A Meeting Which Is Worth All The Pain

I wanted to write something personal. Something that will not be cliched and something that will touch the heart that reads this.

Truth be told, I can’t as Allah alone is in control and determines all things as He is All-Powerful.

What I can say is this, for those brothers and sisters who read this, we all, be it old or young, brave or not, male or female, black or white will in our life become upset or sad.

We will go through pain we don’t want to, have to lose loved ones and have people leave our life be it in the form of relationship break ups, have difficulties and illnesses etc.

I know this personally, as someone who can be scared of what the future holds, not knowing where my life is going and I can get anxious over life’s trials and tribulations.

I wanted to write a message of hope. Something to reassure us that we have something to look forward to, an end.

And that end is a meeting…

A meeting like no other. A meeting with someone who will understand our pain. A meeting with someone who will comfort us. A meeting with someone who will remove from us our personal anxieties and give us love and affection to what I need and want.

A meeting where you can have what you desire, what no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind can think of. A meeting well worth the pain or tears. That meeting is with our Lord. Your Lord and My Lord – Allah.

A meeting where Allah will call you my reader, bring you before Him and speak to you with your name mentioned and say ‘I am pleased with you’. A day where He will allow you to see Him (with no veil between you and Him) and have the greatest gift awaiting us, to finally see Allah.

So remember, paradise is not the greatest gift. But seeing Allah and knowing He is happy with me and you is. So it is all worth it!

Do not ever give up! You’re worth too much and this meeting is too important to not prepare for. You have this meeting to look forward to so race to good and smile because Allah is looking forward to seeing you my beloved so look forward to meeting Him and if He permits, to see Him in paradise and be in His presence.

O Allah! Make me present on the Day of Increase and for everyone who reads this message and do not deprive us of this for you granted me Islam and I did not ask (as I was born Muslim) as you are the One who gives, but I am asking for this and know you love to give and respond to the call/supplication of your slaves. Ameen

Inshallah, I will see you all in Paradise if Allah permits and you will see, it was all worth it.

You brother in Faith



Find Peace Within Your Struggle

For all those who are facing a struggle within themselves; mentally, physically or most importantly spiritually.

May Allah ease your pain and suffering and may Allah make it a means of expiation for you! 

It’s a constant battle and this is your test – in every essence of the word.
It’s a test every second you wake up, and every night you go to bed with these thoughts and issues and every second you are struggling means you are on the right path and every second you feel guilt it means you are on the right path.

What comforts me is that if Allah has surrounded me with people but none that can understand me or that I can speak to, then Allah wants me to turn to Him and He is the only one that can ease my situation.

Also don’t be too hard on yourself, treat yourself with mercy like you would treat someone else. Be firm with yourself but not harsh. Be gentle with yourself but not careless. 

And every time you remember Allah or stand up for prayer – see it as a victory – no matter what state you are in. 

I have quickly come to understand that people knowing my situation will not ease it for me, finding someone will not ease my struggle for me as every chapter of life comes with new struggles. However, finding peace WITHIN my struggle will bring me ease and that comes from getting closer to Allah.


It Is OK Not To Feel OK

Dear me,

I am feeling constantly on edge, anxious and uncontrollable tears run down my cheeks. It is ok. This only makes me human. I am human enough to feel disappointed, shattered and hopeless. It is ok. As human limitations are unknown. Allah is the knower of tomorrow and if only I was shown the full picture, I might not feel hopeless!

To trust in Allah as the doer and undoer of my plans is critical to forge ahead. At times of difficulty, that trust is challenging to have; that too is ok. To deny yourself of fully immersing in your emotions only ever perpetuates it; so Alhamdullilah that I feel this rotten. Alhamdullilah that I am unable to sleep; Alhamdullilah that my heart is having a massage and my patience tested to its fullest! Alhamdullilah that I can try and fight to carry myself through to perform my daily fard prayers even if half-hearted and very heartbroken.

At least I have an avenue to vent my emotions; I can ask Allah why and paradoxically ask for relief. Because Allah has assured us that with every difficulty there is relief. Some flicker of hope which might wedge between giving up and trying again.

I planned to be somewhere today; I am not there and don’t hope ever being there unless Allah creates a way. I have also approached my GP for pharmacological help; I believe with that and my taqwa, I will find the strength to start again.

Allahu A’alam. Allah is the knower of all things and to Him be the Glory in all things good or bad. Bi ithni Allah. With the permission of Allah.



The Bright Day After Every Dark Night

Striking the right balance in aspects of my life plays a pivotal role in maintaining a healthy mind and body. Life stressors can manifest in various forms, leading to short-term and long-term ill-health.

Three key things that I have found that have worked well for me are:

1) Fasting. The health benefits of fasting, in my opinion, are downplayed. Intermittent fasting is proven to lose weight, improve cognitive function and most importantly, reduces our focus on food and adds another element of discipline to our lifestyle and routine. This reduces impulse snacking and the urge to resort to food whenever you feel stressed or anxious.

2) Diet. Caffeine, nicotine, sugar and processed foods can result in peaks and troughs in blood sugar level, which can directly impact feelings of anxiety or mental health. Working towards a well-balanced meal, with lean protein, carbohydrates, fibers and fats can reduce the feeling of the “sugar rush” and help maintain steady energy levels.

3) Exercise. 60 minutes, 4-5 times a week. This has a profound impact on mental health and wellbeing. Maintaining a physically active lifestyle has increased my confidence and motivated me to excel both in my personal and professional life. Those 60 minutes in the gym are my time to switch off from the rest of the world, from the stresses that come with it and allow me to recharge myself for the challenges I am yet to face.

In addition to the above, I also focus on: 

4) Prayer. Protecting this time provides me with a mental break, peace, and allows me to step back from the stressors of life and take a time-out.

5) Communication. Engaging with my peers and mentors has enabled me to discuss, share and gain a wider perspective of current issues in my life.


Our Love And Dependence On God

I have worked in the humanitarian field for the last 30 years both as a volunteer and a staff member. Currently at Islamic Relief where I work, we’re conducting some research around the world in disaster and conflict settings into how Muslims internalise their faith in recovering from trauma and hardship.  It’s fascinating for me because my interest in the Islamic field of knowledge is around how our connection to God provides that resilience to the both the negative and self-destructive forces within the self as well to the impact of challenging circumstances such as loss, financial hardship and conflict.

When you get to my age you’ve faced at least some of all of those things and my greatest reflection on this is that the key is surrendering and admitting to our own incapacity and frailty and the acceptance of God’s complete knowledge and power over all things that relate to us. The only real happiness is that which emerges from our love and dependence on God and it is our dependence on ourselves which is often at the root of our fears and despondence.

Interestingly evidence from research into wellbeing from around the world supports this in relation to people of faith. The enormous growth in medication and opiate consumption, particularly in more secular northern societies is testament to people’s pain of separation from our spiritual centeredness. Spend more time remembering and being grateful to God and give up your affairs to Him, try to be content with what He gives you is my maxim for looking after myself!


Value And Appreciate Yourself

“Me” time is very important for me. Just having an hour to myself to reflect and relax with a good cup of coffee or tea is the perfect solution after a busy day. I am a Mum, wife and a National HR Manager. I am also studying my Masters degree, so life can be pretty intense and hectic!

Being near the Ocean is where I love spending time the most. It gives me a feeling of peace and tranquility, and daily life stressors seem to just fade away in the beautiful ocean breeze. I love my family and friends so spending quality time with them makes me feel good. ?


Keeping Things In Perspective

Uncertainty lies at the heart of our human condition. Our relationship with uncertainty is also at the heart of our most human distress – anxiety. When we’re unable to tolerate the uncertainties of life, whatever they are – will Allah accept my deeds, will I succeed in this world, will I be loved/rejected – the everyday soon becomes unbearable.

One of the ways I look after myself is by reminding myself every morning a prayer my mother taught me when I was a child: “In the name of Allah, I depend on you, oh Lord, and there is is no Power nor Strength but with God alone.” When the uncertainties of the world overwhelm my gaze, I remember that no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, nothing can be achieved unless it was Willed to be achieved. All that is asked of me is that I try. And this brings my heart peace.


A Letter From My Brain

Dear You,

We both know that your mental health and well-being is important. Here are some of the things that we do both do to maintain a healthy mindset:

– Pray and reflect
– Connect with family and friends who remind me of my values
– Go to the gym and be active
– Engage in Mindfulness activities on a regular basis
– Travel
– Sleep well and eat well
– Be boundaried with my time to maintain a healthy work-life balance
– Care for others
– Accept who you are
– Strive the best you can be

These are just a few of the things we do together to help us to maintain a healthy mindset. Remember, things may not always go to plan and life will always throw obstacles your way but always be pragmatic and accept that some things are out of your control.

Yours Truly,

Your Brain.


One Step At A Time

A couple of years ago, I began to realise that the resilience I once had towards stressful situations in life began to turn into high levels of anxiety, which would often result in months of endless insomnia. Tired of feeling lethargic for days on end, the first step to changing and maintaining my health and well-being included keeping an eye out for situations that would trigger anxiety in me. I began to pay close attention to the physical manifestation of symptoms that would arise in those situations, which enabled me to reflect on the root cause of the issue and gain a deeper understanding into why it would have an impact on me. This became the start of breaking the cycle and focusing on improving my mental well-being.

I found that it was vital to accept that it was okay to feel overwhelmed at times, and that this did not equate to being weak. Instead, being in tune to one’s emotions and fighting through feelings of unease to actively make positive progress is quite courageous – and we aren’t told this enough! Acknowledging my emotions and physical symptoms not only allowed me to search for techniques to combat those moments of difficulty, but enabled me to speak openly about my struggles with friends and family. It took a conversation with a friend to realise that anxiety is much more common than we think, and that creating a space where such conversations are welcomed can be incredibly empowering. You realise that you’re not alone, and that in itself can have a positive impact on an individual’s health and well-being. It definitely did for me.

While a great support network is useful, it is still imperative to learn what you can do to maintain your own well-being. For me, it was the realisation that I could say “No.” occasionally, and that I didn’t need to be around people who would disrespect my personal boundaries. It was learning how to practice self-care and knowing when to put myself first. It was being able to sit and talk to God, open my heart, and come away with guidance and clarity. I realised that I was at my happiest when doing things that would bring me peace and allowed me to improve myself. For example, taking long walks surrounded by nature, sketching and painting, and practicing amateur photography – not to mention finally fixing a work-out routine that I didn’t get bored of!

Throughout my journey, I’ve realised that maintaining my health and well-being isn’t something that can be forced overnight. It’s a slow process, and there are often times where I fall back into the same old cycle. But I’ve learned what works for me, I’ve made progress, and I know that I will continue to by taking small steps to keep on improving.


How I Carve Time Out For Myself

With four children I know things can get on top of me sometimes so I ensure I have a self-care strategy I can use. I make time to read because I find reading deeply relaxing. I also draw great strength from reading the Tafseer of the Quran. I can totally lose myself in my reading which I think is a great way to switch off from all of the daily monotony.

Another thing which really helps is to abandon my mobile phone in another room of the house and not pick it up again for several hours. Phones are constantly sucking us in with tasks and emails that need replying to, or calls that need answering. I find too much screen time is draining. Not looking at my phone or having it near me gives me a real sense of freedom and a genuine energy boost. It increases my productivity too!


Energy – My Life Source

I’ve been a volunteer pretty much my whole life.  I remember being quite young, maybe seven, when my mother began taking me with her to all sorts of events where she would be doing community work in our city in Pakistan.  She did this with me over a number of years and my father was a huge supporter of her work as well.  My parents and what they stood for are things I’m so proud of, Alhamdulillah.  It was natural that I would follow in their footsteps.  And so it has been for over 50 years.

Nowadays, I have shifted my focus more towards finding a balance of looking after myself whilst still being a part of the process of giving.  I do this by looking for ease, yusra, in every situation, even something as minute as using a pen which flows smoothly, to enjoying nature at its most beautiful both here in the UK and abroad.  Just looking out at our garden that Allah created, being mentally free, thereby raising my energy levels.  I can also be inspired by a quote or energised by the company of others.  There are so many ways each of us can feel that yusra and thereby raise our energy levels so that we are able to perform better, in our relationship with Allah and with people.  Even a smile requires inner energy 🙂

Alhamdulillah I’ve dealt with plenty of tests in life and it’s had a big impact on my health, so restoring my inner energy is vital if I am to be of service to Allah as well as His people.


Keep A Routine

I found I was trying to do too much in one day and in the process this was weighing me down.

I’ve dramatically slowed down by getting into a morning and night routine. I give myself up to 30 minutes for “me” time, beginning and at then of my day. The 30 minutes in the morning  gets me to map out what I want to do for the day and have a cut off time when I should stop working. During this time I do not use my phone, TV, internet or anything else which could influence a negative mood or set any negative triggers off. The phone is no longer in my room and I got an alarm to wake me up. 

Once I reach my cut off time and I put the phone away, this allows me to have quality time with my family. 

You only have around 3 to 4 hours of time to do things outside work for yourself, so why not make those hours count and do something which will help you mentally, physically and spiritually.


Self-Care Is Not Selfish

I think the most important thing that I wish to relay to people who may struggle and feel like their lives are one big emotional roller-coaster (as we all do at times) is that it is okay to not be okay. We’re only human, and our flaws are truly what make us perfect. Life can feel overwhelming and difficult at times, but it is essential that we take care of ourselves and search deeply for self-love. 

Being a natural empath, I have always made it a priority to try and take care of everyone around me. I always saw this as a positive aspect of myself, and it is something which I still love to do, being able to lift another’s spirits is an achievement and feels so rewarding. Having an impact can be amazing, but it was only very recently that I realised I can never do my best in anything without taking care of myself first. That if I continued at that pace without having that important time for solitude, reflection and self-care, I would eventually burn out!  Since making it a goal to make more time for myself, I noticed a visible difference and it is like a weight has been taken off of my shoulders. 

My top tips for self-care are to try and be as consistent as possible with it – after a long day of working or socialising, do things that make you happy such as writing down the positives of the day which could even include the smallest achievements, picking up the phone and calling a friend or someone you trust to share how you feel so it doesn’t remain bottled up, practising activities such as mindfulness if this works for you, making time for self-pamper through face-masks etc and making sure you have that time for the people and things that you love. Different mechanisms work for different people, so experimenting is key. 

Most importantly, it’s okay to say no to others, because you don’t owe anything to anyone but yourself. You are your biggest investment for life! 
You can still be a caring and kind-hearted person without neglecting your own well-being.


Just Breathe

Yes sure…

Exercise self care. Look after yourself and do what gives you happiness, joy and peace. Give yourself compassion and TLC as alien as it may seem. This could be meditation or praying, having a spa treatment, going for a walk, talking to a friend, spending time with family or even just on your own.

Give yourself permission to just be and breathe. Only then you can give to others and be there for others… fill your cup first as you can’t give from an empty cup. My motto as a therapist. X


Finding Time To Do You

Life is full of unexpected moments, with ups and downs. We may come to points in our lives where we question why we have come this particular place or why events have occurred in our lives. It is at times like this, when we feel life is not going in the direction in which we expected, that’s when we need to have faith. Whether you are going through a loss, have had several setbacks in achieving your goals, or you just feel overwhelmed and stressed at this moment in time, my message to you is to not give up and have faith. Allah has assured us that after hardship comes ease. This time, this moment, will pass. I know right now it may seem like you’ll never dig yourself out of this hole, but remember there were times in the past in which you believed you would not make it out, yet here you are today. 

