Tough love has always been the thing in Nigeria, a country with so much diversity, Three hundred and Seventy-one (371) tribes to be precise, possess so many differences, yet there are a few attributes that also make them appear similar and one of them is the tough love culture.
It’s the way Nigerians have been brought up with the culture of sweeping sombre emotions under the carpet, anything that portrays weakness, sadness, depression, and their relative are not usually accepted in most homes.
Why? for a nation that has once been called the Giant of Africa, it is only natural for its people to come off as brave, undefeated, inspiring and giant personified. To achieve such attributes or status then it is believed that weakness should not be accommodated. This brings us to modern-day Nigeria where the majority is faced with a lot of societal, economic and financial issues that threaten the existence of our tough love culture, there is a fresh view of life and attributes to attain success.
With Nigeria facing its own recession, there is a major effect on the lives and state of mental health of many citizens, and in this case, many individuals in the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Irrespective of the sector of operations or position occupied in the industry be it as a Founder, Marketer, Graphics designer, Web developer, etc, there is pressure in the tech space. Yet with a tough love/ strict background, many might believe they are not allowed to feel or react to the pressure that they face which might eventually affect their mental health.
Signs Of Mental Stress In The Workspace
Mental stress,” is most often induced in the laboratory by demanding and/or noxious stimuli, involving motivation to meet a performance benchmark” this is according to The robust natures of the biopsychosocial model: A reply to Wright and Kirby, by Blascovich, Mendes, Tomaka, Salomon, & Seery, 2003), as cited by Springer Link.
The need to meet up to tasks and to perform tremendously is often the cause of mental stress. It might be challenging to identify even by the host, yet, if the following symptoms are experienced then the mental state of mind should be given enough concern.
Eldadah 2010 defined fatigue as a “subjective lack of physical and/or mental energy that is perceived by the individual to interfere with the usual or desired activities“. Many wake up and go to bed exhausted, unable to complete a task, or less motivated to continue with the work at hand. this sign could be experienced all of a sudden, which could mean it is associated with mental stress.
This is the feeling of intense anticipation for an occurrence or an event, it is more linked with avoidance behaviour and even with muscle tension. When anticipating feedback for a product testing, investor, or research, anxiety might come in, but when this is a constant occurrence with or without an expected event, then mental health should be monitored. Another physical attribute of anxiety is shortness of breath when one walks a short distance and already runs out of breath or experiences palpitation.
Medical News Today acknowledged depression as “a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, and loss of joy. It is different from the mood fluctuations that people regularly experience as a part of life.” Depression is one of the alarming signs of mental stress, it can go from mild to severe and last from weeks to years. If employees or employers experience this symptom it is necessary that a specialist is contacted.
Sleep problems might be overlooked by many, but it is important to look into sleeping patterns and quality, and timing of sleep. If less quality or time is given to the resting period then there is likely to be less achievement during the active time, as full recuperation or rejuvenation has not taken place. Lack of quality sleep can result in mental stress, as one might begin to encounter, headaches, fatigue and more related symptoms.
Acknowledging the existence of the challenge is the first step in the right direction. Whether a startup has recognized these traits within its team or not, there are ways to avoid or handle a mental breakdown within an organization and the tech ecosystem at large, If Nigerians can drop love character a bit and take on the following, then an ecosystem with brighter and active minds could be possible.
Discuss Mental Health With The Team
Whether it’s a big team or a small team, topics and activities that help members talk and express their mental state should be embraced. The team’s Human Relations manager should be able to organize sessions and create safe spaces where the members can open up and talk about other mental conditions as they relate to the organization or just personally.
Sometimes its members might not be comfortable talking to HR, or publicly discussing their state of mind, in fact, situations might have gone beyond, pep talks and motivational quote, yet the organization can still help its team. Outsourcing for the topic of concern is important, developed or bought therapy packages should be considered. where members including founders can speak to mental health professionals or therapists.
Recognize The Signs
Training by both members and founders should be taken to recognize mental stress within the team, it should not be one person’s responsibility but the responsibility of all, watching each other back. once the signs are noticed in a member, then the house should encourage the member to take the available resources in the organization so they could receive appropriate healthcare.
Take a Break.
Sometimes a break is all that is needed to turn a gloomy sky into a burst of sunshine. A week or two breaks are not too much to keep the mind working properly. It’s a period no work should be done, the mind should be allowed to rejuvenate. Team members will come back to work well rest, and most of all with a clear mind for innovation and creativity.