Coping with the lockdown 2021

An anonymous share from a fellow mom about her tricks to help cope with lockdown in 2021!


Mom, wife, sister, friend, employee, student, homemaker, teacher and caregiver all at the same time all equally demanding attention. 2020 had been exhausting for women and a few men too. After reflecting on the year, I did some thinking on what worked and what didn’t work in trying to manage the up’s and down’s.

Here are some of the things I will be doing this year, which have served me and my family well.

Learning to let go..

Instead of trying to be the perfect mother by tracking how much t.v. my kids watch, what the family eats and how clean the house is, I have learnt to be more forgiving and less rigid. I still beat myself up about a messy kitchen or shoes lying everywhere, but letting go means I spend less energy stressing about it and more energy to focus on the things I can get through. This cut my down my stress making me kinder to my kids.

Let go of waste

Through cutting down what we have in the house that we done use, toys, clothes, and random odds and ends, I have less and less to tidy up. This has made the house more pleasant as well as see the kids imaginations grow with having less toys. I have also opted for smarter organizing in the house.

Play

I love learning alongside my kids so science experiments are great for all of us – and they are so simple surprisingly fast and easy to do, making them the perfect option when I’m taking a quick tea break from work. This way I get to spend time with my kids, let them learn and we have plenty of giggles. The James Dayson Foundation has created challenge cards for kids of all ages that were fun, inexpensive and importantly they don’t take much time!  

Talking about feelings

Talking to my kids about the coronavirus, what is happening and how it affects them has given them the space to ask questions on the anxieties they face. As a school goer, the disruption to her schooling led to anxiety and by talking about our feelings, she managed to express her (strange) fears about the virus and we have worked to reduce her fears. Though talking about our feelings,  we have learnt from one another and have been able to lean on each other for support.

Have dinner together

It sounds simple, but trying to cook after a long days of work, homeschool, cleaning, and exhaustion meant that some dinners would only take place 20 minutes before bedtime! Yet without fail, we sit together and have time to connect.

Some of the best conversations take place around the dinner table.

Mindfulness in Salaah (prayers)

I am learning to use my Salah as a time of mindfulness, a break from the busy-ness and to find some stillness. By immersing myself in my Salah, I find that this gives me a break in the day to be present Allah and to acknowledge without judgement if the day is going well, stressful or just ok. Irrespective it’s a time for regrouping my energy and focus.

Practicing mindfulness “on the go”

This helped me to be more present in my tasks, be it work, play, cleaning or connecting with my husband. So rather than having my mind running on 100 things, I can focus on doing one thing well… well most of the time, I still need a lot of practice, but when I do get it right, the results have been so richly rewarding!

Gratitude

I am choosing to start each day with gratitude is one part of the process of trying to live a life of gratitude. We all know that benefits of gratefulness, and that it takes effort. My biggest lesson in gratefulness is that it does not equate to acceptance – rather it has taught me that fighting – be it for justice or your dreams – is a critical part of grateful living.   

Leverage the past as a resource

A guide for the present is by learning to stop rumination. Rumination is the act of thinking about the same thoughts over and over and over again. When we think about the past, good or bad, the emotions of that event build up in us and this heightens anxiety. Rumination is part of what makes us human, yet it can be dangerous. I have learnt to notice when I am ruminating without feeling bad about it through mindfulness practice and to then focus my energy on the present. Rather than trying to change what happened in the past, I’m trying to focus on how to learn from it.  

Schedule

Planning meals, activities and shopping trips weekly helps me cope better. It relieve the pressure on us to think of what to eat, cook or what to occupy the children with. Building in a routine (that we break every so often without judgement) helps us to cope with the day to day grind.

Having honest conversations

The phrase, don’t bring your home into work, has been shattered. I have learnt that it is not unprofessional to speak up about my needs from work to balance and juggle things. We are all human, so approach topics with empathy and understanding and standing up for myself has been good for me and the company I work for. Not only do people respect my boundaries, but I am more productive.

