The possibility of a second wave is not a prospect anymore but a reality. Many parts of Europe are bracing for a second lockdown. But this lockdown is going to be a little different as it comes with the experience of, well, having been through this before. How can we better manage this lockdown than the previous one?
Even with rising food prices there is no need to stockpile and hoard food. As Muslims we know it is sinful to waste or be extravagant with food. By stockpiling food we are increasing food prices and making it even more difficult for those with less means to afford even staple foods. We know from the previous lockdown that we won’t run short of food.
Also, we need to be aware that as Muslims we think about others and not only ourselves. Stockpiling food is selfish and abhorrent and there was really no need to do it the first time around.
Allah has blessed us with plenty and we can perhaps use the money that we would have used for stockpiling, to fund food banks or feeding projects. A community that looks after each other is a community uplifted.
The first time around many of us found ourselves constantly consuming the news and watching the statistics on Covid-19. Overly consuming anything is unhealthy.
Zaynab James, mentions that the one thing she won’t be doing this time around is watching any news:
It done my head in the last time. I think I might just stay home this lockdown because it’s too cold to go out but I won’t be spending my days watching TV or browsing the internet, it’s too unhealthy. I will try and treat this as a seclusion and try to start praying my ‘make-up’ prayers that I’ve clocked up over the years, I’m intending to turn the home into a musalla seeing as though we can’t visit mosques or attend gatherings.”
We learn from our Prophet (pbuh) to do things with moderation. Discipline your news engagement and disentangle yourself from fear mongering.
Respecting our homes
Looking back to the first lockdown, the whole world seemed to be baking every conceivable baked good to get us through the long days at home. But what we didn’t realize is for the first time many of us would be in a confined space with our families for an insurmountable time. Those four walls even with our nearest and dearest can start to feel suffocating.
Faatimah Knight of Yaqeen Institute writes that “Many of us are not accustomed to spending so much time at home. To some extent, you might even feel like a stranger in your own home. Try to treat your home as you would a guest, show your gratitude for having shelter by honoring your home in how you care for its upkeep and in how you perceive it. For those of us who have busy, bustling homes we might benefit from establishing a cleanliness minimum.”
By lowering expectations because we have people using the home spaces for 24/7 will help to avoid unnecessary frustrations.
When it comes to how you perceive your home, try to look at it with the eye of gratitude by focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t. If you have the blessing of a bed, you might consider going to sleep a little earlier. If, through the power of our orientation, we can see beyond the mere materiality of our homes, and instead treat our homes with care and bring them to life with worship, we may breathe life into our space and feel it expand.”Faatimah Knight, Yaqeen Institute
Keep (spiritually) active
Uns from the @Unskfit Instagram page says she is dreading the second wave because all the gyms will close and exercise is how she finds her mental clarity. Even though she still exercised at home during the first wave she lacked motivation and forced herself to do it everyday. This time around she does not want to make the same mistake.
The thing that helped me the most to be motivated was strengthening my relationship with Allah, because we have all the time to do it and no excuse not to.”
Once she got this right everything else fell into place including being motivated to exercise. “This should have been my top priority before and this time it will.”
Focus on what matters
The anxiety and stress coming from what we can’t control will put us in a more helpless situation. The psychological impact of Covid-19 will be felt for years to come. People fear losing their jobs, getting sick or even losing a loved one to the disease. The first lockdown came quickly and psychologically we were not prepared for the impact.
This time around we should do everything in power to protect our mental health. Self care is not a luxury but a necessity in these times.
Worry has an impact on our physical bodies, our emotions and our relationships. We need to take a moment to realize what we can and cannot control. Focus on what we can control, we don’t have to be hopeless. One of the main things we can control is how we respond to this lockdown. As Muslims we should always remain positive that the outcome will be good.
Now, we know how to do this
The second wave comes with an incredible amount of awareness. We know what to expect not only from ourselves but the people you choose to do life with. Our homes have become not only places for rest, but also places of worship, school, and work.
Let us focus on what we have to be grateful for and how we can come out of this more resilient. Above all this time wisely to serve others especially in your family and also to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.