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Esther Ijewere

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In my years of law practice, I’ve discovered that a lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of putting off all legal issues until they are threatened with a lawsuit. They tend to engage professionals only after a problem has arisen. There is a saying that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ This is quite true. It costs you less to prevent a legal issue from arising than solving it when the issue has arisen

Legal practitioner and author, Ifeoma Ben is the founder of Legal Business Network (LBN), a platform that assists enterpreneurs to build legally protected businesses. She’s also the founder of Justice Vault Foundation (JVF), a non-profit organisation that offers free legal services to the less privileged.

Prior to obtaining a Law Degree from the Imo State University, Owerri, and a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Lagos, Akoka, she had obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Calabar. An associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom (CIArb), a graduate of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Nigerian Institute of Management (Chartered) (NIM) and member of the National Association of Catholic Lawyers (NACL), she has served as the Assistant Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association

(NBA) Lagos Branch and is currently the Assistant Secretary of the NBA, Lagos Branch.

In this interview with NGOZI EGENUKA, Ifeoma, who is a partner with Eminence Solicitors, shares her passion for helping entrepreneurs gain clarity about the legal aspects of their businesses among other issues.

What really endeared you to legal profession?
MY Father read Law (though not practicing law). While growing up, I always enjoyed his conversations and argument with lawyers; I loved the way they presented and analysed issues and I loved the boldness in the way they spoke. They always talked about Law being a noble profession and I said to myself that I would be a Lawyer.

Even after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies, I was still determined to read Law, which has been my dream course and I’m glad I achieved the dream. I love the Legal Profession; I love solving legal problems and helping people meet their legal needs.

What’s the key focus of the Legal Business Network (LBN)?
The Legal Business Network (LBN) is an entity set up to address the legal problems entrepreneurs face in their businesses. It aims at enlightening and educating entrepreneurs on the legal aspect of business, helping them build legally protected businesses. LBN also organises conferences and trainings for lawyers on topical issues, equip them with business skills and educate them on how to leverage technology to build a 21st century law business.

Recently, the Legal Business Network organised a conference, which focused on leveraging technology to build a profitable law practice. Issues on law firm management, data protection and privacy by law firms, design thinking in law practice, how technology can be used to improve work process and service delivery in law firms, how specialisation and technology can enhance visibility in law practice, building a career in emerging technology-driven practice were addressed.

We also focus on seminars for startups and entrepreneurs, addressing various subjects on law and business, such as legal issues in online business in Nigeria; how to build a legally protected business; taxation; legal issues in real estate transactions; franchising as a pathway to entrepreneurial success in Nigeria. One of the seminars centered on media and entertainment business and discussed issues bordering on creation, protection and merchandising of entertainment brands and products. Legal issues in digital entertainment and social media; contractual relationship between players in the entertainment industry; the role of lawyers in entertainment contracts were also covered.

How important is the knowledge of law in running a business, especially for entreprenurs?
A lot of entrepreneurs fail in their businesses because they failed to get it right from the start. A lot of businesses fail because they do not pay attention to the legal aspects of their businesses. In my years of law practice, I’ve discovered that a lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of putting off all legal issues until they are threatened with a lawsuit. They tend to engage professionals only after a problem has arisen. There is a saying that ‘prevention is better than cure.’ This is quite true. It costs you less to prevent a legal issue from arising than solving it when the issue has arisen.

Are there ways lawyers can help entrepreneurs build legally protected businesses?
The first is in creating a better business setup. A lot of start-ups are confused as to the appropriate corporate structure to use for their business. The decision on how to form your business will influence several aspects of the business, which includes how profits and losses are shared, how the business pays taxes and who runs the business. You need to have a legal expert by your side when you are starting a business so as to ensure that you are taking the right step in your business. Based on your needs, a lawyer can help steer you in the right direction in selecting the legal structure for your business.

Lawyers can help entrepreneurs make better business decisions; business owners usually do not have the time to study provisions of the law relating to their business, so they make legal mistakes. Having business lawyers on retainer helps you make informed business decisions in accordance with the law.