Letting go of judgement

With billions of people in the world, there can never be only way of doing things. We all have our own quirks, ways of working and our own beliefs on what is important in life. Suspending judgement and seeing people as they are in their own truth is something I am trying to practice daily. It has allowed me to enjoy my relationships with those I love as I respect their way of doing things and not force my opinion. Celebrating our differences for me, makes life richer and more interesting.  


I hope a few items I have spoken about will help you in your 2021 journey to cope with lockdown better. We are all in this together so still connect to those around you and have a blessed year!

Love Anonymous xoxo

Gratitude in 2021 – Nabeelah Menk

Featured guest post from a lovely follower Nabeelah Menk. She shares her gratitude journey with us through all the struggles she has faced over the past few years and how she has learnt to over come it. For anyone else who has suffered or is currently suffering with any of these related issues I hope you will find inspiration to help you know you can get through it. You are not alone.


If anyone asked me what the greatest lesson I’ve learnt from life so far is, it is this: Gratitude. Being able to appreciate each moment for what it is and thanking Allaah for it.

Having been through post partum depression twice, having been suicidal, and gone through anxiety panic disorder, having faced many medical complications and living with a chronic autoimmune condition, I have learnt a lot about how to cope, Alhamdulillaah. Having overcome my mental issues, I am grateful everyday for every blessing that Allaah has bestowed upon me. The gratitude just increases His bounties. It is His promise and truly, I have witnessed that in my own life.

Be grateful, even for the difficult times you go through, you learn so much and you come out of them stronger and wiser.

A few simple yet very effective things I have learnt through the challenges I have faced on my journey so far:

1. Be you. Be honest, be kind, yet be firm in setting your boundaries. Don’t let go of your morals and values for someone else. It is never worth it.

2. Don’t let others’ opinions of you bother you.
This is very difficult to achieve, but once you get this, it makes your life so peaceful.
People will always have something to say, no matter what it is you do. So do what is right for you, keeping Allaah’s limits in mind.

3. Be mindful. Live each moment in the present, because no one is guaranteed tomorrow.

4. Let go of what you cannot control. Don’t worry and stress over things that are outside of your control. Do what you can, try your best and leave things in His hands, because He is the best of planners.

5. Don’t hold on to the past. Learn from it and let it go. Forgive. There is nothing to be gained from holding grudges. I read somewhere that holding on to grudges is like carrying a sack in which you place a potato for every grudge. The longer you hold on to it, the heavier it feels and the more the potatoes rot. Lay down that sack and let go of those rotten potatoes. You deserve to breathe clean, fresh, revitalizing air, which is not possible if you’re carrying around a sack of rotten potatoes.

6. Forgive people in the same way you would like Allaah to forgive you.
You can also keep your distance from such people. That’s okay. Forgiveness does not automatically mean interacting closely with them again. Being polite while maintaining minimal contact for your own mental health is just fine. Letting go of the grudge is more for yourself than for them.
Don’t give people and their actions more importance than they deserve.

7. Acknowledge your own accomplishments. You are doing the best you can. You are trying and that is what is important. Be content. Be happy. Be grateful.
You are unique and Allaah has blessed you.

Love Nabeelah


The bubble life – COVID19 – Anonymous share

This anonymous story has been shared with the blog and is a personal view from a father, his thoughts on the pandemic Covid19 and what challenges he faced during the time.

Remember all entries are welcome and we love to hear from anyone who is willing to share their thoughts and views on any topic that could be related to the world and what is going on in their lives. Comment below if you have any thoughts on this.


The simplistic talk of a normal person, a father, a husband, a son, and brother. I talk basic and simple language basic English, and I feel like I normally say what I feel or think. Might come across as brass but I feel voice your opinion, and you shall be heard. Something I teach my kids who now live in a world that is nearly abnormal.

COVID – 19, The stylish virus of the year 2020. A pandemic that has affected the world Globally. A “UFO” something I would have called this thing we all know as Coronavirus “COVID – 19”. Think of the Versace or Armani of viruses, why I say this is when you see people wearing masks with real fashion statements, but do not research the actual protection levels if we look cool.

