For the average Nigerian, work-life balance is an ‘Oyinbo’ concept because getting daily bread to survive- literally, is the topmost priority.
Matters on health and personal development are worries that don’t come into play till they are of utmost necessity: till that back pain can no longer be tolerated, or the fever can no longer be managed with sleep, panadol and more food, and reading (and finishing!) that book when there is a job promotion up for grabs or a side hustle that needs more knowledge.
Simply, the average Nigerian is trying to survive, and they can’t be blamed. Insecurity, lack of employment opportunities, a weak currency and inflation all drive the average Nigerian mindset to sing ‘One day at a time, sweet Jesus’ or ‘Japa.’ But in between these two songs, perhaps life in Nigeria can be enjoyed a bit more, and health and personal development can be put into daily life while trying to catch the daily bread.
Here is the first way we can survive in Nigeria;
Walk, work, walk, work, walk…
Exercise goes a long way in preventing minor ailments and heavy-duty conditions like High blood pressure, Hypertension and obesity-related diseases. And, of course, improving quality of life. For sedentary workers who do 8 to 5’s, like bankers and lawyers, or drivers who have to start the day early and traders, waking up early to work out can not be on the itinerary. But there are a few ways exercise can be incorporated into work:
- Walk where possible. If you’re on a break, opt to take a short walk around the workplace or at intervals during work. Someone can watch your store or your desk in this short period. And on transits home, walk where possible. And finally, on getting home, avoid the eat-sit-watch path! Instead of getting home to eat, sit on a chair and watch tv (till you sleep off), there are small stretches that can be done before or after a meal. The watchword is where and whenever possible, walk!
- Complete workouts are for weekends. With proper time management and willpower, regardless of church activities, ‘owambe’ and housework, a 30 minute workout can be squeezed into the day- whether morning, afternoon or evening.
5 Ways to Survive in Nigeria
- And also, your phone is your exercise buddy. Suppose you’re wondering what work out to do. In that case, there are various applications for home workouts, with multiple times to suit your needs: 5, 10mins and above, and pedometer apps, to count your steps in a day (some recommend a total of 6000 steps daily).
And there are various resources on YouTube as well for workouts with different times. A google search can also reveal multiple activities ranging from aerobics, yoga, callisthenics, and sports.
- If you’re unsure whether to do more aerobics, weights, or flexibility exercises, it’s good to start with what you know and ‘walk’ your way up from there. There are also resources online that can advise whether to start with weight loss, endurance, flexibility exercises or even just first building the exercise habit. The important thing is first the willpower to do, and then to search; the resources will come up.
- From constant walking, other movements in time can be built into your schedule and finally, if the means permit, join a gym and get advice from a professional fitness expert.
- Remember, whatever workout you want to do should be done considering any underlying health condition you might have. If possible, consult your doctor first.
Even though the country is hard, we can still survive and have good health.
I hope this tip helps. Stay posted for the second tip!