In business transactions, entrepreneurs often enter into negotiations and sometimes do not have clear-cut agreements. In some cases, we find out that there was no valid contract only when the matter goes to court. It is essential to have a Legal Advisor who ensures that these contracts are properly reviewed before you sign them. Other aspects lawyers can help are in transactions with other businesses, dispute resolution, intellectual property protection and others.

What legal advice would you give to a business owner and how accessible and affordable are legal services?
Every business needs a legal advisor; businesses should build relationship with a good lawyer early enough in the life cycle of the investment. Your legal advisor will get to know the intricacies of your business and give legal advice when necessary. In fact, every business should have a budget for legal services. Be wise, seek legal counsel and protect your business from liabilities.

Your expertise as a lawyer has seen you engaged in pro bono services under your NGO. What informed that decision?
Justice Vault Foundation was born out of the burning desire to provide legal services to the less privileged in society. I have been a very active member of the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos State Branch, and had the opportunity to work as the Assistant Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Lagos branch (2017-2019). We worked diligently in achieving the objectives of the Committee in decongesting the prisons.

When I was serving as a member of the Human Rights Committee, we often visited the various prisons in Lagos State and took briefs of some of the inmates. Whenever we visited the prisons, we interviewed the inmates and we discovered that some of them had no reason to be there; some of them were arrested when the police raided their area. A lot of them were awaiting trial and some have not even been taken to court. When we followed up on some of the cases and entered appearance for them in court, a lot of charges were struck out, as there were no evidences to prove the cases.

My experience sparked the fire in me to set up an organisation that will fight for the protection of human rights, especially for those who do not have anyone to speak for them.

Not many lawyers today will engage in pro bono services, especially with the cost implications. How have you been able to fund your charity?
In Justice Vault Foundation, we are working on collaborating with international organisations and other organisations with similar objectives. With my experience in pro bono services under the Human Rights Committee and also under the National Association of Catholic Lawyers, it is always a difficult task. We spend a lot of time and money in defending such cases, but the joy of rendering service to God and humanity will keep driving us.

What do you enjoy most about law practice?
I focus more on corporate and commercial law practice. I love meeting creative business owners and I help them figure out the big legal picture for their businesses and answer their legal questions. I consult for a lot of business owners and help them build businesses that are legally compliant and avoid liabilities; I love helping people solve their problems. I help entrepreneurs gain clarity about the perfect business organisation for their businesses, structure their businesses, enlighten them about legal aspects of business so that they can avoid losing their businesses and investments for going against the provisions of the law. It gives me joy to take people from the state of confusion to being happy and productive.

What keeps you going in your practice? Do you think there are laws that need to be adjusted, rectified, to serve common purpose?
The joy of solving clients’ problems is a great motivation in my practice; I feel fulfilled when my clients are happy and satisfied. Some of our laws need to be reviewed in order to serve the real purpose for which they were enacted. With particular reference to corporate law, the principal legislation is the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990, which is about 30 years old. The Senate recently passed a Bill for an Act to repeal the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 and enacted the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020. The Bill when signed into law by the President will facilitate the ease of doing business and boost investment in Nigeria.

What challenges have you faced in this profession?
As a Lawyer who works for a lot of startups and entrepreneurs, I often come across startups, who complain about not having sufficient funds to pay for legal services; a lot of them consider legal services as expensive. Some of them do not even have a budget for legal services and they tend to run to a lawyer only when there’s a problem on ground, instead of taking preventive measures. It then becomes difficult to strike a balance between helping startups build legally protected businesses and remaining profitable in law practice.

Regarding gender based violence, what’s your advice to women on seeking justice?
Everybody, including women, have the right to fight for their rights. When women’s rights are infringed upon, they have the right to seek justice. Most of the gender-based violence such as rape, wife battery, domestic violence are criminal offences prohibited by law and offenders are liable to be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Women should always stand up for their rights. Women have the right to live free from violence, to own property and the rest. These rights are enshrined under the constitution and international documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, to me, promoting women’s right means fighting for justice.

