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

Sacred sexuality

Stop wasting time looking for the perfect solution in sex, instead work on creating the perfect love.


To create sacred sexuality it means practicing growing love were we use ourselves to receive and give greater amounts of love through our own spiritual love and growth.

To create a deep love effect in your relationship, find a way or ways to fulfill your partners sexual desires and vice versa, hard work definitely pays off.. and when we learn to compromise others needs in the sensual relationship it makes for a delicious dish that is served best, hot!


Create the environment

Wether the intimacy is planned or it is a spur of the moment rendezvous. Intentions and connection is what makes for great intimacy. So lay out the best and softest sheets, light those candles, use that massage oil and if you feeling a bit peckish nibble on some chocolate, it never hurt anyone.

Has it, lol.

Connect

Connect to your inner self. Your more inner self, do not treat your sexual needs as dirty or bad. It is a deep rooted inner feeling that enhances your own sexual experience. When you are able to know what you enjoy, the experience can be something so beautiful for both partners. Learning to self love and accept is a big part of having a great sex life.

If you remember certain times were the love making was amazing, then talk about that as a couple and try to incorporate some of those items in your time. If a nibble or a sensual touch is what you crave, let it be heard. The more you talk about your likes after a love making event the better it is for you relationship to only grow. The two most important people are sharing one of the most important aspects of a strong loving relationship so never be afraid to say what you like, or what you would like more of!

You cant expect your partner to know what you want if you don’t speak up.

Follow your intuition

Allow yourself to move with the motion, go with the flow if you say so, let it be unique whenever it can be. Do not allow yourselves to fall into the same old..

Being aware and having your full attention on yourself and partner is what is going to allow you to stay in the feeling of each moment. Stay connected and enjoy the time.

Reflect

Lay in the after glow and share the moment. Whether it was a new one or something you finally mastered. Enjoy the growth of your experiences. Connect, grow and love.


Embrace the moment and forget the rest. There is a time for life and a time for love.

Cupping / Hijama Insights – Kerry Abdullah

A light insight to minders day ‘traditional healing.’ From trained Cupping/Hijama therapist Kerry Leigh Abdullah based in Zimbabwe. Kerry gives us a bit of background on the topic of cupping and shares more information on what is is, what different kinds of techniques are used and the benefits. This traditional healing practice is now commonly done all over the world.

FOLLOW @aesthetics_kl on IG

Hijama/cupping has been around for many centuries. Historical evidence suggests Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Arabs have all been in practice using different methods and techniques but all with the same intention. 

Today cupping is no longer considered ‘traditional healing’ and instead has now become an affordable form of healing without medication involved. Popular with athletes such as Step Curry, Micheal Phelps, James Harrison and many more they have all taken to this remedy as it’s serves great for muscle tension, revitalizing the blood and over all well being. Celebrities have also begun enjoying the amazing benefits cupping has to offer.

James Harrison

Let’s not let the celebrities steer attention away from a practice that is also so beneficial Islamically. Hijama is simply a Sunnah (A practice of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH) in Islam and has so much reward for the cupper and patient – all done with the correct and best intention.

A Hadith (an Islamic teaching of the Prophet PBUH) says – 

Abdullah Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,

“How good is the cupper, removes blood, lightens the back and sharpens the eyesight.”

[al-Tirmidhee,](2053).

from hijamas.com
Benefits of cupping are:

The list is endless and I’m sure to get them all down would be highly impossible. 

Here are some common benefits to remember: 

Benefits of Wet & Dry Cupping 

* Purifies the blood 

* It’s a Sunnah

* Best for treating menstrual issues such as period pain, cysts, infertility, pcos etc..

* Fibromyalgia

* Aids in batting insomnia.

* Controls high Blood Pressure.

* Great for tackling migraines and headaches – just to name a few. 

Dry cupping is an option for a person who for some reason is unable to get cut due to them perhaps being on blood thinning medication such as aspirin.

Benefits of Massage cupping:

* Reduction of Cellulite.

* Tone up muscle and skin. 

* Release of tension in muscles and so many more.

Benefits of  Facial cupping (a personal fave).

* Brighter and healthier skin.

* Reduces dark circles, pigmentation and freckles. 

* Smoother, youthful and supple skin. 

* Tackling acne and scars and many more.. 

The main purpose of cupping is to get fresh blood to stagnated areas where the pain is and relieving that pain through flushing it out. 

When choosing a therapist always ensure they are certified, being cut/cupped incorrectly can lead to further complications. 

Always make your intention and always remember to entrust in Allah (alone) as everything comes from him. 

Yours in cupping

Kerry xx


Follow Kerry on IG @aesthetics_kl.

Make sure if you are keen to try out cupping / Hijama you make an appointment with Kerry and get your 2021 goals of being healthier going. Ladies only.

Kerry is HASA Certified. The Hijama Association of South Africa.

