Physical vs Mental & Spiritual Health: Tips to Keeping Both Inline
Good and balanced diet is one of the requirements to achieving good physical health. We should always bear in mind that eating is not just about filling an empty stomach and following our nafs.
As students, we tend to neglect our dietary intake especially during hectic examination week. Most students find it hard to spare some time to cook a proper meal during this busy period. As a result, many resort to fast food and instant food. Undoubtedly, instant food is easier to cook and saves some time. However, as the name suggests it only contains ‘instant’ nutritional values. In other words, they lack in nutrients. Most instant food contains large amount of monosodium glutamate (MSG) as the flavour enhancer, which is unhealthy for our body.
Therefore, one of the best ways to keep to a healthy diet as well as to save time during these busy weeks of studying is to cook two portions of meal once in a day; one portion for lunch and one portion for dinner. After lunch, store the remaining portion in the fridge and when dinner time comes, simply reheat the food. Stick to simple and healthy menus and ensure that there is a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fibre in your meal.
Also, studying can make a person twice as hungry as compared to doing daily chores. So there is a tendency to munch on ‘junk food’ such as potato chips. As an alternative, switch to healthier snacks such as fruits and vegetables.
Some people prefer to drink coffee to keep them awake while burning the midnight oil. While caffeine helps to temporarily ward off drowsiness and restores one’s alertness, too much caffeine will lead to caffeine dependency if taken over an extended period of time which can lead to insomnia, headaches and heart palpitations. All in all, everything is best taken in moderation.
Apart from maintaining a healthy diet, exercising is also vital in keeping a healthy body. Exercising does not only help to control and maintain a healthy weight, it also boosts your energy, lifts up your mood and promotes a better sleeping routine. Exercising can be fun as it allows you to unwind and engage in activities with your friends. In fact, you could try to incorporate light exercises in your daily activities. For example, take the stairs instead of the lift or walk faster to your class. These are simple exercises that require only about 10-15 minutes.
To be physically healthy is one of the ten muwasafat or criteria of a Muslim according to As-syahid Imam Hassan al-Banna. Therefore, let’s try our best to engage in more physical activities and show our identity as strong, healthy Muslims.
Mental and Spiritual Health
In an intense learning environment, students may easily get stressed out by assignments and examinations.
Do not let stress get you down!
If ever in need of someone, turn to Allah SWT first. Trials are made to strengthen the believer. When you are facing trials and challenges, accept them with patience and ask for His guidance for there is no better helper other than Him. When in distress, remember the story of Prophet Yunus PBUH when he was in the stomach of a whale and he seeks help from Allah SWT:
لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Also, remember that Allah SWT does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability. (2:286).
Sometimes when we are too immersed in our hectic schedule, we tend to lose focus in our daily prayers. However, bear in mind that although we have a tight schedule, we should free our minds from worldly business when we pray. So take the time off to perform the prayers properly and do not forget to recite the Quran. You will find the heart becomes much lighter from burden and thus inspired to do even better in your everyday activities.
One way to manage the stress is to share the feelings and worries with family and friends. When in need of a solution, ask the opinions of others rather than bottling your anxiety and problems alone. After all, two heads are always better than one.
The road to success is not easy and life itself is full of challenges. Even so, we should always give our best and remember that Allah is always with those who are patient.
Biro Sukan, Rekreasi dan Kebudayaan ISMA South Australia (SuReBud)