Ezeh Veronica Ogochukwu is the Chief Psychiatric Matron in Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, Lagos and also the CEO of Adicare Rehabilitation Home. A native of Imo State, she’s proficient in multiple Nigerian languages, as she has lived in different parts of the country. In this Interview with Maria Diamond, she spoke about mental illness; the need to care for mentally ill persons and why depression should be taken seriously.

Where did the drive to help mentally ill persons come from?
As a child, I have always seen people stone the mentally ill persons on the street when they ask for food, and it pricked my heart. That motivated me to see what I could do to help them. So, I decided to study Nursing, and afterwards, I went for my specialty in Psychiatry at the School of Psychiatric Nursing, Aro Abeokuta. I did my Masters In Public Health at the College Of Medicine Ladoke Akintola University Oshogbo, and I graduated in 2016. I have been in Yaba Psychiatric Hospital since 1999.

Back then in the hospital, there used to be a Doctor, who used to pick mentally challenged patients on the street to Psychiatric hospital and I was among the young nurses on the team for the clearing service to pick patients on the street. We went as far as RCCG camp to pick patients and at the end of the day the hospital was able to reunite some of these patients with their families. That encouraged me and over time, I started helping people with mental illness on my own with what I have. I had the advantage of languages, as I was able to relate and communicate in different languages to each patient. Once you speak their language, they pay attention to you. Some of them even attempt to hug me and sometimes it really looks crazy on the street. I give them food and help them clean up if they agree.

I had a child that had infantile cancer, Adikachukwu. We noticed he was running a severe temperature as early as three-months old but we didn’t come to diagnosis until he was 4-year old. When the case became so terminal, we searched for help; Lagos State Government intervened, and we travelled to India for treatment. On our way back on August 30, 2018, the boy died

A week before his death, he requested for a birthday gift as his birthday was approaching. He wanted a big celebration with a lot of people, but he died before his birthday. So, while mourning, I kept thinking what I could do to make his birthday relevant despite his demise, since it was his last wish. The inspiration came to me that celebration could come in different form, even if I channel resources into further helping the mental destitute by building a rehabilitation home for them since my interest lies in helping the mentally challenged. So, I registered the home with his name Adicare. Adicare Rehabilitation Home has advocacy section, social support section, counseling, rehabilitation seminar, health talk etc.

What is the target?
I look forward to seeing a society free of vagrant psychiatric patients. It is a dream; I long for it and hope to see a generation free of mentally ill people wandering the street. I cannot do it alone, but I believe it is possible because Lagos State has a centre and all they need to do is to create more centres. I remember picking a mentally ill patient who had a fracture on his feet on the street and I wanted to offer help and the hospitals denied me help. I took the patients to series of hospitals in Lagos and they denied him treatment.

At a stage I had to quietly leave the patient at the last Government Hospital in Gbagada and I walked away. I put up a petition and at the end of the day, Lagos State took the patient and he is at Majidun Rehabilitation Centre. So, really, if government wants to clear off all the mentally ill patients on the street, it is possible.

How do you think government can go about that?
They should sign a mental health bill because when the head is sick, every other part of the health is also in crisis. Also, there should be firmness on the issues of hard drugs and dealers especially amongst the youth in order to secure a safe future for them.

Are you in collaboration with other organisations on this cause?
I collaborate with the Association of Mentally Challenged persons such as World Mental Health Day, World Suicide Day, The youths, churches, and others in the community. In February 2020, we collaborated with Lagos Ministry of Education to create awareness on the causes and prevention of mental illness with focus on drug abuse. Because we see a lot of people on the street with hard drugs and we need to stop it from cradle before it goes out of hand. We picked age bracket 13-19, which falls in the category of Senior Secondary School.

