• It's a new week which means yet another round of traffic congestion, bad roads and all the stress that comes with living in Nigeria’s commercial capital. 
  • These poor living conditons make Lagosian prone to depression, other mental disorders and suicide.
  • We spoke to a Nigerian therapist/counsellor named Olugbile Holloway who shared some tips on surviving the hustle and bustle of this big city.

Lagos is Nigeria’s smallest state, yet it has an estimated population of 22 million people and counting. With this overpopulation comes an inadequate transport system, poor road networks and traffic congestion.

Research has shown that an average Lagosian spends 3 hours stuck in traffic every day and 30 hours per week. 

Dealing with these poor living conditions, in addition to the daily demands at work and responsibilities at home, takes a toll on the mental health of the people living in this busy city.

“It is not really hard to see why employees might feel stressed, burned out or exhausted, especially in a city like Lagos. It is no surprise that, in general, many more people seem to be suffering from anxiety and depression,” says consultant psychiatrist Olufemi Oluwatayo.

ALSO READ: Here's why you should think twice before getting a job in Lagos

Holding on to your sanity in a busy city like Lagos, Nigeria

Knowing this, we reached out to Olugbile Holloway, a Counsellor/Therapist and Founder of Hidden Conversations, who shared some tips on how to survive the hustle and bustle of this big city.

He starts by advising people to make time to disconnect from the chaos that comes with living in Lagos state.

“Lagos is a very high paced environment, some may even describe a typical day in Lagos as passive-aggressive. The secret to staying sane is to avoid getting sucked into the chaos. Create time to unwind and switch off from the world,” he said. 

Relax gif(Giphy)
Relax gif(Giphy)

Holloway also advises Lagosians to find safe ways to blow off steam.

In his words, “Practice meditation and find stillness in ways that feel right to you. Everyone has a different way of letting go of excess emotional steam. As long as your method is healthy and it doesn’t harm you, anyone else or the environment, go for it.”

He concludes by stressing the importance of mental health.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health because the body cannot exist without the mind,” he says.