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  • Support with Saba

    Get confidential, one on one support for Muslims with mental health challenges Let's face it, we are all struggling mentally. This is why you need my help! You don't have to be alone in this battle... let's talk about it. I can help you find your way out of the darkness and back to wellness.

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Blog Posts (57)

  • Creating a Crisis Safety Plan for Depression

    Depression. It's more than sadness. It's a tsunami of impending doom. It's more than worry. It keeps you up at night. Not because of amusement but because of the taunting, the screeching thoughts, the monstrous howls, the silent scream and the excruciating cries. Feeling any pain or even disturbance yet? I'm currently going through postpartum depression or so my therapist says. I did a podcast episode on this topic before and a previous blog post on it as well. Beginner's Mind Set I am working on instilling a beginner's mindset. This means, as I'm learning from Susan David in her book "Agility," means I approach every situation with a new set of eyes instead of using the same thought patterns or biases I've heal about that very same scenario before. I went through postpartum depression before and as I go through it again, I'm trying something different, just to spice things up. You may have seen on my Instagram that I was recently at a crisis center. Coming out of it, I walked away with a very important and dare I say life-saving tool: A Safety Plan. A Safety Plan for Depression A safety plan for a mental health challenge is meant to keep you, well, safe. It protects you from harm should a crisis arise. This tool is the "Tie your camel part" as you put your trust in Allah. I didn't think much of it. Meh, it's just a piece of paper. However, when I was recently in a crisis, after I came out of the crisis center lol, it helped. I know, my life is just full of fun hardships. I love it alhumdulillah. I think of the little bursts of bipolar I go through as a track, jumping over one hurdle after another, racing to get to Jannah. Anyways, back to the topic: a safety plan. Defeat Depression at It's Own Game with a Guide Depression is very cerebral. I mean it is in your head, duh. But I don't mean that you make it up. I mean that it is mental albeit with a biological root. So you need something that is outside the head. You need something that is logical, a clear cut tool to slay away the depression. A Clear Plan for Depression (or insert your challenging feeling) This plan doesn't cure depression. That cure lies with Allah. This tool does give you the means to help yourself when you start feeling depressed. You can very well use this template I made for you, a copy of the one I got, for anxiety, mania or other tough times you may me challenged with even for anger. Click on the PDF below to get your copy of the comprehensive safety plan guide. In the first part of the safety plan for depression, write down the warning signs that accompany your depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, mania or psychosis. They can be physical or mental symptoms. For example, for mania it could be that you start many different projects and keep jumping from one to other without even finishing one. The next parts are pretty explanatory. Step 2 is about things you can do yourself to cope. The next step is the social situations and people that can distract you from your situation but in a good way. The next two steps are turning towards your social support network and then turning towards the mental health support network you have. Lastly, list the ways you can make your environment safe. This crisis plan is a great tool to have handy. Keep it on your fridge or somewhere you look often so that it becomes second nature to you. Once you recognize the signs (step 1), you can start right away in helping yourself. May Allah give you much healing and health.

  • Embrace the Spirituality of Running and Get Closer To Allah

    Running and Spiritual Health Running is invigorating. Running is spiritual. Running is motivating. Running is freeing. But above all, running is brutal. It has the capacity to tear you down to your raw bones. And that's what makes it worthwhile. Am I crazy? Maybe. But what if I'm not? Runner's High, Mania High and That Other High If you ask me, out of all these three highs, I prefer the runner's high. It is the hardest one to have but definitely the most worthwhile. It's a challenging high because you have to elicit the emotion. For one thing, you actually have to do work and run to feel elated. I've experienced the mania high more than I care to count and alhumdulillah I've kept myself pretty sheltered with good company to stay away from that other high of illegal drugs and alcohol. Many of us seek highs, if not through running then through fulfilling our passions and desires. This drive to feel elated can be to our betterment or determent. When we have a hunger to to do meaningful work or have meaningful relationships, then our life is fulfilling. However, when our energy is directed towards base pursuits, things that are harmful to our physical, mental, spiritual health, then the high actually turns in to a low and even a down fall. Having the correct self-awareness, insight and company is crucial to fostering a life of healthy highs. Your Body is a Blessing. It's Your Job to Take Care of It I you don't actively derive energy from your passions, your pain and hardships can consume you. In other words, the challenges of this life can suck the life out of you. You need an escape. That escape for me is running. Doing this activity is a way closer to Allah. You are taking care of your body that your Lord blessed you with. What is your passion? What is your escape? What is the moment in your day where you can feel at peace? What is the one hobby or recreational activity that can bring you closer to Allah? Runner's High? Running or aerobic is one of the best things we can do for mental health. David Linden, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that a "runner's high" is actually very rare. Yes, I'm eating my own word. He says, "Exercise increases the levels of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream, Linden explains. Unlike endorphins, endocannabinoids can move easily through the cellular barrier separating the bloodstream from the brain, where these mood-improving neuromodulators promote short-term psychoactive effects such as reduced anxiety and feelings of calm." Source: Fauja Singh I must say when I took up running, I was inspired by Fauja Singh's story. He started jogging to deal with the grief of his son's death. At the age of 89, he started running seriously and became famous when he completed the London Marathon and beat the record for world's best in the 90 plus section. His story is inspiring because it shows you can take up running at any age. But more importantly, Singh use running as a way to deal with the loss of his son. In this way, running became more than just an activity or sport. He raised it to a level of a therapeutic tool. I can't say if the thumping on the pavement with one foot after the other was spiritual for him for I've never met him but there's no denying that it meant more to him as it helped him deal with a tragedy. In this way, running can help someone deal with mental health challenges. Maybe Running Ain't Your Thing Just because running is spiritual for some doesn't mean it'll be for you. In this case, find your own spiritual activity besides the ritualistic actions we perform such as salah, adhkar and fasting. Experiment my friend and find your own thing you will. Schedule in Your Spiritual Health When something is important, you schedule it in. You put it on your calendar. So make sure to schedule in your spiritual activity. Pick a time that works for you and is blocked out so no one can reach you or disturb you. Shut off your phone, leave the house or school or send the kids to grandma. Do what you need to do to have this preventive routine for your mental health and wellbeing.

