This is a reflection paper for my Developmental Psycholgy major subject as a 1st year BS Psychology student, I hope that it will inspire you and inform you at the same time. The information and thoughts that I have written have been derived from Papalia’s book and directly from my silly fragile heart. All the love ❤
photo not mine, all the credits belongs to the owner.
No matter how hard I look at the country’s situation right now, it is still surreal, and we seem like we are in a movie being aired all over the world, dealing with the same dreading sickness that spread like dust being swept from the floor. Yes, I admit it, that I am really alarmed and scared to the fact that we are in a pandemic period wherein we have no choice but to stay inside our homes for a month, or maybe not, then afterwards, how will it all be? This is not normal anymore and it will never be. In this pandemic season, I have realized a lot of stuff not just in what Sir Jet allowed us to do, but realizations in the life we are all living right now, maybe, just a little, we take some things for granted. Psychology has been an important matter right now, especially in terms of the people’s mental health and well-being. Let us admit it, we are all scared and paranoid about everything that is happening in this crisis that we are all facing as a developing country. Questions asked and uncertainties thought of are being thrown like a curious kid who won’t stop questioning his/her parents about the existence of things and whatnots. We are all affected, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the wise and the ignorant, the good and the bad, all of us. No exceptions, and that is the reality. In this paper, I will give emphasis to the two groups of people in the society and these are the people belonging in the middle and late adulthood. Think of our loved ones aging from 40 to 65 years old, these are the middle adults and our grandparents who are aging from 60 to any certain old age are the ones who belong in the late adulthood. And the truth is, they are the people who are greatly affected by the global conflict we are all facing and conquering at the same time. Many in the middle age today are at the peak of their careers or chosen endeavors in life wherein difficult choices are made and many plans are being created in order to be more successful, more productive, more matured, and more of their best selves. That is why in this period of their lives, they are having a hard time on how to maintain and continue the paths they are currently walking on. Jobs are being stopped, companies are being temporarily shut down, establishments are forced to close, small entrepreneurs have no choice but to accept the fact that they cannot sell on their actual stores, and many more. It is really saddening and alarming as well because all of them now are thinking of ways to provide for their families and sustain all their needs for daily living.
With increasing age, it is common for middle-aged adults to experience different sorts of perceptual declines, including hearing and visual difficulties. In this age, diseases and easily acquired sensory declines tend to occur. This people experience wearing eyeglasses to read their favorite books, draw near or far something in order to see, listening to people and other stuff may be hard at times, extreme activities as well will not be their thing, and many more. This quarantine may allow them more to magnify these complications instead of the betterment of their physical health, but in some, the ECQ made them more conscious, more careful, and more aware of their bodies because they spent their time in exercising and eating healthy food just like my mom who always join me in my Zumba sessions and my Lola too who joined us in simple dances too while we are currently in our daily Zumba routines. They may experience poor eyesight, have brittle bones, less hearing capacity, and other stuff, and yet they still try their best to be fit and active this season. The aging brain can be described in two ways: slow functioning and trouble in handling multiple tasks. Just like my mom, she tend to be forgetful at times and tend to forget the next step on a process or the next ingredient on a cooking recipe. My Lola, on the other hand, shares the same thing but a little bit worse, she sometimes forgot my name or even called me someone I am not, and she also forgets things easily. For an instance, she asked for the number of our relative then saved it on her phonebook, after a few minutes, she will ask again about the number then realized that she already got it a while ago. Also, my mom is having hot flashes which mean that she instantly feels like she was being in extreme heat, she also has mood swings and often irritated with us (her daughters) due to irresponsibility in household chores, and that is because she is menopause already and by that Sophie (my sister) and I will always understand her in those times offering her a massage or a soothening podcast/music with a cup of coffee. Middle-aged adults despite having healthy bodies, this midlife stage experience an increase in different health problems or deeply concerned about their overall health. They may have less energy exerted than in their youth and are most likely to experience occasional or chronic pains and fatigue in their bodies. My mom, being 50 years old, is