I was tired of the recent events which occurred in Nigeria. You probably were tired as well or maybe, still are. Since October 8 when the #EndSARS movement resurfaced and young Nigerians took to the streets and social media to protest for the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian police, a lot has happened.
Since the first week of October until now, there hasn’t been a day that at least a Twitter trend hasn’t revolved around the unit.
Stories from Nigerians have circulated on social media and most of them have been sad news.
Consuming this sort of content on a daily basis does take its toll on a person’s mental health and if you’re reading this and have felt mentally down since the worldwide #EndSARS movement, you should understand that feeling.
We bring you some tips on how to take care of and improve your mental health during this period.
- Regulate Your Use Of Social Media & Other Media Of Information
The goal is to stay informed but within a limit. Think about how you feel when you spend hours on your Twitter feed, WhatsApp stories, Facebook feed, Instagram timeline just going over the news, stories, memes, videos, pictures of the movement. Not only would you feel overwhelmed, but one could possibly feel low afterwards.
To maintain one’s sanity, it is important to regulate one’s exposure to the information outlets out there. A way to do this is to take breaks from some or all social media platforms according to personal preference.
- Don’t Suppress Your Emotions
If there’s one constant for every Nigerian witnessing the #EndSARS movement, it’s the presence of strong emotions toward the turn of events. And these cannot be ignored, or suppressed. It’s easier than one might think to suppress their emotions. Sometimes when we think we’re expressing anger, for instance, it might just be the expression of suppressed anger or frustration and not anger.
Culturally, we’re used to avoiding anything which can cause us to be vulnerable, and this sadly includes our emotions.
With the events unfolding in the country, there’s every reason to feel angry and sad. However, it is important to express these emotions. So simply let yourself feel the emotions running through your mind.
- Channel Your Anger Into Productive Outlets
Since it’s advisable to allow yourself to feel the emotions you’re feeling rather than suppress them, a great way to make the most of your emotions is to channel them into productive activities.
Negative emotions can cripple a person’s productivity. And this is only natural.
Harness your anger into your craft. For instance, if you’re a visual artist, channel the emotions you’re feeling into creating a painting or sculpture etc, if you’re a writer, write about the state of things as honestly as you can. On the flip side, since art isn’t solely therapeutic for just artists, anyone can adopt art to harness their emotions.
It’s important to note that art isn’t the only way to utilize one’s emotions productively. There are thousands of productive outlets and activities to consider. Sports being one of them. And please, try to resist the urge to indulge in violent or illegal activities as a way to express your emotions. It is not only counterproductive but poses a danger to not only yourself but other innocent people.
Binging, sex, overdosing, are also some counterproductive outlets for your emotions.
Remember that above all, your mental health is important because that is the core of your being. Take care of yourself, and live to enjoy the beautiful Nigeria of our dreams.
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