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#LekkiMassacre: Managing Emotions At Traumatic Times

managing emotions at a time of traumatic event

Emotions are high in Nigeria and we sympathise with families that lost loved ones in the shooting of October 20, 2020. However, managing emotions that are rising is very important now for one to stay sane.

It has been tagged #LekkiMassacre and it is a black Tuesday that will not fade away in Nigeria’s history.

Men in military uniforms shot at protesters asking for their rights. Shadows of agony fell, as night falls at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State.

Unfortunately, it was a planned attack. Earlier, unknown individuals removed the CCTV in the location prior to the incident.

When evening came, the usual location often illuminated became the darkest part of Lagos.

Indeed, several comments trail the issue and as usual the State government says the order was from above.

Emotional Moment

Many Nigerians are in shock that the government would order the killing of armless protesters.

It is a very emotional moment in Nigeria and we know this trauma could take its toll on the mental health of people.

Nerves are frayed, people are upset and this could constitute health issues when not addressed the right way.

Really, we know that life will not be the same again here in Nigeria.

But you have to find a great way of managing emotions in order not to transfer aggression on your children, friends or loved ones.

The course and struggle for posterity will continue.

However, a 2014 study says the impact of trauma can be subtle, insidious, or outright destructive.

Also, how an event affects an individual depends on many factors – the characteristics of the individual, the type and characteristics of the event(s), developmental processes, the meaning of the trauma, and sociocultural factors.

Managing Emotions

Managing emotions requires that you take some unusual steps.

There are few things that you can do to put your emotions under control.

1.      Acknowledge That You Need To Calm Your Emotions

Unfortunately, uncontrolled emotions could increase blood pressure, increase stress level, affect appetite, lower immune system, affect digestion of food and also affect mental health.

These are conditions that people should not come down with at a time like this. Everyone needs strength and a stable mental health to continue the push for good governance and end to police brutality.

Most importantly, acknowledging that you need to calm your emotions will help you make the right decisions.

It is easy to transfer this feeling to others or let some things suffer, as you think about how valueless human lives had become to the government.

Doing the other things we recommend below can help you heal fast and also ensure that you chart the course right.

2.      Talk To Friends, Family

If there is a time to talk to loved ones

Expressing your thoughts about this issues is one way of managing emotions that are building. The more you talk about it, the easier it is for you to relief the pains it brings to heart.

But while you do, try as much as possible not to devote the entire day to the issue. We know that the #LekkiMassacre is trending and will be on every platforms. Find a good technique to stay away more often than you talk about it.

3.      Tune Off From News Some Times

One of the very platforms that you should give less attention now is the news. You already know what has happened, and in your heart you also know what will happen to the perpetrators of this act.

Find time to do some things that will bring life and pleasure.

4.      Listen To Music, Watch Movies

Listening to music can be a good distraction that will help your mind heal at this time. Listen to that favourite song that will help lift your mood right now.


People Also Read: Protests In Nigeria: 4 Rising Health Concerns To Watch Out


We know it is not a day for movies, but being indoors as a result of curfew could also create boredom. Except an individual has something to do, the day will be longer than usual.

Get on NETFLIX and watch a movie that will reassure you of something you believe in.

4.      Sleep

Sleep helps clean the brain and you should find time to sleep when you feel your emotions are affected.

If you are finding it hard to sleep, listing to mood music that will help you relax. Not sleeping at this time will complicate issues.

In managing emotions, sleep is very important.

6.      Do Something Charitable

Happiness is contagious and today is a great day to help someone. Put a smile on a face and your heart will be lifted.

If you can do something charitable for someone online today, please, do and it will help you relief the trauma triggered by the killing of protesters.

The days ahead are full of uncertainties and staying mentally fit and conscious will help you sail through.

Stay safe. 

Williams Osewezina

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