The last few weeks in Nigeria have been somewhat revolutionary. The nationwide Endsars protests (as well as the overarching demand for better governance) in Nigeria have resulted in traumatic events.
We hope the advice below will help you navigate your feelings during these times and is a small step forward with your healing (whether you’re planning a wedding or not).
1. Acknowledge your emotions
For a good number of us, the past few weeks have been traumatic and overwhelming. There’s no wrong or right way to feel about this - your feelings are valid. Taking some time out to understand and reflect on your emotions will help in your recovery and avoiding any negative reactions - doing this with someone is also an option.
Whilst it is hard to predict actions of people and events in the world more generally, what we do have control of is how we react. The more in tune we are with our feelings, the more control we have over them to help navigate future events in Nigeria.
2. Self-compassion your emotions
Planning a wedding requires relatively more energy and doing this while you’re feeling low can feel like a lot. The expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup” resonates here. So refuel and importantly, feel zero guilt for needing to do this.
Self-care are activities we indulge in to improve our mental and physical well-being. Self-care is also personal to you; do what makes you feel relaxed and happy. Whether this is binging on your favourite series, jamming and dancing to some music, or reading.
3. Ration your intake of social media
Social media has helped us amplify our voices and remains a valid channel of expressing our emotions.
However, there is such a thing as content overload, particularly when this content is graphic and/ or distressing. Rationing our use of social media could help to avoid this overload - delete your apps for a day, keep your phone locked up for a few hours or even consciously filter through the information on these apps. Many of us want to join the fight whilst carrying on with other aspects of our lives, but we have to be in our best forms to do this.
4. Identify your support circle
Spending time with family and friends usually does the trick with lifting our spirits. Opening up to people about our struggles and well-being can bring relief and from these discussions, we can pick up tips to boost our mental health.
Once you’ve identified people you could help you during this time (fiance and fiancee are given), reach out to them for support. Also, support can be in different forms, so it’s key to identify what works for you - whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear or enjoying your favourite movies with a good friend.
5. Seek professional help
If your reaction to the recent events is intense and beginning to affect your day-to-day functioning, you may need to seek assistance from mental health professionals. A counsellor or therapist could help you understand your emotions resulting from the events and develop strategies with you to help improve your health.
The Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) is organising a series of workshops for Endsars related support alongside their general support for mental health related issues.
I hope these tips have been helpful, whether you’re deep into your planning process, recently engaged or a curious singleton. We’re keen to hear top tips on how to plan best and stress less - leave a comment and let’s get chatting.