Have you ever said alhamdulillah & then immediately felt a sense of calmness, like something floated off your shoulders?
If so, that is what I refer to as “calmness via gratitude”’, which is ultimately about learning to de-stress, as a part of self-care.
As we all know, life can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’re a working mother, with so many tasks & people needing your attention. And that’s why it’s important that you know how to de-stress in a healthy way that works for you.
For some its exercise, a massage, uninterrupted “me time”, play time with their children, date night with their husband or a girls night with close friends.
Whatever it is – it has to work! You ultimately need to come back refreshed & with less focus on what was bothering you & possibly even a solution if the stress was a problem that needed solving.
Getting organised & stress.
When it comes to an organised lifestyle a big advantage is that it gives us a sense of calm & joy in our surroundings & in our days, which helps with dealing with stress in our lives.
- Returning to a tidy, decluttered home after a difficult day at work
- Visual clutter can create a cluttered mind because we’re being overwhelmed with things we need to do, such as dishes to wash, papers to file.
- Having healthy energy to be as productive as possible
- Put simply, when you feel great, you do MORE great things.
- Finding time to read one page of Quran a day each morning
- It’s indeed a blessing if we can start our days reading like this & reflecting on the words, which provide perspective & clarity about life.
- Accomplishing deadlines by being time conscious
- Looming deadlines can be quite daunting so when you’re prepared for them the tasks are easier in’sha’Allah.
Our tidy homes or actioned to-do lists aren’t enough for dealing with stress because our minds will soon just move onto the next thing that’s bothering us!
When we’re not displaying gratitude, however, everything becomes a drama! The smaller issues become bigger in our minds & the bigger ones become unsolvable.
Unfortunately, there is no way for me to be able to help each person with every single issue they’re facing in life, but I can certainly suggest prayer, dua & gratitude as things that can help in’sha’Allah to accompany a proactive solution.
Gratitude journals have been a very popular tool for some time.
It’s really in their ability to allow us to pause for a few moments & take a closer look at our days – no matter how difficult or stressful it was – & be grateful, to say alhamdulillah.
“When I was overwhelmed because of my lack of energy & chaotic days, it was essentially gratitude that helped me free myself of that stress & negative energy.
I literally was sitting on my bed & was grateful for all that I had at that moment & it created so much new energy & clarity.”
What do you write down in a journal?
- You can be grateful for what you have & what you don’t have
- You can write down experiences that you’re grateful for because they taught you a lesson
- You can be grateful for something you saw because in Allah swt creation there are signs for the believer
These journals can be very personal & only you can decide what you want to share within it.
How to start a gratitude journal.
- Find a notebook that you like in terms of its cover style, size, & inside contents – as you’ll be more motivated to use something you like
- Choose the best time for you to reflect on your day, such as once your children are asleep, after Isha prayer or just before you get ready for bed
- Consider adding gratitude to your daily to-do list or on your phone as a reminder, especially at the beginning where you’re still getting used to journaling
- Don’t just limit yourself to words if you don’t want to – be creative with drawings, stickers or pasting mementos from your day (eg. cards, movie tickets etc)
- Write from your heart, be sincere & intentional with your words
- Store your journal in a safe place that is accessible each day
Prayer & dua.
If you’re a practising Muslimah, that is you undertake the 5 pillars of Islam, you’ll be familiar with the blessing of prayer & dua.
If you’re not but would like to know more please reach out & I’ll direct you to some resources.
Embracing prayer & dua in our lives is like giving yourself permission to acknowledge the presence of Allah swt & Islam in our lives. Yes, prayer is an obligation upon a believer, however, there’s so much beauty at those 5 times a day (6 if you do Tahajjud prayer) that can make us feel like it’s not only our duty.
The beauty of prayer & dua.
- being able to recite (or attempt to recite depending on your abilities) the words of the Quran
- bowing down in prostration, which is the most humbling position for man
- acknowledging Prophet Abraham (as) & Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in every prayer
- making dua throughout prayer & at the end for only Allah swt to hear
Such spiritual self-care comes when we embrace prayer & dua each day alhamdulillah because our hearts want to be closer to Allah swt.
How to embrace prayer & dua.
- don’t view prayer & dua as a chore
- plan your days around prayer
- understand why you are praying
- learn to practice better khushoo each day
- understand why you make dua
- learn to make dua throughout your prayers
Do let me know in the comments how you deal with stress & practice gratitude as part of self-care.