The most important person right now is you. You need to focus on you and give yourself time to heal. Find a little happiness in everyday. Find what makes you feel a little joy and Do That!  Whether its having 2 minutes to sit down for a cup of tea, not thinking about anything, or lighting candles, having a bubble bath for relaxation. Whatever it is that makes you happy focus on that. Whatever it is that makes you forget about your worries, even if its for a minute, find time in the day to do it and spend time focusing on you. It is so easy to be overwhelmed by the everyday of life, but it’s important to find a little happiness in your day to day. It’s the little things that really matter.  

Although it may seem like at this moment you have little to be thankful for and nothing is going in your favour; we have to remember that, even if we don’t understand right now, everything happens for a reason. Instead of focusing on all that has gone wrong and all that we have lost. Let us focus on what we have and the things we are grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful tool in healing and getting through difficult situation. There is so much power in positive thinking. 

Through gratitude, prayer and simply finding time to do you, I hope we all can focus on ourselves and have the strength to overcome difficult or stressful situations.


Loving Yourself As A Whole

It took me 36  years to finally know what it truly means to take care of yourself and that it’s not being selfish. And because of that I suffered almost all my life. Caring for yourself includes loving yourself as a whole. As human beings none of us is perfect. We all have flaws and that is the beauty of our personalities.

So today, not only I love all different talents I have but I also love my flaws. My flaws made me who I am. I take care of myself physically and emotionally. I give myself time outs from life when I feel the need, show kindness and not be so hard on myself anymore. I spend a lot of “me time” without which I don’t think I can survive. 

I strengthen my connection with Allah swt by learning and teaching HIS book. That gives me the light and power to deal with life and directed me to be a Life Coach. I feed my soul through that and the amount of love I feel through that is amazing. 

Spending time in the nature is an amazing way we can be inspired.
Contributing towards the society is another beautiful and the most fulfilling way of self care. When you serve the humanity, it changes something inside you and add to your self worth.

The moment you accept yourself completely, the love pours out. For yourself and for others. It will change your life. 

So my advice to you all is LOVE YOURSELF!


Eat. Pray. Sleep.

Eat healthy most of the time. (cheat days are compulsory lol)

Do not miss your obligatory prayers. Read them with contemplation and you’ll feel rejuvenated.

Sleep well.


Selflessly Putting Myself First


How are you ? 

No really how are YOU? WHO are you? 

Do you realise that you’re a complex human being with complex needs? Someone who needs looking after just as much as you need to look after the little people in your life ? 

Well, well done you! Yes you, mother, panelist, therapist, blogger, cyclist, community activist to-be and so much more ! Well done for taking the time to find a hobby that sets your soul on fire ! 

Well done for paying for yourself to go to umrah to reconnect with your Lord when your spirit also needed to be rekindled. 

Well done for sometimes leaving those dishes in the sink when you just can’t face doing them for the umpteenth time that day-and it’s OK.  Yes its OK! The world by the grace of Allah still turned when the two cups and one plate were left for the next day. It’s all good ?

Well done you for making sure you eat breakfast before heading out in the morning. 

Well done to you for taking five minutes to switch off from Instagram, Facebook and all the other superficial and demanding social media apps that suck life from your soul and cause you to sometimes doubt your self worth. 

Well done to you my friend, for choosing the expensive natural brand of shampoo over the cheaper chemical filled brand because you know it’s better for your body. 

Well done you for giving in to that chocolate muffin when you know you shouldn’t be eating sugar but which helped you feel at ease again after a stressful week of deadlines and so on. 

Well done you for accepting compliments that brighten your day but that which do not permeate your ego. 

Well done you for putting the children to bed early so you can BREATHE. 

Well done you for embracing your children to feel their warmth and to allow them to know that they are very much loved. 

Well done you for all the things you never thought  you’d do or achieve and well done you for fighting through your negative thoughts that often hold you back. 

Well done you for trying new things such as yoga stretching out the aches and pains of the dunya as you bend. 

Hold your head up high! You are not perfect but you are doing a wonderful job at being perfectly imperfect. Well done for just sometimes selflessly putting yourself first.


Finding That Connection

I’ve always been a person who values connectedness to people around me. It’s something I’ve been grateful to have, especially because I like to learn from the people I look upto. However this year I felt like that connection was lacking especially due to other priorities, and it left me feeling burdened and uninspired. 

The most helpful thing for me was to recognize the importance I give to this idea of “connection”, and so I started putting effort towards building new fruitful connections to regain my inner sense of well-being and balance. It lead me to reflect more on my relationship with Allah (SWT) and realised that He is the only one we all truly need. 

So I made it a point that whenever I feel overwhelmed I put my head down in sajdah, and read the dua “حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ” (Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs). The way this tiny action changed the state of my heart is incredible. Since then, Allah facilitated for me to meet people that have had such a deep impact in my life without me even realizing or trying. He has guided me through tough times and shielded me from harm, in His graceful manner. 

To whoever is reading this, if you’re overwhelmed, just put your head down in sujood. Your heart will find peace, in sha Allah.


The Seasons Of My Life

I use so many different ways in looking after myself, it all depends on the season of my life. Whether it be a season of heartache, family problems, feeling lost or experiencing death, it all takes a toll and sometimes we feel alone, abandoned and unloved. In all the situations in my life, from growing up in a single parent household to unrealistic expectations in friendships/relationship, I have always found solace in writing. Ever since I was a little girl I absolutely loved writing, mainly because I found it so difficult in communicating and expressing how I feel. At times of stress and despair, I used my journal to write out how I felt, what was going through in my mind and I look back now and truly believe that in some ways, I was writing to God. I needed an outlet other than praying as the act of physically writing out your pain has felt so cathartic and it always felt as if the burden had been lifted as God was listening. I still journal my days ahead, how I feel about certain situations and people as this helps gain clarity and allows me to believe that my thoughts are valid (a little like imposter syndrome). I now believe the more you’re able to express yourself (even saying No to people), the more you’re able to gain confidence in yourself and thus you’re able to feel good as you are aligned with your thoughts and beliefs.

I’ve also started my journey towards self-love (so millennial of me). I started becoming aware about how I lacked in self-love, value and although I was confident in social situations and with family and friends, I didn’t have that self-belief of being able to achieve anything I put my mind to. This came from so many different places, broken relationships, a difficult upbringing and feeling like I wasn’t part of the Muslim community because I was a little different.And for that very reason, I chose to leave my work, sell my car and get back into education as I felt such a need to develop in all aspects of my life. Throughout this time I have chosen to also date myself. Yes, I am a Muslim and I have declared that I have been dating… myself. All the instagram quotes are great but they don’t show you the most difficult and absolute boring parts of working on yourself. The days where you literally only speak to 1 person in your day because you’re so focused in getting the job done the best way and the nights where you spend watching self-development and Islamic youtube clips on self love and finding ways to level up to meet the life you want for yourself. Dating myself is a 24/7 job and some days I just want to lie in bed and let the whole world pass. Some days I do exactly that however I have started to hold myself accountable and I believe this also goes back to self-love.. you get what you believe you deserve. 

This leads me to say that I have also learnt the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Just because you are lonely does not mean you need to suffer in silence and equally experiencing being alone can bring about the most profound and light bulb eureka moments of your life! Some women in my age group go through seasons where all their friends seem to be moving on with their lives by getting married and start to live completely different to you, leading you to feel a little lonely as you start to realise that you have to be your own company on Friday evenings. I have been through this and although it took me a while to grasp, I truly believe that until God reveals that it is my time, I will need to continue to work on my self and my relationship with God. To reduce this feeling I knew I had to get back out there and form meaningful connections with people. Volunteering helped within and outside of the Muslim community as well as taking part in art classes (recent findings suggest that creative outlet such as painting reduces levels of anxiety and increases cognitive performance). I found new things to get excited about and trusted in God that it would lead me to feel better internally which reduced my anxiety. I started to love my own company so much over the past few months that I decided to book a week long trip to Barcelona by myself. I had such a good time and I proved to myself that A) I could do it and B) I deserved going on trips (even if I am not married or have a partner). I deserve and will continue to live life to the best of my ability based on the fact that God created me, I am here for a reason and I am valuable regardless of my relationship status. I also learnt to not give a hoot about what other people are doing with their lives, as long as I was internally happy and God was pleased with me, that’s all that matters to me.

In the end, all my experiences have always led me back to God, regardless of how far I strayed. My mental health will always be a priority in my life and when I fall of the bandwagon and have my days where I don’t want to speak to anyone or feel as if this world has taken it’s toll, I jot down my thoughts and I celebrate the small wins (brushing my teeth or making my bed). Small wins, self love and gratitude is in my book, the recipe to consciously and mindfully living your way to a life you deserve. I firmly believe that your self value and how much you understand yourself will allow you to live the best, highest and truest form of yourself. For me, it all stems from God, His words, His way of life, His boundaries and most importantly, His blessings and love. 

“You can’t pour from an empty cup”


A Promise To Myself

I know a lot is happening right now. You are so busy with some many commitments whether that is with work, university or even volunteering. I think it is important sometimes for you to think about your own wellbeing. I know you feel as though you are missing out if you don’t something at that time, but another opportunity might come again.

So, I want you to remember that you have time. Give yourself time to breathe whilst doing what you want to do. You manage your time according to workload but do the same for yourself. So, take a break, like really take a break. It seems a though you are looking at your calendar every day and see that you have so much to do. Space it out so that your mind has space too.

I know you like destressing by eating out, so do that! But try not to waste all your money on food though. You like to take pictures so go on photoshoots more often. Why is your camera sitting on the table when it should be used? Go to new cities and meet new people. Do it regularly, maybe even once a month. Try it out and see if that helps with your stress.

I am proud of you for trying to take photography seriously and making plans to meet new people in new cities to take new pictures. But make it a commitment.

One other thing that is part of your calendar, but you are not doing. Going to the gym.  I know you like exercising and know that you feel good once you have done it! So maybe think about getting a personal trainer, to help you and motivate you to get back to where you want to be.

At the same time, you can change your diet so that it can help with your energy levels because you are tired from doing so much. So make sure you set goals, realistic goals and prioritise what is important whilst balancing your time to manage your mental health.

Try new things, give yourself a challenge to do. So…. a promise to myself. Start focusing on wellbeing. Start doing what you want to do. I know everything will work out and will go well 🙂


Building Resilience After A Huge Loss

I think it is safe to say that 2018 has been the most difficult and painful period of my life till date. My mother lost her battle to an aggressive cancer, I moved into a new environment and felt the pain of leaving behind my loved ones and many other challenges.

Initially it seemed impossibly difficult to move on in life with a trauma so colossal. With the grace of God and all the lessons I learnt from my mother, I understood how I could still look after myself and achieve my goals.

By praying and meditating, I have been able to strengthen my connection with Allah and resolve any trapped feelings. I have learnt to face my emotions and detach myself from them at the same time.

I have also been working out in the gym and practicing yoga on a regular basis; both of which have made me feel confident about myself and helped me gain a positive outlook on life.

I have been cooking lots of healthy meals, which have also boosted my mood and improved my immune system. I have promised myself to continue looking after myself this way consistently, to hold myself together and be present for others too.

Therefore, even though the trauma still exists somewhere at the back of my mind, and keeps emerging unexpectedly, I know how to tackle my feelings and be kind to myself.


When Catastrophe Strikes

At times of stress and worry, I sit down and take a deep breath. I think rationally about the situation and make a plan. Plan the next steps you are going to take, short term and long term.

Reassure yourself. I’ll cuddle my cats, scroll through memes, put on a face mask or read Quran. After this, I’m ready to handle all the obstacles causing my anxiety and stress.

I remember that I have proven I can overcome everything that has stood in my way, so why is this time any different? Allah has given us so many things to be thankful for and is always with us. 


Making Life Happy And Worthwhile

My typical daily routine is to come home freshen up and get into my comfy pj. That in itself takes off a load for me. Then must brush the hair perfume myself making me feel good physically. Then must sit with a cup of tea, my fav biscuits, tv on and unwind. Don’t necessary watch anything in particular. Whatever takes my fancy. Usually not long around 30 mins.

It’s after this I will get up tidy up, pray cook anything and all else that I must do. Once all this is done I will sit again and watch tv usually a movie or a series on Netflix. On my sofa snuggled up in a blanket or lie down without one in the summer. I like fantasies, thrillers, comedies and  stories that take me away from the real world and make me go somewhere else or occupy me with something not related to me. Helps being away from real life even for a little while in your imagination.

So when there’s too much to do or having a bad week. I usually list everything down to give me prospective. Let me think and prioritise. I set myself targets realistic ones and build into free times to sit relax or even catch up if I’ve fallen behind. Makes me make sense that helps sort out life and not let it overwhelm you.

When I need to unwind, I actually pamper myself regardless of the day or time. I will sit there have a bath, use a nice smelling bath salt or scrub. Rest my feel pamper them, cream them etc. 

When worst comes to worst I go to mum’s where my whole family is and unwind. If I feel the need I’ll also make time and go out with friends eat, laugh and even talk it out.

I find things that take me away from me and my issues help me come back better. 

This is how I look after myself mentally and emotionally. Makes life happy and worthwhile.


Keeping Myself Sane

Whenever my heart feels heavy or restless I know it means I’m not looking after myself, that I’m missing something. I usually start with keeping up with regular prayers, listening to more Islamic education than music. I need to be learning something in those long journeys to work. 

This eases a huge part of me but not everything. I then try and respond to my WhatsApp a lot better, meet with friends because for me, it’s my relationships with people that keep me sane. As well as dancing and singing to music while I’m doing the cleaning always perks me up.


What Self Care Means To Me

Looking after my self in other words self-care can mean different things to different people. I will talk about what it means for me and what I learnt about looking after yourself over the years. 

Firstly, having born and brought up in a collective culture I have noticed one crucial thing that was missing was boundaries in relationships. Not having boundaries can get one is messy situations. It can be very hard to say “no” when you don’t want to do certain things with others. Having self awareness asking yourself “what do I want” or “what do I don’t want” can be a good way of balancing yourself. Another point is being compassionate and gentle with yourself in stressful times and when under pressure.

Learning skills to better communicate in relationships in my eyes also looking after yourselves because you can then deal with any conflicts there and then without it escalating. These are important for wellbeing knowing how anxiety and low mood can be triggered by negative situations. Asserting self and becoming a better communicator helps me in my relationships therefore feel much more better in my mood. 

Apart from these, regular exercise, eating healthy and balanced diet, connecting with good friends, reflective writing when I choose not to talk to anyone. Stroking my cats hair, cooking and baking (because I can use all my senses, helps to stay in present time) 

I like to do activities that refuels me as daily stressors take from us. Travelling therefore is like a must for me. Find it very therapeutic. It helps me to step out of my routine and helps me to look at the situation or my life from a different perspective. It is very healing to have close friends where we can share ideas etc. Overall looking after yourself for me means having a balance in life with routine, pleasurable and necessary activities that needs my attention.


When Faced With Stress And Depression

I get more involved in family and community events. 

I will wake up early in the morning and get ready and wear the brightest colour lips stick get involved with charity work. 

I will also go to other girls night events to cheer myself up with close friends.

Call friends and have a long long chat.


Who Is He?

What do I do to look after myself? Not a question I’ve seriously ever asked myself. I instinctively think of my physical well-being, my not-so-frequent visits to the gym, the extra exercise, less sugar.. and the list goes on. Perhaps that covers one aspect of looking after myself. If however, as a believer, I consider myself to be an eternal being, then reviewing the physical, temporal dimension alone is clearly inadequate. 

Blame capitalism, secularism or for that matter, any other ism.. there is no doubt that we live in a full world, designed it seems to occupy our most precious commodity, time. Every moment in our day is scheduled, we wake up, get ready, go to work, come home, spend what little moments we have with family and… repeat. To pay our mortgages, grow old… and then? Slaves to the system they say. 