Have you sat and thought why they called it COVID – 19? Who came up with this name for this type of strain of the Coronavirus? I sit and think about this all the time, given all the time I have on my hands, especially now in a shutdown. After some research and deep diving luckily for the internet I found this:

“The “corona” in “coronavirus” actually comes from what the virus looks like.


“Under a microscope, the virus has these little proteins that sticks out of it and it kind of looks like the sun, the corona,” said Dr. Patel.

The novel coronavirus is the name of the virus.

“The disease it causes is called COVID-19. ‘CO’ corona, ‘V-I’ virus, ‘D’ disease, ’19,’ 2019,” said Dr. Patel.”

coronavirus under microscope

Abbreviated above by a qualified physician. Article used from google.

Routine? Really?

I stay in Sunny South Africa in Johannesburg. A beautiful country where the sunshine is continuously blazing, Mother Earth gives us all an optical illusion of warmth and comfort, the distinct feeling of being in Africa but Johannesburg disguising itself as some European city with the real darkness that comes along with the entire package.

Trying to remain with some sort of routine to work remotely and juggle between my business, and finding a way to allow all my staff to have jobs when trade was allowed to resume, as were shut completely, doors closed.

Trying to be innovative in my business so all the family’s in my company are kept safe and fed and have roofs over their heads during these testing times, doing zoom lessons for my kids schooling. Feeling like we automatically became teachers to them for education and not just life. A first of its kind? Majority or nearly all being done by my wife. Hats off to her.

Normal

Normally a bustling City of Johannesburg, with endless traffic that starts at 6 am and ends at 8 pm but never stops, she only gets quiet, in a normal time. In a normal World.

How amazing it is to use the word “NORMAL”. It seems so long ago when things were “NORMAL”, is that even the correct word to use in the times before COVID-19.

It just seems so long ago when your main concern for tomorrow was the headache of traffic in the morning, school runs, on the way to work, that routine “day in day out.”

As the Father of my children needing to know what their schedules were like for school and worrying about my son making the cricket team and the soccer team for his school, interested in listening to my daughter talk about her day and her very trivial 8 year old girl quarrels of Barbies and Pocket Polly.

WOW was that normal?

Was that Life?

Was that routine?

Was it Real or just a “bubble,” humans programmed by A.I as a robot is programmed, only our updates of Apps and Ram and Memory happen when were relaxed and doing what we enjoy the most, for some, it`s watching tv, playing games, doing outdoor activities, concentrating on your health and fitness called the recharge.

For most the daily importance was how we look on a day to day basis. Cosmetics make up for the Ladies, clothes with huge account debts to Edgars and Woolworths, our closets getting fuller by the day, we were relentless as humans. All we did or still do, and most likely will continue to do given Normality returns to the old World. Do we best at suck the world dry, for money and greed and the status that comes with it, the luxury of materialistic stuff, cars, houses the biggest TV, and all the tech that comes along with it. I mean I saw a new type of fridge that can connect to your smart phone and you can do certain things through the app. Amazing but to me pointless.

We have slowly been killing our own planet, despite many many many warnings from scientists proving how our actions and technology are changing the state of the world. Is this what was left behind for us to protect and this is how we go about it.

The Year 2020

January the 1st 2020 – the start of a year full of promise, optimism, and change. I can agree with Change and optimism, however promise was never there, it was always a fat lie, the old man in the chambers of commerce sitting in Parliament making nonsensical connotations of fake promises to help the needy and poor. Isn’t that the case all over our continent?

Sure! I personally started 2020 with huge optimistic ideas for my business and growth of the business and growth of my staff to better themselves and their families.

Little did we know what was planned for us, no prediction from Experts or politicians, neither from Scientists nor even the ever so loud conspiracy theorists.

I read an article that WHO director general fired his first warning shot towards the end of January 2020, and repeatedly throughout February 2020 and continued to do so, with no heed to his warning from any country advised to act and act quickly.

“I call upon the international community to take this message seriously and use the window of opportunity to respond while we have time to respond.”

— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, WHO.

The quote above from a website called Devex showing the proof of WHO warning the world, but it seems as if those warnings fell onto deaf ears, or again it was because of world economic gain for certain organisations.

