It is no longer news that in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus that both Federal and some state governments have imposed a compulsory stay at home order on Nigerians.
This is the first time we would experience a lock down for two weeks at least and the reality of this stay at home will bite harder as the days go by. We all need some good level of emotional intelligence to navigate moments like this.
I will share just a few tips on how to make the most of the situation and how to remain mentally stable while the holiday lasts. It doesn’t matter if you were able or unable to stock up your houses with food to last you for the period of the lock down, what matters is how well you will fare.
While most single people who live all by themselves worry about boredom and access to food especially for those who don’t know how to cook or have deep freezers and light to preserve; a lot of married people are also worried of what becomes of their marriage before or when the holidays are over.
A few days ago, I posted this on a social media platform “If a lock down happens in Nigeria, many marriages are likely to pack up, while a few will be strengthened. Distance has kept a lot of marriages together for ages”.
A lot of married people agreed with me because they are living proofs. A married man told me if there’s a lock down, he would rather travel to his village alone, and remain there until it is over rather than stay home with his wife all through the lockdown.
While there are some peaceful homes, there are homes as well that are more like battle fields. Couples are just better apart than under one roof for 24 hours.
Physical violence and verbal abuse are a typical day’s activities. You can imagine a lock down in such a home! The children will get a dose of the trauma, toxicity and transfer of aggression that characterizes such marriages.
This article is not to scare you further but to bring you up to speed on lots of activities you can key into to help with creating peaceful atmosphere while the compulsory holiday lasts and even going forward.
You will have reasons to be edgy, irritable, unapproachable, angry, depressed etc but it’s best to take deep breaths and learn to relax. Don’t throw words carelessly or display toxic behaviors, that approach will do you no good, change tactics. Instead of responding in anger, take a deep breath and choose your words carefully.
If you are afraid your spouse and children will exhaust the available food stuff before the holidays are over because they consume more and frequently or because you couldn’t stock enough food due to insufficient funds, rather than body shame them on how much food they consume or transferring aggression on them, it is best to call a meeting in your house hold.
You can suggest rationing and portion control as a measure to ensure they don’t gain much weight or so you don’t run out of food before the holidays are over. You will be amazed at their level of cooperation. This requires wisdom and calm demeanor.
Have a reading time. Stock good novels and books, they will keep you mentally stable and going. Don’t stop reading. Ignore the DSTV remote control if it has the tendency of starting trouble. Listen to good music. Don’t just stay on your cell phone all day either calling or chatting away while ignoring your partner or children. If you offend your partner or children, apologize to them, it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t stay in bed the whole day. Wake up in the mornings and exercise your body even if for 30 minutes. I don’t mean you should go play football with neighbors, as you need to maintain a social distance for now. Aerobics, weight lifting, running or walking around your house will release some feel good hormones that will make you feel more alive, healthier as well as eliminate depression.
You should also brush your mouth and take a bath immediately. Encourage your household to do same before heading to the kitchen for breakfast. These activities will help keep your mind and sanity in check. You don’t have to pollute your home with body or mouth odour.
If you smoke, it is in your best interest to quit for now as you need two healthy lungs to fight Covid-19 properly should you contract it. Replace alcohol with water for healthier liver, kidney and heart. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, the greener the better to boost your immunity.
It’s time to deliberately sue for peace. Marriage is a work in progress as there is no perfect marriage, couples are making necessary sacrifices on a daily to keep their marriages happy. If you’ve read this article, encourage your partner to do same, so that when this holiday is finally over, your efforts would have paid off positively.
Our security personnel on the streets ensuring that the lock down is adhered to must also maintain some social distance, taking all precautionary measures to stay safe.
Videos of assaults and chasing back those who are not observing the stay at home order has left us all wondering if these men in uniforms feel they are immune to Coronavirus.
You need to be healthy to enforce the stay at home order, as anything contrary to taking precautionary measures exposes you further and a disaster waiting to happen. We should all stay home to reduce the spread.