In 2015, I ventured into Child and Family Wellness, recognizing the need to create much awareness that habits that impact on our well-being begin from the home.
Hence, “The WellBaby Radio Show” was born. a great resource for parents, educators and caregivers. How do we nurture ourselves and our children to create a healthier, more active and happier world? We sought to reduce the incidences of lifestyle induced health challenges via imparting the right knowledge. We did this weekly unfailingly for 3 years.
In 2017, we took this experience to the streets by organizing our first ever Family themed wellness festival “The WellBaby Wellness Train”. Which was a resounding success and with expert speakers in attendance, the theme ‘Childhood Obesity‘ was done justice.
After resting The WellBaby Radio Show in late 2018, by early 2019, we had redesigned our focus to include Corporate Wellness in our offering. Reason is simple. Next to the home, the workplace is the most important contributor to our wellness. It is important to also create as much needed awareness as possible on that front. Workplace wellness or a lack of it plays a huge role in how able and willing employees are to see to the growth and survival of any business.
As “The Wellness Boss”, consulting with and for organizations, teams and employees in Nigeria to help elevate the issue of employee well-being, one thing became glaringly clear. The Corporate Wellness culture is next to non-existent, except for the multinationals. This is a distressing discovery, as the workplace accounts for a huge percentage of a worker’s physical and mental health decline which also greatly imparts the health of the business or workplace.
I also noticed that most books in the market addressing this gap are foreign books, with no concept of our own unique business terrain.
My new book addresses the main challenge behind this…which is knowledge…the right knowledge. And not just knowledge but also the application of it.
Its not just a book however, its a guideline, a tool kit that will be indispensable to anyone that works. Either for self or others. It is packed full of practical tips, workshops and case studies from Nigerian companies.
I am quite excited about the end-product. Not just because it will be my first ever book. Published or otherwise. The rich content therein that is both theoretical and practical, in simple words (using the alphabet) and illustrations that anyone can relate to is not somthing i have seen anywhere. Anyone being entrepreneurs, executives, team leads, employees, employers and corporate leaders.
The book which also promises to be a great support for any Human Resource department will be available in the second quarter of 2020. However, the pre-order window is currently open giving you an opportunity to enjoy a massive discount.
Send me a line if you want to know how you can pre-order or if you need to make further enquiries such as my availability to come speak at your event or help facilitate a wellness workshop in your workplace.
I will tell you why. Stress is our bodies’ way of dealing with anxiety and pressure. Stress tells us when to slow down, take a break or quit. Stress is just my body’s way of protecting me. Figuratively and literally.
Awww. Isnt that sweet?
You should find that amazing too.
The thing about our bodies is that they are naturally equipped with mechanisms to speak to us in different ways and help us cope with the exertions of daily living.
Just as with a car that dies on the road due to fuel shortage. It usually gives a sign…right? What happens is that the driver either ignored the sign or didnt recognise the signm so he kept using the car until it could no longer move. So, the problem isnt that the car stopped. Its a natural consequence for the car to stop. The problem is the driver. If he had stopped to refuel, the car wouldnt have stopped.
Thats generally how our bodies function.
Living is stressful. Regardless of the level of life you are at. Whether you are in school, about to write an exam, having to deal with a change, looking for a job, coping with a loss, raising your children, managing a health challenge, having to pay rent, thinking of the next meal, dealing with your spouse, starting a new business venture, catching up with friends you havent seen in ages, dealing with rejection, handling success, phew…I could go on and on. Even the tiniest bit of activity such as driving can raise our stress levels.
And because I have come to learn that being stressed is not the problem. I have discovered what the problem is. Just as with the car analogy.
That’s why I can boldly say, I am stressed. Because I have experienced (and still) all that and more. And no…its not negative confession. Its stating the fact. Saying anything else will be living in denial.
Me. I am the problem. My inability to recognise when I am stressed, to identify what stresses me out and to deal appropriately with anxiety when it does come. In short, stress becomes a problem for me…when I do not tune myself to listen and act in a way that doesn’t enable my stressors do more harm to me.
And this requires honesty. Which can be brutal and hurtful. But, it is what it is.
