5 Nigerians Tell Us How Working From Home Is Affecting Their Mental Health

April 17, 2020

There are three categories of people. You are either working from home, staying at home, or an essential worker. For people who work from home, it has been 30 long days. Or is it 21days? we no longer remember.

In my stay at home, I have experienced extreme mental states; anxiety, apathy, happiness, lethargy. Curious about how other people are faring, I spoke to a couple of Nigerians.

Here’s what they had to say:

Victor, 21 – Slack notifications make me anxious.

“Every time I hear the message notification from Slack, I start to panic. “Are they finally laying us off?” “Are we going to be placed on compulsory leave?” So many scenarios playing in my head. To be honest, I don’t know if we will get paid this month. As a precaution, I didn’t spend last month’s salary. Still, I ask myself, if I lose my job, how long can my savings sustain me for? Wo, I don’t like the answer so I distract myself with Social media. “

Jessica, 26 – There are no boundaries.

“I feel choked. I feel like I work round the clock these days. My manager actually sends me emails by midnight and says “immediate attention.” It’s the middle of the night for goodness sake. I want to draw a healthy boundary with her but I remember my time unemployed. I can never go back to that time. I will rather be worried that I may sleep off and miss an email than be unemployed. I need to be jobless for 7 days stretch with the assurance of salary come what may.”

Kayode, 25 – I took a loan but we got salary cuts.

“I love my job. I really do. My colleagues are amazing, I live near work. What’s not to love? I have even refused various offers just to stay with the company. My dilemma now is that we are in a financial crisis and there have been salary cuts. Senior staff like me got a salary cut to make sure no one in the organization gets fired. This is nice and noble but I was banking on my full salary to make rent. My rent is due in two months and I have no clue how to get it. I would have left if things were normal but this is a terrible time to be unemployed.

I wake up every day with panic attacks. I can’t work, I can’t look for work. I feel so numb and helpless. The only time I feel alive is when I masturbate and that’s all of four seconds. I can’t possibly masturbate all day because I want to feel alive – it’s not sustainable.”

Tolu, 22 – I feel frustrated.

“I am tired of being tired. Everything just dey frustrate me. At first, work from home was intense but now all our clients are on hold. So, I feel restless and anxious. I can’t sleep in the day because I am worried about work. “How will they determine who they fire?” “Shebi I did well last month?” I can’t sleep at night because vigilante people are busy burning tyres and blowing whistles up and down the street. My recurrent nightmare is that they robbed our house.

Last night, I tried to listen to the sound of rain to fall asleep. At one point, I was scared that since I was using earphones, I wouldn’t hear if someone broke in. So, I removed my earphones and spent the whole night in a ball of anxiety. I kept jumping at every noise.”

Kenny, 24 – I feel fine.

“I feel fine but I don’t think it’s because of something I did. I think I am just one of those people who don’t fret. I take each day as it comes. I control what I can control which is showing up. Any task, I can’t finish in a day, I roll it over to the next day. I think my biggest worry is what I will eat because I am lazy. Apart from that, I am not bothered about most things. As I said, it’s not something that is deliberate, it’s just how I am. Shout out to my mum and dad for the sweet genes.”

Hassan Yahaya

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

March 4, 2021

Prior to what the internet and that certain website say, sex can be very awkward. If there is one thing that can ease the tension, it is music. As we are in the business of being generous, we have complied 7 foolproof methods to help you create the perfect sex playlist 1.  Ask your father […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

May 7, 2021

Twitter went berserk this week after billionaire, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, called off their 27-year-marriage. Although the divorce appears amicable, we know a Nigerian divorce between billionaires would have been chaotic.  So on this episode of #JustImagine, we created two fictional characters: Belu and Mide.  Belu’s Ikoyi Mansion. Belu is hiding in his […]

queer
May 7, 2021

As told to Mariam I put a call out for women to tell me the things that affect their mental health most. In Ada’s* message, she said her parents found out she is queer. I was curious about how that played out and I asked more questions. Here’s what she told me: I am the […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

June 14, 2020

Have you ever been with someone so horrible that you swore to never date again? Yes? Well, do you know that one or more of your exes probably feels the same way about you? You never thought about that, huh? Thankfully, this quiz is here to let you know just how much of a hassle […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

More from Inside Life

8 struggles people with small hands can relate to
May 6, 2021

Having small hands has its perks on some good days, like if your fork, spoon and knives decide to hide behind a cupboard you don’t stress because you can reach it, your entire hand can also get to the bottom of any snack you’re eating, but it’s not always good times. Here are 8 struggles […]

May 6, 2021

Nigerians do not have the best relationship with Nigerian thrift stores online. Depending on who you ask, they are either coordinated outlets for overpriced products or they are also outlets for overpriced products that never live up to the hype their fine pictures promise. And because Nigerians always have a thing or two to get […]

Love life: closure
May 6, 2021

Abeni*, 22, and Ifunanya*, 26, met on Twitter and dated for six months. Today on Love Life, they talk about their relationship and why it ended abruptly even though it was the best one they had both been in.  What is your earliest memory of each other? Ifunanya: One day, I was scrolling on Twitter […]

May 5, 2021

Okay, let’s get straight to the point, we know you know that Bill Gates, yes THE Bill Gates is getting a divorce. We also know that as much as you bemoan the end of his 27-year marriage to Melinda Gates, you have also been wondering and devising ways to slide into his DMs. Shooting your […]

7 struggles People With Small Feet Can Relate To
May 5, 2021

Small feet might look “cute” but the struggle Is real when it comes to finding shoes that you like. As if being Nigerian is not bad enough, why do people have to deal with small feet? I’d like to talk to whoever is in charge but for the main time, here are 7 things people […]

May 4, 2021

Twitter NG wasn’t as funny in April 2021 as it was in February, but we still found some gems for you. Here are some of the funniest tweets from Twitter Nigeria last month. 1. Nigerian men can’t catch a break on these streets. 2. This pun made me chuckle. 3. Ask a Yoruba person what […]

May 1, 2021

The subject of this week’s sex life is a 32-year heterosexual woman who is tired of having sex. She talks about her very sexually active 20s and how today, nothing about sex excites her especially sex with her husband. What was your first sexual experience? In secondary school, there was a guy that I would […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X