Motherhood is a demanding job and can come with its fair share of stress and anxiety.
In Islam, stress management is a major part of spiritual and mental well-being. The Quran, Hadith, and Sunnah are full of guidance on how to manage stress. Whether it’s dealing with difficult relationships or trying to be productive during chaotic life events, there are several Islamic coping mechanisms that can help us better handle the pressure and anxiety of everyday life.
Signs of stress/anxiety
Listed below are some (not limited to) of the several signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, having frequent nightmares
- Unexplained temper flare ups, especially with your kids and spouse
- Getting upset easily and crying frequently for no apparent reason
- Longing for adult company
- Worried about being an “Absent” parent in your child’s life
- Unexplained weight loss or increase/decrease in appetite
- Trying hard to make everyone happy but feeling like you aren’t doing enough?
- Running low on energy, not having the physical or mental capacity to do even the easiest of tasks.
- Afraid and worried about what is going to happen to you and your family.
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you’re likely experiencing parenting stress of some level. Stress does not indicate that you are doing a bad job at parenting. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, and with Allah’s help, you can overcome these negativities inshaAllah.
One way to achieve clarity when feeling overwhelmed is by reciting duas. Make dua asking Allah for help, guidance, and direction. Allah will answer any dua made with sincerity, so don’t despair in His Mercy. While the exact duas may vary at different times and scenarios, some common duas that you can include are:
“Guide me in all I do”,
“Protect me from my own faults” and
“Show me what I cannot see”.
Reciting these type of prayers on a regular basis can provide comfort in difficult situations.
Other duas from the Sunnah:
1.’O Allah, I seek refuge in you from grief and sadness, from weakness and laziness, from miserliness and cowardice, from being overcome by debt and overpowered by others.’
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحُزْنِ وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothu bika minal-hammi walhazani, wal’ajzi walkasali, walbukhli waljubni, wa dhala’id-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijaal
2. O Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You.’
اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ لِي شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَا أَنْتَ
Allahumma raḥmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi ṭarfata `ayn, wa aslih li sha’ni kullahu, la illaha illa ant.
3. ‘O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy.’
اللّهُـمَّ لا سَـهْلَ إِلاّ ما جَعَلـتَهُ سَهـلاً، وَأَنْتَ تَجْـعَلُ الْحَـزَنَ إِذا شِـئْتَ سَهـْلاً
Allahumma la sahla illa ma ja ‘altahu sahla, wa anta taj ‘alul hazna ith-a shi’ ta’ sahlan
4. ‘To Allah, we belong, and unto Him is our return. O Allah, recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better.’
إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ، اللَّهمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيْبَتِي، وَاخْلُفْ لِي خَيْرا ً مِنْهَا
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. Allahumma-u’jurni fi musibati, wa akhlif li khairan minha.
5. Dua of Prophet Musa (A.S.): ‘My Lord! I am truly in desperate need of whatever good You may have in store for me.’ – (Al Qasas, 24)
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
rabi ‘inny lima ‘anzalt ‘iilaya min khayr faqir
Procrastination is putting off things that need to be done. This is a great time waster and stress increaser. We often tend to procrastinate because we don’t have a structured routine to follow. We wake up and go with the flow instead of having a clear list of to-do’s that need to be completed for the day.
Instead of letting your feelings dictate your day, have a clear list of what tasks you need to complete the next day and write them down. Have an organised routine and stick to it. Consistency and routines help adults feel safe and secure. This will prevent a lot of mental clutter that could be ruining your mood and increasing your stress levels unconsciously. You will no longer feel like you have no purpose or aim in life.
Make lists and then rank each item on the list in order of priority.
Choose how to spend your time. It is important to decide which activities are important to you, and which are not. It is also important that you know your limit. Don’t take on more than you can handle. One very important skill to develop is the ability to say “no.”
Wasting time is Shaitan’s way of making you despair. When he can’t make you sin, he will make you waste time. This in turn allows him to enter your mind and mess with your thoughts. He will replay every single thing that has gone wrong and will make you despair that your life is going to be doomed. He will prevent you from having good thoughts about yourself, your loved ones or your future because he wants you to despair about Allah’s mercy and blessings.
Therefore, make sure you don’t sit idle or are left alone for long periods of time.
Try listening to a short lecture or watch a beneficial video.
Recite some Quran if possible, or play it in the background.
Recite isthighfar repeatedly or indulge in some quick dhikr. Saying “SubhanAllah”, “Alhamdulillah” and “Allahu akbar” bring immense rewards and also keep shaitan at bay.
Most importantly, reach out for support from family members or friends when needed; don’t hesitate to ask for help when facing overwhelming tasks or challenges.
Finally, remember that things may not be perfect all the time – but it’s okay! Accepting situations as they come can give you the courage to move forward with confidence even when stressful times arise.
Disclaimer: Please note that these duas and tips are not meant to replace or substitute professional help for mental health issues. Seeking help from qualified mental health professionals is strongly recommended. It is important to stay in touch with the community, family and friends for support. There should be no stigma in asking for assistance with mental health problems.