Written by: Mahnoor Arif
As this Covid-19 pandemic confines us to our home, we are forced to work, study, and socialize remotely. While that may have its benefits, it has its cons as well. We liked it at the start but now, we miss our regular activities, praying in the mosque, going to work, meeting colleagues, hanging out with friends, eating out, and many more. It is true that our normal activities provided a structure to our day and our life. We knew we had to be at work or school, and we structured our day accordingly. Another important thing is social interaction. Social interactions, whether based around spiritual activities or others, keep us connected and if seen differently, keep us going. As for now, we don’t know how long will this confinement last, and while its certainly getting difficult day by day, we can still do a few things to make this time a good one for us and our family.
Praying on time – The natural schedule!
While we cannot deny the fact that our previous routines had a lot of discipline and structure in them, there had been a mini schedule existing in our lives all the time. Salah/Praying on time is a schedule provided to us independent of all our daily activities. Whether someone was a businessperson or an entrepreneur, a 9-5 worker, or a gardener at someone’s home, the praying schedules for a Muslim remain the same. Taking the opportunity of that, we can make our work at home routines better by aligning them with praying timings. Along with effective time management, doing this exercise will also help us increase our attention time span when we are back to work since our prayers are a lot about mindfully focusing on what we say and what we do. After all, that is the most necessary job a Muslim does.
Dress up – Set the environment!
Just like the nice ambiance of a restaurant totally lifts up your mood, the same way, getting yourself ready for your work (be it at home) instantly brings in that rush of energy that one needs to start working. It’s like you’re halfway there! Moreover, one can also assign a working area in their home in order to have a proper feel of a workspace. Dressing up for work has been proven to be a factor that contributes a lot to someone’s personal performance and overall productivity.
The use of our dress as an adornment while staying in the limits of modesty has been prescribed to us in the Quran as well.
O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as adornment. But the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember. (Surah Al-A’raf, ayah 26)
There are many out there who don’t have the stress of working from home because they have no work. There are many out there who don’t have the stress of continuous nagging from kids or family because they are living far away from them, alone. Not belittling the stress of working from home, it still is a great blessing from the Almighty that we have something to sustain ourselves and our family these days. And certainly, with this attitude of gratitude, we will not only get past these times but will even be more thankful for the coming ones.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor];” (Surah Ibrahim : 7)
Eyes on the prize!
These are stressful times indeed. One can easily gain
motivation at one point and lose at most others. Nothing else but having a
far-sighted picture in mind seems to be the only hope to hold on to, at the end
of the day. One can use it in two ways for going on. Trick your mind! Keep
small perks for yourself when working. It may be according to time or the percentage
of tasks accomplished or simply for having patience when your kids/siblings
were testing you to your limits but you didn’t give in. And the second way is
to have the hope that ultimately this quarantine will end and we will step into
a kinder, happier world who will appreciate the little good it has. Till then,
we need to stay put in order to sustain our self to reach that prize.