So right now you are probably thinking “I’m a Lagosian and I don’t think I’m insane”. However, don’t you ever feel like having to wake up in Lagos already feels like you are waking up on the wrong side of the bed? From the moment you leave your home, face the traffic, face work demands and stress from bosses and colleagues, while desperately waiting to leave and get back home only to get stuck in another endless traffic, there are definitely moments during the day where you begin to question the sanity of those around you as they might likely be questioning yours as well. But hey! It’s 2020 and in this New Year we are striving towards more money in our pockets, food in our bellies and love in our hearts whilst saying goodbye to sadness, stress and overall mental anxiety.
Consequently, in this article, I would share with you a few tips to try out this year that will assuredly help you achieve great mental health even in the midst of all the craziness going on in this beautiful city.
CHANGE YOUR JOB
As brutal as this sounds, if your job is causing you frequent meltdowns, it might be time to look for something a bit more suitable. If you are in a position where you constantly feel like ‘killing’ your boss or the people you work with, then it would be wise to really reconsider your job options. Statistics show that over 70% of employees are very unsatisfied with their jobs. If it is causing you depression and unbearable stress, it is time to look for something else.
Also, working in a place that is 3-4 hours drive away from home is simply irrational. You find out you have to leave home at an unreasonably early hour and get back in really late without having time for yourself, family or other more productive activities. Therefore this year, work towards getting a job within close proximity to your home or better still move your home closer to your job. Whichever way, there would be a whole world of difference physically, emotionally, mentally and even financially when you stop spending half the day stuck in traffic.
Except your primary earnings comes from driving, make resolutions to drive less this year. There are way too many cars on the streets of Lagos and this is the major cause of endless traffic, accidents and car breakdowns. So at least once or twice a week, it would be wise to consider hitching a ride with someone going your way, journey with public transportation or order an uber with a friend or two and split the fare. Not only does it take away the stress of you driving, it also reduces the risk of your car breaking down or getting smashed in all the traffic madness.
CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS
In all the rush to beat traffic and get to work on time, most Lagosians end up skipping breakfast or just eating lifesavers (Gala and Lacasera) on the way. Dieticians and nutritionists have proven breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Having a healthy but light breakfast can increase mental productivity by a large percentage. Therefore, make it a call of duty to have a light but healthy breakfast every morning before setting out for the day’s work.
GET A SIDE HUSTLE
One major cause of worry and panic is money. Living in a city that has a high standard of living requires having a high income to balance the equation. Most times, our monthly earnings can barely meet our expenses before the account runs dry again. This year, invest in a side hustle – a business or venture that should not need much of your presence to flourish. This would be a way of ensuring more passive income that would efficiently take care of your living expenses.
HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM
As humans, no matter how good or bad we are at the things we do, we need little encouragement here and there to boost our self esteem and self worth. It would do wonders for your mental health if you have a group of friends and family constantly encouraging and cheering you on. Embrace your support system. Accept constructive criticisms from them and appreciate commendations. Also remember to be a support system to your friends and loved ones around you. A simple nice statement can go a long way in a person’s life journey.
The importance of relaxing cannot be overemphasized. There are a thousand people waiting to take over your job if you have a mental breakdown. The body and mind needs relaxation to meet their maximum potential. Therefore, make out specific times to relax. Whether it’s having a weekend getaway with your significant other, watching a movie at the cinema, spending the day at the beach or just being home the whole weekend, sleeping and watching Netflix, find time to do whatever activity helps your body, soul, mind and spirit sync with one another.
This article was written by Omonigho Okome; connect with her on IG here