There have been a lot of intense events going on within the past week. Although it is very important that we fight back and resist this ‘president,’ his team, and their racist, islamophobic, xenophobic, and sexist agendas, it is also important that you take care of yourself. It is important that we fight the system, but that is only effective if we are in a good state of being. Don’t feel bad about needing or wanting to step back and take some time for yourself. We all need to take care of ourselves if we really want to make a significant change. Here are a few effective ways to take care of yourself when everything seems to get a little too hectic:
1.) Step away from social media & the news
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even Instagram can get stressful to look at after a while. Don’t feel pressured to constantly post and defend yourself against bigotry. Log out, and direct your mind towards something else. Also, make sure to not constantly watch or read the news. Turn it all off. It’ll do your mind well.
2.) Make some chai (or any tea you prefer)
Most teas have soothing qualities. Brew up your favorite one in a cute cup and sip your way to relaxation.
3.) Netflix & Chill
Literally. Watching a new show or movie on Netflix has proven to be a source of good rest. (Shout out to Netflix for keeping Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham on that Bollywood playlist!)
4.) Read a book
There’s something truly calming about stepping away from technology for a moment and delving into a good book. Allow your imagination to flow and break any tense boundaries in your mind. (I’m currently reading ‘Threading My Prayer Rug’ by Sabeeha Rehman and it seems like a keeper!)
5.) Take a warm shower or bath
Nothing is more physically and mentally cleansing than taking a nice warm shower or bath. Make it even better and treat yourself to one of LUSH’s amazing bath products. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
6.) Eat a meal you enjoy
Whether you cook it or not, treat yourself to your favorite meal. Nourish your body and mind with good food!
7.) Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
Sometimes all you need is a nice glass of water to make you feel better. Make sure your body is well hydrated by drinking enough water.
8.) Take a leisurely walk
Step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Take a nice walk around your neighborhood or park and appreciate all of the beautiful nature and life around you. Allow your mind to become one with it all.
9.) Talk to a friend or family member
Talking about politics and humanity all the time can be super draining. Hang out or talk to someone you’re close with who will take your mind off of everything that’s going on.
10.) Give yourself an at-home spa day
Put on a face mask, light some candles, and even take a nap just because! Physically treating your body can do wonders for your mental state as well.
Release those feel-good endorphins in your mind by exercising! You can go to the gym, or do some simple workouts right at home. Exercising allows you to release any tensions you may have and makes you feel good both mentally and physically.
12.) Do something you enjoy
Go shopping, go to the movies, or get some frozen yogurt–whatever it may be, treat yourself! If you prefer staying in, then chill out at home. Allow yourself to be happy in taking care of yourself.
Take the time to be patient in your prayers. Try not to rush through each salah, but center yourself and bring your mind to focus on Allah (SWT) alone. In addition to the five daily prayers, learn something new about Islam. Read and make an attempt to understand the true meanings within the Quran. Make dua to Allah (SWT) and just talk to Him, cry to Him, pray for those suffering and pray for yourself too. Nothing is more peaceful and reassuring than the remembrance of Allah (SWT).
If you do not make it to every protest or rally, don’t feel guilty. If you are not constantly posting about it on social media, don’t feel guilty. Don’t allow yourself to become hopeless and feel as though things will not change. If you need a break from it all, don’t feel guilty. Self care is an important part of your activism. Don’t feel as though you have to sacrifice your mental and/or physical well being.