Here’s to Self-Care as I ‘Make Time for Me-Time’ this 2023

AXA Philippines’ invitation to a 2-Day retreat in chilly Tagaytay was difficult to refuse. I knew my physical body could make use of some down time, while in the same breath those loads of tasks in that one corner of my brain screaming at me that I’ve way so much to do. My first ever 2 working days in a good, long while that I put everything else on the side and gave time for myself.

So that’s supposed to be the theme, right? I should be off to a good start then. Lovely that it was almost a no-brainer for Jeff, as he straight away gave me a thumbs up, when I asked him if I should go, while I talked myself out of it. I love that he gave me all the excuses so I can say yes.

One of my takeaways include learning what “Sandwich Generation” means. While it made sense to me what it meant, it was my first encounter of the term for our generation – individuals taking care of both their aging folks and our own family simultaneously. The pressure that comes with the barrage of responsibilities can be overwhelming, among other things. The caveat of being right in the midst of it is the tendency to neglect our own needs. But that’s when the old adage comes in, “You cannot give what you do not have,” and “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”

A study on self- care supports this is as it is defined as the ability to care for oneself through awareness, self-control, and self-reliance in order to achieve, maintain, or promote optimal health and well-being.

To demo for the best of us who have essentially put “us” in the backseat, AXA Philippines ushered us to “Make Time for Me-Time” in Anya Resort in Tagayatay.

In a nutshell, here are some of the things that we can do as we reintroduce ourselves to Making Time for Me-Time:

Managing how your emotions affect your loved ones.  Emotions are contagious. Your loved ones, especially people close to you, can sense it when you’re happy, upset, or angry—and your feelings may be transferred to them. Being healthy and happy on your own first is a way to share the positive energy. Radiating positive thoughts will help draw in good things to you and the people around you.Mandala Drawing

While I was familiar with Mandala coloring, it was a first for me to draw one from scratch. Sans its spiritual history, it was actually a very relaxing experience. The discipline of keeping still, disconnecting (from our devices that we are forever glued on) to reconnect, being aware of our thoughts and the beauty that we are creating can be truly satisfying. The above picture is my very first unfinished mandala project.  

Having mental space for happiness. When you are rested, you feel happier in doing fun activities, compared to when you’re overworked, anxious, or stressed. When you’re burned out, you lose the mental capacity to be happy just being, let alone enjoy whatever other fun pastime you’ve planned. You must take breaks to make room for the things that are meant to be enjoyed.

AXA make time for me time essential oil makingAnother activity the oilbularya in me was giddy to take part of is the Aromatherapy sesh.

Treating resting as a necessity, not an option. When you live to please everyone around you, just to stay polite and avoid issues, you tend to sacrifice “me-time” to meet everyone’s needs. When you push yourself past your limit, your body goes into survival mode, and burnout turns into a vicious spiral. You need rest and you must allow yourself time to recalibrate, reset, finding time to make sure that your focus is on yourself, even if this could be in the form of saying “no.”






As a big fan of regular vagus nerve reset since I learned it from Dr. Cheryl Townsley back in 2020, I have come to understand and experience for myself the importance of giving attention to these things. When we come to realize the amazing way God created our bodies, and our ability to “reset” and heal through these simple exercises that our system responds to for better health. I love that I have learned yet another trick that Denise of Flow Retreats taught us – The Cortices Technique.  It is a simple do-it-yourself technique that takes only one to two minutes to do. Tapping your cortices helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain and restores brain function.

Keeping yourself healthy. Stress can be beneficial at times, but only when necessary.  Based on research conducted by associates from the University of California, some amounts of stress are good to push you to just to the level of optimal alertness and performance. But you need to know your limits. Working too hard causes too much stress, which can weaken your immune system and invite sickness and disease to come along. When you are sick, your body is telling you to rest—and no one can listen to that other than you.

Jen at Anya Resort for AXA Make Time for Me TimeThat #MakeTimeforMeTime retreat was a breather I didn’t know I needed. Thanks tons, AXA Philippines! Thank you, Iris for the pictures and video coverage you took of me and the girls, with mobile photography/videography handy tips on the side.

“When we choose ourselves, we are often afraid to come off as selfish. However, we need to understand that we also need to take care of ourselves in order to care of our loved ones even better,” said AXA Philippines Chief Marketing Officer Nandy Villar. “It is time to leave behind this guilt and commit to making time for me-time. We at AXA Philippines are here as your partner to support you in achieving holistic health this year and beyond.”

To be worry-free in 2023, we need a partner who can help you feel safe. AXA Health Care Access offers this comprehensive health insurance plan that covers all potential healthcare needs, from prevention and diagnosis to hospitalization and treatments. Select plans include teleconsultation and mental health services, to truly cover your holistic well-being.

AXA Philippines also has health plans that cover exams to diagnose critical illnesses that must be dealt with immediately. AXA’s Health Start plan covers critical illnesses, including cancers that affect women. This is especially favorable for mothers because they can also choose to share the coverage with their child. AXA also has other health insurance options, such as the Health Start Lite plan. This already covers the top three critical illnesses, namely cancer, stroke, and heart attack, as well as nine minor critical illnesses to which women may be predisposed.

AXA also offers Global Health Access, a health plan which offers best-in-class global health coverage of up to P100 million and comprises the diagnosis and prevention of illnesses through extensive medical checks and outpatient benefits, cancer coverage, reimbursement supplements, as well as cash benefits for pregnant women.

make time for me time momsTotally love this 2-Day Retreat by AXA Philippines, where we got to bond with good ol’ blogger mommy friends Milette, Adae, Iris, Levy, and Mauie with our amazing retreat coach Denise of Flow Retreats

Grasyas minus 1The Grasyas Minus One (Iris Pulga). Thank you, AXA Philippines for this treat of being with my good friends, Mauie of and Iris of after over 3 years.

socmedia winners with axa representativesGrateful to be one of the winners of the social media contest during the AXA Make Time for Me-Time Retreat, together with Iris and Levy. We are photographed here with AXA Philippines Brand Segment Manager Sei Nierves (leftmost), PR & Corporate Communications Senior Manager Nikki Constantino (second from right), and Public Relations Officer Dianne Poblete (rightmost).

Taking care of our respective families entails taking care of ourselves as well. Making time for me-time is an essential component of self-care and overall health and well-being. With an AXA health insurance plan, we can also be financially healthy and have an additional layer of security against health issues, allowing us to truly enjoy having time for ourselves and our family as we move forward in life this year.

For more information about AXA Philippines’ health offerings visit

Here’s to Self-Care as I ‘Make Time for Me-Time’ this 2023

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