The pandemic displaced more than 500,000 OFWs which affected global economies. About 400,000 OFWs lost their contracts and were repatriated to the Philippines, while a significant number of them contracted the virus. The pandemic posed a real threat not only to our health but to our livelihood as well. 

Despite shutdowns and lockdowns, one good thing that emerged during the pandemic was our awareness regarding our health and total well-being. We started to focus more on our wellness by doing more physical activities, keeping our minds fit, and enriching our souls. We became more introspective and learned self-love while caring for our family’s welfare.

It is said that “Health is an investment and not an expense.” Here are some practical tips to keep our bodies, minds, and spirits healthy even after we resume our normal lives. Just remember H-E-A-L-T-H.

Healthy Diet

Keep a healthy dietary routine. Most families started eating more fruits and vegetables when the pandemic struck to keep their immunity boosted. Many have also lessened their consumption of salt and sugars and reduced their intake of harmful fats. Aside from increasing our immunity, eating healthy also strengthens our bones, supports brain development, and lowers the risk of heart diseases. 


A good healthy diet and physical exercise always complement each other. Engaging in physical activities like working out, doing sports, and walking not only strengthens our bones and muscles but also elevates happy hormones in our body which reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. Being active stimulates our bodies and gives us the energy to get through the day.

Avoid vices

Our body has a way of depending on vices, which cost us time, money, and even relationships with others. During the pandemic, many gave up their bad habits like smoking and drinking to lower the risk of catching the Covid-19 virus. If you have come this far, do not try and start again. Quitting our vices will lead us to a healthier physique like better skin and clearer minds. It will also drastically change our lifestyle, eating healthier, moving faster, and sleeping better. This change will multiply our productivity, increase our savings, and improve our relationships with the people who matter to us. 

Learn new skills

The lockdown gave us a lot of extra time on our hands. Many looked for new hobbies, acquired new skills, or tried something they had not tried before. Learning new skills can improve our confidence and sense of total well-being. Aside from beating boredom, engaging in a new skill motivates us, boosts our self-worth, and improves our mental health, especially when most of us are physically isolated from our loved ones. 

Talk to someone

Being away from our loved ones while working abroad is one of the biggest hurdles OFWs face. Everyone gets a taste of what it is like with the lockdown and social distancing. But we find innovative ways to connect with our families and friends throughout the pandemic, which helps us cope with stress, anxiety, and loneliness. Talking to someone about our feelings can help us stay in good mental health and deal with whatever we are going through, especially in this troubled time. Constant communication with family and friends will not only ease our anxiety but also comfort and reassure our loved ones back home. 

Have a health insurance

While some employers provide health insurance for overseas workers, let us not forget that those coverages are co-terminus with your tenure or work contract. Some coverages are also limited to certain illnesses and do not give us the full protection that we need. As breadwinners who are away from our families, it is a healthy choice to secure ourselves with a personal health insurance that provides us with a complete health package. Get one even before leaving the country or when you come home to visit. Having your own health insurance safeguards you from health concerns abroad and even after your contract expires, and gives your family back home peace of mind. To know more, visit Shine Pinoy Program for Overseas Filipinos.