IN NIGERIA, we find ourselves facing stress on all sides- economic decline, power shortage, fuel price increase, even the “common” tomatoes we took for granted have started showing themselves.
Believe it or not, accumulated stress is one of the major reasons why there has been an alarming increase in the death rate of young and middle-aged adults in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Nigerians do not seem to understand the need to take a step back and relax for a while.
Even while we are sleeping, some of us (even I’m guilty) find ourselves dreaming of unfinished work and missing deadlines. Our bodies are not built to take such amounts of stress, so once in a while, we need to take a step back and realise that life goes on, irrespective of whatever happens. These are a few tips for dealing with stress in your daily life.
DO NOT GO HOME IN WORK MODE. Leave the stress of the day and of your job at the door, so that you can relax by yourself or with your family. Your home should be a haven for relaxation, not an extension of the office.
Set boundaries and goals for each day. Do not let irrelevant worries that you can’t fix at that very moment get to you, because it will affect productivity.
Try to slide in a few minutes of exercise during the day. Sitting in one spot only serves to cloud your brain and tire you out.
If you need help, ask-You are not a superhero. Stop trying to do it all by yourself. If you find yourself stranded, ask for help from friends and colleagues.
Remember that work never ends- If you are killing yourself because you want to clear your desk up for tomorrow, you will only come back and meet more tasks. Get used to that fact.
Remember to stop and just breathe- Instead of blowing up or freaking out, remember to ask yourself “is it worth it?” Calm yourself with a few deep breaths and take a few moments to relax.
Treat yourself once in a while- Check yourself into a hotel, go to a spa or go out to dinner. You find out that taking a trip during the weekend, or on your casual leave helps you relax better than if you are holed up at home (it doesn’t have to be out of Nigeria, Nigeria has awesome getaway spots). If you are looking forward to something, it tends to take your mind off mundane worries.