For a long time, I didn’t understand how this could be. I would find myself constantly angry, frustrated, being pessimistic, moody with constant headaches. Instead of taking charge of my body and reactions…I would dump the responsibility elsewhere…worsening my situation.
I had to learn the hard way, that continuing like that was doing more harm. So…I started focusing on me. I started being attentive to my body, understanding what triggers it. My experience and training in Stress Management also helped. I was now able to apply these techniques to managing the situation so it doesnt escalate.
I started learning resilience. We all are born with resilience. Its just that our nurturing and experiences sometimes robs us of that power. So, we are unable to hone it.
For instance, I am stuck in traffic for over 4 hiurs and some random bike man knocks over my side mirror, the natural reaction will be to yell scream further agitating myself. Instead, I focus on deep breathing. And control my speech…mentally. I learn to choose my battles so to speak. Yes, the side mirror is broken and it will probably cost some money. But what is more important? Your mental (and physical) health or the side mirror? Your answer will tell you how resilient you are.
Coping with stress included learning how to prioritise. Learning how to master your emotions and your environment. Because sometimes a coping technique could involve you stepping out of the stressful environment, which is your comfort zone. I dont have to tell you how doing that can also heighten your anxiety which can immobilise you posing the risk to remain.
Oftentimes, when couples bicker and things get out of control…it stems from an inability to cope with the anxiety that comes from disagreements. In such cases, the best skill will be to quieten your thoughts and not give into the lure of lashing out. Sometimes…walking away for a while and allowing yourself calm down might just be what you need.
Let me say what it is that happens when you allow stress to fester,
It begins to reflect in your physical health, aches, pains, high blood pressure etc
It compromises your mental health leading to depression, suicidal thoughts, forgetfullnes and lethargy
It affects your lifestyle: poor eating habits, isolations, laziness, substance abuse
It affects your productivity: you lose interest in work, you lose income, you lose respect of your boss and colleagues
It affects your relationships: no one likes a moody and negative person that is constantly angry or lashing out, so you find people giving you space
Now…this can also happen when we always picture stress in a negative light. So, when you feel it, you develop the anxiety that something must be wrong with you. Now because, we havent learnt how to ope with anxiety, our stress levels worsen…get it? It becomes a cycle.
Its perfectly okay to be stressed. Go on…say it…I am stressed. See? Thunder didnt strike you dead. Did it?
Today is International Stress Awareness Day. And I think it is awesome to take advantage of the information out there to begin to have a mindset change regarding stress.
Ignorance in managing stress is the problem. Not stress.
Inability to identify your stressors is the problem. Not stress
Ignoring the signs and symptoms of stress is the problem. Not stress.
Creating an environment that aggravates stress at home and in the workplace is the problem. Not stress.
Stop giving stress a bad name.
Heck, stress saves us. Literally!
Become resilient. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You definitely will have some bad days…I mean…that’s what life and living does to you. Sometimes you might need to let go of some people, jobs, habits, friends…for your sanity. But you know what? You got this.
Are you stressed?
Happy International Steess Awareness Day!
If you need to talk to someone, or you need to equip yourself and your team with techniques to help them master stress…just hit me up HERE.
I love bread. I always have. Not the wheat breads…nor the ones made to look like whole grain bread. Neither do I like the crumbly kind. Bread has to have a drawy agege-bread kinda consistency (Naija folk will get this)…with one caveat. It has got to be fresh for me to eat AND enjoy it. Like same day freshness.
Yeah, I know the drill about white bread and carbs. I also do know that wisdom is what is paramount. Like I tell my clients…it is not the food that is the enemy but how you eat the food that counts. You can literally eat anything you like. Eating shouldn’t be a bore nor a sort of punishment for choosing a healthier life option. Just watch your carb portions, mix them up with healthy options and take note of WHEN you eat them. Trust me, my clients are not complaining. They are happy and do not have a love-hate relationshp with food that a lot of dieters have.
As you can see in the featured image, there is a medley of veggies on the dish accompanying the bread.
Anyway, back to the purpose of the post.
It is not always practical to exhaust a loaf of bread in one day in my home. Usually, it lasts into the following day.
So what does a bread lover like me who doesnt like day old bread do? Well, I will share my tips and tricks with you.
