Well-loved celebrity Alden Richards was unafraid to admit that he had been greatly affected mentally, as many of us were, after months of being stuck in quarantine. From working all day and all night to having his schedule cleared up in an instant, it was a struggle to adapt to a kind of lifestyle where, after years of being active in the local entertainment scene, he finally had so much leisure time to do anything he never had time to do before. And yet, it wasn’t something he could ever prepare himself for or would ever realize that he could want for himself.
“It really challenged my sanity, this quarantine. Kasi parang (Because it’s like) it’s not normal for us. I mean, this pandemic,” Alden mused during a press conference for the relaunch of the Century Tuna Superbods 2020 competition.
“Without notice eh (right?) Parang (It’s like) we only thought of it as a virus from a country and then all of a sudden it became a pandemic. So a lot has changed, you’re not allowed to go out, you’re just advised by the government to stay at home,” he added.
The thing that caused him the greatest difficulty was having to change his normal routine.
“Mahirap siya for me kasi (It was hard for me because) I’m a very active person, I always go to work 24/7 for the past five years,” he said. “I’ll have to admit that in the first weeks of this crisis medyo mahirap siya (it was really hard). I mean mentally of course. You wake up, you do your thing, you take a bath, you work out, and then you sleep again, and then for the past three months ganun lang yung nangyayari (that’s all you could do). So when the second month of the quarantine came in, parang medyo may feeling na (there’s a feeling like) ‘Kailangan ba matatapos to? Ang hirap, (‘When will this end? It’s so tough) I’m not used to this.’ “
What helped him get through it all was to consciously distract himself with things he enjoyed doing, such as playing online games and getting in touch with his family.
“What really helped my sanity during this period was [that] I took the time to take advantage [of spending] time with family and to do other recreational stuff. I got into online gaming, streaming, I [spent] more time with my siblings, my dogs at home, and talked to the family a lot—hindi lang yung (not just) call and text when I’m away from work.”
“So what I did really during this pandemic was to look at the bright side of it and not look at the things that I can’t do anymore as a person that I used to do,” he continued. “So with that mindset, I was able to cope with the new normal.”
He did acknowledge that each person has their own way of coping with the pandemic. The important thing, to him, is that everyone keeps a positive mindset and to have faith that this hardship will pass eventually.
“It’s really up to the person on how he or she would take in the situation that we’re in. And, you know, always look at the bright side cause this will all be over soon,” he shared.
Alden is the celebrity ambassador alongside Nadine Lustre for the Century Tuna Superbods 2020, a competition that aims to promote the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and of maintaining your mental health amid the public health crisis. Thirty-four finalists will be competing for the crown on September 19, 2020.
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