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bCODE Magazine Issue2: Mental Health

Posted on March 16 2021

bCODE Magazine Issue2: Mental Health

10 things to stay well in these times

Oroma Cookey-Gam A Nigerian designer and entrepreneur. Known for her love for African designs, Oroma is the Co-Founder and head designer of This Is Us NG

 

Oroma Cookey Gam for bCODE

Times have been quite tough and at some point in between all the trauma, I made a decision to be more intentional about my mental health and overall wellness.


10 things to stay well in these times

1. Dressing up
A new addition to my wellness efforts. Dressing up has really helped me maintain some level of sanity in these times. Last year we stayed at home a lot and for the most part wore home clothes. While home clothes are comfy and chill, I really started to miss looking nice and feeling nice. So at-least once every 2 weeks now, I dress up nicely and swoon at how beautiful and fashionable I am. 🥰

2. Yoga
I’ve been a yogi all of 3 months and it has been life changing. With getting older and child birth, a couple of years ago my knees started acting up and I had to stop running. Spent a while trying to figure out what to do to keep fit. My bones were really stiff and my knees hurt increasingly everyday. I’d always thought yoga wasn’t for me but in December last year, I started sessions with TI Wellness and then went ahead to start daily sessions with a yoga app. I haven’t looked back.
So far this year tops last year mostly because of yoga! I wanted flexibility, strength, mindfulness and consistency and yoga did it 🥰🥰

3. A smoothie a day
One of the good things about the virus is that it made us all more conscious about our vitamins and nutrients. I’m not very good at taking tablets so I go directly to the source with a smoothie a day. I started with about 3 or 4 recipes on rotation and now I’m on an adventure discovering new recipes everyday. I just started adding seeds to my recipes courtesy of my mum and now I think I’m gonna invest heavily in buying some seeds of my own. Some seeds to try in your smoothie recipe are chia seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds. They are all super foods!

4. Gardening
I really enjoy gardening- it’s one of the only ways I can really meditate. It allows me feel more connected to life and just be still and appreciate life without thinking of anything real. It’s one of the activities I do without a phone and I really appreciate that time offline and with nature. For me, plants are a reminder of how beautiful the world is and how majestic and kind God is to all his creations.

5. Creating
I’m a creator and as long as I’m able to create, I’ll be happy. I keep the creative juices flowing through This Is Us Ng, a design and lifestyle brand that I founded with my partner, Osione; but also in my daily life at home and the digital world.

Oroma Cookey Gam for bCODE

6. Playing with the kids
The most golden moments. Every opportunity to play with the kids is such a blessing. I realized recently that you can forget how to play if you don’t play often enough so now I actually make time to play.
Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/benefits-of-play-for-adults.htm

7. Staying in touch with friends and family
This always brings me so much joy and happiness so I’m really enjoying and working extra hard at being more social and sharing my time with others especially with people who have .

8. Retail therapy
Nigeria (and the world) is tough at the moment and it’s tempting to not spend on frivolous things but I remind myself to smell the Roses and buy something nice when I need a quick fix- tea, candle, jewellery, yoga pants, whatever.

9. Connecting with God
Not sure where I’d be if I wasn’t Christian in these times. Christ is my source of hope, joy and life and my relationship with God since being a Christian has been central to my staying balanced and well. Bible plans and spending time in the word of God has given me a lot of grounding and clarity on what’s important to me and has also helped me beat anxiety.

10. Staying up to date and educated
Things are moving really quickly and the pace at which information is shared and is consumed is quite fast. I try my best to stay updated enough to not feel out of the loop but not so obsessed with consuming information that it stresses me out.
I also try to spend time on only things I love and consuming content around ideas and areas that interest me. It gives me a sense of control, confidence and connectedness to the world.