We have somehow forgotten to ask the most basic questions in our lives. Who are we? What is our purpose? Why are we different to other creatures? What does God want from me? Who is God? The list goes on… 
God is however ever present, eternal.. and he speaks to us in many ways, through his revelation, his creation and through our lives. I am convinced that in order to achieve equilibrium in our lives, to look after ourselves, we must get to know Him and make it our passion to get to Him. So, when I can.. I take a few minutes to think about Him and thank him for his continued, unfaltering mercy on this meandering journey.


Wife + Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu = Happiness

“Talk to all people about happiness, health, and prosperity.” – Carlos Gracie Dr

So how do I take care of myself? Although there are a few things I do, two things immediately strike to mind.

1 – My wife helps me to take care of myself. It can be difficult at times to know when you start to take care of yourself less. An example being wearing un-ironed shirts or not taking care of my nutrition. My wife is able to notice these small things and nudge me towards doing small acts, such as going to the barbers, which in turn makes me feel great.

2 – Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art I love and practice regularly. This sport has helped me over the last year and a half to shed a few pounds and just losing a few unwanted pounds has made me happy. But also knowing that I can use my timing, technique and leverage to grapple against a larger, faster and more aggressive opponent has instilled a new self confidence in me, which in turn gives me a really positive outlook on life. Not forgetting the awesome like minded people you meet during training.


The Day I Found God

How do I look after myself? Honestly, I don’t know if I do, or even if I do, is it proactively supporting my well-being. Regardless, looking after myself was and is a journey in figuring out who I am and what my needs are, and in turn, this journey led me to the day that I found God.

Now reductive in it’s a remark, finding solace isn’t an activity you pick up over the period of 24 hours, however, it was through numerous events that I came to the conclusion of how I could look after myself best. I, even to this day, am a very passionate individual. I passionately love and I passionately get distressed and I passionately invest myself in everything… But my self.

And in turn when I looked to friends, family and even Netflix to passionately be a means for my care, or when I tried to self-medicate through the relationships in my life, I always felt dissatisfied. I always felt like I was the more passionate aspect of any dynamic I shared with either a person or situation.

Once I realized this didn’t work for me, I turned to introspection. In doing so I came to the conclusion that I had to be the one that was in control of my life. How disillusioned I was. How could I control my emotions, and situation when I couldn’t control my urge to use the bathroom or eat the cheeky chocolate muffin.

It was truly when I felt the most helpless that I realized, that all I had to do was raise my hands up and surrender. Not to the expectations people had of me, or to societies expectations. All I had to do, was surrender and leave my care to God. That is the day I asked God, that as he allowed my heart to beat and my eyes to see and my mind to think – He could help me use that same heart to stop feeling that deep pitted fear, or my eyes to be consumed by the superficiality of a capitalist society (I’m a politics student) and my mind to handle and appreciate the strains of university, work, and campaigns.

The day I found God was the day I surrendered and realized that it is through His mercy that I was being taken care of. So that’s how I take care of myself. It changes from conversation to commodity, but all are a reflection of His mercy towards me.


Islam. Family. Friends.

Alhamdulillah the number one way I genuinely look after myself is knowing that Allah has the best plans in place for me and any wrong is my defects and all good is from him. I appreciate my 5 daily prayers as the most precious minutes of my day. In this time I take a breather from the madness of chasing the worldly life.

My family are also my backbone. In times of difficulty or joy, they’re always the first to know and they always know what to do or say.

I’ve been very fortunate in being blessed with some fantastic friends who would jump off a cliff for me. We share very similar interests and would naturally see each other at least once a week in football or something. 


Home Is Where The Heart Is

I like spending time with my wife and son, I get satisfaction and a peace of mind.

I take care of myself by taking long walks and hot showers. 

I love reading about the current affairs it helps me to relax.


Verily, By Time

The best investment in looking after myself is taking the time to know how I react when times are becoming difficult, stressful or overwhelming.. the warning signs start small.., becoming less motivated, feeling more tired, less interest in socialising..  my biggest learning curve has been the realisation to allow my soul to know that it’s OK, it’s ok to feel this way, to accept it for what it is, to slow down for a few days.   Trying to carry on and ignore only leads to a crash, which can last weeks or months. 

When I notice the small signs, I allow myself to slow down, spend time in the outdoors.. nature is such a healer.  Take a nap, rest has become associated with being lazy, it’s isht laziness it’s a need.. I keep a journal of everything I’m grateful for, I write 3 points within the day I’ve felt blessed.. even if it just be a hot tea, it makes me focus on the good.  

If I take the time out, invest in myself this way, it helps me to function and be better equipped to cope with life’s hardships.  It’s helps me to be patient, to be a better person for myself and those around me.


Talk About Your Problems

At times where things get stressful and you face setback after setback; life starts to look bleak. It’s so pivotal that at times like this you talk about what’s on your mind i.e. what’s stressing you. Literally just venting out.

What you’ll realise is you have a huge burden lifted off your shoulder. Now the question here is, who to talk to though? This is the key. In life you come across all sorts of people. You have family, relatives, friends, colleagues and acquaintances; but I guess it’s hard to pinpoint who’d be the listening ear at a time of need.

This is where you need to just go with your gut and talk to anyone you feel comfortable with. At times I’ve talked to ‘colleagues’ about problems and stresses where I don’t know anything about them apart from their name; likewise, I’ve come across struggles which I can only talk to with parents or a sibling.

So all in all, when things are bright, go out and connect with people, build a network and when things go downhill (which they do for everyone at different points) you have a wider support network to rely on.

There’s a reason the Prophet placed such huge emphasis on good company because they aid you in the highs and more importantly the lows of life. So guys, be honest, be open; and talk about your problems!


Have Faith

I find myself at times getting extremely stressed with so much going on in my work and personal life. 
I believe I may not have full control over what happens in my life but I have control over how I react to those things and how I manage that is what is important.  

So I set goals and prioritize tasks this has helped me immensely achieve important tasks and jobs at hand whilst helping me maintain focused and block out stressors that are beyond my control.   

I manage a women’s refuge and support women fleeing domestic abuse and violence so stress, pressure and emotional strain is a huge part of my working life.  

To balance work and life stressors I do my upmost to look after myself by eating well, exercising, setting physical challenges for myself throughout the year to help keep me motivated and meet my health and fitness goals. 

 A healthy/holistic lifestyle is very important to me and helps me manage my mental, physical and emotional wellbeing by feeling, stronger, healthier and more focused. 

Faith of course is another huge factor in helping me deal with life’s tests. “I am as My servant thinks I am (Sahih Al Bukhari). Having Tawakkul helps me to remain steadfast, patient and to persevere during the most troubling of times, it’s also a constant reminder that setbacks, struggles and problems are part of this life and I try and learn and grow from these lessons rather than allowing them to get the better of me.


Optimism: A Glimmer Of Light In The Dark

I find happiness in Alhamdulillah. It brings a feeling of gratitude that has the power to instantly change your mood. Whenever I feel low about things not happening the way I want, I try to focus on the good things that I already have going in my life, and say Alhamdulillah, which makes it easier to cope with it.

There is extreme ease in sujood. Indeed it’s an amazing place to be. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t always open up to everyone about their troubled feelings easily. But Allah knows my heart, so whenever I’m going through a difficulty in life, I get down to sujood and pour my heart out. It doesn’t have to be during a prayer, and you don’t even have to pronounce your problem out loud. Just cry and complain and tell Allah whatever you’re feeling and ask for patience and a solution.

One of my favourite ayat—it’s two actually, are the verses from the Qur’an: “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (94:6-7), because it is a great reminder, a consolation from Allah SWT, not just once, but twice, for those who are suffering that relief is on its way. Just like the sun appears dutifully after a night full of darkness, there is ease after difficulty, and that is promised by our Creator who is the Most Merciful, Most Loving. Whenever I remember these ayat, they bring a smile to my face. Few other reminders to keep you boosted are: that Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear, Allah tests those whom He loves more, and all hardships for a believer bring rewards and erase sins!

I write. Not creative writing, (that thing I kind of given up on after starting a story without plot…lol) but I do write on my journal. I’ve started writing properly since 2014 and it has helped me a great deal with my mental health, Alhamdulillah. It’s also a very good way to store your memories that you can look back at later on and realise how much you have come through, how strong and blessed you are. I try to maintain regular updates (which doesn’t always happen), but I do write in times of distress. When I’m having conflicting thoughts, feeling very down, regretful or, a lot of the time, angry, I automatically pick up my pen and journal. In a troubling situation, once I start to write, my mind gradually focuses on the task of writing and distracts me away from the trouble, so by the end of an entry, I feel much calmer. As I have mentioned before, I am not a very vocal person, but I need to find an outlet for my feelings so I do that in writing.

Let me tell you something: never, ever try to bottle up bad feelings, it’s very unhealthy. You would think you’re doing a good job keeping those feelings buried and showing strength, maybe it feels like an weakness to share and ask for help, maybe it hurts your ego (on a side note, pride is also very unhealthy for you, get an ego check every now and then; don’t let your ego control you!). But bottling up feelings only results in bursting out and exploding everything at a later time. Just like bad substances are harmful for our physical body and we need to let them out, the negative feelings are also very toxic for the mental health so you need to let it out somehow. Maybe confide in a very close person, family or best friend preferably who is trustworthy and cares about you. Yeah, they NEED to be trustworthy and caring, you don’t want to spill all your heart out to a person who’s not reliable and leave yourself vulnerable.  

So I let my negative feelings escape through writing mostly, and when I feel like opening up, by talking to my mum and my best friend. Most important of all though, dua. Even when you don’t have anyone, you still have Allah SWT Who loves you more than anyone ever could. Regularly communicate with Allah and make dua for anything and everything, no matter how small the matter is. Tell Him what’s troubling you—that’s the beauty of it, He knows what you’re are about to say, yet He listens. SubhanAllah. When you sincerely make dua (and not ask for something haram) He will listen to you In sha Allah. Sometimes the results will be instantaneous, and sometimes they will take time, because it happens in His timing, not yours. He is indeed the Best of planners. Regardless of the timing, you won’t be disappointed after making a sincere dua in sha Allah.

I’ve got loads of hobbies that keep me occupied most of the time. If I am going through a tough time, doing my hobbies keep me entertained because I have passion for those things, and they distract me from my internal conflicts. Art, creativity, knitting, lettering, nature photography—I have discovered and developed my passion for them over the years. One hobby that stayed with me my whole life though, is reading. No matter what you are going through in your life, pick up a book and you’ll soon lose yourself in another world where you don’t have to worry about anything. Try to find good motivational books that keep your mind positive and uplifted.

So yeah find yourself a hobby, something (Halal of course! lol) that you enjoy doing, and do it in your free time. If you have loads of extra time and nothing to do, it makes you bored and you are likely to feel down, so keep yourself occupied with passions that would not only ease your mind and distract you from the sad feeling, but also give you productive results.

Cry. It’s as simple as that. You feel like crying, let it out, and don’t hold it in. Of course that’s difficult when you are in public places…but when you are in the privacy of your home, let yourself cry your sorrow out. A good session of crying can help you get rid of all that sadness.

I know often people see crying as a sign of weakness. I’m a sensitive person myself, so you know when I talk about crying you’re hearing it from a very experienced person lol. Few people who are very close to me even told me that crying is for the weak and I shouldn’t be too sensitive and should have a thicker skin…but you know what? It takes strength to show weakness. And I am not saying cry in front of everyone, do it when and where you feel comfortable. For extra points cry to Allah, in sujood.

Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do to someone is to let them cry, so don’t deny yourself that privilege.  It’s the natural way to get rid of pain.

Smile. I know that’s just completely opposite of what I’ve just said in the last few paragraphs, but you gotta have both. Try to smile as much as possible. Research shows that smiling is not just an outcome of happiness, but also in the other way, a smile can uplift your mood. Try now, smile as you are reading. As big as you can. Give me a toothy grin. Any changes?

As a kid, I once listened to a talk where the speaker was explaining how a smile can change everything. When talking to people, don’t keep a straight (or in the case of some people, grim and very serious ) face, talk with a smile, greet people with a smile. Smile because it’s Sunnah, because it’s the cheapest and easiest charity you can ever give someone. Treat people with kindness and they will do the same to you in sha Allah. Do it for the sake of pleasing Allah and you earn rewards too!

I know it’s not always easy to stay strong and take care of yourself, just do as much as you can to tend to your mental health like you look after your physical health. Stay positive, optimistic, grateful and smile!

May Allah forgive me for anything wrong I may have said. 

BarakAllah feekum.


A Year Of Sadness

My world changed when my grandad returned to The Divine Allah rest his soul and grant him the highest place in paradise, ameen. Everyday was hard. Everything reminded me of him. I lost myself. It was hard because I never pictured life without him. You see, my grandad was there: at every problem, he had a solution and used his way with words to make things better. His words and smile made everyday better and clearer when things were grey. 

During this time, the word “sabr” was used a lot, that it began to frustrate me. I needed to find an answer to why everyone who saw the tears flow would say this word. So, I turned to The Divine. Through Salah and translation of the Qur’an, I found peace. I found the only way to find sabr, to have sabr, is by going back to The Divine and praying to be closer to my grandad. Now, I’m thankful for it. I realised a way I can heal: to remember my grandad in everything I did and to see that his blessings and prayers are still with me in every step I take. 

I surrounded myself with people who remind me of my grandad, those who hold similar characteristics of his and those who have wise words like his. I spent more time talking to Nolan and my best friend, who have always been there for me. I also began to talk to others who went through a similar thing. It helped me understand what happened. It helped me cope with my emotion. Most importantly, I learnt that I’m not alone and that there are people around me who understand. 

A friend once said: “What you love is more than just their Physical Expression. The Body is an expression. You love more than just their physicality. Therefore, they are with you forever.” I found this one of the most powerful things anyone could ever say. It helped in ways my friend couldn’t imagine and I am truly grateful and indebted for it. 

The passing of my grandad nearly broke me but alhumdulillah I found myself surrounded by the best people and I couldn’t imagine going through it alone. It was only because of these people, even as a psychology graduate, that I learnt the importance of a strong and beautiful support system. 

I am forever grateful for these people: Nolan and my friends. I pray that they are always blessed and rewarded for all their efforts. I pray and do dua, hoping that I’m close to my grandad with the people I love. Ameen.


There’s Me As Well

As a person who usually puts others before herself, I often find it difficult to remember to put myself first. What usually helps is surrounding myself with my people, doing a few of my favourite things with them. 

My people are my brothers and sisters, my personal support network made up of 5 blessings disguised in human forms. Sometimes we will sit there and just talk and when physical presence is impossible, we revert to the use of WhatsApp. Whatever the time, they’re always on the other end of the receiving end of whatever life-changing or even random rambling that goes on. But it’s always us 6, the last ones to eat and the last ones to get up, laughing with each bite of food (making sure we don’t choke). But it’s always a sight, one that leaves my parents saying “get up now” but always with a smile. Because what’s better for parents than witnessing all your kids sitting, laughing and joking even if you’re talking about complete nonsense? 

But with them, we talk about everything, the deen, the dunya and the trials and tribulations were currently facing. But whatever is being said, there’s always 5 sets of ears attentively listening. And sometimes we just strike a conversation about Marvel (always Marvel, everything goes back to Marvel). With every deep conversation coincides a light-hearted one. 

