Millions of Nigerians are stuck at home, for some it’s been a month already and for others it’s been more and it’s not getting easier. It’s driving many crazy. They’ve watched all they can on Netflix, called everyone they can and are now driving themselves or their other half and kids nuts. By nature, Nigerians are hyper people, we are always on the move, doing something, chasing something or just simply moving. So having to stay home for a possible 6-12 weeks or more may be more than many can handle. David Chukwuma shares tips on how to survive a ‘Lockdown’.


1. EXERCISE: You’ve always wanted that six pack or those round shoulders and never got round to it? Well, you don’t have an excuse anymore. You have all the time in the world. Even if you’re still working from home, you’ve saved hours in getting ready and traffic time, so put it to good use. We know you don’t have the equipment or an instructor, don’t worry, there are so many ‘home exercise’ plans available online, simply pick one and get on with it, in 28 days you should see a difference. Simple things like sets of push-up, sit-ups, burpees and squats will work. If you’ve got dumbbells, a rope, kettle bells, all the better. There are also many challenges on Facebook to get motivation, simply get a few friends to go along with you. Posting your progress online helps you not to chicken out and also motivates others. You can also workout with a friend on FaceTime or have an online dance party with your family or friends. There’s copious anecdotal and scientific evidence showing how important physical fitness is for mental health: so during this stressful time, it’s even more important to keep in shape. Exercise also boosts the immune system and that’s what’s most important during this pandemic.


2. LEARN SOMETHING NEW: Time is one thing you can never get back so why waste it? This is a great chance to learn something new, it could be a language, how to make certain dishes, how to fix things, anything. Just put the time to use. There are many online courses now and most are now a fraction of their usual costs so it’s a great opportunity to add to your CV. Always wanted to learn French or Chinese (I’m not sure we’ll want that anymore), now is a good time. There are loads of courses online or apps that can help. This is also a time to read all those self-help books you’ve been buying or getting as gifts and never found time to read. You can’t come out of this lockdown the same, you have to come out better!!


3. AFTER WORK/WEEKEND ‘HAPPY HOUR’: Simply invite a few of your friends (that you all know each other) to get together on a video messaging site like zoom and have drinks and talk. You will be amazed what a difference it can make to a day of isolation, and to your spirits in general, to see your friends’ faces in the evening and hear yourselves talk and laugh. This will relax you and help you lighten up. And if it’s anyone’s birthday, you can all dress up and be a part of the ‘party’ while in your individual homes without breaking the rules like a Nigerian celebrity did recently.


4. SPRING CLEANING AND RE-ORGANISING: Use this extra time to sort those boxes you moved from the old house and two years later haven’t gotten round to sorting. Sort those old clothes you’ve been meaning to put aside and give away, yes! That jacket that you’ve had for almost two decades and haven’t worn in the last twelve years. There is no better time to de-clutter than now. Clean that storeroom with your old LPs and other bits and pieces that mean so much to you. So when the lockdown is over, you come out ‘clean’. After the spring clean and getting rid of all the excess, if you still have time, you can do a little redecorating and move things around a bit.


5. GARDENING: I know this sounds ‘bougy’ and very oyinbo, but hey, why not. If you have space in your house and there is a bit of land there, why not start your own little garden and grow herbs or greens. There is something about gardening that relaxes you and the attention you give to the plants gives a good feeling, the gentle satisfaction of watching things grow brings about a burst of positivity. Parsley and Basel are easy to grow, mint (called scent leaf here) too isn’t bad to add to your little garden.


6. BOND WITH THE KIDS: You spend so much time making the money to take care of the family and give your kids the best, sometimes at the expense of spending quality time with them. Well, problem solved. Now you have them all day everyday, what do you do? Bond. Help them with their schoolwork, play games, talk, have ‘home parties’…most importantly create memories so when ‘real life’ resumes whenever, you can look back and treasure the ‘Lockdown’. Kids rarely keep things tidy, so get ready. Manage the chaos with a “tidy-up half-hour” for everyone before they go to bed. And depending on the age of your kids, you’ll know what works best and what games you’ll be playing. Add some chores if they are older and create new things to do and games to play regularly as kids get bored quickly.



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