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Being a Single Muslim Woman; What Things to Do?

23 July, 2022
Q Salaams. Winter is here, and I am trying to find activities that will keep me busy. Last year, I joined a skiing club - it was just me and the ski leader, and sometimes 1 or 2 others who signed up. I also skied from time to time with a young niece of mine. This winter, I am finding it hard to gather the motivation to do this again. I know deep down that if I do not, then I will just go to work, come home to an empty house, pray, read, watch TV and go to bed. I have a few friends, but they are busy with their families. I visit my elderly parents and help them as needed, but I do feel that having some activity that is enjoyable will keep my mood up and get me out of the house. Please, do not suggest a religious group - there are few here in my city, and I do feel that I dedicate enough time on religious activities. What can I do to motivate myself to join the ski club or any other activity? I do not have seasonal affective disorder as I do like the wintertime, even if it is cold. Every year, though, I find it harder and harder to find "things to do" that keep me occupied or happy. It is a struggle, but I know that I will fall into a deep depression if I don't make efforts. I don't have a family of my own, so I struggle a lot with loneliness and lack of intimacy. In the past, my non-Muslim friends have suggested that I find a male companion who is single, so that I will have someone to enjoy activities with, and maybe the friendship will lead to marriage. Of course, I never saw that as an option, but now that I am much older and everyone else is busy with their families, I do have some regrets. I think that is even a stronger reason for me to find the strength to jump into these activities like skiing - even if I am struggling to find the motivation. My niece is older now and has her own friends, so she is not interested in skiing with me on the weekends. I do not wish to do it alone. The ski club will provide an outing one night per week, so I don't have to go home from work right away. What can I do to keep motivated as we enter 2014? I know I will experience the same sense of "despair" when summertime is upon us as I will see other families out, and I will need to find an activity that will get me out of the house and out of the office. I do make lots of du'a and pray, of course, but I know in Islam we have to take practical steps to stay functional.



Wa ‘Alaikum Salam,

The issue of finding things to do and people to engage with is very much respected.

This is most certainly not an issue that is specific to single Muslim women.

Indeed, any woman, who is single and does not have a large extended family to provide companionship, would experience the vulnerability to loneliness and depression. I can fully understand your situation.

From what you are describing, it seems that you are an adult woman who is free to choose her own activities without the need for approval from others.

You don’t depend on family members who might want to dictate to you what your choices should be, and you are not bound by cultural norms either that might restrict certain activities.

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With that said, it seems that if there are activities available to you, you are free to engage in them.

Likewise, if there are community clubs, you are free to join.

I am personally neither a scholar of Islam, nor an Islamic jurisprudence, but I have studied the history of most religions from a cultural anthropological perspective.

It is my own personal belief that in order to follow divine principles successfully, one must understand them.

This understanding begins with the spiritual understanding.

This spiritual understanding can then be translated into behavioral terms within the cultural and social context which one finds oneself in.

In this way, one does not violate divine metaphysical laws or principles but easily adheres to them as they are manifested and translated into codes of appropriate (healthy) behaviors and conduct what empower us to do well emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and physically.

It is clear to me that you are faithful to these principles.

I would encourage you to feel good about taking healthy steps not only to keep yourself occupied but also to start new relationships with other people outside of work.

I am personally not informed about what is available in the local area where you live, but I would encourage you to get out skiing since you enjoyed this activity last year.

It might help you to join some type of group that you can meet up with in addition to that.

If you do this, the activities will keep you motivated.

You sound like someone who likes to be physical (skiing).

So, is there a bowling alley maybe with teams in your area? Some type of activities that makes you be part of a team might really make a difference.

Naturally, there are many independent activities in the winter season to engage in while being solo.

You might want to schedule 3 or 4 different activities just to keep you out of the house.

For example, go to a movie theater once a week or have a nice dinner.

I know, I got hooked on doing this myself! Join a book reading club where people meet up once a week to talk about the book they are all reading together.

I once joined a “talking club”. It was a group of intellectuals that met once a month in a coffee shop, from all walks of life, who had above average IQs, were professionals, and would pick a theme for the month. I had so much fun with them.

Join a women’s gym and work out, sit in the Jacuzzi if they have one, or swim.

Find some Zumba classes. These are just some suggestions.

It is likely that if you add some variety to your week, you will stay motivated.

Are you competitive? If so, perhaps you can set some goals for yourself as a skiing athlete and join some amateur competitions.

This will give you more reasons to make it to your ski lessons! It might also give you motivation to go to the gym if you have one available.

I am just tossing around ideas with you hoping that if we brainstorm together, we can get through this barrier.

So, get your calendar and write one program for, at least, 4 nights per week.

Then, mark 2 days per month, or more if you can fit it in, for writing, e-mailing etc., so that you can nurture the friendships that you have.

Also, mark one more day per week to explore this huge big world of ideas and opportunities; this might include safe internet communities which share a passion you may have forgotten about that you have.

Try to remember what you loved playing when you were a child, and consider if such an activity could be transformed into a hobby for mature adults.

This last idea is actually very smart because not only you will be able to rekindle a passion which wards off depression, but you might even be able to set goals for yourself so that you can have a hobby job after playing it for a couple of years.

Many hobby jobs actually turn into retirement supplemental income. Just think; if you have 15-20 years to nurture a passion, what doors might open for you when you are 65!

Food for thought.  🙂


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About Maryam Bachmeier
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant in the areas of mental health, cultural, and relationship issues.