Five Tips to Cope with Stress & Anxiety

Rania Awaad


Channel: Rania Awaad

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First thing I really want to say is that Allah subhanaw taala created anxiety and created stress and created fear, and created all of the emotions that we feel, including depression and sadness, and happiness and joy, and everything in between. And so it's really important to know that anxiety is something that actually a small amount of is healthy and important. Why? Because it actually helps us kind of jump into place and deal with and respond to emergencies, the way we are right now, everyday has been different for the last several days now, there have been new rulings that have come out but related to this virus and what you're supposed to do and not do and go and not go and

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work in schools have shut down and places outside of shutdown. So that small amount of is a healthy anxiety that helps you get in to shape and actually figure out your meal plans and figure out your buying essentials and figure out how to do activities with kids and how to work from home and all the rest. That goes to an emergency response. However, it's the anxiety and stress that's over them that amount that becomes problematic, that we need to talk about how to actually cope with and deal with it appropriately. So John, I hope to share with you five steps that are practical, that can be put in place, and used inshallah to respond to the feelings of stress that we're all experiencing

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right now. Number one, is to talk and listen. What I mean by talking is, it's really important that you actually share with other people how you're feeling. Even though this discussion of the Coronavirus has been widely discussed publicly, it's really important that you personally discuss this. The reason being that if especially if you're trying to be strong for everybody else around you, and you're just bottling up everything, the fears and emotions that you're feeling, it turns out that this is actually going to wear you down. Why? Because this is a very overwhelming situation. It's a novel and new situation. And it talks to people that you trust that you're able to

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be vulnerable with an open up and share how you're actually feeling that helps the other person also be vulnerable and open up and share how they're feeling. And then there is a shared sense of we're all in this together that brings down that sense of anxiety. Now talking, the flip side of that is listening. And I really think it's important that we also listen to those who are the most impacted by this virus. Think about our elders, for example, who are hearing really scary news about how they're most likely to be susceptible and potentially even mortality from this virus. So we need to reach out to our elders, ask them how they're feeling, especially those who are in isolation.

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Because we don't want to get them sick, and they're feeling really lonely, reach out and talk with them, and listen to how they're doing and feeling about this. Let's talk to our children, too. A lot of people think maybe the children don't quite understand. But that's not true. It turns out that children actually reciprocate and mimic our own emotions. So we role model our emotions and behavior to our children, if we're really anxious, so are they. And if we're calm and collected, the bills, for the most part, feel the same way as well. And the reason I say check in with them is because that way, you'll never know actually what they're thinking and what mistakes and fallacies they have

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in their mind or how scared they really are unless you actually talk with them. And listen. And it's really important to remember that we all deal with anxiety differently, and trauma and news and grief differently. So be sure not to judge. And be sure not to assume that how you're feeling is exactly how someone else is feeling or the opposite. And also, don't be flexible, don't shame somebody else because of how they're feeling. Try to be as supportive as possible. Number two,

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as much as possible, try to moderate your news intake. Now I know things are changing, not just day by day anymore, but hour by hour, things are being updated and changing. And so for me to say don't watch the news. So regularly, I know is a big ask. But I do want to say it's really important to unplug every so often in the day. And you need to take these moments where you're not kind of being washed over by news. That's all very scary, and most of it is actually bad news. So you want to make sure that you do the alternatives instead. And here I want to encourage us to really use these moments that are last cansado has given us and kind of were all quarantined and meant to stay at

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home as much as possible in social distancing for people who are in our immediate family members. And to think about what that means for our family members and those who we live with closely. It means more time with them. But that time can either be time of difficulty and fighting and whatnot. Or it could be time of quality time and really having face to face and direct conversation and really opening up and whether these are adults or children. It's really wonderful to spend this time to actually talk about the reasons why less pods that have brought this to us to humanity. Now we don't know all the reasons but it's helpful to think about stories for example from the Sita for

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example. Take the story of the prophets of Allah it was send them who who

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directly was impacted by likely a virus. And what I mean by that is think about how both of his parents mother and father in different years passed away because of the fever of Medina. And they were both it was a contagious fever, possibly virus that they were both impacted by, died from. And he was twice orphaned because of think about that had directly impacted him some alojado. He was send them think about the companions or the Sahaba, that dealt with plague, right and all throughout most of history and how the Muslims developed rules related to that, think about the rules, we're hearing about washing our hands all the time and making sure they're clean. Think about how we, as

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Muslims have rules of purity, where we're supposed to wash your hands constantly in will do, and we wash, an essential after washing using the bathroom. And before we eat it after we eat. And we wash our hands and it was an all through, right Islam is a religion of purity, to talk with our children and our LNR and their adults to about this concept, or come at it from a different perspective. And talk about how, you know, people were really amazed when they were hearing them what happened in the part of the event where he would say, you know, hi Jana salah, or come to prayer, instead of saying pray in your homes, and people were really amazed by that they've ever heard something like that.

