A Mental Health Tool-Kit

We know what’s happening in the world can take a mental toll. Whether you feel anxious, down, lonely or bored, we decided to put together a compilation of tips to bring you comfort and support. We also included Muslim mental wellness support lines if you feel like you need some one-on-one time. 

Despite the external craziness, your inner peace can be in your control. Our hope is for our VELA community to take deep care of themselves and know that they’re not alone. Meditation & Prayer: Finding inner stillness & hope.

Meditation is a great tool to get you back to a baseline of calm. It’s never been easier to give it a try, with several apps offering a range of free meditations. 

  • Headspace is offering a few free meditations, sleep and movement exercises called “Weathering the Storm” for those feeling anxious.
  • Insight Timer has thousands of free guided meditations, like ‘Facing Fear with Compassion’ with the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert. As well as soothing music, like the sound of a rainy night.

Such uncertain times can be an opportunity to turn to God and remember that Allah is near. We should remember God’s proclamation ‘Fa Inni Qareeb’, I am near (Quran, 2:186). That He responds to the one who calls to Him. Rebuilding or strengthening your relationship and understanding of Allah when all feels dire is one of the best ways to put coronavirus (& life) into perspective.

  • Marwa recommends Omar Suleiman’s podcast. He's created a series of Coronavirus related episodes, discussing spirituality, anxiety and practical tips.

Exercise & Dance: Shake it off!

If the only dance you’re doing is between your couch and your fridge, it’s time to change things up! Music can feel like a good shower for your inner world. Turn it up and act like no one’s watching, because no one is.

  • Forward Space is hosting digital dance parties every day on IG at 2 pm EST. Take a midday break and reboot your brain.
  • If you want exercise that’s more guided, with no tools needed, Melissa Wood Health posts regular free pilates inspired workouts on IG. Yoga with Adriene on Youtube is fantastic for both total newbies and certified yogi’s. 

Connect & Disconnect: Feel the love & take a break. 

Social-distancing should be renamed physical-distancing. Here are some fun ways to connect with your loved ones:

  • Play virtual board games through Houseparty! A group video app that is the next best thing to hanging out in person. 
  • Have a Netflix Party anywhere with anyone (as long as they have Netflix too). 
  • Write someone a thank you letter, letting them know how much you appreciate them. 
  • Text someone you haven’t talked to in a while. 

It’s also healthy to disconnect and set boundaries with those you’re quarantining with.

  • Give yourself regular mental breaks from social media. Staying informed is important, being inundated is not. SelfControl is a free app for Mac that helps with addictive distractions.
  • Talk to your family and loved ones about setting boundaries while you share physical and mental space. Discussing daily routines and expectations can be a good starting point.

Just Plain Bored? We gotchu. 

  • Take a free virtual tour of the best museums in the world.
  • Go out and get some fresh air! As long as you maintain a strict 6 foot distance from others, you’re good to go take a walk, run or bike ride.
  • Or bring the fresh air in! Plants can purify indoor air and help cultivate mindfulness. Shop online at The Sill & Bloomscape, they deliver straight to your door.

Reach out for Help

If all this seems too much, know that it’s alright to seek professional help. A simple phone call or text can make a big difference to your mental health. Here are a few Muslim mental wellness support lines, all are confidential:

Give yourself permission to give extra love and nourishment to yourself. By taking care of yourself, you are better able to help your loved ones. We are one VELA fam and we’re here for you. Give us your tips in the comments, and spread the love by sharing this article.

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