We were allocated to Education District five, which comprises four Local Councils of Amuwo Odofin, Ojo, Ajeromi Ifelodun and Badagry. We covered all these within one month and we were able to attend to 60 Senior Secondary Schools. In every council, we have a centre where new students are brought in and we talk to them about causes of mental illness, preventions and the dangers of drug abuse. During this period, we were able to identify students who were already doing drugs. We discovered that some of them really didn’t want to do drugs, but got involved due to peer pressure; some due to family background, especially those in Ajeromi Ifelodun local council. Some are willing to quit drugs, but they don’t have the motivation. At the end of the day, most of the students agreed to form a group that fights against drugs but for the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic that has placed everything on hold.

Aside from hard drugs, what are the other causes of mental illness?
There are biological causes, psychological, environmental, genetics, depression, etc.

At what stage can depression lead to severe mental illness?
We have what we call reactive depression and endogenous depression. For reactive, patients react to situational crises, for instance, when you lose a job and you begin to withdraw and feel your life is over. However, with medication, you eventually get over it. Endogenous is just within; you can’t really tell what is causing it. It’s like a hormonal factor you can’t fathom how it came to be. No matter what you do, the person is never happy.

What are the major categories of depression?
There is homicidal, suicidal, manic, psychosis, others. Some have manic-depressive psychosis, which is a dual form of depression. A little to the lower side and the next second the person is up and excessive. It is a disorder associated with mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic high

What do you think is responsible for the increase in depression in recent times?
In this era of coronavirus pandemic, many people have lost their jobs; many can no longer provide adequately for their family due to the downturn in the economy. I recently heard a father come up on national radio that the government should open school because his children are eating up all the food in the house. There are a lot issues, husbands can no longer take up responsibilities in the family, and some women are now going into prostitution just to make extra cash for the family.

What is the treatment procedure for depressed persons?
People should know the signs of depression, which includes being sad unnecessarily. Someone who used to be friendly suddenly becomes a sad person and withdraws from people, they start looking as though the entire burden of the world is on them. They begin to talk about ending their own lives because they don’t have reasons to keep living. So, to save the situation, it is important to see professionals; know what the person is going through before administering medication. In management of depression, medication is not the only solution; it goes hand in hand with psychological care.

What category would you place someone who commits homicide, depressed or mental illness?
The cases differ; most homicide cases are more anger issues than depression or even mental illness. Anger can be very suppressing; you let anger in and destruction kicks in. A man finds out his wife has been cheating on him, he gets extremely angry, loses his cool and control, and just kills her. Sometimes without the intention to kill, but in the moment of anger, he kills her anyway. So, except we really assess such murders we can’t exactly conclude that it’s a case of depression or mental illness.

How would you describe the mental condition of the elderly?
As human grow older, our organs start coming down. And for some, recaps of unfulfilled life events affects them and regret kicks in as they count their accomplishment. A lot of issues like loneliness become overwhelming and they begin to have dementia.

What is the future of the mentally challenged?
When they get better, we try to unite them with their families. But for those whose relatives can’t be tracked, they remain in the hospital and get into one or two occupation within the hospital to make money. They live and grow old in the hospital. We call them ‘alaanu’ patients meaning pity patients.

Do patients who live permanently in the hospital get involved in a marital relationship after treatment?
Yes, after treatment, some of them try to come together to marry, but we strictly discourage such relationships. When we see a male and female getting too close, we find a way to discourage it because there is every possibility that their mental illness is genetic, which can be replicated. So, if they get married, their offspring can inherit the illness.

Do you think we have enough mental health hospitals in Nigeria to meet up with the challenges?
In my years of experience in the psychiatric hospital here, I don’t think we’re doing badly at all. As a matter of fact, people bring back relatives outside the country with mental illness to our hospital here and they are always amazed at the rapidness at which these patients recover. The drug is universal. Aside from the drugs, our specialists in the field go extra miles to ensure that the root of the illness is addressed step by step and they recover. So, as a matter of fact, Nigeria has the universal best practice in the field.

How do you handle high-profile patients who worry about stigmatisation?
The management of mental illness has gone beyond stigmatisation with upgraded medications. Gone are the days when patients take medications and the effect makes them look dull and moron. Today, many high-profile persons are on mental medications and you won’t even know because of the transformation.