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But it turns out that these are rules that are actually right in our fifth books, in the chapter of prayer related to inclement weather are difficult times. And so really reviving the knowledge of the sun that we maybe don't know, related to all of these things, this would be a great time to talk about how humans, the laws of love was put in place of how humans should deal with the animal kingdom. Right? This is a logically transferred illness. So human interaction with the animal kingdom and animal cruelty and things of that nature. These would be wonderful types of talk about these concepts with our family members. And when you're tired and tired of talking, this would be a

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great time to then do some of the other things like playing and laughter, pull out the board games and the puzzles and the bucket of Legos that hasn't been touched in some time dusted off and play with your family members use humor to dissolve the tension that's in the home as much as possible. Not overly but to some extent, it's a healthy coping mechanism. And then spirituality. And that brings me to number three. Number three is to take time. And what I mean by time is take time to take care of yourself, especially if you're a caretaker of other people. Make sure that you're taking breaks all throughout your day for many of us who have never worked from home before, or had

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children and work all at home all at the same time. Figure out how to break up the day. Figure out how to make sure you're eating healthy and sleeping well, because those also help your immunity from the virus and help you calm your anxiety down. Make sure that this is not a time to just binge watch, for example, with the extra moments that you have, but rather use the extra moments in spiritual connection. As Muslims we have these beautiful

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worship in our faith that allows us to turn to Allah at times of need, like the prayer of Hajj or the prayer of need. We also have the concept of attic calf and women are able to do attic death in their homes. And you're able to let's do spiritual seclusion, which is a strong signal the prophets of allottee was send them and even if it's not a formal attic, if you're able to sit on the prayer rug a few times a day with each of your prayers and actually make to help ask Allah, this little virus that has brought us all to our knees, the whole world globally, right? Think about how this little invisible thing Allah brought it, but also has the ability to take it away. So think about

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these things spiritually. And I also want to remind you that, you know, like one of my spiritual teachers would say that attic calf is that is like a valve on a pressure cooker that allows the steam to get out. And if you don't have that valve, it'll explode. So take these times to really focus in and contemplate on Allah subhanaw taala. And why he brought this to us and to remember things like how it says in the Quran. Now you can look for a walk with Epson Ilya Wasaga, that Allah subhanaw taala will never burden a soul more than it can bear. So clearly he believes we can bear this. He also says, Put Allah you'll see Banette Illa maquettes of Allah would enter, that we are

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Allah will never send us something, except that it's already written for us. Right. So clearly, this has been written for us too. But we need to really reflect on the wisdom of why it's here. Number four, is to take action. And what that means is to be actionable. And that really helps a lot of people reduce their anxiety. Basically, think about all the people who are vulnerable in the community who need help. Think about the elderly, who nobody's checking in on them. Maybe this is a time to be able to call them or to even FaceTime with them, even the grandparents so the children can visit because we don't want to get them sick, you know, do video conferencing with them and

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check how they're doing the eldest sister or brother who's in the midst of that used to know about but nobody really is checking in on you call and check in on them. Right. I'll figure out how you can actually help all those who are needing groceries

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As for meal trains, these are all things that actually help people reduce their anxiety, including children involve them in this because it actually when you, when you feel a sense of control, and helping to plan for these things, it brings your anxiety down. And also remember, you know, this is a time to think and to teach children about the lessons of all the things that we have been stockpiling, for example, you know, in the form of lessons related to not hoarding and sharing, this would be a wonderful time to be able to take the extra bag of rice and extra bag of beans and extra sanitizer, the extra wipes and put together a care package for the person who doesn't have a

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shelter, and is going to be more immunocompromised enough because they can't stay home because they don't have one, right to be able to drop off these care packages to the person who was homeless or living paycheck by paycheck or to give Southern Right charity in these times and in the wonderful campaigns that are out there helping folks that need extra assistance in this time. Number five, is to get help. And by that, I mean, the first four things that I mentioned are going to help so many of us bring down our anxiety. But the fifth one is really for all of us who have more anxiety than the four things that I mentioned can help. Maybe there because there's already an underlying mental

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health condition, anxiety or depression. Or maybe it's because we're just simply super overwhelmed with everything that's happening. You have to know that mental health professionals are here to help and are trained to help. And yeah, Fidel center, we actually have converted the majority of our sessions to be online through web therapy, which means that they're more available to everybody than ever before. And I really want to make sure that you connect with us to make sure that you do get the help of trained professionals if you feel very overwhelmed despite everything I mentioned. And lastly, we also have these videos that we're producing every so often so that you're able to also

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help learn practical coping steps and mechanisms to really put in place throughout your time inshallah hope that was useful. And may Allah protect me and you and all of our families and the OMA and all of humanity. And then last call that a lift this difficulty from us in sha Allah and make a stronger because of it. In my last parting words to I just want to remind us that if Allah subhanaw taala brought us brought this virus to us he has the ability to bring us to bring it away from us in sha Allah to Allah. When hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa salam ala Mata say that Mohammed Ali was happy we'll send him a train As Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah hillberg