When you think of mindfulness in Nigeria, it may seem like an unusual concept because, let’s be honest., Nigeria is stressful. Whatever city you are in, it seems like you’re being stressed by external sources at least five times a week.
If it isn’t a lack of light, the pump in your compound will stop working. Maybe the tailor you gave your material to one month ago doesn’t even remember what colour your material is. People sleep on your shoulder on the bus like you also didn’t wake up ridiculously early, and you’re just ted and irritable. The phone you’re managing decided it was done and threw itself ace first on the pavement.
Let’s not even going o talk about the nose, the smells, and how it seems like everything is set up to “get you”. A lot happens daily that disrupts our thoughts and emotions and can leave us feeling stressed and anxious. And we all, in one way or the other, find some way to release some of this stress. So mindfulness in Nigeria is not an unusual thing.
You may think, “mindfulness ke? Where and how?”.
Yes, you may feel like you can’t even find five minutes to sit down and relax, and 30 minutes or more for a meditation session is farfetched. But it is essential to your mental and physical well-being for you to take a few minutes each day to balance your mind and body.
Here are a few times during a typical day you can try to practice mindfulness in Nigeria:
- Having Your Bath – Bath time is the perfect time to have a mindful moment. You have some privacy, peace, and quiet before stepping out into the world and can use this time to align your mind and body for the day. Pay attention to the feeling of the water on your body. Listen to the sounds. Breathe in deeply and let the smell of your soap calm you. Be deliberate as you scrub, taking note of each individual body part. You can also sprinkle in some affirmations as you bathe.
- In Traffic/During Your Commute – The most extended traffic jam can be an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. Firstly, take a deep breath and ask yourself what you need at that moment. You might need silence to feel safe or to be comfortable. Think about how you can give yourself what you need at that time or when you are out of traffic. If you are driving, try switching off your radio or music. Use the silence to gain some perspective of your surroundings; you’ll see many computers looking agitated and tired, but you might also catch one person singing or smiling. Recognising how you are all in the same situation and being in control of your own feelings and reactions will ease your stress considerably.
- At Work – Is work your escape or the place you can’t wait to escape from? You can practice mindfulness at work by becoming a better listener. When having a conversation, really listen! Notice when you want to end a conversation and focus on where your mind is. Sometimes we get tired of or irritated by discussions because we are thinking about everything except what we are being told. You can also take a few seconds now and then to breathe and do a body scan without leaving your desk,m and just put yourself at ease when you feel tension creeping up.
- After Work/Running Errands – You may not like to hear this, but you should take more walks. There is a whole world around you ready to be experienced. If you live in an estate, try walking to the gate to me your cab or take a bus, or you can walk a few minutes from your house or office before booking your taxi. Take note of the things and people around you as you walk, listen to the world around you, and slow down. You might gain a new appreciation for your environment or notice something exciting you would have missed, and you’ll definitely feel a little less stressed.
- Wind Down – How did your day go? Sometimes we just feel so glad that it’s over; we go right on autopilot and go to sleep. And then get up in the morning and rinse and repeat. Sometimes things keep happening because you don’t know why they are happening. Take some time before bed to reflect o your day. You can journal, do a voice recording of things you want to remember, or just lay in bed and slowly replay the day’s events. You can also use the time to plan for the next day and give yourself a better chance of a more fulfilling day.
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