How do you source funds?
Presently, I have never been funded by anyone. It is self-funded, because of my passion and interest in the mentally challenged persons. However, I’m hoping that we get support from people, organisations, etc. in the future in order to further prevent mental illness in our society.

While bagging a degree, and getting a job is one of the ways to making money, another way, which is often neglected, is getting a vocational skill, and meeting people’s everyday needs in exchange for money.

Our this week Lynda Omerekpe-Ori is helping people acquire these vocational skills and consequently, monetise them. She’s the founder of Cash Your Passion, a virtual skills acquisition hub (e-learning platform specifically for vocational skills).

Cash Your Passion make skills acquisition and mentoring easily accessible to African youths from any location, helping them create jobs for themselves through skills acquisition, capacity development an mentoring, directly from their mobile phones, or any internet device.

Lynda started her career in banking and then had a stint in the professional services industry in London before going back to banking after she returned to Nigeria, working in customer services and corporate communications (digital and multimedia).

She founded Cash Your Passion while working in the bank after she launched a book with the same title. She then got into the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme in 2019, where she received a $5000 as one of the entrepreneurs whose business is solving a problem in Africa.

Lynda is also the Executive Director of Operations at The VolunteerNG, a social enterprise with the vision of bridging the gap in education by ensuring as many kids as possible have access to quality education both within and outside the four corners of a classroom.

Lynda currently works as a Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist in one of The Big Four.

She holds a bachelors degree in Microbiology from Igbinedion University, Okada and a masters degree in International Business & Management from University of Westminster.

In 2020, Lynda won the Top Pitch Performance among 10 finalists in the virtual summit for the Forbes and Global Startup Ecosystem’s first Resilience Digital Startup Accelerator in Nigeria – an intensive 4 weeks of digital training to help build and scale the companies for the future.

We celebrate Lynda for helping fight unemployment and poverty with Cash Your Passion and we’re rooting for her!

Studies have shown that when it comes to getting rid of belly fat, lemon water is amazing.

Losing belly fat is one the healthiest thing that can happen to anybody that has it.

And it’s not because, by so doing, the body returns back to shape; losing belly fat helps prevent conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

As a matter of fact, studies have shown that having lots of fat in the abdominal area is strongly linked to these diseases.

However, studies have shown that diet and exercise are the best ways to get rid of belly fat; but there are also home remedies that can be used to make the process much more effective.

Here are five natural home remedies to help you get rid of belly fat

1. Ginger

Ginger is not only a natural digestive aid that helps with nausea and an upset stomach, it is also thermogenic; which means it increases your body’s temperature to let it burn fat more efficiently.

As a matter of fact, ginger also suppresses the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Stress causes weight gain, so ginger helps prevent this. Drinking ginger tea daily can really help with losing belly fat.

How to get rid of belly fat with ginger

The ingredients you need to make ginger tea is 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of raw honey or pure maple syrup, and the juice from half of a lemon.

Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add the ginger, and turn off the heat. Place the lid on the pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, strain the tea into a mug, and then add the lemon juice and sweetener, and mix. At night before bedtime is a great time to drink this tea.

2. Honey

Honey is one of the best natural foods in the world that you can consume if you want to lose belly fat. It is not only delicious but extremely beneficial. The ethereal oils and alcohol in honey help reduce belly fat.

How to get rid of belly fat with honey

Mix the honey in the water and drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Organic raw honey should be consumed each and every day. It would be best to replace sugary cereal with honey for breakfast if that’s what you have been eating.

Do this daily for a few months. Supplemented by some of our other home remedies, you’ll start losing fat in no time.

Do not eat until after at least two hours.

3. Lemon water

Studies have shown that when it comes to getting rid of belly fat, lemon water is amazing.

Lemon water detoxifies your liver. This is important because when the liver is clean, it works best and it metabolizes fat so the fat doesn’t get stored in your stomach.

How to get rid of belly fat with lemon water

A simple recipe for lemon water is 2 cups of water, with the juice of half a lemon. It is okay to add some of the zest in there as well for added benefits.