I keep it in the fridge or freezer same day to retain its straight-from-the-bakery freshness
I make toasts
Yup. That is all.
In this pic are 2 types of toast. 1 slice of pan fried and another of french.
RECIPE FOR PAN FRIED
take a slice of bread, butter both sides and fry in a heated pan. Flip to the other side and brown it the way you like.
(TIP: I love cinnamon, so I mix the butter with cinnamon before buttering…yum! You can add spices of your choice…another fave is nutmeg)
RECIPE FOR FRENCH TOAST
Well, in this particular recipe I used 4 eggs, a tin of evaporated milk, cinnamon (duh), as I was cooking for a family of 5.
After whisking everything together, I dip slices of bread in it, ensuring its soaked through, then fry in a moderately heated pan with a tablespoon of oil. Again…let it brown to your choice
(TIP: if the slices are too thin, the bread will fall apart before they can be transferred to the pan. So, ensure they are thick enough)
Of course, if you over indulge in this type of meal, you will be worsening your wellness journey. Notice, I had just 2 slices? And the rich mix of veggies and omelette fried in half a teaspoon of oil?
For the veggies medley,
What I did was dice up cucumbers, lettuce and grated beetroot with some choppings of fried sausages. And just mix it all together. My family loved it, especially my kids as they kept asking for more. I also think its a nice way to get fussy children to eat their veggies.
So, if you are like me…and you dont like day old bread…I hope you find my tips and tricks helpful.
Also, let me share my tip about bread. If you are a bread lover and you are being forced not to eat (due to a chosen diet not for medical reasons)…relax! Whether white or brown, sweet or sweetened; just like with everything else…eat in moderation and according to your body needs. Accompany it with loads of veggies, proteins and fruits. Best to eat it earlier in the day and avoid late night bingeing or close to your bedtime
If you are not a bread lover fine. This post is not for you. lols
Thanks for visiting my blog. Tell me, is there anything else you would like me to write about?
In recent times, no word has received lots of recognition like the word wellness. It has spiked a movement where celebrities and socialites alike have made it a lifestyle to trend. Everybody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. Naturally, there is a tendency to think of it as a fad..a buzz word that will go the way of others before it and probably end up in oblivion.
Trends are usually a flash in the pan wonders. They make the noise, attract so much time…but then lose steam and fade
There is a danger with having that type of thought though. Wellness is beyond a buzz word or a fad..well, it should be.
Wellness is about your life…in its entirety. Its about learning how to depend you to live your best life possible. It is about being more intentional with the lifestyle choices you make. It is about making and being the positive force in your environment.
When you see wellness this way, you know you are doing that word a disservice by seeing it just as a fad.
Let me tell you a few dangers associated with that thought;
you become easily swayed by every scheme promising you results
you fall prey to the get-it-now syndrome because…you want to achieve that result before “wellness” finishes
you dont think about your health but about aesthetics
you simply are not bothered because you dont do fads
you wait for the buzzword to die out while continuing on the dangerous path of your unhealthy living
you shun help from professionals, such as myself, because, they dont know you or what you have been through
you open yourself to conditions such as organ failure, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and become a statistic
you spend an incredible amount of money on stuff you dont need for results that are at best elusive
you are not willing to invest the required time and resources
In contrast, living a true life of wellness;
you strive for sustainable habits
your lifestyle choices become more holistic
you seek less of outside validation than personal satisfaction
you become a connoisseur of positivity
you dont approach your wellbeing from the perspective of what others are doing
you become the power that you seek, building resilience in yourself
you are happier and healthier
self love and a deeper appreciation for others become your reality
So, yes, wellness is beyond a buzzword. Yes, there are some aspects of wellness such as diets that seem to be a fad that has come to stay. But lets face it…have they really? There is always a new diet, different or closely related to the last that will promise amazing results. So, you find that you are yo-yoing. However, what should trend – which is healthy eating – is not as glamorous. Is seen as boring…and maybe too “affordable”?
One of the reasons I loved hosting A Woman’s World was the conversations.
I absolutely lived for them. Interacting with people of diverse interests yet with one singular goal…to see women live their best lives. Understanding what made them tick…and finding myself in some of them.
