It’s yet another weekend, and most of Lagos would lapse into some familiar routine or the other – market, car service, house chores, more work, church. Typically, nothing restful or relaxing.
Yet, evidence suggests that more and more ailments afflicting Lagosians are stress related. And so it is now imperative that people learn to unwind during weekends, and if possible during the week as well. If most people sampled by the Lagos state Ministry of Health a couple of years ago were diagnosed with High Blood Pressure, then unwinding is a must for all and not only the wealthy (a similar survey revealed a high occurrence of mental illness among Lagos motorists as well, but we will save that topic for another day). And when we consider the odds we have to battle with on a daily basis – traffic, noise pollution, air pollution, heat, NEPA/PHCN/DISCO or by whatever name they are known by these days, it is clear that Lagosians have a raw deal. This must rank as one of the most stressful cities in the world.
But we do not want to delve into the doom and gloom; we do enough of that all week. Rather, let us explore useful and inexpensive ways to unwind:
- when last did you pick up a good book to read? No, not management or self improvement books. A novel. A best selling (auto)biography? Little or nothing to do with work. Now here’s an idea: buy a book. Don’t want the stress of carrying around another piece of kit? Well it turns out your 5 inch Chinese Android can actually do more than take selfies (more on that shortly). You can download free book readers such as Kindle or even the Google book reader which comes bundled with many Android phones. Best part? You can pick up your reading on your tablet or laptop if your battery gets drained.
Music and dance. Yes, get the kids round and unwind. Make a big show of learning the latest steps (shoki looks particularly ridiculous if you are going in for the laughs). Or conversely, take them back to an era before theirs and introduce them to classic music from your time. In other words, engage in some fun activity with the family.
Selfies. Ok, maybe not the cock-eyed deep pouting type. But, the shooters on smart phones are of such quality as to rival the point and shoot cameras and even the professional cameras of just 5 years ago. What this means is that you can get near studio quality family pictures using your camera phone and a little time to compose the shots properly. So, why not take time out to record a little family history this weekend? Take candid pictures of family members eating, playing, sleeping. Review pictures and save them for fun reference.
Cook. Cook something fun and unusual. Get the family involved, or if you really want to get into it, get recipes online and test your skills. Stretch them. Or, get Daddy to cook. Supported by the kids while mummy lounges. Don’t be critical of the outcome, whatever option you do choose. Remember, its supposed to be a fun activity.
While we do not want to support piracy, we do want to promote good healthy living. So, get a DVD (from an official dealer/reseller of course) and get everyone round the flat screen. Buy some popcorn to make it even more interesting. Throw in a few drinks, and you’ve got a wholesome family activity off and running. So much so, you and the entire family will start to look forward to movie nights say every other Saturday or Sunday or however you choose to structure it.
So we have 5 hopefully helpful suggestions. We will add a few more over the next few weekends.
Remember, the idea is to unwind. That means no spreadsheets or Project Management software or timelines. it can be a little spontaneous and or relaxed.
To use a worn out cliche, health is wealth, and this is truest I suspect in Africa’s biggest busiest city.
Have a happy fun weekend, and be sure to do something different and exciting, preferably with the family or significant other. It’s literally life saving.