Look After Yourself.
It’s no secret that as of late, our communities have been sucked into a state of fear, panic, anxiety, and uncertainty of what’s to come, rightfully so. COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into our day-to-day life, our lifestyles have been altered, and every single one of us is slowly adjusting to the change.
Practicing social distancing is necessary to keep the virus from spreading rapidly + helping to flatten the curve of infection rates, which means we are spending more time alone (or with a few others), mostly indoors. For some, this can increase feelings of anxiety and even cause claustrophobia.
It’s important to not lose sense of yourself in the midst of all this uneasiness. Practice self-care (physical, emotional, and spiritual) and keep yourself busy with things that will benefit you and/or others. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
Schedule out 15-30 minutes every day to go outside and get some fresh air, and some sun! Make this your “technology free” time so you can really immerse yourself into nature and encourage a sense of peace and tranquility within. If this is too difficult, try opening all your windows for a bit throughout the day.
This might be an obvious one, but take advantage of being quarantined by cleaning and disinfecting your home. Spending your day in a clean space is an instant mood-enhancer. Start with the smaller things, like making your bed and wiping your bathroom counters, to the more time-consuming work like vacuuming and mopping your floors. And if you manage to get your hands on disinfectant wipes, USE THEM! Wipe down all the high-touch areas of your home, like door handles, light switches, phone, wallet, etc.
This can be difficult for those of us who are constant gym-goers and are usually unable to have an effective workout outside of the gym, but you just gotta do it. Moving your body and getting your blood pumping can help strengthen your immune system — it really is important now, more than ever. Some great workouts you can follow right off of YouTube or Instagram are BlogIlates, Zehra - The Fit Nest, or Zainab - Fit for Allah.
Studies have shown us time and time again of the short-term and long-term benefits/effects of prayer and meditation. If you’re like me, and have been trying to get right with God, this is a great time to hone-in on your spiritual side and focus on praying regularly. If not, try meditating by using apps like “Calm” or “Headspace”.
Most of us have a bunch of recipes bookmarked on our phones or laptops, or recipe books that we have barely touched. Let’s get creative and do the most possible with all these home cooked meals. You can get some great ideas from bloggers like Zakiya @ Blend of Spice or Yaseen - Oh my Foodness!
Another great way to take care of yourself during this anxiety-filled time is to sit back, relax, and read a great book. Reading can help relieve stress as you get absorbed into a story that takes you out of your daily routine. If you’re looking for a new book to read and are interested in supporting your fellow Muslim authors, check out Ameena Karaja, Fatima Mirza, or Humairah Jamil!
If you’re able to, seek out others in need and ways to help. Listed below are two fundraisers for two different causes.
- In Manhattan, Queens, and neighboring boroughs of NYC, several front line doctors do not have the appropriate protective equipment needed. Donate here to help front the funds to get protective equipment to the ERs: https://www.gofundme.com/f/n95-masks-amp-ppe-for-our-front-line-heroes
- HOPE USA is raising funds to provide grocery staples to 500 families in need (3,000 individuals in total) in Pakistan who have lost their wages due to the COVID-19 crisis. For more information, check out: https://www.launchgood.com/project/coronavirus_grocery_delivery_for_the_poor_in_pakistan#!/