This particular episode was quite insightful for me. We have talked about mental health and depression before. However, this was where I was confronted with an individual that lived with the bi-polar condition for the very first time.
I was curious…to say the least. I half expected her to transform into something else on camera…shocking, I know. But you have to understand, before then, whenever I thought of bi-polar…I thought of a multiple personality scenario.
Which is why education is key. Learn. Open your minds to new perspectives and realities.
Hauwa made me understand a lot. She clarified certain concerns I had and rubbished some myths regarding depression. The doctors too were very helpful.
Hauwa Ojiefor, since this interview has gone global with her foundation She Write Woman taking her message beyond the corners of her country.
I am proud to see that she has remained relentless increating the necessary awareness that mental health issues are just like any other illness and should be viewed as such rather than something to be ashamed of.
A place where shame and stigma can be rife is in the workplace though. How is your organisation exacerbating this issue? Once mental health is compromised, it affects physical health and eventually work suffers.
So, how are you correcting that?
If you will like to watch the full unedited video visit YouTube
If you are depressed, or know someone who is depressed, help them get help by referring them to professionals who can handle the situation.
On your own though, its important to practice positive self love, self talk and selfacere. Develop healthy and productive habits and relationships. Do not get lured into prolonged isolation episodes. Most importantly, ask for help
I am fascinated by the tube. I always have been. Right from when I was a child. I recall, how my parents literally had to tear me away from the screen several times. I was that glued. Infact…the saying then, was that, if I wasnt careful, I was gonna end up on TV. Hahaha. Go figure.
I watch mostly all genres. Movies, Series. Horror used to be a fave…but I outgrew that. Same with romance movies…I find them too sappy at times, except theres a load of humor in it. Top on the list for me are super-hero movies, fantasies, espionage (cue in James Bond and Ethan Hunt), action. However, a sense of humor always nets it for me. I love to laugh. And my humor is kinda quirky…so, while I am drawn to the obvious funny movies…I am right at home with dark comedies.
I am also searching for something when I watch movies. No matrer how silly, theres got to be some takeaway from it…right? Not like I am a nerd …but…please…let there just be some sense. At least. Hahaha.
So, when I stumbled on the synopsis of “Beatriz at Dinner”…and read dark comedy…I was like waoh! Then I saw the cast…Salma Hayek, John Lithgow and Connie Britton…I was like …double whammy.
I first stumbled on Connie in “Nashville” and since then, I have been a fan. John Lithgow is a comedic genius and Salma…heats up the screen everytime.
Now, its not a new movie…relatively. 2017, actually. So, I know by watching it just a couple of days ago, I sorta came late to the party. Lols. But bear with me.
Boy oh boy! I knew it was going to enthrall me. But I wasnt expecting such depth hidden in such a seemingly simple story.
An isolated vegan holistic healer played by Salma who finds herself unplanned in the midst of rich, uppity folks in the home of her client played by Connie. Everything seems okay…you know…classic case of rich meets poor. The nuances were there. Beatriz (Salma’s character) was largely bemused by all, with sort of a smile plastered on her face while she stood on the sidelines watching and observing. The rich guests mostly ignored her…until Connie’s character drew her in.
Meanwhile, Connie’s character (I forget her name) was smitten with Beatriz’s abilities and as her client could not stop gushing to her female friends about how amazing she is. She obviously believed so much in Beatriz.
If I might add…I have NEVER seen Salma look this plain. Like…she was transformed. Everything that earned her her sultriness was intentionally downplayed. They tried sha…but you could still feel it. Chaii…when you have it…you have it please.
So, back to the story. Beatriz was doing well and it appeared she was blending in quite well too…until she encountered John Lithgow’s character. Waoh! A standing ovation for Mr Lithgow. I doubt if anyone else could have nailed such an obnoxiously yet fun character. He is an in-your-face, what-can-you-do-about-it eccentric billionaire who is on his 3rd wife (I think), loves life (except when he is hunting), loves power and of course loves the thrill of making more money.
