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6 REASONS TO: Take things slow

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By MARION MAINA
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For the last six months, you have been liking his pictures on social media, laughing at his flat jokes, heck! You even have an entire album on your gallery filled with screenshots of his goofy selfies. Then one day, a notification from Facebook Messenger pops up on your screen. You open your inbox and there it is! You rub your eyes, make sure you are seeing correctly: ‘Hey You’ reads the text from your crush.

Paulo Coelho says in his book The Alchemist: “When you truly want something, all of the universe conspires in helping you get it.” You can testify to Coelho’s words because Mark Zuckerberg, Safaricom Home Fibre, creators of Oppo Phone…the entire universe has come together to facilitate that text from your crush.  A brief chat ensues as your insides play hula-hoop and because Coelho speaks the truth; he asks you out on a date. Bam!

Fast forward to several dates later, you feel this is it. But then you remember that time when you met Brayo, the dark-skinned guy with pink lips and a beard.

You were 19 and oh-so-in-love. A few months of seeing each other and you realised that Brayo was not all that and a cherry on top. He just happened to be well acquainted with lip gloss, thus the lush lips that drew you to him in the first place.

The deal breaker for you was that couldn’t spell and took great pride in his detest for books. Your sapiophillic self could not live with that.  

It is the memory of Brayo that makes you wonder if you   need to take things slow with your new boo. Well, relationship experts, psychologists, spiritual leaders, your girlfriends (the ones who have seen you fall in love a hundred times) and even your mother (obviously), all think that you should take it slow and here’s why:

It gives you time to become good friends.If you proceed with the relationship after being friends for a while you can be assured of a strong foundation. If things don’t head that direction, you will have one more friend in your circle. It is win-win and you will skip that tangled mess where one party feels like they were being taken for a ride.  Michael Bolton puts it better when he sings “How can we be lovers if we can’t be friends?”

It allows you to objectively evaluate your compatibility.The moment we tie ourselves to someone, we tend to lose some objectivity because we do not want to ruin the relationship.

You may find yourself altering some of your natural behaviour to suite your partners. This may work for a while, but we all know leopards cannot hide their spots.

You are more likely to be yourself when there is no rush to nail the relationship, and so is he. In this state of being yourselves, you can predict whether this is someone you want to build a relationship with based on their unaltered personality.

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It discourages moving in and unplanned marriages.A friend of mine had me doubling over with laughter when he admitted that he had no idea he was married until his “friend” announced that she was seven months pregnant. After receiving the news, he looked around the house and noticed that her clothes and stuff were all over, as if scales fell off his eyes making him see. He says she used to come over often but he didn’t realise that she had actually moved in. They are happily married now, so it did work out after all.

Moving too fast may scare your crush off.  You are probably thinking: Good riddance then! If he can run off because I came on a tad too strong, I do not need that negativity in my life right now. I used to think the same a while back until someone shared with me on the importance of tolerance. You see, we are all wired differently.

Some people take the bull by its horn while others turn around and let the bull be. Maybe they fear the horns may injure them because horns are really sharp.

When the interest for a relationship is mutual for both of you but one partner seems a bit hesitant, it will cost the other nothing to take things slow and allow the other partner to gradually grow into the relationship. If my crush proposed to me this evening, I would say yes, no doubts about that. But we cannot all be that spontaneous, the world would topple over!

It can save you from numerous heartbreaks or losing faith in love.Sometimes I look at relationships as a sweet indulgence, like eating an avocado.

If you have a sacksful of avocados and keep cutting up one after the other without waiting for them to ripen, guess what?  You will feel so disappointed and if you insist on eating it, it will taste so bad that you will end up hating avocados.

When you keep jumping from one ill-fitting relationship to another, your heart will not only be broken repeatedly, but also, your faith in love and romance might be shaken. Take your time sis, even if he breaks your heart eventually, you will have wonderful memories if you took your time to make them.

Taking things slow helps you focus on yourself.My mother tells me that once I get into a relationship leading to marriage, my time will no longer be all mine. It will be one more person to worry about, to feed and to check in on.

As you are in this stage of casual chats and occasional day time dates, of mild flirting and outdoor activities, take this time to focus on other aspects of your life.

These can be work, school, friends, dreams, what you want in a relationship, where you want to live etc.  The “taking it slow” slow window doesn’t last forever you know.



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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard

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Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.

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However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard

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President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health

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Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.

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Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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