Sometimes, we’ll go for coffee – usually just us 4 sisters (like right now) -, and sit for an hour to an hour and half (sometimes pushing two hours) laughing, talking, getting rid of our worries and coming up with solutions to our worldly problems. Leaving with cold but still drinkable (stone cold coffee is alright), a heart filled with light as one of them (usually the sisters because sometimes you just need your sisters) ends the conversation with a reminder, reminding you to remember The Most Loving, The Most Merciful who is always, always listening and that whatever happens is written by the best writer who knows me better and loves me more than my own mother. 

And then there’s the company of a few friends, a small social circle but perfect to talk to about life’s bothersome worries. 

And other times, I like to read articles by my favourite authors (Arthur K Richard’s and Dear Chereen), ones that are thought provoking and offer me a newly found insight of this world and the issues currently facing and provide me with clarity. Time to myself, that’s something I value, the silence of my surroundings.

But my favourite, is when when the siblings send an Islamic reminder and it reminds me that it’s all down to Allah’s plan. A reminder that what is destined will come for you like an arrow never missing it’s target, and the timing is perfect. And the reminder they send, the timing of that is something that leaves me saying SubhanAllah and Alhumdulillah. And truly, people, my siblings and my closest friends, and the words of amazing writers are blessings.


Live Beautifully

Live beautifully and enjoy the little things.

I look after myself by getting enough sleep, exercise when I can and try to eat healthy food!

I also like to have ‘me time’ pamper myself with beauty therapy.

I take great care on my appearance for me, myself and I. 

I keep away from fake friends, toxic people and people who will not benefit me.

I love reading up on spirituality, this helps me to regain and stabilise my faith in many ways. 


Nothing Will Work Unless You Do

Take the first step.

Wake up every day believing that this is a new chance to get it right, and act accordingly.

Set the scene for new positive habits every day.

Your body won’t function the way it should unless you put in the work to make yourself feel better.

You will test your blood sugar levels, you will calculate your insulin accurately, and you will make the right choices.

You will exercise at least once a week, and walk every day.

The fresh air will do you wonders.

You will not scroll through Instagram first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

You will walk away from situations which make you feel like you are spiralling downwards.

You will remember to smile.

You will be mindful of your Salaah.

You will start and end each day with prayer and Shukr to The Most Merciful for all He has blessed you with, and will continue to bless you with the more you give thanks.

Remember this.

You have to sow the seed, cultivate the land, water the plant, and the fruit will be as sweet as you imagined.


Being Human

We tend to go through ups and downs, daily struggles or have sudden setbacks in our lives. These moments can make you or break you, if you don’t manage yourself. I’ve been through my fair share of upsets and stresses and the way I’ve dealt with it is by simply taking time out of the day to reflect and enjoy my own company.

It’s often therapeutic spending time on your own and just simply thinking about things. It gives you a chance to almost pause your life and think about where you’re at, or where you want to be, or what you’d want to do differently. I find that once I do that, I’m able to process the situation I’m in better and gain more benefit from sharing it with a friend or family member as I’m going into that convo with a good sense of where I am.

Often our stresses come from us simply taking too much on or at times trying to be the same person all the time. As a doctor, I’m a doctor at work but once I’m home, I strip myself of that role and go back to the natural roles Allah has given me which is of a son, a brother, a friend.

We really have to learn how to park our roles and make time for ourselves; look after ourselves. Often making time by going back to just being a son and nothing more helps us go back to letting ourselves do what it does best; being human. Our soul needs replenishing and refreshing; and it’s often human relations that do that – well it for sure does for me!

I go back to the simple things in life to get that replenishment – which is doing something for someone else. That might be cooking a meal or doing someone a favour when they least expect it, or buying someone a bar of chocolate when they’re having a tough day. It doesn’t have to be grand at all, but something very little. It’s seeing a smile on someone else’s face that reminds one of the bigger picture, and really does make our souls smile too.


My Self Care Routine

Self care is vital and an essential part of helping you to keep focused on your goals and aspirations and to be able to achieve them. 

In order to keep myself on track and the best I can, I try to follow this routine: 

Make the bed in the morning. This gives me a sense of routine,  responsibility and a small accomplishment.

Drink hot lemon water with honey. This drink is a natural energy revitaliser. It has so many health benefits and helps prepare the body for the day.

Go out for a run or walk early in the morning when I can, at least once a week.  Preferably a route that has nature,  is scenic and doesn’t have cars and traffic to waken my mind and get fresh air. 

Have a shower with products that are fragrant to awaken the senses.

Wear clothing that I feel confident and comfortable in. I try to avoid prints, bright colours and too many accessories as they make me feel a little convoluted and tend to get in the way of doing things.

For breakfast I like to have porridge with fruits, a piece of buttered toast and a cup of tea or coffee and a glass of orange juice or water.

I prepare my bag for the day, depending on what activities I will be doing that day then load my car with my essentials for the day according to my planned activities. I avoid carrying  extra things that I won’t use. 

During work I avoid drinking coffee and drink water instead, in order to keep my focus and keep hydrated. For snacks, I generally eat cakes and biscuits but I try not to indulge too much. 

For lunch I generally eat out with my colleagues. 

Post work, I like to do some reading then catch up on the news whilst cooking dinner. I like to keep up to date with current affairs. This helps me to keep work at work and home at home – separating the two is pivotal to avoid distress and one affecting the other.

I like to eat at the dining table and avoid having technology around or on to ensure that i’m enjoying my food, don’t over eat and actually taste the food i’m eating.

After dinner, I like to catch up on tv shows and contact family and friends – it’s good to keep in good relations with family and friends and see what they are up to as well as communicate with those close to you. 

In the evening I cook a small supper generally followed by a cup of hot tea. To keep myself calm and to aid my sleep.

If I don’t have an early start at work the next day I have a hot bath and use face masks to pamper myself. I also like to make notes of things I plan to do, one or two activities I can do in the week. For example volunteering with causes that are close to my heart – it’s an amazing way of appreciating everything I have, understand my impact and give back by doing something positive. 

I like catch up on reading and go to sleep at 11:30pm to ensure that I get enough sleep. Sleep is such a imperative part of preparing your body for the next day, resting  and healing. 

This is my routine to keep myself in check and look after myself.


Lighten Up And Enjoy Life

Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.

As someone whose happiness mostly relies on the happiness of others, I love to help those who may need help and are afraid to ask. It could be by just listening to a friend talk about their problems or by simply smiling at someone. A smile is free to give so I try to smile as much as possible to everybody and anybody.

I am super open to learning and expanding my knowledge, so recently I’ve decided to read the Holy Quran and also read an interpretation of the holy book. This has made me grow in various ways. It’s given me a deeper understanding of life. We take nothing with us to our graves and we walk this earth alone for all we take with us when we die is our good deeds. 

As a medical student, stress is very common; sleep, a social life, free time, or the feeling of being ‘alive’ amongst others are rare and it gets extremely hard at times not to feel like giving up. Praying has helped me overcome my fear of failure and given me strength and hope. It’s made me a believer that the impossible can be possible and no matter how many setbacks I’m faced with, it’s all written for me and what I meant to have, I’ll have regardless of how far away it is or out of reach it may seem.

Yes, when you’re faced with a difficult period you lose faith and you can’t help but doubt and question, but the truth is having faith in Allah has helped me face each obstacle and has gotten me through the darkest of days. Islam has taught me that good things come to those who wait, and it has helped me love life, because when you fall in love with life, life will love you back and miracles happen.


Doing And Believing

I ensure I look after myself by doing and believing in the following:

Do your day to day activities.

Go gym, live a healthy lifestyle, stay away from unhealthy foods (easily done).

Surround yourself with family and friends who will help you with your stress and worries.

Trust in Allah, know that whatever you are going through right now, it is a test. 

Trust in Allah, know that Allah is the best of all planners, whatever you are going through right now, is best for you. 

Keep on praying, keep on making dua, He the almighty hears you.


What I Have Learnt

I have started being more reflective now and instead of jumping to everything I have learnt how to say no.

I have burnt myself out in the last couple of years and now I have learnt how to slow down even if it means given up the things I like doing. 

I have started pilates class for my back pain and will soon see a chiropractor.

I have started to go sleep early and plan to only do what my body can cope with.

Thinking positive also helps.

I am more aware of not to tense my palm but to relax and take things easy and in its stride. 


Dear Me

Dear Me, during 2019 don’t forget to eat healthily, take breaks and try to not bottle things up! If you do ever feel stressed, always remember you can de-stress by sewing, knitting or going on a walk!


Be Nice To Yourself

Always remember that it’s ok to feel like you’re not ok.

You’re only human.

So take a break, have some tea, sit in silence or with something soothing on, light a candle, don’t talk, and relax.

Really and truly relax.

Take a breather then come back and do it again.


Dear Self

Remember your only able to control your own actions and thoughts.

Don’t forget yourself when looking after others always.

For you being well will mean others will always be well too.

So take the time to connect to your Creator for this is where you are guaranteed unconditional love and reward and recognition for all that you do and feel and think.

Be kind to yourself and love yourself for loving yourself is part of loving.

Allah swt as your are part of his creation.

Sincerely me ❤


Balancing The Two

Both physical and mental health has always been so important to me. It’s not just the physical we have to look after, but our mindset, values and the way we perceive ourselves.

It took me a lot of self-reflection before I found a way I could cater to both of those at the same time; which was the gym. It’s not for everyone, but it’s the way that I look after myself. After a long day of university, or work, it’s the way I can destress and put the day behind me. Especially for those of us who have busy lives, we can forget that we need an hour or two completely to ourselves – to reset.

And I think in looking after ourselves, this is so important in ensuring we are the happiest and healthiest we can be.


My Act Of Self Care

When my mind is feeling cluttered or I feel overwhelmed with things going on in my life to help destress, I watch makeup tutorials or celebrity gossip on YouTube.

Sometimes I’ll just play them in the background while I like lie on my bed other times I actively watch the videos. There’s just something about these types of videos that’ll either have me laughing or learning a new makeup technique that makes me feel calm and ready to go again.


Am I Invisible

Do I know my boundaries.

Before I let anybody cross them.

Do I introduce myself to me.

Before anybody knows me.

Do I know what happiness is.

Before sadness envelops me.


I need to know.

Who am I – the answer will endeavour me to grow.

To reach new horizons gain heights untold.

Was that really me? I ask.

As I soar into the skies.

Free as the bird, My unburden soul cries!


Self Care Is The Best Care

When I am stressed or overwhelmed, it could be easy to let myself down when in reality it is probably one of the worst things I can do. To eliminate that thought, the first way I look after myself is to be my own motivator and not my own critic. That way, it is easier to gain a positive mentality and spirit to grow. Writing down positive affirmations, thinking of uplifting words to tell myself, knowing my power to change a perspective and lifestyle, those are the things that help me see a brighter side to life no matter the circumstance. In addition, having a creative outlet is another way that helps me refocus and get back up. Since it is a passion that keeps my sanity alive, it changes my mental and emotional state in a positive way. 

To look after yourself is a sign of growth. Never underestimate the power of self care. 


A Holistic Sense Of Yourself

I use my deen and my relationship with God to be constantly in dialogue with God, not just by the formal rituals but also the voluntary acts such as dhikr (remembrance).

Health is really important to me both physical and spiritual. I also make sure to keep in good company and in my field, it is incredibly important to talk to peers, be in supervision and seek support and guidance from teachers.

I like to write, I like to express myself, I do charitable work all with the aim of providing a holistic sense of yourself as a human being.


Growing In Happiness

I look after myself by spending time with like minded, positive, compassionate and genuine people who really care about my well being.

To me looking after myself is about health, wealth and time to do the things that make me happy.

Family is a big factor and I love spending time with my family.

What makes me happy is being myself and not care what people think of me.

I love to travel and learn new things.


Stop And Focus On Yourself

When I’m stressed and struggling I try to just stop. Stop for a second and listen to myself think. I will talk to myself to discover what it is that’s stressing me out and I will pinpoint it. If it’s something in my hands I’ll make an action plan to work around solving it and removing it as a stressor. I will talk to my sister/someone close and get help from her. I’ll take her advice and try to implement it. But if it’s something that’s out of my hands like a calamity or a sadness then I turn back to Allah. After my prayers I will sit on the floor and I will pour my heart out to my Creator. I allow myself to cry and feel weak. I tell my sadness to Allah and I express how I feel. Once I’m done with that, I make Duaa for Allah to make it easier for me and to help me get over this. 

My advice to anyone going through any sort of stressful situation or a hard time, TALK to someone, get help and reconnect with your Creator. It will baffle you how light you’ll feel after you really talk to Allah. If you feel like what you’re going through is more than just a sadness and it’s affecting your everyday or you can’t deal with it alone, seek professional help, there’s nothing wrong with that because you will get much better when you seek help.


Beauty Within The Chaos

It can get difficult, dealing with our chaos especially when it begins to affect other aspects of our lives, maybe our education, work, family life, social relations and can change the way we behave with others and ourselves. But it’s important to take a step back from everything to reflect, not becoming too caught up in distracting yourself and avoiding the issues so much to the point where it drains you.

Things that help when I am going through difficult times:

Creativity. Anything that works for you, writing, art, music, etc. Poetry specifically, helps me a lot. It allows me to express my feelings in a way that isn’t so direct yet speaks volumes once written and read. I never have to think about what needs writing and I can say almost anything that I cannot express verbally. Completely lose yourself in it, set the scene, get in your ‘zone’ and let it flow.

Watch/listen to empowering videos, soak up what is being said. It’s helpful to listen to one every morning to get you through the day with a better mindset or one before you sleep. Whether it’s to help with studies, or just life. But setting a routine to your life definitely helps.

Journalling, keeping track of your feelings, thought patterns. How you are towards others and even yourself. Truly listen to your inner self and allow yourself to feel what you need to, safely. Then try to ask yourself how you will improve on or make these situations better for yourself and what action you need to take to help that – and go for it.

Observing nature such as the sunset, or sunrise, and any natural beauty takes my focus away from the negativity and allows me to delve into an ocean of love. It also allows me to spend less time on social media which is important, to focus on the real world and find beauty within my chaos. The moon is something I find captivating and can deeply relate that to my own darkness, how we can find or be our own light and shine so brightly even within our darkness. Try it, take a look around and note what you see and show your gratitude for those blessings.

Faith. Remember you are capable of getting through whatever you may be facing, because He has given you strength. Maybe when you feel overwhelmed close your eyes and place your hand on your heart, begin reciting what helps you and call out to Him by His blessed names, until you feel grounded. Or supplicate and pour your heart out to Him, any troubles, even your joys. Let this lift you. Reflect upon the life of inspirational beings of the present or past (I often try to do this with the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)). Relating their difficulties back to mine increases the love in my heart and reminds me I am in a position of being strengthened and will learn many lessons from this. It changes my perspective towards my difficulties for the better and reminds me there is mercy and blessings within it.

Get the support you need if you feel you need it, whether professional or from friends/family. Let those who care for you, help and support you. Even if it’s just to spend quality time with them for it to then take away your worry for a while. Intentions matter the most and we have to want to heal in order to actually heal.

Taking care of yourself in the other aspects of your life (Social, Physical, Family, Spiritual, Etc) during hardships allows parts of it to become easier. Continue doing what helps if it’s healthy and if not, begin practicing healthier ways. It goes a long way. Look after yourself, you got this.