Somehow, her facade came crumbling. Turns out she isnt as put together and serene as she appears. No! She is strugggling inside. There is a darkness. Something she yearns for but hasnt quite gotten. She doesnt understand. But she is missing something. Yet…she has been living her life believing her purpose was to heal the world. That has been her reason. She loved animals (hence her being vegan). And was angry at John’s character for being a hunter and proudly showing off his kills. Somebody killed her goat at the beginning of the movie, so she was still sensitive about that.
She tried to get them to understand why the world needed healing and shared an unsolicited story of a rather disturbing moment between her and her dad. All the while, sipping on wine.
Naturally, not the sort of convo rich uppity guys wanna have at dinner. Right? Suffering people? Homeless people? Nah.
The wine was beginning to get to her. And more crumblings. She wasnt a happy soul. Connie’s character was now beginning to show her doubts…her discomfort was showing especially as she had sang Beatriz’s praises to high heavens.
Beatriz didn’t understand how and why they could be so insensitive to the plight of the world. Cant they see the world is dying? Its easier to desteoy than to build. Why not build? Why not heal? Why add to the already damaged world? Cant they hear the cries?
Yup! She dampened the dinner party alright. But the rich guys…being good sports that they are…laughed it off…and moved on.
Aaaand…she had to leave…
While waiting for the tow truck Connie’shusband had angrily ordered, John’s character came out to make a call, saw her and walked over to her.
The world is dying. Yes. We all are dying. Yes. But why such darkness? Loosen up, be free? This life will be gone eventually, why not enjoy it? (Note, I am not quoting verbatim…but that’s the general thrust of his words to her).
She suddenly realised…her purpose was not to heal the world. But to rid the world of those who hated it. John Lithgow’s character became the embodiment of what was wrong with the world. If she could only kill him. Then the world will be free.
She then killed him. Stabbed him in the neck. With a letter opener.
No! I know right. They got me too. She had only imagined doing it…but my lawd…it looked so real. Gosh
Anyway, she left with the tow truck. On the way, she had an epiphany…came down from the vehicle. Went into the ocean and supposedly drowned. Not without having a look of peace and surrender on her face.
Meanwhile, the dinner party was going well. They lit umbrella candles and released into the dark sky…they were happy…and each had a look of peace on their faces.
A poignant film. I havent stopped thinking about it.
What did I learn?
When you have a hunger to heal the world, look inwards, is there something in you that needs healing?
Are you running with a purpose so big it consumes you? Keeps you in a bubble and isolates you?
Do you suddenly see those wjo are not as passionate as you as the enemy…and you judge them?
It is impossible to heal the world. God is still trying in that regard…then mere mortals? Be wise! Taking up such a project can swallow you up…an inability to see the results you desire will cause you to feel depressed and frustrated.
No matter how passionate you are about your purpose and healing the world, when you leave, the world will continue, as though you were never in it…and memories of you will fade in time.
Do not forget who you are. Self love is key. Building healthy relationships is the support system you need to push your purpose.
When pushing your purpose be realistic and be clear about your goals.
Yes, the world needs healing. But it can only come from those who are filled with light from the inside.
Live life, love life. Be kind. Be positive
That way, you wont be consumed to the point your purpose kills you after robbing you of the joy of living.
I guess what I am trying to say is;
Be Purpose Driven with Smart Execution and Intentional Living.
If you wish to see it…the movie is on netflix. You will thank me. If not, I owe you a drink.
Being alive alone is stressful. Stress is an aspect of daily living, so a level of stress is expected and quite normal.
Most often stress is caused by anxiety brought on by undue pressure. Makes those most prone to stress those who are natural worryers and those who do lots of multitasking. That is why women account for the highest ratio when it comes to stressed individuals.
A lot of people have equated hardwork to stress so much that most bosses dont see it as a problem. For them, it just simply is a sign that their subordinates are working.
However, when stress becomes a cause for worry is when it begins to affect your lifestyle negatively.
You no longer find joy in the little things that used to enthrall you. You find that your eating pattern has changed drastically – you either eat too much or too little. You are drinking more. You are sleeping less. Or more. You are constantly fatigued. You have a constant feeling of exasperation and frustration. Your productivity goes down. You begin to notice fluctuations in your weight. I could go on and on.
Do you currently identify with these indicators? Then you most probably are stressed.
So what do you do? What did you do?
I will talk about how you can fight stress in subsequent posts.