  • Uncovering the Hidden Strength of Muslims with Mental Challenges

    When I first got a mental illness, I didn't want my family's help. I wanted to tackle this beast on my own. But it just got worse. Family is Our Strength We often neglect what a valuable resource family is and their support. We don't appreciate them yet they can be our super power. As Muslims, family connections are an integral part of our faith and culture. Without our loved ones, our recovery and wellness would be very difficult. Moreover, to have a meaningful life, you need connections. Family support matters because we are social creatures and the worst form of punishment can be isolation especially for one who has a mental health challenge. Reach Out When you get diagnosed or realize you are suffering mentally, either with anxiety or depression or suicidal thoughts, reach out to a family member. They are often, not always, the closet to you, know you well and have your best interest in mind. Of course there are exceptions but this is generally true of healthy families. Staying connected with your parents, spouse, siblings, kids or even extended family can add meaning to your life. They can be a hidden strength when it comes to fighting the dark demons inside you. Connecting and reaching out to your family helps you but it also takes the focus away from your pain and makes you think about them. Talking to them for support is good but there is an interesting phenomena that occurs. As we talk to our family about our pain, we can often see the turmoil they are facing. Families Living with a Loved One with a Mental Illness I must confess, I am guilty of this. The very premise of my work is supporting Muslims with mental health challenges. However, in this article I highlight the plight of the family members that live with someone with a mental illness. Not only do they see a loved one suffer but they feel the pain themselves. This could happen because they are connected with the sick person but their trial could also happen because of how difficult it is to live with someone with a mental illness. This fact came to my realization when I started listening to my loved ones and what they go through when I am unwell or at the hospital. Much of the focus is on getting help for me but what about them. Struggle as an Opportunity Your parent's or spouse's suffering doesn't take away from our pain. At the same time, this struggle is an opportunity for us to get out of our dark hole and climb into their dungeon and see just how dark it is there, if not more. Believe me, this shift of perspective and empathy can do wonders for your health, even if you are sick. Seeing their pain and understanding them is essentially a way for you to help them. And God helps you as long as you are helping someone else. Alleviate someone else's suffering and watch yours subside. I make this claim with certainty as my advocacy work has done wonders in my own mental wellness. The Exceptions At the same time, some families can be tough to deal with. They may have very little knowledge about your mental health challenges. They might also be toxic to your health. In that case, you need to decide whether their support is going to strengthen you or hinder your progress. Be aware that one of the biggest traps of Shaytan is to split up families and tear them apart through fights and drama. Consult a third party like a psychiatrist or therapist and see what your options are if your family is not supportive.n Grow Closer Together as a Family Do your best to use your mental health challenge as a way to strengthen your bond with your family. Grow through this challenge. Alhumdulillah that is what happened with my family. If they know very little about your mental illness or challenge, educate them in a kind and empathetic manner. See things from their point of view. They might feel very confused about how to handle your situation or even how to help you. They probably have to walk on egg shells around you because of your sensitivity and mental state. That is not an easy feat. When your family is utterly toxic and is actually hindering your progress, educating them or seeking their support might be futile. It might be better to seek external support from friends or a group or even a website like this. As for getting support for your family, there are many organizations that offer help and services to caregivers and families. Reach out to these organizations (a simple google search will show you support groups in your area). In the U.S.A. you can reach out to NAMI and in Canada, you can reach out to CMHA. Lastly, you can also check out your local crisis center (more on that in a future post inshaAllah). Thanks for reading and subscribing to my exclusive content. Tell you friends and family.

