Jodi Sta. Maria: The Medicine of Kindness
Amid the uncertainty, challenges, and anxiety brought about by an ongoing pandemic, actor and mom Jodi Sta. Maria discovers that the cure is always within reach.
Popularizing the adage, “experience is the best teacher,” these past months of time spent at home have taught us many things. Throughout the pandemic, Jodi Sta. Maria has taken every lesson in stride and even found an elixir for healing, surviving, and thriving amidst the times.
Mother and Son Bonding
“Things have significantly changed because of the pandemic,” Jodi Sta. Maria shares. “The normal ‘dates’ with my son Thirdy were almost scarce to none—especially since children are not allowed to go outside of the home.” Like everyone else, dining out, shopping, and weekly excursions enjoyed by mother and son have been replaced by safe days at home.
But Jodi persisted by finding ways to keep themselves busy. “We were able to find ways to spend time with each other—by regularly ‘checking-in’ with each other during mealtimes. He would sometimes even come and visit me
in my room to check on me.” They’ve also enrolled in online workout classes to stay active. She adds, “We have also found ways to entertain ourselves by playing the guitar together.”
Jodi Sta. Maria on Having a Stronger Sense of Resilience
Acknowledging that times now require a stronger sense of resilience, Jodi mentions how parents don’t just think about their own well-being, but that of their kids, too. For her, Thirdy’s mental health was and continues to be a top priority. Pre-pandemic, her son who is a student-athlete, would spend most of his time training with his teammates. With safety restrictions imposed on kids, most have now been relegated to their homes—kept busy with online classes and assignments.
Jodi admits that this drastic shift has taken a toll on her, but she nonetheless tries to focus on the brighter side of things. The mom confides that if at all, the silver lining to staying cooped up was that she was able to spend more time with her son. Jodi furthers that being kind to herself has done wonders for her well-being and that of those around her.
The Importance of Well-Being
She details, “Our well-being is the best gift we can give to those we love. So, I make sure that I don’t neglect my needs. I find ways to care for myself by discovering what would spark joy in my life. My pets have been helpful in keeping me sane while doing somatic therapy like yoga and exercise, eating right, and doing meditation.”
Alluding to the uncertainty of the future— one that has rendered her powerless—she ponders, “The uncertainty of things going back to normal has become bleak. All of a sudden, I felt out of control. These made me anxious and overthink. I have realized that not everything is within the locus of our control. And that is one thing that I have to acknowledge and remind myself,” she continues with a change in her tune. “That though I may not know what the future holds, I do know who holds our future and that gives me an overflowing sense of comfort and peace.”
Powering Through and Being Kind to One’s Self
Against all odds, Jodi is a fighter. She will power through her problems with wit, determination, and an optimistic mindset. But even for this go-getter, the act of being kind to one’s self remains her biggest ammunition. “If you aren’t feeling okay, that’s okay,” she says consolingly. “If you feel tired and hopeless and worried, it’s okay. These are normal reactions to abnormal situations. Take time to breathe. Find something that will bring you joy. If it doesn’t come right away, again it’s okay. We are all adjusting. Be kind to yourself.”