The Restart

The announcement of local containment, testing, the SANDF and Law Enforcement doing their part in making sure adherence is met by the public and the curfew was respected. I think their most difficult times would have been in the locations and high-density areas. I also do not blame the residents of those areas, I mean honest some cant even be more than a meter apart in spacious area, so difficult for everyone. The silver lining was a lot of lives were saved.

I suppose you could question a lot about our government and media at the time, and questions arising of mistrust, corruption, mis information, an ungeared and far from ready medical sector, testing kits becoming more and more scarce, the prices of PPR soaring sky high making it all unfordable to your normal working citizen wanting to earn an Honest Living and had to purchase these products to be able work and earn and feed their families.

Another financial error by the current government. If for arguments sake, that special cabinet for the pandemic knew months ago but only started the prep when it made economic sense for the sake of profiteering from the situation they already knew as coming, the early warnings could have come a lot sooner and preparations should have been made prior to the panic rush, creating shortages and allowing price gauging.

My Theory again, our Government had some sort of benefit gain in that as well. The management of the shutdown by all the resources deployed was an absolute shamble with no control at all in social distancing or the correct measures to check and test and contact trace individuals.

The locations are truly overcrowded, with at least four to 6 people minimum sharing a 3 x 3 room. Ablution is terrible and we cannot even talk about social distancing as it is impossible to even exist in that environment. Again, in my eyes and my views a Failure from poor planning by the MEC of Gauteng and its relevant departments. 

I did not want to pay my team part Salary due their family’s and family responsibility. Was brave and lucky, enough to follow through on this and blessed enough to make a living for everyone during this time, and as a SME, I can proudly say I took Zero assistance from any relief fund supposedly provided.

I survived Thank you Almighty. “

I can`t say the same for a lot of people that have my most sincere empathy towards them, and I hope they can find a way to get back on their feet.

I remember the one day being asked a favour to accompany my friend with licences and permits don’t worry, he asked me to drive a total of 250kms from one side of Gauteng to another, form warehouse to warehouse only find 100 other brokers at each different location all waiting for promised product which was non-existent. What really confused me to this day is that who in their right mind and for what purpose would they send messages and locations to people claiming they buy products and never has any product, and what are they trying to achieve my seeing all these people to know who they are. Serves a purpose – I do not think so. Highly suspicious – Definitely. 

Life Returns Slowly

I Now move on the Real side of my life, my Children. Our exceptional Department of Education feels that its must be the first in the world to win the race to send our Future generation back to school as early as possible. My personal feeling is this should be a huge NO, NO, NO. Our Children are not guinea pigs to be trialled on for the government to utilise the School Data of how many children will and can be infected, who is asymptomatic and who is not. This is a clinical trial to me personally in my view.

Firstly, if it fails and it is a no recall or the unfortunate parents would have to face fatality, who is responsible the School, the government, or the Parents? Secondly if it fails and kids will then inevitably go back home again, the waste of vital funds for PPE for schools now will be null and void. Parents should really consider and voice this.

Yes, I understand the parents and children that are not as fortunate as others, however I still feel the life of the child in question should be more important at this time.

Have you Thought

I will now move on to the lapse in memory for the majority of the medical industry, have we and them, all forgotten that the world suffer more diseases that have been going on and will continue to go whilst COVID 19 has come into our lives. I speak from experience, I had a minor health issue recently, however only to be told that what could have been major to me was not very important to the specialist physicians, and I was clearly told that unfortunately your test results will be put the back of the que due to COVID – 19. In England I have heard of personal stores of relatives suffering from terminal illnesses and getting the worst possible treatment and service and pure negligence of malpractice. A Covid Patient Being Admitted in a ward with terminally ill and highly vulnerable patients. Even a so-called 1st world country struggling to meet the demands of the Pandemic.

This Pandemic has huge propaganda attached to it clearly all over, the lack of PPE reserved for Medicals and frontline workers, WHO being the irresponsible organisation even though they fully knew a lot earlier than the rest. My Theory the world needed a reboot, and this is how it was decided for it to be done, through all the World Leaders. The Economy of the world is now back to where companies can make a goof profit margin again, which was not the case before the Pandemic, for the entire world from Manufacturing to Retail.