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Other Pages (28)

  • Mental Health Advocacy for Muslims | Mentally Fit Muslims

    Mentally Fit Muslims is a non-profit online resource for mental health support . It offers an alternative perspective on what it means to be mentally ill in Islam, one that's empowering instead of stigmatizing. MFM dispels misconceptions about mental illness, promotes healing through spirituality, and helps individuals take care of their minds just as they would their bodies. We provide tools for self-care through podcast episodes, blog posts, videos, eBooks and infographics. Latest Content Depression. It's more than sadness. It's a tsunami of impending doom. It's more than worry. It keeps you up at night. Not because of amusement but because of the taunting, the screeching thoughts, the monstrous howls, the silent scream and the excruciating cries. Feeling any pain or even disturbance yet?. Read more... Listen Now Apple Podcast Google Podcast Spotify Stitcher YouTube Latest Blog Posts Creating a Crisis Safety Plan for Depression Depression. It's more than sadness. It's a tsunami of impending doom. It's more than worry. It keeps you up at night. Not because of... Embrace the Spirituality of Running and Get Closer To Allah Running and Spiritual Health Running is invigorating. Running is spiritual. Running is motivating. Running is freeing. But above all,... Uncovering the Hidden Strength of Muslims with Mental Challenges When I first got a mental illness, I didn't want my family's help. I wanted to tackle this beast on my own. But it just got worse. Family... Latest Videos Tips For Mental Health: What To Do When You Have Sensory Overload and Too Much Mental Stimulation ​ This video is for all of you who have ever felt like your mind was spinning out of control. I want to share with you some tips on what to do when sensory overload strikes, so that next time it happens, you can feel more in control and know the best way to take care of yourself. ​ How Muslim Moms Overcome Self-Stigma And Shame Around Postpartum Depression ​ Are you a Muslim mom who is suffering from postpartum depression? Don't worry, it's not your fault! Postpartum depression is much more common than we realize and can be very isolating. I'm here to empower you with the knowledge of how to cope with postpartum depression as a Muslim woman. ​ Bipolar Muslim Mom Successfully Overcomes Mental Health Challenges ​ IThis video is a story of a Muslim woman, Hayat Omar Hubert, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and how she overcame it. She shares her life before and after diagnosis, tells you about the treatments that helped her, and gives some tips for managing your mental health. This is not a "rah rah" motivational speech. Rather it's about how we can use our struggles as fuel to help us find success in life. ​ Visit the Mentally Fit Muslims' Youtube Channel Featured Content Our monthly podcast is available for listening on this website and all popular platforms including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and more. Podcast An archive of posts about personal experiences with mental illness, personal development topics and coaching. Blog A collection of e-books, guides, and dua's. E-Books About the Author Saba Malik is the creative mind behind Mentally Fit Muslims. Saba has been dedicated to advocating for Muslim mental health since her own diagnosis in 2005. Mentally Fit Muslim represents the culmination of over 12 years of work. Join our mailing list Email Subscribe Thanks for subscribing! Testimonials "Saba has created an incredible podcast mashaa’Allah. Peer-to-peer support, a space for Muslims living with mental illness to be able to come together and share their stories is direly needed in the Muslim community. Mentally Fit Muslims is filling that gap by providing honest stories about what it’s like to be Muslim and live with mental illness. Saba’s podcast breaks down the barriers of mental health stigma and makes mental health and wellbeing accessible to everyone." DR. FARAH ISLAM SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW | DATA AND PSYCHOSPIRITUAL DEPARTMENT YAQEEN INSTITUTE FOR ISLAMIC RESEARCH "I love the Mentally Fit Muslims podcast. It feels good to be able to put a name or label to spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity (episode 25). Saba's voice sounds very comforting and she is able to articulate her thoughts very well." FATIMA HALEEM, MSW "I love the piece about Ayatul Kursi (episode 24) and the connection between reading it before we go to bed and the fact that Allah (SWT) is He who never sleeps. I never saw it that way. Thought we are going to sleep and into this state where we don't have a consciousness or control, we're leaving our affairs to Allah (SWT)." ZAINAB HAYAT

  • Divine Depression Course | Mentally Fit Muslims

    Empower Yourself Take Control of Depression Before It Takes Control of You "Divine Depression" Course Coming Soon Save My Spot Presented by Saba Malik, Founder of Mentally Fit Muslims Unlock your inner strength. Join the thriving community of Muslims empowered by Saba Malik's journey through mental illness. Reclaim your power and master depression. Regain control, and discover divine resilience in the darkest depths. Save My Spot In this course we will Conquer Depression with Islam in Four Ways Tear Down Barriers to Treatment Learn a Transformative Journey of Depression I want to join the course, Sign me up! First Name Last Name Email Message Submit Thanks for submitting!