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


How I got rid of the pacifier

I think many people have a stigma placed around the use of a pacifier or as we call them here in Africa, ‘dummies’. Some reasons behind it that I have heard of are, it can create nipple confusion for baby if on the breast, it can slow the speech down and also make the teeth grow skew.

I personally had the dummy for all three kids who are now 9, 7 and nearly 3 years old. All had no nipple confusion, spoke when they were ready to speak and there teeth are fine! And let me tell you having the dummy was a lifesaver of note when you have a little baby that needs settling in an instant or just to get a decent nights sleep with a niggly newborn when your tired. I do not regret the decision to have given all three kids the dummy.

Remember this is a personal choice for everyone.

So on this post I wanted to share how we transitioned off the dummies for the kids and maybe share some tips for people looking to do the same.


So how did we start and how did it go?

I am not a firm believer in taking baby steps with this. I think as a mom you know when the right time is for your baby/toddler to now stop the dummy. There is no right age neither is there the right solution for every child. My view is when they are ready to start the transition phase off the dummy, they seem to have a sense of understanding, independence and have started to not need the dummy most of the day. It becomes more a habit than what is needed I’d say. I stopped all the kids at around 2 and a half I would say, and I went ‘cold turkey‘.

For me this was going to be the quickest way to stop the habit and yes I think the most challenging in a sense because you will have to throw all the extra’s and spare’s the one you been hiding in your cupboard for an emergency, you can’t go to the store to buy a new one. It will be tears, tantrums, cuddling and constant asking. The emergency is never coming. THIS IS YOUR LIFE NOW FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS! God speed! lol

So have your reason ready to why there is no more dummy (I told my first two kids the dogs ate them and the last one that it got lost). We walked around and looked for them but we just could not find any. You definitely need a reason and stick to it.

After a few days they did forget about it. And this is what surprised me after every try with all the kids is that with this technique, the kids quickly forgot about it because there minds became occupied with other things like playing, eating, watching tv, going for drives etc..

The nights were a bit of a struggle. I wont lie. But the kids got very tired from a full day of play and trying to resist sleep most of the day because they missed the feeling of the dummy, but eventually they fell asleep without it on their own. Days passed I wouldn’t say more than a week, and the dummy was a thing of the past. Hard work paid off with the niggling kids, tears and sleepless nights but you will make it through no matter what process you take.

Saadiyah xx

This was my way of doing it, I am not telling anyone to follow my steps but I wanted to share my journey and experience with this topic. If you have a tip or trick please comment on my IG page under this post and share it with other moms.

Marriage advice – Part 1

Whether your situation is either, you have been together for years and take the decision then to get married or you are engaged for a year and after this then wait to get married, or you either moved in with each other to get to know each other and then take this big decision. Uno there are many ways around the marriage topic. Heck it could have even been arranged and if you get the opportunity to talk, talk!

One thing I will always advise people I know who are in the stages of getting married or are even with their partner already, who ask for my advice is honesty. I cannot express how much emphasis couples need to put into this. Guys you are going to spend the rest of your life with this person so try and avoid the lies and the bad habits and just be open before you make this commitment. If you feel you cannot deal with the things going forward then do not get married, simple. Marriage is more working on that relationship consistently and always talking than just you sitting around putting your hands up and saying, “Well I told him/her once about the problem and they don’t listen or understand so that’s it, divorce”. Do not think you are going in the marriage to change them, because you would not like to be changed too. You accept each other whole heartedly, because everyone has faults and flaws.

Learn to share everyday with each other, nothing is too small or unimportant to talk about.

I think if your old enough or actually mature enough to think you are ready to marry, be ready for a road filled with obstacles because marriage is not going to be rosy all the time. Yes, all couples quarrel, it does not mean that because you quarrel, and I mean quarrel does not fight constantly over major issues like say finances, debt or other major issues similar to this (Then perhaps you need to find a better solution out of it, but together) that the whole relationship is a waste, no grow up. Uno when I got married, we had nothing, we used to sit on the floor of my parent’s cottage on garden chair cushions for a couch and had a small box tv, my bed set from my parents’ home and literally anything else we could get from them, lol (you might say shame or feel sad but when I look back on it man we had some amazing memories that we shared and things we overcame as a couple because we were always open about everything, we never let small issues grow into bigger issues, never went to bed angry. We didn’t have enough to start a life as society would put it now, but we were happy because we saw each other, he saw me, and I saw him.

Wealth can come and go but the love and respect you hold as a couple Is what will really get you through the tough times. But if you are quarrelling over petty things like leaving the clothes on the floor, not picking up after yourself, playing PlayStation, etc. These are things that EVERYONE is going through, normal married life! Unfortunately, I still pick up clothes ten years later, I have given up hope and that is something I laugh about with my other married friends, all normal married couple behaviour, you’re not alone in the struggle its real! 😊.