Selfie Care

Good times with my 2 lovely boys; Family; Friends; Trying to be healthy; Me time; We time; Time out Having a great work life balance; Laughing; Caring; Sharing; Tea and cake; Cosy PJ’s; Theatre; Cinema; Reading; Reflecting; Lie ins; Proper coffee with cream on a Sunday morning; Radio dramas; Hot showers; Roast dinners with all the trimmings; Hearing the birds sing; Afternoon naps; Travelling to beautiful places: Walks in the beautiful outdoors; Singing; Getting involved to make a difference; Not feeling guilty for having mopey days; Cooking a meal that my boys enjoy; Beautiful gardens; Log fires; Getting those chores done; Comfy shoes; Good TV dramas… and so much more… But most important of all… Counting my blessings and being thankful to The Almighty… for all these opportunities.


Help Others To Help Yourself

Well someone like myself is usually very busy and sometimes tend to forget the important things in life like my family, friends and my general health and well-being.

When in huge distress and something not going right in my life I try do some charity work (on the ground) and support those who are in real need of help. That way it gives me a perspective of seeing my issues in another way and being grateful for what I have.

I also visit the steam and sauna once a fortnight, this is a place I find some “me time” away from my phone and the  world really. 

It’s really good to take a step back sometime or see your life from another angle and don’t dwell on things that ain’t going right.. find soloutions and try action it and if that doesn’t speak to someone.

Peace ✌️


Refresh And Recharge

Allow yourself to be your number priority. Focus on your development, focus on your education. These are things that no one can take from you. 

Appreciate your close ones; family and friends, and spend time with them. Give your mind a break. Allow yourself to refresh and recharge.


Knowing Your Priorities

I look after myself by knowing and understanding my priorities. First and foremost as a Muslim woman my priorities are to Allah, meaning that I put my duties such as salah before everything else. I then base everything else in my life in terms of whether it will bring me closer to Allah or away. This type of mindset encourages me to do my best and work my hardest. It also makes me understand that if I don’t get something i wanted after this, then it was Allah’s plan. 

I also take care of myself by making my life drama free and carefully picking who I want to have in my life. Doing this helps me keep the toxic people away and keep people in my life who want the best for me and help me achieve it. 

Overall I would say I look after myself by prioritising my relationship with Allah and trying my best to follow in the footsteps of the prophet Muhammad (SAW).


Being Kind To Myself

Looking after myself is something which has been evolving constantly for myself. For example my Life experiences, my friends /family and my professional surrounding all together account for the way I look after myself.

My education and religion has been a big part of how I see things and I have become a reflective individual who is able to dissect what has happened and be self critical as well as be kind to myself. This method has enabled me to be become more patient and more understanding into ideas from different angles.

Here are a few methods that have worked for me.

1. I start my day with daily prayers and Adkhar (daily prayers) which I feel protect me and enable me to have a positive start to the day. I always remember these three factors allah is with me, watching me and listening to me. This technique helps me with managing my inner peace which I feel helps to improve my outer world.

2. I talk to my friends and family if I feel unsure and uneasy about life or general commitments. I ponder on whether I am overwhelming myself and ask others who are close to me for their opinion. This allows me to manage and balance out my busy life. I also try to not think about issues when I am going to bed as this disrupts my sleeping pattern and causes me further stress. I make a little prayer and leave it in the hands of the almighty.

3. I try to calm myself by having a mini version of myself which is the voice that says “you can do this! Take a deep breath”. I call this my personalised cheerleader!

4. I reward myself no matter how difficult a task is by giving myself a pamper after work or a the end of the week this includes retail therapy, having a binge on chocolate or treating my self to something which I have wanted for a long time. This makes me feel good and puts a smile on my face.

5. I accept life is not always perfect and we have to overcome hurdles, work hard and be patient. This can be difficult when things seem like they are always going down hill but I try to remember the good things in my life and believe that things will always change. I have to take responsibility and motivate myself by knowing what I want out of life.

6. Be kind to yourself and others have down time with family/ friends

7. Lastly I always try to thank allah for the good and bad times as these moments enable me to better myself and take care of people around me

May Allah make it easy for us all!

take care !


Self-Care Is A Lifestyle

Within the last couple of years I have really crafted my self-care strategies. I take time out to meditate, because it clears my mind. I spend some time alone, because too much stimulation can tire me out. I journal, because it helps get my thoughts out and create new ideas. I exercise, because it energises me. I clear my external spaces, because it helps me have clarity and focus. I watch movies, because it allows me to switch off from the world. I play board games, because I enjoy the family time (and because, apparently, I’m competitive!)

A lot of these activities have stemmed from my stresses and struggles. I now use them on a very regular basis. For me, self- care is how I maintain my wellbeing. It’s the decisions I make on a daily basis to do what I need to look after me. And when I am looked after I am more available for others.


Nourishing My Heart Through Prayer

The way I look at it there is so much we do not have control over in our lives such as who our parents are, where we were born, whether people will like us or not, the security of our jobs and so on. However Allah does not hold us accountable for these things; He has given us free will and holds us accountable for how we exercise this. When we focus on those things over which we have control we feel more motivated and hopeful. It is our decision how we interact and respond to our environment, but even before this, it is our decision how we treat ourselves. Looking after yourself is about using the free will Allah has given us to make the right decisions for our own wellbeing – to nourish the body and life that Allah has entrusted us with.

I think the main way I can take care of myself is by nourishing my heart through prayer. So I pray my daily prayers and try to do dhikr and make this a regular practice. I take care of my physical wellbeing by exercising – a few times a week I go running. I also try to eat healthy. Another way I look after myself is by spending time with the people who are important to me and enjoying their company. Life can be so busy but I know it’s important not to let these relationships get neglected as they nourish me emotionally and psychologically. I used to have really poor sleeping habits, getting to sleep very late and feeling tired all day. I have made it a rule for myself to switch off from electronic devices by around 8-9pm and get to bed before 11pm. This has really improved my sleep both in quantity and quality. I feel more energised in the day and focused on my tasks. I also get to spend more quality time with my family in the evenings. People sometimes think self care sounds selfish or indulgent but actually the things I do to look after myself fuel me so I can be productive at work, at home and in my relationships with the people around me.


You Can Take A Break

Before anything else I must first acknowledge I’m not in a good mood. I’m going to tell myself “it’s ok, you can take a break” because there is no shame in that. Regardless of the reasons, big or small, recognise that whatever way I’m feeling, if I’m not in a good place, then I’m completely allowed to pause. Once I’m capable of allowing myself that forgiveness and acceptance, I can figure out what I need in that moment.

A list of things that might help calm or ease me (depending on the situation and time): taking a stroll, free-drawing, or sometimes I just need to let my frustrations out and cry, other times I need to watch something and laugh, a cup of tea and a slice of cake, occasionally some non-extravagant retail therapy can do the trick and generally just treating myself to some TLC and pampering. Don’t forget: switch off from technology. However, the two most important things are, a) giving myself permission to not be ok, and b) knowing what can make my mood feel better.

Love me xx


It Makes All The Difference

Looking after myself for me is something I’m still not great at but I feel the difference when I do. It’s not something I was taught to do growing up and it’s not something that I think sits comfortably culturally. It can still be misunderstood as self indulgent and even selfish somehow. Caring for others and being there for others was more the message and in itself it’s a good message but through years I understood that first I should take care of myself and then the rest will follow.

I take care of myself by making myself unavailable to others when I’m overloaded. I create time to be by myself to reflect (and not just watch Netflix!) I book treatments for me that make me feel happy like a pedicure. Love a good pedicure! I travel when possible as I love the feeling of feeling free and the reminder of how big the world is and for me it helps put things in perspective. I pray.


Accepting Myself

The first and foremost way of looking after myself is to accept myself as a person and acknowledging the fact that perfect is not real. Also being mindful about the present moment which can be difficult at times and challenging. This can be put into practice when praying as this is another way of taking care of myself, by taking out few minutes of your day your allowing yourself to minimize negativity and distractions.

The key is to reflect on your thoughts and actions and always looking at a way where you can better yourself. I truly believe by surrounding yourself with positive people also has a knock on effect on your wellbeing so talk to friends and family as they can be your biggest supporters. I also take out time to look after my physical health by regularly exercising which increases energy levels and helps manage stress. Therefore making sure you balance work and home life is essential as the quote goes work hard and play harder.


Step One To Contentment

Self-care has become quite the ‘in’ thing on social media with hashtags making rounds on every platform. Though flippant at first, it was only when things started catching up to me in the past year that I’ve realised the importance of self-care and, as a result, I’ve become an advocate for it. 

Methods vary for everyone but here are a few things that have worked for me:

*Worry time*
The first time I heard about this, I may have rolled my eyes and smiled at the idea of postponing your worries. Worries – no matter what – constantly block our path in life and make living moment-to-moment more difficult. The aim of establishing a designated worry time is to postpone what’s bothering you in the present moment so that you worry about it at a later time in the day. By scheduling time for this, I’ve been able to focus on the task at hand, knowing that I’ll go through my worries later. I dedicate 20 minutes every week during which I write down my worries or talk through them. It’s almost comforting knowing that a piece of paper is carrying all my worries and that I can now take them out of my brain (someone I know likes to bin their worries – or burn them!).

That initial roll of my eyes very quickly turned into a smile of relief!

*A day to yourself*
Between work, uni, family and other commitments, I see my diary fill up pretty quickly – and, before you know it, days have turned into weeks. As wonderful as it is to give a part of yourself to others – be it time, money, service – I’ve noticed that sometimes I forget to leave a part of me for myself. And if you can relate, you know you find yourself too drained to continue doing what you do in life.

To tackle this, I recently started leaving a day free in my diary for myself. And yes, it is easier said than done, but it counts even if you can squeeze half a day in to jump into bed and read a book you’ve been meaning to for a while or watch the series you’ve fallen behind on in your most fluffy PJs or – even better – do nothing. To achieve this, I end up either cancelling some less valuable tasks, postponing them to a later day if possible or waking up earlier the following day to get it done. But it’s worth it. 

Charge your battery, fill up your fuel and then hit the accelerator. It has helped set the pace for the days ahead and has decreased burn-out in the past few weeks for me.

*Value your values*
Humans are social beings and we’ve always run around in groups since the beginning of time. Why should individualisation change that today? 

I’ve been brought up in a family committed to community service and, naturally, I’ve adopted that value. It gives me joy and fulfillment to be part of a wonderful community that has only ever showed love to anyone that has come their way. The projects I’ve been involved with at mosque have varied from food drives for the homeless and charity fundraisers to health awareness and sports. 

By either organising or participating in these, I’ve felt a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. Volunteering with other people to bring your bit of goodness to the world has gone a long way for myself and the people around me.

So my question to you is: what adds value to your life? 
Do more of that.

*And finally…*
For someone to have written a self-care message, you’d think I have my life together all the time. Little do you know what a mess it often is! The methods I mentioned are my ways of managing my worries and I can’t say I religiously stick to them all the time. It may work differently for you but I’d encourage you to consciously give yourself some ‘me time’ because nothing works unless you do.

At the end of the day, knowing that I’ve done whatever I possibly could have to manage my worries/solve a problem/fulfill my responsibilities, relief comes when I leave it in the hands of God. He’ll sort me out; He always does.

God bless.


Courage And Tough Love

I think looking after yourself requires a lot of courage. Whilst sometimes looking after myself looks like taking a bubble bath or reading books like ‘The Compassionate Mind’ by Paul Gilbert or going on a walk or taking myself out somewhere I love – often looking after myself is the total opposite of an Insta opportunity. It’s tough love; forcing yourself to do that piece of work you’ve been procrastinating on because you know that the longer you put it off the more anxious you’ll become, it’s throwing yourself into an opportunity that terrifies you and remembering that Allah SWT is protecting you and will help you if it’s truly good for you and you have faith, it’s taking a step back from your worldly life when you realise you haven’t been connecting with your faith as much as you feel you should.

You have to look at where you are, think “How does my heart feel right now?”, “Where do I want to be?”, “Which excuses am I making as to why I’m not there yet?” and “What do I need to heal?”. It means analysing what your main focus is right now and trying to shift it if you recognise your current focus isn’t healthy or constructive. Looking after myself means being gentle with myself, it means trying to dismantle emotions which don’t push me forward but being brutally honest. If my life is a conversation with God, what am I saying with my actions and what am I saying with my words?

The more beautiful this conversation is the happier I am, the softer my heart, and the stronger and more confident I feel. When I’m looking after myself well it doesn’t look interesting to other people, it’s not the time of my life that I post a lot of pictures on social media because my life would look boring to those on the outside. Being organised, showing true gratitude for the opportunities I have by working hard, making the most of my blessings, focusing on improving khushoo (humble focus) in prayer, reading Qur’an and deepening my understanding of Islam, pursuing my interests and strengthening my relationships with others, spending quality time with family and the friends I love, really connecting, are all part of really looking after myself and it’s during those times I feel I have more to give others as well.


Self Care Is Obligatory

Self care is a must. In times of hardship, trials and tribulations we can neglect ourselves. 

1) ASK yourself WHY your are feeling stress today.

2) Really LISTEN to what your thoughts are telling you. Are thoughts racing? Are your criticising yourself? Don’t forget to celebrate and appreciate your successes however small they may seem!

3) Don’t forget to NOTICE what your body is telling you. Are you tense, agitated? If so, where does this sit in your body? Your neck and shoulders? Your stomach? Headaches?

4) STOP, pause and breathe…. inhale positivity and exhale stress. 

5) CONTINUE to take time out of your busy schedule to practise yoga, healthy eating and exercise.

Remember the first thought of the day should be gratitude for the blessings Allah swt has bestowed upon us. Be thankful for life and that we have another chance. Live in the here and now and life will become easier. 

Embrace and send love! Allah swt is love.


Be Fair To Yourself

In recent times I’ve learnt when I’m feeling more or less resilient. Remember this fluctuates depending on workload, stress and use of social media.

Make time for Salah. It’s that calm in the storm of your day. Speak to Allah, let Him know your woes, struggles and weaknesses. Have a cry! Just remember to let it out in some way. 

Be kind to yourself. You are good enough. You have a good heart with good intentions. Self critical talk is unfair and biased, remember that.

Allah chose you to be guided to Islam. Alhamdulillah.


Take Your Time

I know life gets hard some days. You feel it’s not worth trying. You feel the day is never going to end and your stuck in this moment forever. Everywhere you look is hopeless, the people around you have no time for you or think they know better.

How did I get out of this state?

Take your time.

I need rest. My body, mind (especially reoccurring thoughts) all need to rest now. My spirit needs to be nourished with praying, Dhikr and taking care of the ones I love. Eventually I will get out of this but today I need time to relax in order to have ‘some’ strength.

Don’t worry – Allah SWT is watching, listening and he is with me always. So just sleep it off, you’ll feel better after some sleep. When you wake up have some food, simple food. Have a bath, relax. Today is about resting and tomorrow, when it comes Insha’Allah, put your forehead on the ground and start the day with Bismillah.

Take your time.


Faith Is The Only Way Forward

I think that the best way to look after yourself is by having faith in yourself and in God. Just by merely saying you have faith in yourself and God, does not mean you practice the act of having faith in yourself and in God. 

If you constantly remind yourself that God will not burden you more than what you can bear, it will only emphasise to you how strong you really are. It will give you freedom from all the ‘why me’s?’ and ‘if only’s’ and how come someone else doesn’t have the same problems you do. By having faith, you ignore the reasoning behind trivial and not so trivial problems and end up dealing with things as they come, coming out stronger than ever. 

If you let your mind wander and think too much about any issues you may have, it will only drag you into a deeper hole of depression, anxiety and sadness. Instead, if you deal with issues using an ‘it is what it is’ mentality and by holding your faith in God and in your own capabilities, you’ll find that you will be feeling more positive and strong enough to deal with anything that comes your way, almost invincible. 

