An average African woman is strong. There is no argument.
Her strength is not basically physical. She is emotional, mentally, psychologically and spiritually strong. Nobody expects her to need an escape, once in a while.
Naturally, mental health or exhaustion is mostly not discussed in Africa (we are improving but not yet).
Nobody likes to be labeled “abnormal” or “possessed” due to being bi-polar, depressed or schizophrenic.
It always baffles me when I say I am mentally tired and people ask “how?”. Some even go ahead to suggest that I might be possessed. LolMental health and wellbeing are often overlooked because they are not physical. They do not show up in blood or urine tests, neither do they have noticeable symptoms.
Therefore, we sometimes see it as a shameful thing and never admit that as women, wives, employees, employers, business owners, we need some escape space.
Truth is, whether you are a working-class woman or you own a business, There are moments when you want to forget everything and have a brief respite, escape.
Regardless of your state or status, there comes a time in everyone’s life when we just want to drop the reins and unravel in peace for a little while.
We might not all get enough time for a long respite but, in-between the day, we can steal bits of escapes to help us power through the day.
I have over the years developed quick escape spaces that help me zone out at times when I get overwhelmed. Here are some of them:
The power of music cannot be overemphasized. There have been more times when I get overwhelmed with the work on my desk and the work waiting for me back home (i run a business too).
Right there on my desk, I plug in my earphones, sit back for 2 minutes and listen to something. My go-to choices are slow blues or classical music. Beethoven’s is a staple.
It gives me a little reprieve and escapes. Little is enough
I have loved sappy romance novels from when I was 8 years old. It took me a while to understand that they provided an escape for me.
Right now as I type, I have an appointment with one chapter of a sappy romance novel.
It is a long day.
I cannot count the number of days I have gotten home, work on my business and snuggle under the blankets for an old movie. I mostly end up falling asleep most time, but for a while, the whole world falls away.
Me time means different things to different persons. It could be an alone moment with your thoughts or a 2-minute cup of tea. There are long “me times|’ and short ones.
It could be savoring a piece of chocolate while at your desk or a reasonable drink after work. Personally, I take snatches of “me time” whenever I can.
Just me. No work, No business.
In this second month of the year, we may have done a lot and still have a whole lot to do. However, let us remember it is okay to escape briefly, unwind and revive.
- Plan your dream vacation and work towards it.
- Take your mental health seriously.
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