Health Tips for Filipino OFWs

‘ABROAD’ – Salitang masarap pakinggan pero puno ng hirap at sakripisyo.

Many Filipinos aspire to work abroad to uplift their financial condition and provide a better life for their loved ones. Others prefer to work outside the country to get more opportunities to enhance their career and have more earning opportunities. Although the benefits seem very promising, many OFWs (Overseas Foreign Workers) face different challenges, hardships, and sacrifices. The biggest struggle of working abroad is leaving their families in the Philippines. Managing homesickness is probably one of the toughest ordeals of working in a different country. Since Pinoys are generally family-oriented people, working abroad can be difficult and lonesome. Other challenges include communication, work environment, finances, and family issues. It’s no wonder, working overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. 

Many of our kababayans working abroad don’t prioritize their health. They are more focused on working hard to be able to send money back to their loved ones in the Philippines. 
As an OFW, working hard to take care of your family is an admirable trait. However, it’s equally important to take care of your well-being and invest in your health. Keep in mind that if you’re healthy, then you can continue working for your family and save for your future. But if you neglect your health and you get sick, chances are your employer might send you back home. Aside from losing your source of income, your savings may be depleted if you don’t have proper healthcare. It’s easy for things to fall apart when your health is compromised. You can avoid these problems by being proactive about your physical and mental well-being. Here are some tips to help you remain healthy and avoid potential health problems while you’re working abroad.

Get rid of vices

It’s okay to relax and take a break, especially after a long day at work. After all, maintaining a work-life balance is a good way to reduce stress and prevent job burnout. The problem starts when your idea of taking a break is smoking cigarettes, drinking excessive alcohol, or taking drugs. Sadly, some of our kababayans resort to vices to drown their sorrows and homesickness. Stay away from these habit-forming vices because they can jeopardize your health. In addition, they can affect your work productivity and possibly threaten your job.

Be conscious of what you eat

Many of our hardworking kababayans abroad tend to skip meals or eat fast food dishes because of their hectic work schedules. Some choose cheap and unhealthy meals to cut down on expenses. When you skimp on nutritious food, you deprive your body of getting the proper nutrients which can compromise your health. 

No matter where you are, maintaining a balanced diet and eating appropriate portions are vital to staying healthy. For instance, avoid eating too much meat that can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health issues. Moreover, make it a point to include fruits and vegetables in your diet. Another thing to remember is to drink at least eight glasses of water every day to stay optimally hydrated and protect your kidneys.

Include exercise in your daily routine

“Pagod na ako sa trabaho kaya wala ng time mag exercise.” This is a common excuse for many OFWs. A lot of overseas workers also maintain side jobs or sidelines to earn additional income which prevents them from exercising. 

Proper exercise can help you manage your weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, improve memory, and reduce anxiety or depression. With all these benefits, spending a few minutes a day doing simple exercises would certainly be worth the effort. For starters, you can consider walking to work or during your break. Another good form of exercise is taking the stairs instead of the elevator. During your day off, you might want to jog around the nearby park. How about following a Youtube fitness exercise? You may start with a 15-minute routine and increase the duration and intensity as you go along. To make things more interesting, you might want to mix and match exercises per week to maintain a fresh workout. Whatever exercise you choose, the bottom line is to keep moving to boost your health.

Take care of your mental health

There are many stressors that can impinge on the well-being of OFWs, including relationship/family issues, problems at the workplace, financial troubles, and emotional distress due to loneliness. A good way to promote mental health is by doing what makes you happy. Find something that you enjoy by tapping on your creative and active side. For instance, if you’re the creative type, you might want to try journaling or dabble in arts and crafts. If you love reading, a good book can engage your mind and imagination. Reading can also reduce stress and promote relaxation. For shutterbugs, you can find solace in taking photos. If you’re the active type, engaging in sports or other physical activities can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract your mind from problems. Connecting with people through social interactions can also help lower anxiety and depression. Just find what works best for you.

Healthy and happy OFWs

Medicare Plus salutes hardworking OFWs for your dedication, hard work, and sacrifices. Make an effort to take care of your physical and mental health while working overseas. You can promote your overall well-being by getting rid of habit-forming vices, being conscious of what you eat, including exercise in your daily routine, and taking care of your mental health. Keep in mind that a healthy OFW equates to a happy OFW. 

Medicare Plus understands how difficult it is to be away from your family. Lessen your worries by safeguarding the health of your loved ones in the Philippines by getting them prepaid emergency cards for emergency and in-patient care.

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