All you do is squeeze the lemon into the water, grate some of the zest into the water, and drink. It is important to note that the best time to drink lemon water is right in the morning before drinking or eating anything else.

4. Warm salty water

As strange as this might sound, it is what it is. Studies have shown that warm water helps neutralizes the lactic acid produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugary, fatty and starchy foods you consume.

It is, however, important to note that you can also use salt water even if you do not have belly fat, as it will help you to stay in shape.

How to use salt water to get rid of belly fat

Dissolve the salt in the water and take a sip.

Swish it around your mouth for about a minute, then swallow. You can do this as many times a day as necessary.

5. Garlic

Garlic is not only effective for getting rid of belly fat, it also helps prevent weight gain by stopping the pre-fat cells from converting into actual fat cells

How to use garlic to get rid of belly fat

Garlic and honey might seem like a weird combination, but it does wonders for your body.

What you will need is 3-4 heads of garlic, 1 cup of raw honey, and a small mason jar. Start by separating the heads of garlic into individual cloves.

Don’t peel the cloves, just remove the outer layer. Fill the jar with the unpeeled garlic cloves.

Then slowly pour honey over the cloves. Use a spoon to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles. Make sure that all of the cloves are covered with honey, and then put the lid on.

Allow the honey to infuse for a few days in the fridge or at room temperature and take a spoonful of the combination daily on an empty stomach.

To really know that the love in your relationship is genuine or not, here are some of the signs to look out for.

Is the love in your relationship real, or fake?

If it is, all you should do is keep growing the love, keep staying truthful to each other, keep drinking a lot of water, and just keep treating each other in all the good ways that will allow the relationship thrive further.

On the flipside, fake love is not something anyone would want to live with. Sadly, it is exactly what some people have in their relationships. If the relationship is based on anything different from a genuine willingness to see the other person flourish in every sense of the word, if it is based on something fleeting and temporary, then it is likely fake.

To really know that the love in your relationship is fake, here are some things you may want to watch out for:

1. They’re emotionally distant

In a relationship, fakers have a tendency to be non-communicative. They’ll provide little to no substance to what’s going on in their life. They’ll also make excuses why they “couldn’t” communicate especially when it is a little difficult to do so.

The difference between them and someone with genuine love for you is the extra effort needed to reach out when it’s not so easy.

If you are happy in a relationship, you need to look for a way to keep at it. If they make you happy, don't let it go. [Credit Freepik]If you are happy in a relationship, you need to look for a way to keep at it. If they make you happy, don’t let it go. [Credit Freepik]

Freepik

2. Always willing to throw in the towel

Conflict happens in every relationship. It demonstrates a level of care which partner have for one another.

That said, every conflict demands a resolution.If you’re the only one trying to resolve any conflict or problems that arise, it’s often a telltale sign of emotional detachment and this of course, is a major sign you’ll find in people who have got only fake love for you.

They really won’t care whether the relationship works or fails.

3. They don’t meet you halfway

Are you always the one to plan things? Check on the other person? Take responsibilities and all that? If so, what concessions, if any, is your partner making? Where’s the effort on their part?

Relationship and compromise are like two peas in a pod. A lack of effort is a universal sign of disinterest – and a relationship is no different.

A lack of effort from a partner is a universal sign of disinterest and you should not ignore it if you see the sign in a relationship [Credit - Shutterstock]A lack of effort from a partner is a universal sign of disinterest and you should not ignore it if you see the sign in a relationship [Credit – Shutterstock]

4. Unconcern

An authentic relationship sparks feelings of passion for each other. You’ll be curious, concerned, involved, etc in all that the other person does.

Someone who continuously acts indifferent isn’t engaged, likely detached, and unfit – not to mention unworthy – of a real relationship.

5. That gut feeling

Many times, when someone does not really love you, you will know. There’s usually that sixth sense, that gut feeling in the pit of your stomach that keeps pricking you.

Add this to all the signs that you will see, and the picture is clear that this babe or that guy doesn’t really love you. They’re only with you because they have no option, or for the money or some other fake reason.

Be honest with yourself. Are you wasting your time? Money? Energy?

