Taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of others. I believe we should put equal amount of energy in self care as we do taking care of others! When we take care of ourselves we should think of our spiritual, physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Following are some of my ways I try to take care of myself. I suffer from severe chronic migraine attacks- so self care is one of my priorities in life!
1. Writing in a journal: I been trying to write down things I am grateful for, it really does help. Gratitude is a great way of connecting with Allah SWT and it also reminds me of what I am blessed with!
2. Having a spa / facial: The best ones are the ones at home! A great way to unwind yourself and the perfect self care!
3. Taking walks: This allows me to collect my thoughts, and it helps a LOT to get away from stressful situations and surroundings! Don’t forget the fresh air!! My favourite walks are through the scenic routes!
4. Nature hunting: This also allows me to reflect and take my mind off things- sitting under the trees and taking those deep breaths, listening to the waves. Nature overall makes me BEYOND H A P P Y, I somehow feel like I am part of it! (Dont judge me ok!)
5. Writing poems, creative writing and drawing. I have also found this to be so helpful. Sometimes it is very difficult to express those emotions in words, this is where these techniques come into hand. I been drawing my feelings since a very young age. Recently I found myself writing down my thoughts too, and these have helped me great deal!
6. Listening / reciting certain surahs from the Qur’an: I would either hear recitations or recite it myself with semi loud voice! The sound of the Qur’an is truly healing (Shifa). My favourites to listen to during difficulties are Surah Taha, Ad Duha, Ar Rahman and Yaseen (which ever one my heart desires at the time). I also find it beneficial to listen/recite the Qur’an with meaning. Understanding and knowing the meaning of what I am reading helps me to connect with Allah SWT more!
7. Finding that one person I can speak to: I am generally a talkative person, but I don’t tend to go to people when I am in difficult situations. However, I find talking to someone I trust and opening up sometimes really helps. I know those feelings of just wanting someone to listen because a lot of us know what to do so we are not looking for solutions, we are just looking for someone to hear!
8. Volunteering: I find that when I give something like time towards a meaningful cause it really helps me by making me feel productive and gives me a sense of purpose hence boosts my mental health!
9. Finally I want to say- being there for others: I cannot stress how much this helps me during difficult times! I know it sounds strange but I find this almost therapeutic. Just like volunteering this is also very similar, when we go through difficult situations we know how it feels when others are in distress. Our experience should help us become more empathetic toward others, and Subhan’Allah what great ways to earn rewards and also make a difference in someone’s life!
I want to end my LONG list by saying all these things I have listed above- I sometimes do ALL, sometimes FEW and sometimes NONE. It is very important that we recognise there are so many different forms of difficulties and stresses and each one will probably require different techniques to deal with! Just like you I am also learning how to deal with stresses. However, Alhamdulilah many times having faith in Allah SWT does overall put all the stresses into perspective- “It is all a test of this life”!