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Just when we thought 2020 was done with its drama, we were served with yet another episode in this decade’s premier edition.
For Nigeria and Nigerians, the peculiarity of our experience from the rest of the world is significant. From the peaceful #EndSARS protest to the opportunistic chaos that is unfolding, things seem to be evolving quickly. Too quickly perhaps.
A lot has happened. A lot is happening. A lot may yet happen.
For many of us who are first-timers to the turbulence currently rocking Nigeria at the moment, the feeling can be unsettling as we hope for its resolution.
There is the temptation to be caught in the flux as the Centre seems not to hold. But things mustn’t necessarily fall apart within you.
Here are some tips to help you cope.
TAKE A BREAK
This may sound counterintuitive at first, but when you remember that your thoughts are conditioned by what feeds it continuously, it makes more sense.
As the old computer cliche goes, “Garbage in, Garbage Out”. Similarly, “Turbulence in, Turbulence out”.
This month of “Independence” has independently fed our collective thoughts with really disturbing sights and diverse emotions. From anger to hope to frustration and despair, we’ve seen a lot. It is time to take a break to allow some calm within you return.
I won’t ask you to delete your social media accounts, except if they are now a medium for depression and possible mental breakdown. I can hear you say God forbid. I agree.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Whatever you focus on expands.
There are things you can control, and there are things you cannot. It is a simple reality we may not like, but it is what it is.
Same with events happening around us.
In his International Bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey classifies these events into two.
- Your Circle of Concern (what you cannot control) and;
- Your Circle of Influence (what you can control).
Focusing on what you cannot control makes you feel weak and leads to despair.
Focusing on what you can control brings the assurance that things would work out, “eventuarry”.
BE DELIBERATE ABOUT WHAT YOU DIGEST
It is still possible to stay informed without being schizophrenic.
Take the news in measured doses, and as much as possible, put a limit on sensitive content that may fray your nerves.
As you see bad news, also try to see a movie that may make you smile, relax and be mentally taken care of.
PRAYER, MEDITATION, MUSIC
These 3 activities are multidimensional as they cut across body, soul and spirit. They go beyond what we see to have far-reaching consequences.
Music aligns your mind and tunes the chords of your soul and spirit. Meditation breeds calmness. Prayer connects you to God, from whom all things live, move and have their being. Collectively, they help you build grit and maintain a perspective on events as they occur.
Do them daily, and your anchor would hold in the times of the storm. Remember, your mental health matters, and “problem no dey finish” even in Canada *winks *
You’ll pull through this. Keep on keeping on.
Samuel C. Chukwu is a Keynote Speaker and Writer who believes in adding value through the power of simplifying ideas. He is based in Abuja and can be reached via email@example.com