates.

Overall, I’m grateful being exposed to different nationalities and learning different accents and new words.
Now, me and my family can survive going to any parts of the world and be able to communicate as long as English is the medium of conversation.

Have a good day!

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Tong Ren Tang Dubai

I told Gibson last week that I have vouchers from Air Miles and we can dine in any of the restaurants in Le Meridien Dubai.
We really enjoyed Yalumba’s Thursday buffet last January so it’s time to revisit them.
But I don’t want this dinner to be our couple’s date for the month of May.
I want our date venue to be different every month.
Note: Yalumba didn’t accept our Air Miles so we use our Entertainer vouchers instead. 

Then I thought why not try an activity together.
We had a massage at Dreamworks Spa in March and we enjoyed it.
So I just need to think of something that Gibson will be willing to try.
Nothing too girly, too expensive, too dangerous and I might be able to convince him.

I remember that our insurance covers alternative medicine which includes acupuncture, ayurvedic and the likes.
Acupuncture is something I always wanted to try but never get the chance to experience.
My dear friend Sheila always had acupuncture therapies when were both working at Tetra Pak but I never asked her how’s the experience.
I think that’s a good thing so I won’t have any pre-judgement.

Tong Ren Tang Dubai (more…)

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Cole’s 10th Birthday Celebration at Aquaventure Waterpark

This post is 5 months late but as they said better late than never!

Cole's 10th Birthday Celebration in Atlantis The Palm

My kids are not excited having their own birthday parties.
They prefer simple lunch or dinner and then receive birthday gifts.
That’s it.
Big factor on this attitude is having a mom who doesn’t like to plan party celebrations.
How ironic that my job requires me to organize meetings, dinner and events on regular basis. (more…)

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Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City

I have so many things on my draft folder and let me try to finish and post them one at a time. Today, let me share with you our experience at Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City.

Our family loves staying in hotels and before the year ended last year, we decided to have another hotel staycation.

With several SPG points to use, I started searching for hotels that we can stay in. We just wanted a Dubai-based property that we’ve never been before and Westin Dubai Al Habtoor fits the criteria. Quick Google search shows that it’s a brand new hotel just opened in September 2016. It’s part of a multi-use development in Al Habtoor City and one of the 3 hotels in the complex. The other two is the luxurious St. Regis, and urban and hip W Hotel.

As usual, I tried to check reviews and photos before our visit but since it’s the hotel is quite new I haven’t really found anything on the net. So let me make my own review.

Online reservation was smooth. Check-in was supposed to be swift but Gibson didn’t have his Emirates ID that time as his visa was under renewal. He searched through his mails to find a copy of his passport. So our check-in took longer than expected.
Good thing that check-in counters were not busy considering it’s UAE National Day. (more…)

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