You need to stop thinking you’re in control of every single thing that happens in your life. Once you establish that, you’ll stop stressing over such matters and will have faith in God’s ways. This way you are not wasting your energy and thoughts on things that you may or may not have control over and instead you are using this energy to better yourself as a human being and Muslim. 

Take each day as it comes, stay positive and have belief that God truly knows best!


Always Surround Yourself With Positivity

I’m sure many of you reading this have been a student at some point in your life so you may or may not relate to this. Currently, I’m studying Medicine and I must admit that it can sometimes become very draining since it requires so much time and effort. I end up becoming so busy and say no to outings with friends or family gatherings, especially when exams are near.

What many of us do not realise is that isolation can happen so easily at times like this but it does more harm than good. This is why I try my hardest to prevent myself from falling into this trap. Since I have quite a large extended family, I literally take any chance I have to go to my nan’s house and relax.

Just a few days ago, my aunt told me how everyone expected me to just disappear into the books once I started university but she’s happy that I’m doing quite the opposite. Hearing my aunt say this actually made me smile because deep down I thought I would end up disappearing too and have no social life. My biggest lesson and tip to myself is to avoid spending my breaks with just me and my phone. Instead, I try replace some of these breaks with amazing people who help me stay sane.

All the catch ups with my family and friends where I’d laugh to tears is what keeps me in a positive and healthy state. No matter how huge of a workload I think I have, it will never be too big to stop me from having a break and spending time with those who make me smile and happy. It’s hard to be productive if you’ve exhausted yourself so when things get tough, take a break, spend time around positive people and ALWAYS prioritise looking after yourself!! ?✨


Selfish Or Selfless?

This topic is one which I constantly battle with everyday, and rightly so as we humans are warped in our own cocoons as the demands of everyday life dominate the one thing which is paramount to our mental health. 

Funnily enough, I recently had a conversation about this with a dear relative of mine, and during the conversation, she pointed out that she has never till this day witnessed me looking after myself, or giving myself any attention. As I write this, it may seem hypocritical of me to provide a description of how I look after myself especially as it is infrequent. However, for the times that I do, it is nothing fancy nor expensive. My ‘pampering’ sessions are in threefold: a nice bath, a healthy meal (mostly chicken with brown rice and a huge side of salad) and most importantly spending time with family. My sessions satisfy each aspect which is necessary to keep me balanced and regulated; I take care of my body, health and mind. If I had to list them in terms of importance, number one will have to be spending time with family as this nourishes my mind, fills me with happiness and contentment and keeps me emotionally upbeat. Acknowledging that I always have someone to speak to back at home is what has kept me sane and optimistic at the worst of times. 

I understand for some, family is a grey area as they may not be as fortunate to have such a huge support base, but as we are social beings there is always someone within our social groups whom we consider as family, whether that be a friend, neighbour, colleague, prayer buddy or a partner. I emphasise this point massively because it is the number one factor that has kept me going through times of stress, struggles and hardship, and what has gotten me to where I currently stand. Never underestimate the power of familial/close relational support!

I will admit, however, my perception of self-care is a daily conflict. I often perceive it to be a form of selfishness, I feel as though giving myself the time and attention it deserves to be selfish and self-serving as it strays away from possibly helping others who deserve a greater level of care than I do (I currently work personally with clients who have endured a lifetime of stress and abuse resulting in mental health issues such as schizophrenia (psychosis), depression, anxiety and substance abuse behaviours). Yet, the interesting thing is, whilst they have endured a life filled with physical, emotional and mental abuse the emphasis they put on looking after yourself is phenomenal. The number of times that topic has embedded into our conversations is endless. They realise at this point that being happy, free and healthy is what matters most because it gives them the ability to reach their potential, reduce the negative effects of stress and create a better version of themselves, a version which their families are more willing to accept and enjoy because they finally are giving themselves some importance!!

Further, looking after oneself shouldn’t have to be done after months of hard work and stress, but incrementally. As a postgraduate student, my timetable may be relatively ’empty’ but the work expected from me is extremely demanding, therefore many times I find myself sat in the same place staring at the same screen for hours on end. How I tend to incorporate self-care during these times is simply by taking breaks, and during them, I tend to just get out of my room or the room I’m studying in and immerse myself within a social and busy environment and just evoke some form of interaction as a way to deplete my stress. I am also a huge gym fanatic, I absolutely love the gym and make frequent visits (some may argue that it is my second home 🙂 ). Through exercising, I can release any angst, stress or even anger in a more cathartic manner. I find that I am able to work more effectively, communicate with people better and acknowledge the wonders I am doing for my body and mind physiologically, physically and psychologically. Again, I understand that some may not have the time nor the financial means to go to the gym as often, but as always there are substitutes to this problem. Home workouts and making small routine changes to your travel! Encouraging yourself to walk I find is THE best self-care. Whilst walking I gather my thoughts, inhale the fresh air and just invest in myself whether that be for 15, 30 minutes or an hour. Not only is it good for me physically, but it also enlightens my mind and prepares me for what lies ahead. 

I think the one thing both me and my fellow readers can take from this is that is it OKAY to indulge in a little ‘me’ time. Looking after ourselves unlocks our potential to also help others, to offer the best aspects of ourselves to the world. I think we all need to be a little more forgiving of ourselves when it comes to spoiling oneself from time-to-time because it is remarkable how very few actually take time to just concentrate on the self – there are models that have theorised the importance of the self, and there are many sublevels to this concept, I encourage you guys to look it up :).  ‘Maslow’s hierarchical model of needs’ is a good starting point!

This introspective piece is a reminder for me first and foremost. 

I hope this was an enjoyable piece to ponder upon, and most importantly a HELPFUL piece.

Take care (excuse the pun 😉 )


Investing In Myself

I know I am looking after myself when I find that weekly I am able to invest some of my time in me, rather than revolving my life around the needs of a 9-5 job, the demands my employer or just purely letting life run away with me. I aim to do this through simple things like planning ahead to ensure future me isn’t stressed, to finding times to connect to my faith so I feel spiritually fulfilled or doing basic things to ensure a better wellbeing i.e. regular workouts-maintaining physical health, healthy eating-feeling good.

If I’m able to invest a bit of time in bettering my future, this also helps a great deal, this varies from finding exciting new opportunities to things like personal development and personal therapy. When I have a bit more spare ‘me time’ I like to have a few hours with no responsibility other than to take care of myself for a few hours, I get to do great things when I feel no sense of rushed time, so these little opportunities are quite rare but when I do give myself them, they are a goldmine!

This leisurely time I give myself can range from starting an excellent book, going to the salon or helping a friend out, to finding time to talk to individuals who are homeless rather than just giving them food/money or walking past them – these are all little nuggets of selfishness that remind me of what’s important to me in life, not money, not success, not even an easy life – but human connection. 

Keep taking care of yourself and strive to make human connections and connections amongst humanity. #lookafteryourself



When I start to feel overwhelmed by tasks and responsibilities, I remind myself to pause. I ignore that voice in my head telling me that I need to keep getting things done, to keep being a productive member of society. I take a self-compassionate approach.

I can only be productive when I am looking after myself, taking breaks, using my days off as actual days off. When I’m feeling tired, my self-care is netflix and a takeaway. When I’m in a better place, my self-care is gym, a bath, prayer and calligraphy. And all are OK.

True self-care is reminding myself that it’s ok, and doing it guilt-free. Because, as Audre Lorde once said, “self-care is not self-indulgent, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare”.


It’s OK

I have had to learn the hard way that looking after yourself  is not selfish. It is the complete opposite. Looking after yourself, be it, small forms of self care, making sure you read a book at the end of the day or taking the time to have lunch, enables you to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be. It makes you more pleasant to be around, allows you to focus and be there for those around you, yet looking after yourself is the first we neglect. We are conditioned to do so. 

The hardest thing I had to learn is admitting that sometimes I do need to take a step back to relax and recharge. When my anxiety levels rise, I know the best thing for me to do is to take a step back, rather than carrying on with tasks when my head is not in the game.


A Shift In Perspective

“There is nothing I can’t do if I put my mind to it.”

A statement that I have been holding onto for just over 10 years. A statement that I fall back on when I feel moments of stress, struggles, and setbacks are beginning to slowly creep up on me. It’s an indicator to assess how my current situation is affecting me and how in control I feel.

I like to always stay one step ahead of myself. Where is this problem taking me? How much time is this going to require from me, and most importantly, energy? Am I alone in dealing with this problem? These types of questions really help me assess whether I will potentially fall into stressful times so that I can mentally and emotionally prepare myself for it.

If I am about to head into times of stress, I prepare my “after party” session. Alone time to recharge myself. That could be through a book, playing a story based game or even learning something new about this world. It’s a session to dive into a world, real or not, and get lost with the characters, the environment and it’s plot. Once I have set myself up for what I am going to do, I move onto prepping myself up – like a coach giving some last minute advice to his players.

1. Making du’a to Allah SWT to help me in this problem – to keep me patient and hopeful.

2. Remind myself that this hardship is something Allah is putting me under, so that I can become a better version of myself.

3. To take a step back and see the problem in its entirety – a big picture of what I am about to go into and how I envision myself at the end. Identify my first step.

4. Find someone who understands the stressful situation, to bounce off of.

5. Make time and make it important.

6. Plan quick escapes during the period of stress. I like watching comedy shorts on YouTube to make myself laugh and to relax.

7. Lastly, say bismillah and dive in. I trust Allah to have my back as long as I remember Him.

Finally, a reminder to myself – no matter how big of a problem I am facing, so long as I can shift my focus towards Allah SWT for His help, to aid me in my problem, and to ultimately wanting to please Him – there is nothing I can’t do if I put my mind to it. All it takes is a shift in perspective to tackle my stress, struggles and setbacks.


Allah SWT Loves Us

Bismillah, Allah swt loves me! So I owe it to myself to take care of me. I’m the Founder of MuslimMentalAid which supports Sisters who are challenged by mental health issues, in order to do that I need to practice what I preach! I also have a mental illness so I totally understand the challenges HOWEVER I also know that Allah swt is with me every step of the way! Alhamdulillah.

So how do I take care of myself?

Healthy diet, regular exercise and necessary medications for my physical wellbeing. Equally important is my Spiritual well-being so I pray Salah, recite Dhikr (which is an excellent form of meditation!) and listen to Nasheeds which I absolutely LOVE because I get to sing along! And singing makes me joyful so I praise my Creator whilst deriving joy too! Definitely a positive! 

I also write poetry which I see as a gift from Allah swt, which is VERY therapeutic at the same time allowing me to be in touch with my emotions.
Finally I love fighting for Human Rights, not only does it empower others, it also empowers me Alhamdulillah!!!!!

Social Media has been a Godsend as it allows me to engage with other likeminded people, which is very good for a healthy mindset.

My family and friends are my support network Alhamdulillah and I’m GRATEFUL to Allah swt for them. I end by saying I know You love me Allah, I love You Allah swt very much, and I belong to You!


Invest In Your Prayer

Just like your body has rights, nourish your soul and feel your prayer.

Experience it, don’t ‘read’ it 🙂


Finding Pockets Of Peace

Juggling the multiple roles that we do can often be rewarding and motivating, but it can also bring with it stress and exhaustion. I am reminded of the hadith of our Prophet SAW who said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” While this can serve to remind me to use my resources to help others, it also instils in me the importance of taking care of my own physical and mental health. After all, as the saying goes, you cannot fill someone’s cup if yours is empty. 

Every morning, I make myself a fresh cup of tea and spend a few minutes in my sitting room, which overlooks my garden. The morning sun is energising, and the scenic view of trees, hills and the sky is not only calming, but reminds me I am part of a larger cosmos, a piece of history and a part of the future, and that my being here is an incredible privilege to be able to leave a mark on the beautiful world Allah has created. This fills me with a sense of purpose and energy. I do some stretches, which is incredible for giving you a rush of endorphins, which freshens my mind and allows me to start my day with a spring in my step. 

As a full time mother, wife, daughter, friend, and worker, my day gets filled pretty quickly with endless to do lists, meetings, tasks, more meetings, and all the things in between: housework, homework, logistics, forms, and the emotional availability needed for all those things. I realise it’s important to recognise signs of fatigue during the day so I try to find pockets of calm where I can step back for a few moments and assess how I’m feeling. Self talk with honesty is crucial: I’m angry – what triggered me just now? I’m frustrated – what can I do about it? This doesn’t sit right – take a deep breath and identify where that feeling is coming from. This allows me to verbalise and understand my reactions and be able to deal with them without anything ballooning at the end of the day. I find moments of pleasure – getting off a few stops early gives me a walk down the canal – that daily dose of fresh air and nature can help set the tone for the day. Nipping out to fuel with an nutritious meal rather than mindlessly cramming a sandwich at my desk gives that extra space as well as quick physical activity to reenergise after spending a day on a chair in conversations. Keeping an essential oil burner gives bursts of lavender filling my senses with calmness and tranquillity.  Finding priorities is important – the laundry needs folding, but relaxing in bed reading a book with the kids is what builds memories. Housework is constant, but memories are for life. Smiling without abandon – smiling not only makes you actually feel happy, but a warm smile back while crossing the street builds a human connection that transcends all barriers. I surround myself with people who build me up, the people you can entertain in your jammies and who make you laugh. And it’s okay to say no when you need some time out. As I get older, I value prayer more and more – I try to build my day around prayer, like a thirsty traveller in need of water. Touching my forehead to a warm, soft floor, praying to my Lord, reminds me to stop, step back, the world will go on, and that everything around me and everything I do is for Him, and Him alone. This gives me the change to re-prioritise. 

For me, self care is about kindness to myself, as a servant of Al-Rahman, the Merciful, who created me. The self care allows me to take care of the soul that He created so I can be kind to others, to replenish my resources when they get empty, and to be compassionate when I make a mistake.



I sometimes find looking after myself very difficult to prioritise amongst the responsibilities as a professional, wife, mother and daughter.

Sometimes when things get too much my body forces me to rest and I may get ill. When this happens I know it’s time to slow down, and I make sure that I take time off to recuperate properly, taking lots of rest, switching my phone off, hibernating and recharging.

I’m slowly getting better at recognising when things are starting to get too much before crashing now, through being more mindful, and I will start to slow down before becoming unwell.

Currently I’m reading lots of great books about living the best version of yourself, and this has been a great way for me to self-reflect and focus on myself.

I also love going for long walks, being around trees, and being in water whether that’s in a bath, swimming pool or the sea!


A Release

This world is an aggressive and scary place to be in – sometimes it’s hard to actually stop and think about how we feel because everywhere we turn, someone has it out for us. We may not even know them, but it sucks that stereotypes play a larger role in the perception of a personality than actually getting to know them.

So for me, it’s all about how I can release that emotion. Whether it be anger or sadness, you learn different ways of removing those vibes keeping you down. It sounds so generic, but talking to someone is the greatest thing you can do to look after yourself.  For me, the act of actually saying how you feel takes a large weight of my shoulders and you begin to really understand why you feel the way you do. 

Also, dancing around your room helps, just make sure your neighbours aren’t looking in through the windows…. eek!


Road To Recovery

My road to recovery was not easy. I have always been a resilient person throughout my life as I have bounced back from difficult times on my feet ready for the next challenge. But there are a number of ways I look after myself. Number one being using a gratitude journal. Since journaling it has changed my life! I write down things I am thankful for in the day and it has really helped me reflect back on the good days I have had! 

I also like to draw and paint landscapes and portraits. Painting helps me to relax and be mindful of the present. And I feel super proud when I have accomplished something after a few hours.  I also like to spend time with my family and friends because surrounding yourself with positive people is crucial to looking after your wellbeing. I also practice self care for example taking a long bath after a long day at work or reading an interesting book.

