Survival guide for the current lockdown — by Sumaiya Tufail

 

Gone are the times we had the energy to become master chefs and Tiktok famous. The current lockdown is like season 2 of a series that replaced its main character-and we are that new main character. Not as good looking or talented. Can we just leave? But we can’t, we are stuck in this situation-in this pandemic-and we can’t just call it quits. Some of us are mentally quitting and forgetting to take care of ourselves. On the bright side, some of us have made life changing choices such as getting out of a toxic relationship and going back to school.

It is an existential crisis we never asked for but maybe needed. Here are 5 guidelines that can help you through surviving the current lockdown.



1. Self-Care, Self-Care, Self-Care!


Why did I repeat “Self-Care” three times? Because I know most of you have given up on it! At first you were doing bubble baths in the evenings and home workouts early in the morning. Now you’re waking up at 12:00pm in your pajamas going straight to your laptop to class or work. 


This pandemic is unpredictable and we don’t know how long it will last. The best thing you could do for yourself is establish a healthy routine-nothing crazy-but some normalcy. Take it one step at a time and set small goals such as waking up a bit earlier everyday, exercising and making sure to eat healthy. 

 


2. Disconnect to Connect
 
 

A lot of us have different ways of coping in stressful situations. Some of us turn to social media as a distraction, binge a Netflix series, swipe through profiles on dating apps etc. We are constantly connected online more than ever. What we forget is that the one thing that will help us the most during these difficult times is our faith. For a lot of us it has become more of a ritual than a spiritual experience. Let’s strive to disconnect from online more in order to have time to connect with Allah swt. Whether that’s focusing more on your intention during Salaat, reading a bit of Quran each day or attending a Zoom halaqa. 


3. Avoid the News


If we learned anything from the first wave it’s that constantly keeping up with news updates only increases our anxiety. Of course being aware of what’s happening is important but checking the news everyday is not necessary. Whether there are 100 more cases tomorrow or next week, knowing that will not make a massive difference in your life. Always keeping up with the news will only cause you more stress. 


4. Serve Others


In times of crisis there are a lot of people who are in need even in small matters. Channel the anxiety you have into helping others. Whether that’s volunteering service to an organization online, or helping drop off hampers to eldery members in the community. It will not only make you feel better, but it will make a difference. 


5. Rest


Dare I suggest that you rest? Yes. You might be wondering, “but I’ve been resting this whole time!” But you haven’t really. In the first wave your mind was busy burning calories overthinking, worrying and strategizing on your new hobby. This time around you might be using most of your energy on surviving. Working online is still work and studying online is still studying. On top of that you might have kids who are frustrated and want your attention. Make sure you’re getting those short naps in or movie nights to relax.


We hope these 5 guidelines help you during these difficult times. Know that your mental health and wellbeing matter and that you’re not alone in your struggle. We are all in this together even if in reality we aren’t physically together. Let’s support each other as best as we can and share this blog with your family and friends!