Alhamdullilah: Reflecting On Our Daily Jihad Since the Pandemicby Helmy Sa'at
As 2021 comes to a close, most of us seem to be more than ready to draw the curtains to embrace a brighter and much more stable 2022. Since the pandemic started to wreak havoc in our lives for close to two years now, we have been accustomed to living with uncertainties in such challenging times.
We have managed to adjust to the new normal that is still rife with unpredictabilities that remain a constant denominator; though this time we are more prepared about what continues to lurk in the dark corners of life. As we go through drastic changes in life, encapsulating family, work and personal spheres, our relationships are constantly in a state of flux.
Let’s return to the core of ourselves. We are constantly engaging in a state of jihad in our private lives as we strive to build, nurture and protect ourselves as exemplary Muslims living in a globalised digital world. As we continue to put in the effort to strengthen our relationships with Allah and those dear to us in our everyday struggles, we owe it to ourselves to check in on our daily emotional bandwidth that has been inevitably battered by challenges in life, especially, with the added onslaught of the pandemic.
Practise Kindness With Ourselves
This might sound unnecessarily melodramatic when we articulate it out loud. Albeit, we might be accustomed to doling out compliments to our loved ones, very rarely do we actively tend to compliment ourselves, much less a pat on the back for a job well done. It does not matter how trivial or mundane a task could be. From taking care of your neighbour’s pet, to donating to a good cause, or even calling a relative, friend or colleague to check in on them during this pandemic.
Before we could be fully emotionally available to others, we need to be our greatest cheerleaders! Saying nice things about ourselves might be awkward at first, but with the passing of time we should be able to accept positivity more readily in our life.
In the process of seeking forgiveness from others for any mistakes we might have done, the first crucial step is, not validation from others, to start by forgiving ourselves then continue with self-reflection.
Get Off(line) Online
It is not wrong to disengage from online platforms in order to create and nurture a peace of mind offline. Though we have amplified and multiplied opportunities to connect with many more people online, there is a time and space to never forget cultivating our immediate offline relationships.
Make a conscious effort to plan what notifications to switch off and what accounts we have been following to mute, from time to time. By limiting our social media consumption, we are taking the lead in being responsible about our mental well-being after being constantly bombarded with (mis)information that is continuously updated and streaming in our social media feeds.
Acknowledge And Accept Our Own Pain
Sometimes, we do get overwhelmed without realising. We tend to not pay attention to it by perceiving it as normal since we have managed to be really good at multitasking, not just our daily tasks but also our emotional needs. We might unconsciously deprioritise our stress and feelings since we believe that everyone else is experiencing the same things. Thus, we almost always choose to hide or suppress our moments of vulnerabilities because to be vulnerable seems to be an act of weakness. That is far from the truth!
It is much braver to confront our feelings and opt to share our vulnerable side. It is a strength to share with someone else what we are feeling and going through by breaking down those emotional walls in our minds to let someone else share our worries. Do not be embarrassed to reach out to someone else instead of harbouring all those worries and let it continuously swirl in our heads, unchecked.
Strengthen Spiritual Basics
Last but not least, our spiritual anchor would be able to provide some sort of respite and an opportunity for emotional healing on a daily basis. Although it is largely manifested through the daily prayers, additionally we could take the opportunity to destress with every opportunity available, for instance, through dhikr for an inner peace of mind.
Grab the opportunity to download the Muslim Pro app and make full use of the tasbih feature. Whether on an ad hoc basis or planning a daily dhikr routine, with Muslim Pro, we could easily plan and structure a flexible routine that suits our daily busy schedules while juggling spiritual healing and contentment of mind.
Alhamdullilah! We are still blessed to be able to go through one more day. There is no time like the present. Here and now. We owe it to ourselves. In the name of Allah, let’s consciously kickstart our daily jihad within ourselves today.