diagnosed with scoliosis and most probably an osteoporosis as well, but we need to bring her to an orthopedic doctor to be sure after this pandemic. Lola being in her late 70s already have numerous maintenance medicines because of her high blood or hypertension and other health needs. Mama and Lola who belong in the groups I mentioned above, are the main focus of my reflection paper, and they showed greater concern to doing things such as allotment of 15 minutes a day spent in moderate exercise such as walking on our village or Zumba dance workouts, being busy in housework, watering the plants and fixing the garden, or simply doing the things they are most happy about and enjoyed at. These can prevent unhealthy weight gain in women like them. In these ages, stress is a very emphasized matter in which in their everyday living, they can feel and experience it especially in pressing and negative times of their lives. An example of it is my Lola being so stressed about going home, she desperately wanted a quarantine pass, but we always remind her that she is a senior citizen and she cannot go out because she is the most at risk in acquiring the killer virus. Every day she is looking forward to being outside and go home in her house in Pampanga, she hopes that she can return and take care of her plants and go back to her work as school consultant in different schools she is assigned to. I am sad because she really wants to breath the outside air and it is really disappointing because we still have to endure a lot of days or even months again to be at home so that we can all be safe from this virus that is destroying people’s lives globally. Emotions and mental health in this life stages are an important aspect to be focused and given attention to because emotions may predict the overall productivity of these people and mental health promotes the well-being of these middle-aged and late-aged individuals. In our case at home, when Mama has a good mood and wakes up energized and happy, she tends to do a lot of productive stuff like cooking our food, washing our clothes, sweeping the floor and the yard, sewing clothes, reading different motivational books, and a lot more while when Lola gets worried about the pandemic and always questions the government’s actions in flattening the curve, she tend to sit all day with a frown on her face, unproductive and anxious at her current situations and only does a few reading from her books. I also noticed to them the fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence (Horn & Cattell) in different situations in our home. For fluid intelligence, I always noticed Lola making decisions based on the culture her mother and ancestors instilled in her and the education she attained, example of it is the term lamig. For her when we experience certain body pains, she will say that it is mainly because of lamig and she believes in that and we explained it to her that it is not true, but still she insisted that it is a fact. For crystallized intelligence, I also noticed this in Lola, due to old age she has highly regards to her ancestors and the beliefs they are practicing so when we wanted to correct her in the things she is wrong about, she still wants to stick with her principles because it is her culture and education that matter greatly than our constructive criticisms on her actions. Honestly, I am amazed with Mama and Lola’s personalities because they have postformal thoughts and the feature of it called as an integrative nature. Adults takes part logic with intuition and emotion; they combine interesting facts and ideas; and they compare new information with what they already know. They interpret what they read, see, or hear in terms of its meaning from their own perspectives. Instead of accepting something at face value or only looking at the physical aspect, they analyze it carefully through their life experiences and lessons from the past. Some of the things I remembered about this is when Mama, Sophie, and I had a heart-to-heart talk. It was so nice listening to Mama who already has a lot to say and share to us who are only in our youth. We talked about men and their intentions to single ladies like us, her past experiences in work and schooling that made her the woman she is now, and the realizations and inspirations that keep her going in this tiresome life. These instances allow them to value their lives more and look at themselves in a way that they are already reaching or already reached the best version of their lives or achieved the dreams they dreamt of ever since they were children. Education and creativity worked hand in hand as well this pandemic period, adults spend time doing things they never thought they can do. In my family’s situation, we do such things like creating new recipes, doing stuff to repair things that could be repaired by handy men, painted some stuff to make it look like new, fixed the interiors of the house, cooked puto or even baked goodies, and many more which allowed us to divert our minds off the sad reality we are facing at this moment. Literacy training are also being done because adults tend to love discovering new things that spark their interest and make their souls happy such as reading recipe books, journaling, reading the Bible, listening to podcasts, watching self-care videos, and a lot more. Erikson’s seventh psychosocial stage