I think it’s important to remember that there is more that connects us as human beings than what separates us, so if we all share ways we look after ourselves we will realise we do a lot of things in common which will make us feel a whole lot better!


Hello You

I pray 5 times a day and try to think of those less fortunate than me. I go gym, currently on the waiting list for an ACL repair (will take better care of myself from here on out) I spend time with those around me, my family, friends, colleagues, having good people around you helps with letting steam off, having a good laugh and working together to achieve.

I am semi involved in local politics and raise awareness of issues caused by Tower Hamlets Labour Party and those in power, responsible for causing suffering and failings on my neighbours and my community. I love to read, my favourite is wikipedia, the news, subtitles on the telly, anything that I can throw myself into to gain knowledge, if you have knowledge you can make informed choices.

I am an eternal optimist and tend to take time out and reflect if things get a bit too much. I should maybe ask for help if I need it, I’ll do that from now. I love my parents and there always there for me, they give me confidence and belief and having a stable family life definitely helps me look after myself as I know my parents will never let me go without.

I do get upset when I see suffering and It does play on my mind so I do what I can in my capacity, even if it is letting it be known it’s not on or else it’ll weigh on my conscience. It’s good to let things out. I love music, will listen to anything as long as the lyrics make sense. I love cups of tea, I love working, it gives me purpose. I look after myself by looking after others, it keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I get a haircut every couple weeks and my skin care routine is just baby lotion and vaseline. I tend to go to the barbers just for a chat, talk about football and “boys” talk. I have attempted to cut down on ciggarettes, I will try quit this Ramadhan, God Willing. I have a great support network and i’m thankful I have people I can rely on.

My football team Arsenal do tend to let me down but I have learnt that sometimes it’s the taking part that counts. I could maybe eat healthier? But I’m allergic to citrus but I do drink water only majority of the time. I cut people off clean if they add no value to my life, time is precious.


Supporting Myself

Whilst I may be a comfort to those who confide in me about their mental health or personal problems, I happily give hours/days/months to them and help them get out of the dark place that they’re in, I realised that I needed to show that same support to myself.

In the past, whenever I used to feel down, I didn’t show myself the support and positivity that I would show others, I hated myself. I’m not the only one who can relate to this either, majority of the people who I know are in the same boat. Let’s learn to love ourselves in 2019.

How can we do this?

1. Have a purpose. When you wake up, do you just take each day as it comes, or do you know what you need to do each day? You will accept and love yourself more and whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose.

What is the purpose of our life? “To submit to Allah and worship him and to believe in the messenger of Allah, and follow his way”. This offers a person many aims. The Prophet (saw) was a leader, an activist, a husband, a father, a great politician, a humanitarian, a man who had great (albeit natural) strength. My point is, if we wish to follow The Prophet and his sunnah, this alone offers enough physical, mental and spiritual direction for somebody to achieve great levels of self love and also to live a life full of meaning.

2. Forgive yourself for mistakes/sins made in the past. Don’t ever let your mistakes of the past live in your mind rent free. One of the steps of repentance is to believe in Allah’s mercy!

3. Create a social environment that empowers you, rather than having a toxic circle. The difference between friends who fill you up with positivity and negativity is huge.


Salah A Cornerstone Of Self Care

I would like to begin this message regarding self-care with a narration from the Prophet (SAW) and two of his Companions (May Allah SWT be pleased with them all). In the story there are lessons for us and the importance of self-care in every Muslim’s life, how to develop a work-life-balance and learn the practice of fulfilling rights/obligations, including those pertaining to ourselves:

Here Salman Al-Farisi (RA), teaches Abu Ad-Darda’ and all of us the importance of looking after oneself even when a person is engaged in a worthy and noble act such as worship. 

Narrated by Abu Juhaifa (RA): The Prophet (SAW) made a bond of brotherhood between Salman Al-Farisi (RA) and Abu Ad-Darda (RA)’. Salman (RA) paid a visit to Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) and found Um Ad-Darda’ (RA) dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state. She replied, “Your brother Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) is not interested in (the luxuries of) this world.”

In the meantime Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) came and prepared a meal for Salman (RA). Salman (RA) requested Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) to eat (with him), but Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) said, “I am fasting.” Salman (RA) said, “I am not going to eat unless you eat”.

So, Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) ate (with Salman). When it was night and (a part of the night passed), Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) got up (to offer the night prayer), but Salman (RA) told him to sleep and Abu Ad-Darda’ (raa) slept.

After sometime Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA) again got up but Salman (RA) told him to sleep. When it was the last hours of the night, Salman (RA) told him to get up then, and both of them offered the prayer.

Salman (RA) told Abu Ad-Darda’ (RA), “Your Lord has a right upon you, your soul has a right upon you, and your family has a right upon you; so you should give the rights of all those who have a right upon you.”

Abu Ad-Darda'(RA) came to the Prophet (SAW) and narrated the whole story. The Prophet (SAW) said, “Salman (RA) has spoken the truth.”

Fasting – Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 31, Number 189

”The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.” [Qur’an 33: 21]

Our daily habits and routines make a huge difference whether we practice self-care, or not. And one of the challenges each one of us faces is choosing the habits and routines that work for us and that over a lifetime, help us live a meaningful and impactful life. After all, each one of us wants to achieve success in life, and the hereafter InShaAllah. 

The Prophet (SAW) who is our example and his companions (RA) demonstrated to us how to develop healthy and balanced habits including practising steps that contribute to make us be the best we can in all matters relating to deen or dunya. These habits will enable us to live a productive, meaningful and fulfilled life.

In my daily life, I strive to achieve time for myself especially as I have a busy and demanding schedule.

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (Quran: 2-153).  

What helps me in my daily life is seeking comfort, peace and tranquillity in my focus on the five daily prayers which I call my grounding and revitalising station throughout the day. This self-care focus is centred in the five daily prayers and I find that daily prayers gives me an opportunity to connect with Allah (SWT), have a sense of perspective on what really matters and a great opportunity to ask Allah (SWT) to assist me and help me to achieve my purpose in life.

The Prophet (SAW) said that the “coolness of my eyes was made in the prayer“. The coolness of someone’s eyes (Quratu Ain) in Arabic is the greatest expression for what you love the most. That’s because when we pray, we meet with our Lord, we speak to Him and enjoy being constantly connected to Him. The closer the prayer is to your heart, the higher your love is for Allah (SWT). Wouldn’t you like the prayer to be the coolness of your eyes too? It can be!

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] (Quran: 2-45).

During your prayer, Surah Al-Fatihah, is a conversation between you and Allah (SWT).

Be present. Focus your mind on each verse and bring your awareness to the dialogue with Allah (SWT) in the form of the recitation. Concentrate on each word to be fully present in your prayers.

Imam Muslim (Rahimahullah) has recorded this narration. The Hadith is therefore authentic and the full narration is as follows:

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu’anhu) says: I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say, ‘Allah Ta’ala said’:

“I have divided Salah [Surah Fatihah] between myself and between my servant in two halves and my servant shall have what he asks for.

So when a person says: ‘Al Hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin’ (All praise belongs to Allah, the Rabb of the universe), Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Hamidani ‘abdi’ (My Servant has praised me).

When he says: ‘Ar Rahmanir Rahim’ (The Most Compassionate the Most Merciful) Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Athna ‘alayya ‘abdi’ (My servant has extolled me)

When he says: ‘Maliki Yawmid Din’ (The Master of the Day of Judgement) Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Majjadani ‘abdi’ (My servant has glorified me)

When he says: ‘Iyyaka Na’budu Wa Iyyaka Nasta’in’ (You Alone do we worship and You Alone do we ask for help) Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Hadha bayni wa bayna ‘abdi wa li ‘abdi ma sa-ala’ (This is between me and my slave and my servant will have what he asks for)

When he says: ‘Ihdinas Siratal Mustaqim. Siratal Ladhina An ‘Amta ‘Alayhim Ghayril Maghdubi ‘Alayhim Wa Lad- Dallin’ (Guide us to the straight path. The path of those whom You have favored and not the path of those with whom You are angry nor the path of those who have gone astray) Allah Ta’ala says, ‘Hadha li ‘abdi wa li ‘abdi ma sa-ala’ (This is for my servant and my servant shall have what he asks for)

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 395)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.


Pay Attention Inwards

I try as much as possible to take the time out to do what makes me feel good! Long walks, yoga and reciting dhikr helps to refill my joy tank. 

And I can never go wrong with gratitude journaling or curling in bed with a good book that keeps me on the edge of my seat.


Family And Friends

In this day and age it often feels like there is a looming deadline for our personal success. As a result, we push ourselves to work to extremes in order to meet our self imposed ideas of what success is. As a Muslim, I understand that monetary success or career successes are all peripheral to the real success one can achieve, which is being content.

Islam places friends, and especially family in high regard and teaches Muslims to ensure those ties remain strong throughout one’s life. Knowing this, I try to look after my well-being by balancing my career goals with my personal life. I believe spending time with friends and family is not only cathartic but helps me to refocus and re-centre myself when I feel like I’m drowning in my own expectations.

It’s important to remind yourself of why you’re working so hard in the first place, often it’s for those we love. Remembering my motivations gives me strength to continue.

Whilst it may seem overly simplistic or even cliche, like Occam’s razor suggests, it’s often the simplest solutions that are the most effective ones.


Letter To My Past Self

Your going through a tough time, but do not neglect yourself. Its great to be ambitious but don’t forget that a healthier and happier you will make you more capable of achieving your goals. I say this because a lot of the time in the past, my former self felt like taking time out and focusing on my health, would take away from trying to achieve her goals. 

Now, I know that’s not true as there is no  wealth without health and I fully understand the depth and truth in these words now. You will achieve more if you are healthy and sound in mind and neglecting yourself in the pursuit of goals, is foolish but it’s okay, you know now, so forgive and be gentle with yourself. 

Readers may be perplexed as to why my former self felt this was justified and warranted, when I can fully look back and say this was due to the unsummountable amount of stigma I experienced in trying to seek help and for people to acknowledge that I had a mental health problem. It’s took its toll and adopted maladaptive coping mechanisms, by over indulging in work and many others. 

Now I can fully say that I’m in a better place and this could not have happened due to a turn of events in my life and as a consequence, I’ve learnt to take better care of myself and I do this by:

1.Turning  to Allah (swt) and establish my five daily prayers and cultivate a relationship with him – this was a major turning point for me in my life and in terms of recovery. 
2. Taking time out for myself when needed and regularly – to be fully present in life and enjoy it in all its glory.  
3.  Slowing down, speed is futile without direction.
4. Being mindful of your emotions and thoughts and responding accordingly (skills I learnt through trial & error and therapy)
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help 
6. Being patient with yourself in terms of recovery and in people understanding. 
7. Be thankful – not just in certain moments but adopt this as a lifestyle, as being grateful will boost your mood and forever keep you happy (if adopted as a lifestyle though).

The list is endless but I hope I have emphasised and have been able to communicate that self care is essential whether you have mental health or not; it is necessary to live a happy and healthy life. Dreams don’t work unless you do – reminder to myself first. 

I hope this has been beneficial for you and I leave you in peace.


When The Mind Hurts

For me looking after myself means needing to disengage from worldly matters as much as is possible, taking time out to just breathe, to feel the earth, be in nature, walk and pray on grass to feel the earth, to play with sand, soil and plant things – watch them grow.

Touch and hug trees – yes that’s right! Leaning on a solid tree for support has helped me feel grounded especially with a troublesome back. If I feel particularly overwhelmed I like to put my head on the floor and talk to Allah for as long as I need or feels right.

Sometimes after lots of sensory overwhelm I need to stand in the shower and feel the healing effects of water wash over me and turn off false lights and using candles or salt lamps really helps.

I like using essential oils – they are immediately sensory and effective. I like to ensure I am having the right nutrients and supplements to support my system during times of stress.

I find routine – prayers, sleep and eating patterns to be important every day not just in stressful times – ensuring these are in place mean that even when things get hard some solid structure and foundation and regularity is there despite what may feel like chaos internally or externally. This is essential for grounding.

I love being in the company/presence of a select few dear ones, not as much talking as ‘being’. I also question the need to be a particular way, systems, expectations from society, culture etc and even feelings quite a lot so on one level it can be good – I may challenge a particular negative feeling or assumption but on another it’s too much noise and thinking in my mind as I can get deeply philosophical, academic and psychoanalytic about it so it takes some work!

The best thing is the basics, being in nature, movement for me – that’s a few stretches, yoga, walking in the park and cycling when I can, being with loved ones, prayer, nutrition and working on healing whatever that might be in that moment for me.

Reminding myself that this too shall pass just like every other difficult moment, riding the waves out now knowing based on experience it will pass however stormy and learning to trust my own experience and reminding myself to value the small steps and how far I have come are really important. 


One Moment At A Time

I’ve been quite a bit of a busy bee over the last 2 years Alhamdulillah. I’m a divorcee with no kids in my mid-30s but I yearn to now make my dreams become a reality, to make it tangible. 

I work full-time, Alhamdulillah. I’ve also set up a not-for-profit organisation on the side, Alhamdulillah. And I’m living my dream interviewing well-known people on a television channel, Alhamdulillah. 

I particularly focus on key aspects to help me keep positive and acknowledge the obstacles in my path.


To me, this the most important component. Being thankful and grateful for the good and the trials. So by saying Alhamdulillah and Subhan’Allah after any moment/situation gives me that balance between daily life activities and maintaining my connection to Allah. For example: I have a deadline to meet at work and I can feel my stress levels increasing so I make dhikr (Astaghfurlillah / Alhamdulillah).  Praying especially on time has a great impact on me mentally and physically. I plan moments around my prayers, or at least think ahead about where and when you can pray somewhere. This keeps my hold to Allah and centres me. To me, taking that 2-5 mins breather from my hectic schedule, becomes an act of reflection, conversing and recharging. Which I so badly need. Time will not be missed because I’m talking to the One who made time. 


Exercise. Walk. Jog. Climb the stairs. Be active.  True story: Recently I’ve been doing 2-3 mins spurts of very simple exercises (squatting / lunges / sprinting on the spot) throughout the day, and I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy levels and because if it, when I eat, I don’t feel so bloated either and my attitude to the task is welcoming. I also take vitamins too. I suffer from low iron and since taking the tablets for it, alongside other vital vitamins, I’ve noticed that I’m not feeling fatigue or so lazy. Exercise = happy hormones.


Lately I’ve been thinking about the portions of food I eat in one sitting. It used to be ridiculous before – “the eyes are bigger than the stomach” – but now I’m very aware of how easily my tummy expands, so I reduced my portion size by a fraction and not eat until I get completely full. It’s made a huge difference to how I get on with the rest of the day and when I feel peckish in between meals, I eat some nuts in my drawer at work. (And yes I have naughty moments of where I eat chocolate) BUT it’s ok, I don’t go overboard with the “treats” and if I feel seriously sugar deprived I have dark chocolate. Eat within reason. Must have breakfast. (And a cuppa tea)


Spending money on people, like a simple piece of item that I know would make someone smile, or even spending on my well-being is a game changer. Giving money to charity, especially when it’s small and/or in secret, is the most rewarding. And remember “charity” has a broad meaning and covers many aspects of life so read up more about the meaning of charity. True story: one day I had an extremely stressful day at work and at the end of the day when I went to my car, I found that my colleague left me my favourite bar of chocolate tucked under the car wipers! That cheered me up so much (luckily for me no one else snatched it!). Such a simple act and a special memory that happened over 7 years ago, I still cherish now. I don’t need to break the bank to give to charity. 

Giving people benefit of the doubt:

There may be occasions where I need to give space to people to explain themselves and on my part don’t assume their thoughts and intentions. Either talk it out with them OR learn from it and move on. 