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms.

  • Anxiety and stress

People who constantly worry about everything normally suffer from acne. They undertake too much mental or physical pressure that releases hormones into the body, which then prompts the sebaceous cells to secrete oil that later transforms into pimples. If you want a flawless face, try to calm now when you’re going through difficult times.

  • Bad sleeping routines

A good 8 hours of sleep will re-energize it to ensure healthier skin. However, you have to sleep on clean pillows free from germs, oils, sweat, and hair product residue that you carry throughout the day if you want a smooth skin.

  • Incessant facial contact

Some people can’t resist picking at zits and scabs which traumatizes their skin, plus exposes it to the bacteria on your fingers. Buy a stress ball or fidget spinner to keep your hands busy.

  • Lack Of hydration

Some people are always caught up in their work that they forget to stay hydrated which causes skin conditions such as acne. For a smooth skin, one must the daily water requirements. Drink. More. Water. If not that, then look into a supplement that can boost your body’s hydration levels.

READ ALSO: 5 tricks to grow your beard faster

  • Overexposure to sunlight

People who make their daily income by selling on the streets and roadsides should invest in a good sunscreen because too much sun exposure generates sweat and makes skin more prone to blemishes.

  • Not showering after workouts

To promote your personal hygiene, keep a towel in your locker at the gym and shower thoroughly after every session. All that dirt and sweat trapped on your body, along with the friction of sticky clothes creates a cesspool of bacteria that stimulates breakouts.

READ ALSO: How to slay with a GHc 100 makeup budget

  • Smoking

Enjoying a cigarette more than often leads to acne and premature aging. The amount of oxygen your skin needs to remain supple starts to decrease and dries it out, increasing oil production. And that could be the least of worries for smokers. Need we remind you of the cancerous effects linked to the habit?

  • Taking certain medications

Certain drugs can affect the hormone levels in your body and cause acne-like eruptions. Always consult your physician when dealing with prescribed medications.

Carrot oil is very easy to make at home and it is extremely beneficial for the hair and skin.

Carrot contains an anti-aging nutrient with antioxidant capabilities, Beta-Carotene, to help slow down the ageing of cells in the body.

One way to get that into your body is by using carrot oil. Carrot oil is very easy to make at home and it is extremely beneficial for the hair and skin.

Supplies

Veggie peeler

Hand grater or food processor

Crockpot

Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth

Jar

Carrot Oil Ingredients

Carrots

Olive, coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil, to cover

Preparation

Step 1: Wash and peel the skin off the carrots.

Grate carrots with the use of a hand grater or food processor.

Step 2: Place the grated carrots in a crock pot and pour the oil of your choice to cover.

Step 3: On your crock pot’s lowest setting, maintain a warm temperature, infusing the oil for a full 24-72 hours.

Note: Use the “warm” temperature setting on your crock pot. Try not to allow the temperature of the oil to rise above 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice the oil becoming orange in colour.

Step 4: Once the infusion process is complete, pour the carrots and oil mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and strain.

Step 5: Label and store the oil in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Cyclical pain is the pain that is associated with menstrual cycle. It is the most common type of breast pain and usually occurs in both breasts.

Studies have shown that seventy percent of women experience breast pain during menstruation.

And while it can be serious for a few, it is usually mild for most of them.

There is also the group that experiences breast pain, which is also known as mastalgia, regularly; and a good number of them are advanced in age.

However, the causes of breast pain may vary based on the type or category of breast pain. And according to studies, breast pain can either be categorized as cyclical pain or non-cyclical pain.

1. Cyclical pain

Just as the name implies, cyclical pain is the pain that is associated with menstrual cycle. It is the most common type of breast pain and usually occurs in both breasts.

Known to come with a heaviness or soreness that radiates to the armpit and arm, the primary cause of cyclical breast pain can be linked to the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone.

However, observations have shown that cyclical pain tends to subside during or after menstruation period.

2. Noncyclical pain

Unlike cyclical pain, noncyclical pain can have many causes which includes injury to the breast, breast size, cysts, muscles or tissues rather than the breast itself, and other numerous unknown factors.