Technology had got to its Limit. The Likes of Apple, Samsung and Hauwei came out with some amazing products however rushed it in terms of release, everything was to fast the other companies tried hard to keep up and even tech was at a verge of collapse, or more like implode on itself. I could not see it any other way.


Comparing the COVID-19 Coronavirus to 7 Other Infectious Diseases

Current cases (29 July 2020): Infected: 460K, Recovered: 287K, Current death toll (same date): 7 257

  1. The seasonal flu/Influenza, Yearly cases: approx. 3 to 5 million, Yearly death toll: approx. 290,000 to 650,000

Source: WHO

      2. SARS, Total reported cases: 8,098, Death toll: 774, – Source: CDC

        3. MERS, Total reported cases: 2,494 , Death toll: 858 – Source: WHO

        4. HIV/AIDS, People living with HIV (end of 2018): 32.7 million–44.0 million, Death toll (2019): 570 000–1.1 millionSource: UNAIDS

        5. Ebola, Cases (Aug 2018- Nov 2019): 3,296, Deaths (Aug 2018- Nov 2019): 2,196Source: CDC

        6. Meningitis, Yearly cases: approx. 1.5 million, Yearly death toll: approx. 170,000Sources: CDC/COMO Meningitis

        7. Malaria, Cases (2018): 228 million, Deaths (2018): 405, 000Source: WHO

As a society we should be wary and mindful that the fear of COVID-19 is stopping patients with these types of diseases / illnesses from going to their medical practitioner so in essence Fear of Covid is likely to kill them by not attended their appointments. Which allows the report to state cause death is Covid-19.


I wish this story could be positive and more exciting, however I always take positives away from being surrounded by negativity, such as the Unity Shown by many nations the solidarity, the humanity from people of who have achieved and have been capable of giving back to poor and helpless people.

Charity organisations and NGOS, non-profit organisations, as well as businesses like SMEs pledging to help in whatever aspect possible.

Celebrity’s releasing music under social distancing rules, religions making sacrifices knowing their creator will understand and forgive them (The Mercy of the creator.)

The rise of young people showing they can continue to fight for a better world. All this being done following strict social distancing rules. A silver lining, I suppose. The education of a more hygienic world, with more hygienic people doing more to keep our world alive and give our youth a better future.

I would love to see how we turn out!!!

My post-partum depression story by Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)

Before I begin to share Shahina’s story with you all remember to be kind to yourselves and others, as we do not know the journies they have been on. Be brave and strong for one another, as we as mothers only know the truths behind our own individual lives.

I hope this courageous share will inspire other mom’s to open up about their stories too.


It’s 6am on a Sunday morning, I’m wide awake but exhausted, I can’t get myself to get out of bed. I must’ve woken up every hour last night feeding the little one. 

As I lay in bed I can’t help it but tears won’t stop flowing. I have this deep deep sadness embedded within my soul. My cheeks feel raw from wiping my tears away constantly. So many thoughts and questions flowing through my head, and with each thought follows the tears.

Why am I feeling like this? I hate being a mom! Why don’t I love my baby? I have to be the worst woman in the world! Who doesn’t love their own baby? 

My mind is foggy yet these thoughts won’t stop from entering my head. 

My body feels limp, forget getting out of bed I can’t even get myself to turn sides in bed, I feel all my energy slowly being drained away. I can actually feel it leaving my body. And it’s not just my energy, I feel like all my happiness is being sucked out too. I have no dreams, no ambitions, I don’t look forward to anything, I lie in bed thinking my whole life is over and this is it. The end of my life…

All I wanted was for it to end. I have always been the person to fear death, but here I was fascinated by ending my own life.

Not caring about anything or anyone. And worst of all, it didn’t seem wrong, it felt perfectly natural. Natural that my life’s purpose was over and I needed to end it, now. I kept thinking of ways this could be all over right now. 

I finally got the energy to get out of bed, looked at my baby and woke up my husband and told him to give her away. I didn’t want her, but I couldn’t tell him that. I just told him I’m unwell and couldn’t look after her today. He understood and took her to my inlaws.