Don’t keep hold of the negative stuff:

It eats me alive. It truly is the case of seeing things in a positive way because living it negatively is tiring, doesn’t get me anywhere, effects my body and puts others down. When I become negative, I have to assess the moment. I ask myself questions – Is it worth wrecking my brain over it? Can I fix it? Is there a simple explanation? Breathe! I can’t change what’s happened but I can change how I handle it. Being positive and grateful are key ingredients to a live a life.

I have to admit too, it’s not always easy and I’m not always strong but I know I have my guidance above to keep me on track. 

I can’t expect to always start my new ‘thing’ on a Monday or even when that person changes. I either just do it or do it at the right time. 

I find it comforting knowing there’s always a reset button. The knowledge that I can make that change whenever I want, at whatever time, on whatever day – allows me to go easy on myself and live a healthy life.


My Okay

When I think about what keeps me sane, I’d say it includes being pre-emptive about some of the things I know cause emotional dysregulation for me. This allows me to then equally have a bank of experiences and means to know what will help.

Some of the common ways I support myself to emotionally regulate include doing exercise, drinking enough water and eating well. Doing yoga also massively helps me. Where it’s not possible or appropriate to introduce these things during a period of heightened stress, it’s more about thinking about my wellness and what contributes to this more consistently. 

Stress unfortunately can’t be eradicated from our day to day lives but how we manage and respond to it can definitely be thought more about.


Patience & Resilience

I have re-written this very sentence a number of times and it’s really testing my patience to say the least. The truth is, the idea of looking after myself is uncomfortable and the reality of it is a bitter pill to swallow. An ego filled mask of “toughness” would have screamed 4 years ago that I didn’t need to look after myself, because I thought I was invincible. However, with every visit from depression brings a deeper hole that gets harder and harder to climb out of. It’s taken me years to realise that I actually need to pay attention to my internal home, even though the saviour complex that adorns my exterior finds it excruciating to accept. 

Unfortunately, I’m a short term thinker when it comes to my own health and wellbeing. When I get ill, I believe that a Lemsip and Vicks should make me feel great in the morning, ignoring the weeks of battering my immune system has probably taken to get ill in the first place. When I become agitated or anxious, I feel that a breathing exercise should do the trick, oblivious to the not-enough-sleep-totally-overworking-myself behaviour that I have been doing for the previous couple of weeks. When I get super low, I think that spending time with some friends should bring me out of my rut; completely ignoring that I have actually been feeling myself get lower and lower but I have just been neglecting myself until I have finally boiled over. 

It hasn’t been easy to get out of my own way and finally “practice what I preach”; you know, the whole self awareness, emotional regulation, baby steps, being kind to yourself kind of thing? However; after watching endless video’s, listening to as many podcasts as you can think of, reading books, making it a popular topic of conversation, scheduling self care into my diary, repeating things over and over again, practically forcing myself to do things I really don’t want to do – I’ve realised, that there is more to looking after myself than what I had originally thought.  

For me, looking after myself isn’t just about taking a break, or doing nothing. Personally, for self care to fulfil it’s purpose, it has to serve me in some way. It has be to a good mixture of things. It has to relax me as well as benefit me beyond bodily, sometimes it could be petting my cat for hours, and other times it could be super productive. I’ve gone from one extreme of self care to the other, from diluting self care to just taking baths and being mindful, to contradicting self care by making it all about to do lists, and getting through emails. 

At times, I have been so frustrated with myself for never getting self care “right” and it never “working”. Despite how many times I have tried and failed at routines, and “Instagram Inspired” idea’s; all these “unsuccessful” attempts have only made me more patient with myself and taught me to be more resilient after all the “this relaxing nature filled walk did not relax me at all” moments. That in itself is a massive success and a step in the right direction towards looking after myself. 

So, whether you like taking baths, playing sports, taking walks, watching movies, reading more, praying more, spending more time with loved ones, getting through those emails or just looking out of the window, don’t be deflated if it doesn’t “work” the first time. Make it a good mixture of things that looks after you holistically, making sure you’re hitting all the notes within the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model and most importantly, making sure to acknowledge your patience and resilience with every set back and understanding it is all a part of growth.  

I sincerely pray that Allah allows all of us to look after His creation in the best of ways, Ameen!


Knowing Your Limits

I have learnt to listen to my body when it’s tired, to learn to say ‘no’ to things when I need a break and to take breaks without feeling guilty. Part of this has been about prioritising the most important commitments such as uni or work and leaving other things, no matter how hard it is to do that. And that’s the crux of the matter, self-care isn’t all bath bombs and Netflix (although these can form part of it), it’s about deciding to sleep at 9pm instead of 1am or switching off my phone, it’s about ‘biting that frog’ and doing my best to avoid procrastination. It’s about a self enforced spending money on books ban until the ones on my shelf have been read. And it’s about cold, hard truths. The hardest realisation so far has been that I can be of no real use to anyone if I first and foremost do not prioritise my own mental and spiritual well-being. 

Am I perfect at this? Absolutely not! But that’s the point, it’s part of the wider struggle and neglecting to look after myself leads to burning out or getting sick or feeling stressed which reminds me that my body does indeed have rights over me, which must be fulfilled. 

It’s been a journey of realising when I feel the best and understanding why I feel that way, of recognising the purpose of life and what God intended from it, from all humans and recognising that I too, have a role in that. 

I was gifted a Dua Journal not too long ago, and it’s been great at reorienting life and helping me to refocus when things go wrong because it reminds me to recognise good moments, little wins and reflect upon areas of improvement.  Spending time alone is also a great way to reflect and you don’t need a Dua Journal to do so. Before going to bed or just before or after salah, a small moment to breathe, reflect, forgive yourself and listen to yourself is often all it takes. 


Self Care For The Muslim Millennial

Reflection. Introspection. All that jazz. The question was posed how do I look after myself and it made me stop and think about how do I actually look after myself or indeed  DO I look after myself. Upon some thought I broke it down in to two, the overall concept I use for looking after myself and one practical act within that concept.

Reflection. I have worked in Mental Health and by default we were trained to reflect, reflect on our work, our clients, our feelings and our policies. I entered this field also at the same time that I started actively practicing and by Allah’s kind guidance these reflective skills translated to my Islamic practice. So every so often I stop, take time out and ask if what I’m doing is of benefit to me, is it of benefit to my deen, am I being a first world woe laden ingrate… And those bouts of time out have also stopped me becoming burnt out, because contrary to popular belief a busy body is not always a productive or healthy body.

One practical thing I do within this concept on a daily basis, is read through my bookmarked duas in my handy lil Muslim Pro app. Each of these duas have meant something significant during different times of need and I read them daily with translation to ground me, to remember Allah (SWT) has got me and even if at times when I can’t, He will look after me.


You Do You, Boo

Often when we think of the word selfish it has negative connotations – we’ve been brought up by society to think being selfish is shameful. My whole life I’ve always lived for others or put others happiness/needs before mine whether it be in a work setting i.e. taking on extra tasks or going the extra mile for patients or generally in life with friends or family – and that’s okay, sometimes. But what I’ve learnt especially over the past year is that it’s okay to be selfish too, sometimes.

Last year my whole life literally got turned upside down. Everything that I felt was important to me got taken away from me. How I envisaged my future had totally gone to **** and frankly I did not know how to cope. I didn’t know how to look after myself and since then have definitely had to learn. I knew I had to give myself permission be selfish and give to myself for once in order to heal. 

It’s been a difficult process and I’ve made many mistakes/hurt a few people who I care about dearly and yes could have done things differently. I’m still working on it but below is a few tips on how I’ve started to ‘look after myself’.

1. Focus and do things that make YOU happy – whether it be spending time with loved ones, planning activities on free weekends or days off to do something fun, watching your favourite shows (for me a little bit of football) or even just taking a nap.
2. Find solace in your solitude and learn to enjoy your own company – spending time on your own and having self love days are so so important! Some days just stick on a face mask, netflix and eat a load of junk!
3. I say eat junk but also exercise, whether it be a a little workout, a walk/jog or hitting the gym – keeping physically healthy is still key even if you do have a cheeky chocolate after a session ?
4. It’s okay to say no whether it be taking on a task at work that’s too exhausting or not wanting to attend family events/go out with friends when you’re not feeling up to it, just say no.
5. Ask for help – often this selfless side of us stops us from asking for help because we don’t want to be a burden but it’s honestly the best thing and will stop us from pushing ourselves to the point of exhaustion whether it be stress in the workplace or just struggling in life. 
6. If you feel like you can’t confide in others write your feelings down! I can’t stress how important keeping a diary/journal or writing letters to yourself is. It’s something that saved me when I was at my lowest and hopefully something that will continue to help with my peace of mind. 
7. Be selfish with your time – be wary of spending time with people who disturb your peace but also take a break from social media! We spend so much time on social media and although there’s benefits as young people we often fall into the trap of comparing our lives to others. Take some time out to separate yourself from the virtual world and do a bit of mindfulness, live in the moment and focus on the present and how to make the best of your life.
8. And lastly let go of things that disturb your peace. Whether it be people or thoughts, even if we want certain things if they’re bad for us or the stress of obtaining them is too much just trust in the process, leave it in the hands of the Almighty and inshallah everything will work out and if it’s not in the way you’d hoped its still okay.

My nan used to always say to me “things will always be okay in the end, and if they’re not okay it’s not the end” and she was absolutely right. I hope reading my tips and experiences have helped you, look after yourself guys and you do you!


Looking Inward And Into The Past

Recently, I’ve started exercising again. I learn Tajweed and recite the Quran with a teacher weekly. I also notice I feel better when I gain through spiritual knowledge. At the moment, I’m learning about Sayyida Fatimah al-Zahra (RA) and her virtues. My heart softens learning how she overcomes her setbacks and stress, and how she would always put others first ahead of herself, fi sabilillah. I’m humbled to derive life lessons from the seerah of Ahl Al-Bayt and their Companions.

I cut down my social media usage because I see no benefit in being fed with curated images. With that extra time, I do other things to feed my soul. I try to balance my time for personal growth and development, with some social activities on the side.

Having good company that reminds me of Allah is important.


Travel, Test Yourself And Learn A New Skill

Travel, test yourself and learn a new skill, meet new people. I kept getting depressed by looking at my past and all my failures or had constant stress anxiety worrying about where I wanted to be in the future. Not being where I wanted to be in the present I kept feeling like a failure amd put myself under pressure to do more, leaving ne constantly exhausted and unhappy.

I often volunteered abroad doing aid work, this stopped me from comparing myself to others and made me grateful for everything I had. 
I set myself big goals, but also smaller ones so I could celebrate at the small triumphs. This made me feel like I was getting closer to my goal. 

Every time I lost passion or focus, I would take on something that would emotionally mentally and physically test me, like a skydive or a mountain trek. The fear or and pain made me prioritize what was important to me and made me focus again. This was also because I got to learn my strengths and weaknesses. 

I would take up something new like art therapy, walks, volunteering or photography, you will find like minded people on a similar goal as yourself without all the headache of maintaining a relationship. It’s no strings attached positive energy. It’s also a great way of networking and finding friends you do want to maintain a relationship with. It was also a time out, leisure without feeling guilty you are wasting time. Again, you learn a lot about yourself. You think outside the box as there are no rules with creativity. Photography allowed expression but also to focus and enjoy on the small things we overlook on a daily basis. 

Review what you learnt and how the things you have done have got you closer to your goals, if not try something new, plan B. Travel when something happens, travel especially when nothing happens because you come back a different person and perspective. Everything is mostly got to do with your state of mind, if you are stuck, you don’t have to stay there!


Self Pamper

I look after myself by making sure I catch up with family and friends at least once a week, and share the challenges and highlights that I’ve had.

I also self pamper by taking care of my hair and body by making my own body creams.

I feel happy knowing that I’m nurturing my skin with wholesome natural products.


Connecting Out From Isolation

As a mum of 4, a psychotherapist, an academic researcher, a wife and everything else (in no particular order although the 1st commands more of my time than anyone else!), it’s generally hard to find time to look after myself. I fight for that right often putting others needs before my own. 

In the past, a result of lack of self care often ended in finding myself in a place of isolation, even though I’d be surrounded by others.

I ended up a therapist because I ended up in therapy! Nothing wrong in that and I’m happy to admit. A accumulation of lack of self care resulted in a lack of confidence and therapy actually saved me. By connecting with others and exploring my pains, loneliness and isolation I found my most trusting friend Allah (God). The old Rumi saying became true “I searched for God and found myself, I searched myself and found God.” 

Connecting with others, began by expressing my vulnerabilities and my need for assistance.  

My self care is connection and I do this  in many ways; 

1. Connecting with my Creator. Daily dua  (prayer). expressing my needs and asking is the hardest part. I usually begin with “Allah (God) I need you.” 
2. Connecting with the Quran. I spend a little time each day journaling with the Quran. I find taking a verse and reflecting on it as if it was about my life helps me to find connection and solace. Extracting meaning, seeking knowledge, applying what I learn is a boost like no other for me. 
3. Connecting with good people, people who have shown over time that they have Godly characters and their intentions contain ‘taqwa’ God consciousness. Good company inspires me. 
4. Connecting with professionals. All good psychotherapists have a therapist! Also monthly connection and debrief with my supervisor and peers in continual professional development. 
5. Connecting with my spouse. This unfortunately is lower on my list, not out of choice but because with 4 kids, jobs, community work and studies (we’re both still studying!) time for us both is hard to find. When we do make that space it  overrides all other connections, it’s not as powerful as connecting with Allah but Allah has given us solace, mercy, companionship and comfort in one another. Our connection with our spouse is from Allah. 
6. Connecting with the girls! Nothing like a good laugh or cry with friends. 
7. Connecting with the outdoors. Again unfortunately low on my list and would like it to be higher, but a walk in the hills and woods is inspiring, calming and refreshing. 
8. Connecting to iTunes! Podcasts and YouTube talks on my Deen (religion) or TED talks – love these. My other iTunes love is connecting with Coldplay! Yes well some would say haram, but to be honest it just takes me away for a short while. 
9. Connecting with food. Love to cook for the family and guests, something wholesome in feeding others. 
10. Connecting with my family. I just have my brother left in my life, my parents have both died. But we connect and remember the fun times and the sad times. I’m reminded I’m not the only one missing them. 
11. Connecting with the community. This is find the most challenging, I’m a bit of an introvert by nature. I’m not great at baking cakes for the neighbours and all that! But once or twice a year you’ll find me involved in a community project and every time I’m reminded how much of a boost it gives me in giving time to be with others. 
12. Connecting with my physical body! I go for a massage or chiropractic treatment, I check my diet (occasionally!), I go to the gym (on and off!) I get my hair done even though it’s covered by hijab! But mostly I find the best body connection is going to treat myself to a little shopping! 
13. Connecting with education – I find self care in academia strange enough! I’ve turned my studies into self development. Nothing like nourishment for the mind. 
14. Connecting with my inner child. Best advice I had on this was from my old therapist. Watch and witness your young child, crouch down and see the world through her eyes. It transformed early motherhood and reconnected me to simple wonder and experience. 
15. Connection with you. Sharing this is self care, admitting we’re only human and we haven’t been created alone, so why be alone? 

Hope you find this useful, love and prayers to you all 🙂 


Reflect On My Purpose

Maintain my morning routine, prayer, tasbih, zikr, stretch and make an intention that my actions are to seek my Creators pleasure.

Treating myself kindly, so I can give of myself to others.

Surrounding myself with positive, generous and compassionate friends.

Eat healthy fast twice a week, walk daily and practice gratitude.