By Huda Khan
Today as you mindlessly scroll your feeds, pause for a while, and check your average screen time, you’d be shocked to see that on an average 6-7 hours of your day are spent consuming irrelevant information through the social media platforms. After you do this ask yourself is it worth it to spend such a huge chunk of your day on something like this? Now try to recall the events that occurred in the past few months.
The world went through a massive calamity and all of a sudden everything came to a pause. After spending the early days of the lockdown uncertainty and fear and then slowly getting comfortable with staying at home, making Dalgona coffees, playing games on our devices, binge-watching TV shows, we now are realizing that we could have done a lot more than this. Something that would improve the quality of our lives. So before you return to the outside world here are a few things that you could do to make most out of the days that you are left with. If you were able to survive the uncertain times and managed to continue your daily activities you achieved a lot but there is always room for improvement and as our actions are judged based on their endings it’s always a good idea to step up our game. Here are a few ideas to help you spend the only treasure that you own, your time, wisely.
1) Re-establishing a Connection with Allah Almighty
One thing that this year has taught us is that in every life some rain must fall. We have realized that there’s no escape from death and we have to stand in front of Allah (SWT) one day. So why not start building a relationship with Him before it is too late. Before the crown of health falls and the energetic days of youth fade away we need to reconnect with Him and here’s how you can do it.
- Have you ever seen any building standing without a basic foundation, your answer is probably no, and that’s how our relationship with Allah works? Your 5 daily prayers are the foundation of your relationship with Allah. There is absolutely no excuse to skip these prayers. So here’s your chance to build the foundation of your relationship with Allah. A daily basis connection with Allah will bring a never-ending peace to your heart.
- Start memorizing the Duas which were taught to us by the Prophet (PBUH). There are days when we really don’t know what to ask Allah for, and if we know the Duas with their meanings we’d realize there so much to ask Allah (SWT) for. The same goes for Surahs that we can memorize to improve our Salah and stop them from getting monotonous.
- The doors to learning are always open. Today the internet has made learning a lot easier than it was years ago. If we can spend 6-7 hours aimlessly scrolling our feeds and consuming irrelevant information then we surely can invest 30-45 minutes daily to learn more about Islam, Tafseer, tajweed, self-development, etc. Whatever you learn today will bear fruit for you in the future, especially if it’s knowledge of our beautiful Deen (religion). Around The Quran in 30 days by Brother Zia ul Haq is an amazing series for young people to benefit from and get to know the basics about every chapter of the Quran. You can get these nuggets of knowledge only by investing 45 minutes daily for a month.
- Daily Recitation of the Quran is something that has immense rewards and brings tranquillity to the heart and fills the time with Barakah. Get into the habit of reciting a few pages every day so that you stay connected with Allah.
2) Reading Biographies and Books
To all the bookworms out there, you already know that this is your time to live your dream evenings lost in the world of books. But here are a few recommendations: don’t just read everything and anything be certain about what you read, feed your mind with something that you really enjoy and will benefit from. Read autobiographies of the people who served the world.
Reading an autobiography is like living someone’s personal life for a while, you smile, cry, stumble, and rise again along with the author as he/she narrates his/her life story.
Invest some time in self-help books if you want to improve your outlook of life and want development on personal levels.
If you are not a reader and want to read this is your time to start. If you absolutely cannot read, why not explore alternatives like audiobooks or book summaries?
3) Stretch your limbs
Lockdown or no lockdown, we stress ourselves way too much. The work never ends, but it’s always a good idea to stretch your limbs through 10-20 minute pilates or cardio session or a walk down the street. Anything that makes you feel energised and active, do it. Every time you feel lethargic instead of picking up your phone and stressing your mind more, shift the load on your physical being. Give your body its basic needs so that it repays you with sustained energy and mindfulness.
4) Understand your emotions
Take some time out and analyze your relationship with the ones around you. Think for a while where you could have stayed silent and avoided an unnecessary argument? Where you could have just nodded, smiled, and walked away rather than being aggressive and loud? We all have emotions, and rather than suppressing them, we need to understand them. We all carry toxicity within us and we need to work on that. Work on yourself, so that you can better interact with others, and shift your perspective from negativity towards positivity. You could do this by taking out 5-10 minutes and think about your behaviour throughout the day, not every situation needs a reaction. Wise is not the one who tries to change others but the one who strives to become the better version of himself.
5) Start planning your life
One of the greatest things that we could do for ourselves is to sit and plan our days. No doubt everything happens according to the will of Allah (SWT) but we humans have been given the freedom to choose how to spend our time.
A little to-do list and a not-to-do list daily would leave us with a lot more achievements at the end of a month. It’s always a good idea to know what you want to do in a day. For every day counts.
6) Spending time with family
We barely get time to do something for our parents due to the busy schedules we have during our college or university days. Don’t forget that as you age and become independent they age and lose their energies too. Sit with them, talk to them, do little things for them, this is the least you could do for the ones who brought you up. Don’t forget your parents are your Gateway to Paradise.
7) Hobbies are never to be left.
Before the screens started to consume our time and energy, there were things we would love to do. Lockdown is the perfect time to get back to those hobbies. Disconnect from the virtual world for a few hours and do all that makes you happy, Paint for yourself, cook a new dish, bake treats for your family, become a plant parent, the choices are endless.
8) Learning basic life skills.
All of us know how to become successful in different walks of life, but only a few of us know how to cope with life itself. Either if you are a student, have a job, or someone who’s struggling to find their vision life gets stressful and challenging at times. And it’s okay to get lost for life was never meant to be a path of silk.
It’s a good time to identify your weaknesses and then work on them. There are so many things that we can improve on, whether it’s public speaking, money-management, stress management, negotiation, etc. You could even learn how to cook, clean, drive, irrespective of whether you are a man or a woman. These basic skills are not basic at all. They are the foundation to much of how we spend our lives. Life always favours those who are prepared. It’s better to transform ourselves into someone who’s able to withstand the ups and downs of life.
9) Little things matter
Last but not the least, there are little things that matter a-lot, And if done properly they can elevate the quality of our lives. Things like sleeping on time, refraining from backbiting, and judging fellow human beings. All that you ever want could be a healthy eating pattern, having organized work, and personal space. Things like valuing other people’s time and efforts, and accepting the fact that we too can be toxic towards others matter a lot. Even if you don’t get a lot of things to get done during this lockdown at-least take one thing with you for sure and that is empathy and kindness, become more giving in every dimension of life for the sake of Allah but also set your boundaries where you need to. May Allah make us among those who are mindful of their actions and words, and don’t fall into the trap of forgetfulness that the Devil sets for us.