Coping Mechanisms for Under 30s in Harsh Economic Conditions like Nigeria

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Black man stressed at work

A lot of young people under the age of thirty are experiencing depression and most of them are probably hungry – literally and emotionally – and working hard to rise. They need coping mechanisms to deal with the emotional fallout of trying to rise, and literal food to deal with the literal hunger! Give an average person the assurance of three square meals, and they’d be super productive. In fact I’d choose an office that serves food over one that offers salary raise. I get to eat and someone cooks it for me. They can have my extra salary!!

Now turn to those of us running our own businesses; in the market, online, on the road, mid-traffic. Money is a terrible task master, you’d get so busy doing your job, you’d fade away, die of hunger without knowing. It takes a lot of discipline to always cook and eat while building a career; mothers are indeed gods to be worshipped.

Coping mechanisms are important for those without restrictive work hours. You might nearly starve while writing or working on your business! A lot of self-starters would overwork if they had no one supervising them. Especially freelancers who have no opening or closing hours.

A few days ago while finishing my novella “Grey Wine”, I could feel my stomach growling. My mouth was bitter, my hands were trembling but I couldn’t stop. You see, I also had a pile of writing to do for others. I wrote two travel articles on two webpages:

  1. for writers travelling
  2. for my kind of people who just like to travel.

I just couldn’t move from my work table. There was a brand story I also had to finish up for a client.

I could feel myself losing strength from overthinking, and my eyes were glued to the screen. This was my everyday experience for a whole week. Each day I still had to come online to respond to new requests or search for more prospects. At around 1pm, i’d realize I skipped breakfast.

If you’ve experienced this, you’d know that it never stops. Your work keeps building up to a spill over. You have tasks divided into:

  1. Actual writing.
  2. Content marketing.
  3. Client management.
  4. Social Media
  5. Product design.

And, of course, the regular stuff – binge watching YouTube and browsing names of dogs that eat grass or something of that nature. Each aspect just as tasking as the other.

Then there are other parts of your life calling for attention. Your friends, partner, family etc won’t stop to consider that you might be dying. They want your help and they want it NOW.

I finally got some respite. These are few solutions I found useful:

Automation

I discovered an automation tool for Instagram. One of the many tasks you would also have to keep in mind as a writer is social media management. If you are like me, you probably own multiple platforms and also have clients.

LaterPlus helped me with a major part of my social media. Despite being in early stages of launch, LaterPlus, has proven quite useful for automating Instagram socials. You can schedule posts, autofollow, autounfollow those who refuse to follow you, auto like and lots more. All you need is to set the parameters and let the system do it’s job.

The thing with LaterPlus is also that it’s quite cheap. #1000 (Naira) a month would give you access to most of its features. You can try it out for FREE. I find Laterplus quite easy to navigate compared to some alternatives. This puts it way ahead of any other automation system like Hootsuite.

Internet-Free Zone

For me to actually complete some of my writing work, I had to switch off the internet access. Yes, the internet can be a major distraction. You keep checking new updates.

Most times when you write, anything that breaks your flow could ruin your muse. The internet and endless updates keep you distracted and restless. This is bad for writing.

If you need to get research material offline or work on your PC, do it. Put those mobile phones away or switch the internet off.

There are so many other fixes you can apply to your work process. Most importantly, know when to stop.

You might have an automation system, switch off the internet but still be stuck on your writing for the whole day. You’d still miss all your meals if you are not careful.

Now that you have no supervisor, you need to supervise yourself.

Mix Fun with Food

I usually see an episode of a movie series while eating. This allows me to eke out a few minutes from work throughout the day.

Another fun thing I do is I play games while cooking. The other week I burnt my food twice because I was working while cooking. This meant I had to starve even though I cooked.

This is why I combine fun time with food time. Play games while cooking, chat, call your friends, take pictures and share. This would make sure you anticipate food time.

Hope this was helpful for the new business week!

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