So, if you have had a bad past, or like to take one day of the month to go out for a meal with friends or you like to go fishing once a year whatever it may be. You need to have discussed or be discussing things to avoid conflict in the marriage. Look I am no marriage counsellor, but I have been happily married for the past 10 years to the love of my life, who I married after 4 months of knowing each other. Crazy whirlwind romance. The thing I admire about my husband is that we have always been able to be open to each other about what happened in our past lives or what we like to indulge in our current lives that where their before marriage. Example: He told me he goes on fishing trips once a year with his friends. So, I went into the marriage knowing and accepting this and we do not fight about it when the time arrives, everyone needs space sometimes it is a natural feeling. Heck it gives me the time I need to also just relax and have space too. You learn that when you have those little breaks away from one another it actually allows the love to grow because you may end up hating the small irritating habits, but you miss the cuddles and kisses at night before bed, or the morning coffee when you talk before work.

My last advice is marriage is love, if you do not love that person enough when you go through hard times then how can you then appreciate the love when you are going through good times? Marriage is sacrifice from both parties, so learn to talk, really talk. This is a forever bond so keep it strong and mend it if it seems a little cracked. Grow together, learn together, and laugh together. But most of all love together, couples are unbreakable when you really see and appreciate the person behind the face.

Thanks for reading – Part 2 out soon.

Things to do after intimacy?

Experts suggest that couples who maintain physical contact after being intimate creates a bond between the couple even as the day continues and keeps the intimacy between couples strong. Woman tend to feel vulnerable after sex and the time spent cuddling with us makes us feel loved.

Post-sex intimacy is just as important to a women’s pleasure as foreplay.

study from author Robin Milhausen, Ph.D.

Seems because a women’s (and men’s) bodies are flooded with oxytocin—the bonding hormone—after sex, making them crave more affection, he says.

Couples who even sleep in the nude have reported that they feel more connected to their partner and are in better moods when they wake up.

Here are three things you should try after you are intimate with your partner to keep the love flowing..

Talking

In the after glow of your love making. Take the time to talk about the encounter and what you loved about it. True, it might take a few tries till you get the flow right as not everyone is a talker. But this after talk, allows you as a couple to continue with the pleasant feelings that you had and build up to a better sex life in the future. As i mentoned in my previous post the more you communicate in your relationship the better you as a couple will become.

Push out distractions

Leave the phones on the bed side for 10 minutes, your followers and friends can wait for you. What cant wait is the special connection you need to hold after your intimate. Look into each other’s eyes, rub his stomach whilst he caresses your back as you lay in the moment. Who are you rushing around for. Lay back and indulge your moment. Cherish the time.

Shower together (When possible)

If we can get dirty together we can get clean together too. Take the opportunity when you can to spend the extra time together to just clean off and bond. Wash his back let him wash your hair. The smaller things is what we will miss if we do not take control of them now.

Love to all!!

Rolls with my stretch marks please.

Dear squeezable tummy rolls…

You are a part of my life.

You remind me that I do not fit in to this world of advertisement, social media and movies.

That if these things did not exsist that maybe I would be ‘desirable’ and I wouldnt be fighting myself on a daily to fit in to this warped world image of what a womans body should looks like. But I realized that these perfections do not really exisit.

You grew with my babies and you fell back when I needed to remind myself that I wished for my younger days and dieted and exercised like mad.

What I didnt realize is that the people who really mattered in my life didnt care about the buldge of my waist but rather the bulges of food we ate together as friends or family round the table, whilst laughter was spread.

This is what is important is happiness and acceptance.

Yes you move and jiggle when I laugh or jump, but you are a constant reminder that I am part of a bigger picture. The picture of motherhood.

Yes my lovely rolls you and I have been through it all, and I will appreciate and love you forever.

You are my womanhood.

You are my curves and sexuality, the thing my partner holds on to when we slow dance or when we make love.

So thanks for being there, and if that one fine day comes when that pin of how to loose belly fat in 30 days works. I cant say I will miss you, no offence.


Stretch marks are on 80% of woman around the world.

My dear stretch marks…

80% of woman have you and you are caused by a number of things like stomach stretching during pregnancy, a growth spurt, building muscle too quickly and weight gain. We have tried many creams to get rid of you, but how many have actually worked? Probably none.

But I have decided to let you stay because your remind me of only good memories. A map reminding me where I have been and with who I spent that time with.

 “We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t fix a stretch mark.”

Joubin Gabbay, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.

You are apart of me being a human, and how absolutely beautiful this story of you and I is. A story of strength, fear and sometimes sadness too. I am a woman who is real, diverse and a tigress not some photoshopped ad.

I am as proud of you as I am of my kids, that goes to my whole body. We have definately been through alot and we are still here. Our journey is still going and I am happy that I have learned to love you, and learnt to love those late night snacks too.

PS: you are the only tatoo that I will ever be allowed to have.


If your thinking what do men think of some insecuritites we may have read this article. Read more