Stress is something we all have to deal with from time to time, or on a more regular basis than we’d like. Whether it has to do with school, family, health, or something more specific, it’s important to do some introspection and see what helps you cope with stress in the best way. Everyone’s different so what may work for you might not work for others and vice versa. These are some random things that help me:
- Green Tea with honey
- Shoveling snow at night
- Reading in bed or going to the library
- Morning and evening adhkaar
- Thinking of Allah’s names and attributes. Really reflecting on each one.
- Going to a coffee shop and looking out the window
- Making a list of my worries and comparing it to everything I’m thankful for, only to realize that they’re almost always hypothetical, so I really don’t have to waste time worrying about them :)
- Nap time
- Thinking things through
- Planning an event
- Answering emails
- Baking something with lots of chocolate
- Lying on ground in the middle of my backyard and watching the clouds go by. Seeing the change in weather helps me remember that everything in life, good or bad, will pass.
- Coloring and making sure I stay precisely within the lines
- Buying new pens
- Watching re-runs of Psych
- Drawing henna patterns in my notebooks
- Reading Qur’an out loud
- Talking to myself (…what? :p)
- Taking a trip to the masjid between dhur and ‘asr when no one’s there
- Opening to any page of the Qur’an, reading just one ayah and reflecting on it for as long as possible.
- Counting back from 100 by 3’s or 7’s.
- Doing a math problem or two
- Running, gym
- Reading through Hisnul Muslim
- Reviewing past Al Huda Lessons
- Watching squirrels in the park
- Planning homeschooling curriculums, and hoping to use them some day inshaAllah
- Listening to one of Aminah’s countless stories
- Reading through policy briefs.
- Organizing and re-organizing things
- Writing letters or reminders to Muslim prisoners. Sometimes they get sent, sometimes they don’t depending on if I chicken out or not :p
- Taking a trip to Fruity Yogurt with my sisters
- Having my ‘moment of nothingness’. Just block every single thought out of your mind and think about a white board.
- Hijab shopping :)
- Cereal. Any kind, any day.
- Reading. Articles, newspapers, magazines. “I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.” ~Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu, Pensées Diverses
- Flipping through old copies of National Geographic or The New Yorker
- Long drives, to leesburg or elsewhere.
- Browsing through vintage photography archives
- Walking outside after Fajr. The best time is right after it stops raining. There’s a crisp, sweet smell in the air and every word of adhkaar really comes from the heart at that time.
- Reading through past Al Maghrib notebooks
Finally, here are some beneficial dua’s in times of distress and sadness:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minal-hammi wal-Ḥuzni wal-’ajazi wal-kasli wal-bukhli wal-jubni wa ḍala’id-dayni waghalabatir-rijal.
O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.
Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin wa aslih li sha’ni kullahu la ilaha ila anta
O Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshiped except You.
اللَّهُمَّ لا سَهْلَ إلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلاً وَ إنْتَ تَحْعَلُ الْحزْنَ إذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلاً
Allâhumma lâ sahla illâ mâ ja‘altahu sahlâ wa anta taj‘alu al-hazana idhâ shi’ta sahlâ.
Oh Allah! Nothing is easy except what You have made easy. If You wish, You can make the difficult easy
[2:186] وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُواْ لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُواْ بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