Self care tips to consider in light of the Sunnah
Bearing in mind the current state of the world, especially for the Muslim ummah, self care has become pertinent to safeguard our mental state of health. This would enable us to avoid several health problems and mental issues. Taking care of yourself amidst the chaos of this world would enable one to attain peace of mind and prosperity which will naturally give rise to possessing a virtuous character. The prophet (pbuh) said:
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners” (Abu Dawud).
In order to achieve a healthy psychological state of mind and general well being, the following can be used as guidelines and pointers to also improve your adab / manners.
“The best amongst you are those who have the best manners and character” (Bukhari hadith No. 56).
Self care and not self worrying
Learn to make excuses for people if a disappointment arises and try not to make hasty assumptions because, a huge percentage of the time, the assumptions are always in the wrong. You never know what people are going through, so it’s only fair to at least try and tolerate them. Abi Qilabah (rhm) said :
“If some information reaches you about your brother which you dislike, then search for an excuse for him. And if you do not find an excuse for him, then say: “Maybe he has an excuse which I have no knowledge of”.
Keep a diary. Exercise your mind by penning down thoughts and worries. Writing helps to rid the mind of things that weigh it. Try not to overthink as it leads to evil and vain thoughts. Narrated Abu Hurayra (ra) that the prophet (pbuh) said :
“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy…” (Bukhari 6064).
Managing anger and time for self care
Try to manage your anger and do not bottle up emotions because you might just end up hurting a neutral person and those around you. Abu Hurayra reported that the prophet (pbuh) said: “The person who is strong is not strong because he can knock people down. The person who is strong is the one who controls himself when he is angry” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1317).
Practice time management and don’t procrastinate especially if you are time oriented, rather than goal oriented. Get the hang of managing your time and carry out tasks at specific periods. Remember that time is the only resource which has the same value to both the rich and the poor. The prophet (pbuh) said : “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good” (Bukhari 8/421). Slowly but surely, you will learn how to put an end to stalling your responsibilities. A time table will help in mapping out your plans and executing them effectively. This would also help in organizing your personal space.
Get enough sleep, eat well, most importantly eat healthy. Abu Hurayrah narrated that the prophet (pbuh) said : “A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and both are good…” (Bukhari). He also said : “No man fills a container worse than his stomach…” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi). Exercise regularly, at least take regular walks if that’s all you can afford. Walking also helps to clear the mind and burn extra calories.
Learn to say NO, in a kind way of course, especially if it’s beyond your capabilities. The prophet (pbuh) said : “What I have forbidden for you, avoid. What I have ordered you [to do], do as much of it as you can” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). Learn to also ask moderately as the prophet (pbuh) said : “Among the early prophetic teachings that have reached people is this: if you do not feel shame, do what you wish” (Bukhari). In addition, learn to receive NO, as a response, in good faith as the prophet (pbuh) said : “…A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim: he does not oppress him, nor does he fail him, nor does he lie to him, nor does he hold him in contempt…” (Muslim).
Take regular breaks away from your social media, don’t become depressed by what you think it is and only use it for good. The prophet (pbuh) said : “Be conscious of Allah wherever you are. Follow the bad deed with a good one to erase it, and engage others with beautiful character” (Tirmidhi). Remember that this world is, only but, a deception.
(Written by Zainab Sulaimon)