He tried everything to make me feel better, one of the things he tried was taking me out on a long drive. Something we did often when it was just the two of us.  But I sat in the car and just stared into nothingness.

All I could think was my life is over, ‘It’s over! it’s over! It’s over!’ (That was the only thing playing in my head).

We got home and naturally the baby was handed to me. And all I could think was ‘ I don’t want her, someone please take away, she destroyed my life!’

I took her to my room and put her tiny curled up body on my bed, laying against those fancy cushions we unnecessarily decorate our beds with. Then, a voice in my head spoke. ‘Take this cushion and suffocate her. All your problems will be over’. I looked at the cushion then looked at her. All I wanted was to take the cushion and suffocate her little face under it. Then another voice, very faint this time, popped up, saying this is not normal, this is wrong! 

I restrained myself, but the whole day was spent thinking of how I wish she was just gone, either I give her away to someone or just kill her.

That night, as I forced myself to sit and talk to myself and Allah, I thought about that faint voice telling me that this is wrong. I went to my husband and told him there’s something wrong with me.

I need help and figured it out, this is postpartum depression. I’ve read about it but can this really be happening to me??? 

We researched and found a postpartum depression counselor, messaged her straight away and for an appointment, I made another appointment with a psychiatrist on the same day. There’s something wrong me and I need it fixed, right now. 

Speaking to both my psychiatrist and counselor I just couldn’t help but cry throughout. My grief doesn’t make sense. 

They both made me understand that this is just my brain, and explained everything to me. I started anti-depressants as soon as I could. But I can tell you, that was just the beginning. The side effects of the anti-depressants were terrible, I had anxiety attacks throughout the day, I had to move in to my moms house so she could look after the baby. 

It is now 6 months down the road….

I exercise, get counseling, sit in the sun and eat whatever I feel like. I make it a point to do something for myself every week, be it going for coffee with a friend, buying myself something nice or going for a pedi.

I still feel low and irritable but the worst is now behind me. I am so thankful to have an understanding family who supported me and was just there for me, even though they didn’t understand. 

Writing this was hard, remembering my darkest hours and days. Now I look at Mishaal, and all I have for her is an overpowering wave of love. I do get my days when I’m low and I just need a break, but then that’s normal, every human needs a break and trust and love myself. 

Thank you for reading my story, if this is happening to you, know that this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything for this to happen.

Be easy on yourself and make yourself a priority. Discover yourself and practice self love on a daily. All it takes is time! 

Shahina x 

Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)
Shahina and Mishaal on their trip to India.

The path of the lonely lioness

From a young age I was very driven and motivated to be the best. My parents were in top positions and made a great life for themselves and me. They always pushed me to be the best i could be. So from academics to sports, I always managed to keep myself in the top of each. I never thought that this would make me end up feeling so alone after i had my son.

When I met my partner we wanted the same things, to build our names and careers in our companies and be financially independant. We never saw the need to have any friends or keep company when it was not neccessary. I never truly had a friend I could call on for that advice, suppose i thought I was strong enough to deal with my emotions on my own and when my parents decided to relocate, that also left me to manage my life even more on my own to feet.

My son was born about four years later. It was definately not a planned pregnancy but we were confident and we had the capability to give him all he needed. Financialy stability had happened for us.

Till my maternity leave ended and I decided to go back to work. A feeling started coming over me that I will never forget. A loneliness, a pain in my heart even a longing. What was this I thought?

It was mom guilt in a sense but I also figured out that this little person had become my only ‘friend’. The one I spoke to in the morning and evening, the one who comforted me when i needed a cuddle, made me laugh.

This made me think that I had to put myself out there and make new ‘mom’ friends people who would maybe understand what I was going through and help me get through times when I needed that REAL FRIEND.

I started going to baby play groups with him a few times a week and oddly enough I ended up making the bestest friend I never knew I needed. A mom who I can laugh and cry with and it is the best decision I have made to get out of my own bubble and allow someone in. It is not always scary and I push any other lady who may be going through this to put yourself out there. Your friend may just be around the corner.

Love Anonymous