Nevertheless, noncyclical pain has been found to be much less common than cyclical pain, and its causes can be very difficult to identify.

Here are some home remedies for treating cyclical pain

1.Home therapies

Medical practitioners have advised that applying cold compresses or heating pads to the breasts can help reduce cyclical breast pain.

Additionally, taking a warm bath with soothing essential oils, like rosemary or lavender can help relieve the pain as well.

It has also been advised that wearing loose cotton clothes and massaging breasts in the shower with soap can help bring relieve breast pain.

2. Lifestyle changes

Some experts have also suggested that breast pain may be improved by:

  • Reducing your intake of caffeine, which is found in tea, coffee, and cola
  • Reducing your intake of saturated fat, which is found in butter, crisps, and fried food
  • Not smoking (if you smoke)

However, the benefits of making these changes have not been scientifically proven.

3. Herbs

In addition to the solutions stated above, herbal remedies have long been proven to be a natural and economical method of treating breast pain.

And two popular herbs for relieving cyclical breast pain are chaste berry and soy. Chasteberry helps reduce prolactin levels, which in turn reduces breast pain.

On the other hand, soy contains phytoestrogenic compounds, which raise estrogen levels and ease breast pain, making it popular among menopausal women.

Other nutrient-rich food that can help relieve breast pain includes Salmon, avocados, spinach, kale, and guavas.

4. Nonprescription medicines

It is also possible to reduce breast pain with the following nonprescription medicines. But ensure to read and follow the instructions on the label!

  • Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen(Advil or Motrin), naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn), or aspirin (Anacin, Bayer)

However, it is advisable to visit a doctor if breast pain becomes severe or lasts longer than three weeks.

 If you’re going to spend 1/3 of your life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

I know this because I’ve been there too. Years ago, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

  1. Discover the Root(s) of the Problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

  1. Practice Gratitude for an Instant Uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

  1. Take Meaningful Time for Yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

  1. Get Productive and Feel Accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The Bottom Line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

By: Kileen Robinson

While working for a growth private equity firm, sourcing great companies and investment opportunities for a global fund  Eloho Omame Gihan-Mbelu came across founders who were building audacious, pioneering companies in Nigeria and who were determined to succeed against all odds.

Unfortunately, the fund she worked for was used to companies that had raised several rounds already or were even post IPO and it was difficult for them to invest in early stage startups, like the ones she found in Nigeria.

But that wasn’t the only thing Eloho found out. She also discovered, from these founders, that their strongest need wasn’t capital, but mentorship and thought-partnership.

She decided to start making small angel investments in Nigeria, and after sometime, she “gained the courage to walk away from a cushy private equity life in London towards better personal mission-alignment,” as she said in Tech Women Lagos, Techcabal’s AUDACITY series which profiled 50 women in the Lagos technology ecosystem from different backgrounds and at different stages of their technology careers.

When she left the private equity firm – General Atlantic – she founded she founded Amari, a proprietary firm focused on working with, and selectively investing in, early stage, innovation-driven companies in Nigeria. Amari conceptualised, designed and launched ‘Lagos Innovates’, a portfolio of startup support programs sponsored and operated by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).

It was while doing her work with Amari, that she came across the people at Endeavor, an organisation that supports entrepreneurs with potential for economic and social impact in their regions. They wanted to extend Endeavor’s successful model for scaling companies in more more than 30 countries.

Currently, Eloho is leading Endeavor Nigeria‘s operations. At this time, they’re working with 11 companies, including Flutterwave, Cars45, Paga, Filmhouse & FilmOne, Kobo360, among others, supporting the entrepreneurs with access to mentorship, talent and expertise, capital and new markets.

Eloho is a former Head of Corporate Development at First Bank of Nigeria and a former investment banker at Renaissance Capital and Credit Suisse. She holds an MBA from London Business School and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the London School of Economics & Political Science.

We celebrate Eloho for her work in democratising resources needed to succeed in entrepreneurship to founders in Nigeria and we’re rooting for her.