As September reaches its final days, some of us have probably settled into our new routines whilst some students have just had their fresher’s week and their beginning starts now. Nonetheless, October arrives in a matter of days, which leaves us with a short amount of time to decide how we are going to welcome the stress it will come knocking on our doors with. Alongside the dark clouds of overwhelming anxiety, come the dreaded (for some) beastly weathers of winter. However, have no fear, we have a piñata of coping mechanisms which every builder of the mind needs as a tool box.
If you have a look through our previous post, you will see we have discussed much about stress relating to education, the positives and the outweighing negatives, and we even mentioned a few Islamic de-stressors, but all the way through we have been asking you all to participate in #CopingWithEducation. The responses were excellent. Practical, realistic, achievable and most importantly simple. There is nothing more stressful than having a stressful coping method that has a price tag attached to it. Whilst taking a weekend break, having a spa day, or buying yourself something new sounds lovely. As students it just reminds us of what we do not have and cannot afford. However, the unsung heroes that sent in their suggestions and coping mechanisms were really about coping. Almost all of them had practical suggestions, and how to deal with the way that you are feeling, and not just to deal with the workload you have. From mindful techniques, to positive self-talk, from remembering to breathe, to eating meals on time and remembering that Allah does not burden a soul with more than it can bear.
Although we could not pick out our favourites, these are a few tried and tested methods on how to deal with education related stress.
- As hard as it maybe, working after Fajr is a massive blessing and a cure for stress. In the winter, it has been made even easier, we can sleep early and wake up early.
- Increase in your Sunnah of everything practical. Due to time limitations you may not be able to pray your sunnan, but perhaps you can start to introduce extra Salah in you week such as salatul Duha. Or even start fasting twice a week, Monday and Thursday is the Sunnah and research has shown that this can do wonders for your body (but we knew that before anyway).
- Be a parrot of adhkar. Increase what you are doing now, make it second nature and soon enough it will bring you a great amount of comfort. As cliché as it has become, the essence of “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” should not be lessened.
- Adiyaat should not be full of ritualistic and robotic riddles. If you do not know the meaning of your Arabic duas, have them written down next to you, so you know what you are asking for, instead of just repeating what you have memorised. That is not what you would call sincerity. Also, don’t forget that you can make a dua in any language and it does not have be a formal experience, you do not need wudu and nor do you need to raise your hands every single time.
- You do not need to achieve 100% at everything in this life, it is simply a stepping stone to the next. Give it everything you have, but remember the temporal nature of what you are doing. Make it a goal in your life, but do not make it your purpose.
Food and drinks feed our bodies and make it work, knowledge feeds our brains and makes it grow, and ultimately, we need to feed our inner selves in order for everything else to function. We need to set up a system, a machine made up of productive and creative cogs that will have a domino effect on our minds, bodies and souls.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah said in his book Al-Fawid that the human soul is as active as a continuously revolving millstone, it never stops day or night. The thoughts and feelings are like the seeds that the mill grinds. If you put valuable healthy thoughts into it, it is as if you feed it with wheat and it will come out as flour, but if you put gravel and stones, it will grind as well, but what are you going to get at the other end?
Be sure to check out more practical methods that you can implement physically in your daily life here.
Jazakamullahu Khairan for joining us in this month and participating on social media, may Allah reward you all and give you what is beneficial in this world and the next, Ameen.