is generativity versus stagnation. Generativity can be expressed through parenting and grandparenting, teaching or mentorship, productivity or creativity, self-development, and maintaining of their own lives in their own worlds. The virtue of this period is care. In some instances, Mama and Lola would voluntarily contact the people whom they think needed help in this period. Honestly, a lot of phone calls were made and even text messages in order to ensure the safety and complete provision of our loved ones in many far places. Married people tend to be happier at middle age than people with any other marital status and that is why even Mama and Paping (my father) are far away from each other right now, Paping is in Saudi Arabia as an OFW rig mechanic, they are still happy and overflowing with love for each other because they really care and value the relationship they have as a married couple. Middle-aged parents tend to remain involved with their adult children just like in our family now, and most are happy with the way their children turned out and grown up to be. Problems may arise over grown children’s need to be treated as trustworthy adults and parents’ over concern about them. According to Erikson, the eighth and final stage of psychosocial development, in which adults in late adulthood either achieve a sense of integrity of the self by accepting the meaningful lives they have lived, and thus accept death, or yield to despair that their lives have been outlived. In this late adulthood phase, realizations and life lessons kick in. The elders tend to question the legacy they are about to leave once they experienced death. In this pandemic season, I noticed Lola being not normal or not being who she really is, maybe because she misses the world outside or the aging as well, but I realized in that age, she should be enjoying her life and not being restricted in a home where she only has limited space and a few errands to do. She may have grey hairs, no teeth at all, have wrinkles and fine lines all over, have weak bones and slow walking pace, saggy face and skin too, weakened grips and simplified acts, I realized that she needs to take note of her mental health as well because she is really sad in these crucial times. By taking care of it, I know that she will be away from memory problems and mental illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases which will greatly affect one’s own body and reasoning and the people around him/her that take care and love her dearly. Lola surprisingly has retired as a public school principal but still enjoys being at work, sometimes, she likes living alone, but we wanted her to be with us so that she can be really taken care of. She is already widowed but contented with the relationships she have with her daughters and son who are always there to keep her safe and comfortable in everything she does, these relationships should be nurtured because it affects the whole being of Lola just like the other elders with their social relationships. I know for a fact that the most vulnerable this pandemic season are the children and the people who already have their own senior citizen cards or simply the elders because they only wanted to be at ease and worry-free in the middle of the uncertainty. I hope that the questions they had in mind will soon have answers and I hope too that everyone will be safe from it and no Filipino should be harmed nor killed with it as well. This situation we have right now might seem that there is no light in the end of the tunnel, but to me there is and there will always be.
As a psychology student and a mental health advocate in these challenging times, I really try my best to keep all the people’s minds calm and worry-free at my home and also the people who are not physically present with me right now (friends, classmates, relatives, loved ones, church mates and many more), which means less anxiety and stress felt to ease the heaviness or the burdens they are carrying that I have or have not known anything about. I always encourage people or lift them up, also always asks them of how they really are and allow them to talk and I will patiently listen, I always share the good news instead of sharing information that will create fear among people, and I do productive tasks at home like reading motivational and psychological books, cooking dishes too, baking different pastries, doing workout sessions, reflecting all the time by journaling, creating poems, and a lot more; all of these are shared through my messenger so that my loved ones can do it as well. But I would just like to emphasize that mental health is as much as important as physical health. That is why in all my social media accounts I give time to share my works and other people’s thought bubbles on the pictures I am posting in those accounts, like my IG account (@colethatsparks) in which I post there different poems to encourage and my blog (www.atarahxx.wordpress.com) that shares my different life experiences. In a nut shell, I may not be a licensed psychometrician as of now or the most intelligent girl in town but, I can feel it that it is my responsibility to keep people sane this ECQ which means that I should be a beacon of love, hope, truth, wisdom, and understanding all the time because that is what a true Filipina is, a fighter that will never be defeated by just a virus.