Self-Care enables one to live life with mindful actions, joy, compassion, and gratitude for the abundance and mercy that Allah has bestowed upon us.
We often take our ‘Physical Self’ as the primary self. When it comes to self-care, we need to nourish the ‘Essential Self’ – our essence – which dwells inside the physical body…inside the heart.
When the Essential Self is ignored for too long, the Physical Self begins to manifest negative symptoms such as anger, confusion, anxiety, fear, accumulation of abdominal fat, lack of sleep, fatigue, worry, increased blood pressure, and shallow breathing, to name a few.
Here are 12 Self-Care strategies to help nourish the mind, body, and spirit:
- Have the intention to nourish your body with whole foods by choosing ingredients that are directly from nature, unpackaged and unprocessed.
- After salah, spend time on your prayer mat, with your eyes closed, and breathe deeply, mindfully. Try to do at least 20 long breaths.
- Spend time outside in nature. Touch the grass. Touch the trees. Smell the flowers. Bask in the warmth of the sun on your face. Or feel the raindrops on your palm. At night, spend a few minutes looking up into the night sky and become aware of your connection with the entire cosmos. Know that you are part of this beautiful creation.
- Have a morning and evening skin-care routine. You don’t need expensive products. Sweet almond oil blended with a few drops of calming essential oils can be great to moisturise your face and body with. Lavender and Ylang Ylang blend works beautifully just before bedtime. Citrus oil blends work wonderfully in the mornings.
- Be of service to someone and do it purely for the sake of Allah.
- Journal out your thoughts and feelings regularly.
- Water stores memories. Adult human bodies are 60% water. The brain and heart are 73% water. If there is a persistent negative memory that your body is holding onto, drink lots of water and detox your body’s fluids through natural excretion.
- Switch off your device at least one hour before bed. Read a book or a magazine instead, until you feel tired.
- Create something with your hands. Learn a new craft.
- Manage your emotions by finding healthy and peaceful ways to express them. Anger is a normal emotion, but what you do with it can result in a life filled with angry, aggressive reactions or a life with mindful, peaceful responses. Know that emotions are mere signals to tell you whether you are listening to your heart and taking care of yourself. Most unhappy people are simply unhappy because they are constantly doing what their hearts really don’t want to do. Listen to your heart – it knows what you need to do.
- Speak kindly about yourself to yourself. Always. You are a beautiful creation of Allah.
- Practise patience through expressing gratitude. Every moment is a moment of mercy if you choose to look at it that way. You have a choice to be a victim of your circumstances or a victor of them.