On August 30, 2016, Nigeria officially entered a recession.
I was on of those people who were hoping it wouldn’t get this bad. Well, let’s just say we had hoped against hope because the crisis is deeper than we had imagined.
Recession is not just a word
Contrary to what the minister of finance said, we know that recession is not just a word. This thing is real and we are feeling the heat.
The price of everything has more than doubled, but the income of the average person is not growing. The question is, how can we minimise the adverse effects of this stressful situation on our sanity and well-being? What can we do so that we don’t lose our minds and health as we face the consequences of our past and present leaders’ actions/inaction?
Know that you are not alone
Before you start stressing and sweating over the financial crisis and how it is making live and living difficult for you, I want to encourage you to slow down and take some deep breaths. Please understand that you are not the only one who is affected by this problem. It is a national crisis that affects every Nigerian. You, me and our next door neighbours are all paying the price.
Don’t stress, don’t fret
Stressing over a bad situation will not make the bad situation better. And being angry and bitter will not do any good either. As it is now, you and I have no control over the price of crude oil or foreign exchange rate. But we do have control over how we respond to these challenges, and we have control over our personal needs.
So instead of stressing over what we cannot control, we can use the same energy to find creative ways to reduce our personal needs.
We can also reduce financial stress by taking a critical look at how we spend our money. Is everything you are currently spending money on necessary and important? If no, cut down or eliminate the unimportant.
Buy local, eat local
One of the ways to cut down spending is to reduce how much you spend on imported foods. Imported foods are expensive because they are imported and not because they are healthier than local foods. It is cheaper and healthier to eat locally grown foods than it is to eat imported foods.
For example, apples are not expensive than oranges because they are healthier than oranges. Apples are expensive than oranges because they are imported! Kale is not expensive than ugu because it’s healthier, it is expensive because it is a “foreign” vegetable and those who grow it here choose to sell it at a higher price than ugu and other greens. Quinoa is not expensive than acha because it is healthier, it is expensive because it is imported. Almond oil is not expensive than coconut oil because it is healthier. It is expensive because it is imported.
Are you feeling me?
Many of the foods we spend thousands of Naira on are not expensive because they are healthier than our local foods, they are expensive because they are imported! And now the dollar continues to frown on our Naira, we can help the Naira get stronger by buying and eating locally grown foods.
Eating healthy is not expensive, what is expensive is eating imported foods.
There is no better time to make exercise your friend than now. Exercise will not only give you the energy and strength to deal with everyday stress, but it will also keep your medical bills low.
Exercise is good medicine. There are numerous physiological, psychological, and metabolic benefits you will gain from regular participation in exercise.
Being physically fit can reduce your risks of diseases and improve your health and well-being.
Many benefits of exercise
- Stronger heart
- Increased oxygen to the brain
- Reduced blood fat or blood lipids, including low-density lipoproteins (LDLs or bad cholesterol)
- Increased protective high-density lipoproteins (HDLs or good cholesterol)
- Improved physical fitness
- Reduced risk of heart attack
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Reduced risk of hypertension
Bone and muscle health
- Reduced risk of injury
- Reduced risk for lower back problems
- Increased bone density
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis (osteoporosis is a medical condition in which bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue typically as a result of hormonal changes)
- Relief of depression
- Better sleep habits
- Less stress symptoms
- Ability to enjoy work and leisure
- Improved brain function
Other Health Benefits
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Quality of life for diabetes
- Improved metabolic fitness
- Improved immune systems
- Physical Appearance
- Better physique
- Less Body Fat
- Better Posture
If we had a pill that conferred all the proven health benefits of exercise, physicians would widely prescribe it to their patients and our healthcare system would see to it that every patient had access to this wonder drug…If learned that a single prescription could prevent and treat dozens of diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, would you prescribe it to your patients?”
Robert Sallis, Past President, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Exercise is good medicine, use it more
As a people, we need to survive this economic crisis. We must stay sane and healthy so that when this season is over, we will be alive and well to enjoy the good times.