economic hardship mental physical health tips
Here are ways to safeguard your physical and mental health during economic hardship...

SURVIVAL TIPS: 12 Ways Nigerians Can Maintain Their Well-Being as Hardship Bites

By Aishat M. Abisola

As everyone is well aware, Nigeria is currently going through trying times. Both the poor and the rich are experiencing the sharp sting of economic hardship. The stress of this situation can lead to bad health.

Although financial constraints may limit one’s access to certain resources that they were able to acquire before, there are practical and cost-effective ways to prioritize your health and well-being. Here are 12 tips that you can utilise to help safeguard your health during periods of economic difficulty:

1. Focus on Nutritious, Budget-Friendly Foods: Opt for affordable yet nutrient-dense foods such as beans, yam, starches (semo, eba, etc), seasonal fruits and vegetables. Planning meals in advance and buying in bulk can also help stretch your food budget.

2. Limit Processed Foods and Sugary Beverages: Reduce your intake of processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages high in added sugars. These items put a strain on your budget and also contribute to health issues like obesity and chronic diseases.

3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain proper hydration. Water is essential for digestion, circulation, and overall bodily function. Consider investing in a reusable water bottle to save money on bottled drinks.

4. Practice Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating and causing unnecessary food waste. Eating smaller, balanced meals will keep you satisfied while optimizing your nutrition intake.

5. Explore Affordable Exercise Options: Engage in physical activities without breaking the bank by taking advantage of free or low-cost exercise options. Walking, jogging, hiking, and bodyweight exercises are effective forms of exercise that require minimal or no equipment.

6. Prioritize Preventive Care: Be more proactive in maintaining your health by attending regular check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations. Many community clinics offer preventive healthcare services at reduced or no cost.

7. Seek Out Generic Medications: You should ask about generic alternatives when purchasing prescription medications as they are often more affordable than brand-name drugs.

8. Practice Stress Management Techniques: Economic hardship can be stressful, but managing stress properly is crucial for overall well-being. Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation or yoga to reduce stress levels and promote mental clarity.

9. Stay Connected with Support Networks: Maintaining your social connections with friends, family, or support groups can help foster a sense of belonging and emotional well-being. Sharing experiences and seeking support from others can help alleviate stress and feelings of isolation.

10. Practice Good Hygiene Habits: Ensure that you wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or preparing food, and after using the restroom. Practising good hygiene helps prevent the spread of illness and supports overall health.

11. Stay Informed About Healthcare Resources: Keep yourself updated on available healthcare resources and assistance programs in your community. Oftentimes, government-funded health centres, free clinics, and charitable organizations may offer services at reduced or no cost for those in need.

12. Prioritize Mental Health: Pay close attention to your mental and emotional well-being during economic hardship. If necessary, seek professional help and ensure that you prioritize self-care activities such as hobbies, relaxation techniques, and spending time with loved ones.

In conclusion, you must prioritize your physical and mental well-being at this time. Although things are difficult now, investing in your health is an invaluable long-term investment that pays dividends regardless of economic circumstances.