Little Known Ways to Stay Sane in the New Year
I often feel like the hand in this picture. I try to keep the spark going whether in my life or relationships but then I feel myself drowning and I just don’t know what to do. That is when I lose my sanity. Some loss is sudden and bipolar related but most of it is slow and life related.
At least when I have an episode, it’s clear that I need medical help. But the insanity you feel when your child won’t stop nagging or when you can’t make your parents happy or when you can’t lose weight or get that A+, these are all tougher to catch. In these moments, you slowly wear out and lose your sanity one stressor at a time. You are not killing yourself but slowly cutting yourself with a butter knife.
The first way I keep my sanity is to always put Allah at my centre. It doesn’t always happen but I try to have that in my mind and heart. It’s very easy to get sucked into pleasing those around you or even yourself. It’s very easy to personalize the criticism of loved ones and lay awake at night. But you know what’s even easier? To impress Allah, to talk to Him and to only care about what He thinks. Imagine if you had three bosses to please, all of whom kept pulling you different directions. That’ll definitely drive you insane. In becoming Allah’s slave is where true freedom lies.
Talk to Your BFF
It’s all nice to think to yourself, “I want to impress only Allah” but how do you actually do that? Salah and dhikr. Our five daily prayers are the oxygen for our souls. It is the direct connection we have with Allah. Dhikr or remembrance of Allah through prayers is the second tool to help you remember Allah, to focus on impressing Him and to make sure you move away from being a people pleaser. There are tons of resources to help you ramp up your salah so it becomes something spiritual and not just a ritual. One course that really helps me is www.MeaningfulPrayerOnline.com.
As for the adhkar, I use the myDuaa app. Your can star your favourite du’as in there and recite them daily. Start small with one or two prayers at a time in the morning and before bed time and then build up. Baby steps are best.
Our salah and adhkar are basically positive affirmations but with a much higher purpose and return.
Divide Your Time Like a Pizza
The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to divide his time into three parts. One part was for Allah like doing salah and prayers. The second part was reserved for his family. And the last part was his personal time and within that segment, he used to help his friends and community. So he always gave Allah and his family their due right. When he wanted to help others, he took out of his personal time .
Time is the only blessing we all have equally. Rice or poor, sick or healthy, we all have the same 24 hours. How we manage it can make us feel more productive, happy and fulfilled. Wasting it on things that don’t really matter can cause a lot of stress. If you are checking Instagram every hour or just yapping on the phone or vegetating in front of the TV, lethargy and this emptiness overtakes you. So prioritize what’s important. One of the best tools is Steven Covery’s time manage matrix. Just do a quick google search to see what it’s about. It’s a great tool I use.
When you make Allah your centre of being, everything falls in place. Talk to Him five times a day. Just like you eat three meals a day, your soul needs salah.
Live with passion, purpose and pizzazz!