Flooded streets and traffic jams are just some of the things that make the rainy season really inconvenient, especially for the Pinoy working class.
But more than just waking up two hours earlier or taking detours so you can get to work on time, you must also prepare yourself for what the weather can do to your health.
"Ang empleyado ay imortal" may have been a joke uttered every rainy season, but the truth is, the weather makes you even more prone to sickness.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue are rampant during the wet season.
Webmd.com also states that the downpour can cause a downshift on our emotional disposition.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Tecsia Evans explains on the website, "When it gets dark and dreary out, some people definitely have more susceptibility to feeling lonely or down.
"It’s pretty common to see a change in mood—such as feeling sadness or lower self-esteem—when it’s rainy outside."
To motivate you to be at your best despite the gloomy weather, PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) recommends six things you can do to stay healthy and sunny all throughout the season.
1. Keep your umbrella handy.
Aside from protecting you from getting soaked, umbrellas serve as shields against colds, cough, fever, and flu.
It's your first step to better health, so keep one in your bag each time you leave the house.
2. Drink lots of water from a safe source.
Drinking six to eight glasses of water every day is a sure way to boost your immune system.
Make sure that you take it from a clean source because contaminated water is the main cause of diarrhea, typhoid fever, and cholera.
If you're unsure if your water is distilled, boil it for three minutes.
The DOH also suggests, "Cook food well and always have it covered to prevent contamination from flies and other insects.
"Always wash hands before preparing or handling food and after using the toilet."
3. Do not walk through flooded areas.
The DOH explains that Leptospirosis is common during the rainy season because "waste products (such as urine and feces) of an infected animal, especially rats, contaminate the soil, water, and vegetation, especially during floods."
Keep yourself from being infected by staying away from flooded areas.
In cases when it is unavoidable, make sure that you wash your feet and legs with soap after passing through the area.
It is important to keep your home clean and tidy, too, to prevent rats or rodents from living with you inside your house.
4. Follow the 'Four S' against dengue.
Dengue is caused by a virus acquired through mosquito bites.
Because these insects need stagnant water to grow, they are more active during the rainy season.
In order to prevent them from lurking in your home, avoid storing stagnant water in open containers as this can promote mosquito breeding.
Another way is by practicing the DOH's 'four S' against dengue:
- Search and destroy
- Self-protection measures
- Seek early consultation
- Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or hotspot.
5. Keep the lights on.
When it comes to staying positive during the rainy season, keeping your lights turned on during sleep can uplift your spirits.
Dr. Tecsia Evans explains on webmd.com, "There has been research that light can boost serotonin, which elevates the mood."
It also helps to avoid being cooped up indoors.
"I encourage people to really try to make sure they walk outside, even when it’s cold and rainy," psychiatrist Dr. Julia Samton suggests on the same website.
"Even though it might not seem that light out, you’ll still get some exposure to UV rays, which can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and boost your mood.”
6. Stretch the rainy blues away.
Doing recreational activities as simple as watching a movie or playing a board game can put you in a positive mood throughout the season.
Getting your blood pumping by doing indoor exercises is also a foolproof pick-me-upper.
"I encourage people to exercise... that’s a big one," says Dr. Samton.
"It gives people vitality, can [contribute] to self-esteem, and increases endorphins that have a positive effect on the mood."