10 Mental Health Tips During COVID 19

10 Mental Health Tips During COVID 19

The “Emotional Rollercoaster of Coronavirus” has impacted literally everyone, whether they have ever experienced mental health issues or not. Some days, I feel at peace with the pandemic, our “new normal,” and quarantine life. Other days, I put my head into a pillow and pray for it all to end.

I know I’m not alone. My friends and I keep checking in on each other with…”Which part of the roller coaster are you on today?”

That’s why I’ve put this guide together as advice on how you can manage your mental health during Covid 19.

  1. Try Therapy 

I am a firm believer that therapy is beneficial for everyone, regardless of whether or not you are experiencing mild, moderate, or severe mental health issues. You always have room for self-exploration, growth, and healing, so if you haven’t already, trying out a therapy session or a couple of sessions in the context of the pandemic can be truly life-changing.

I’ve been going to therapy for about 2 years now, and at first, when I sat on the plush couch across from the therapist, I felt ashamed to be there. But two years later, I can say it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’ve also tried couples counseling, and it’s been really beautiful for my marriage.

2. Form a “Quarantine Pod” 

While some have opted to return back to their normal social life, many still choose to either stay quarantined or limit contact with who they see. If the pandemic wears on for another year or two, since there is currently no end in sight, then it can become extremely bleak and disheartening to be in complete social isolation.

That is why I believe creating “pods” of a few people you choose to see is healthy. If they are quarantined as well, it is extremely comforting, or everyone can get routinely checked from time to time to make sure they’re not infected. Similarly, you can choose to create a pod of people who are open to backyard hangouts where everyone wears masks and sits at 6 feet apart. If that’s still uncomfortable, you can use Zoom to hangout.

Whatever your preference with how intensely you are quarantining, maintaining a social life is critical to sanity.

3. Get a Pet 

I adopted a Giant Flemish Rabbit at the start of the pandemic, and he brought me so much joy over the last few months. Unfortunately, he passed away due to what was most likely a genetic defect, but I still think a) many animals could use a loving home during these times and b) caring for an animal is emotionally up-lifting.

4. Start a Passion Project 

You know that “thing you always wanted to do but couldn’t because you never had time…?

Well, now you have time, so let the excuses fall to the wayside. It’s time to commit to that project you’ve always wanted to do, whether it is a form of art, a sport, a side hustle, or hobby. It’s also a great time to learn something new. The progress and growth that you experience can make the “new normal of 2020” almost feel worth it.

For me, TikTok became my passion project. I began creating micro-stories on TikTok about my family, and in less than 6 months, I grew to over 100,000 followers. Along with that milestone, I published a children’s book.

5. Go on a Road Trip 

While flying can still feel extremely risky, road trips are a safer way to travel. You can go camping and pitch a tent to play it safe. We’ve been camping all over Texas since COVID 19 started, but we also have been renting AirBnBs. We’ve been opting for smaller rentals that are easier to disinfect. We also always make sure to pack our own bedding.

Having these smaller trips to look forward to has honestly kept me sane. This summer, we’ve visited San Antonio, Austin, Wimberely, Port Aransas, and Gulf Shores. You can follow our travel adventures on Instagram.

6. Read Self Help Books

One of the best things I ever did in my life was to start to read more nonfiction, especially self help books. Download Kindle, so you can carry a virtual library in your pocket. If you don’t like to read, download Audible and listen on the go. You can even 2x or 3x the speed, so you can get through books quickly. If you’re not into any of the above, then download GetAbstract. It does require a paid subscription, but you can read through book summaries where the most important points are all listed out in a bite-sized manner. It’s so quick and easy to consume.

Some of my favorites include “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “The Alchemist,” “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” “Think and Grow Rich,” and “Tools of Titans.”

7. Start Meditating 

I used to think meditation was only for monks. Of course I’d heard of the benefits, but it sounded like a waste of time. I was extremely wrong. I began with guided meditations for a couple minutes a day. You can YouTube “Guided Meditations.” My personal favorite channel to follow is Michael Sealey on YouTube. His mixture of guided meditation and self hypnosis is truly life changing.

Now, I use a device called Muse to help me practice my meditation. It uses the sound of rain to let me know when my mind is clear versus when my thoughts are all over the place. It’s a truly phenomenal device, and I recommend it for those that are just beginning with their meditation practice.

Of course, a more seasoned meditator won’t need anything more than a comfortable place to sit.

8. Setup a Home Gym

I’ve always hated driving to the gym. The time it takes to get ready, drive, get checked in, and begin working out always led me to be inconsistent with working out. I setup a home gym RIGHT before the pandemic hit, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in 2020.

I purchased something called the Mirror, which is a gorgeous, nearly-invisible home gym setup, where I can cast all types of workout classes, including cardio, dance, yoga, pilates, and more. It even includes meditation classes!

It does require a few pieces of physical equipment, such as weights, jump ropes, resistance bands, and more. I’ve put together a list to make it easier for you to get the essentials.

9. Try Essential Oils

I may be a bit of an oil-diffusing addict. It helps my mood, makes me feel healthier, and improves the scent of my home. I also love introducing my baby girl to the various scents. If you’ve never tried essential oils, it’s worth trying it at least once.

My go-to scents are lavender, orange, and lemongrass. Here’s the diffuser I use, and here’s the variety pack of oils that I have been using for about a year now (and I still have a LOT left).

10. Create a “COVID 19” Journal

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I post one thing a day that makes me happy. It has become an online journal for me to catalog all the good things that happen to me and has helped me re-wire my brain for positivity. If you don’t want a journal that’s “public,” simply keep a private journal, album, blog, etc. where you can make a list of the things that you’re grateful for everyday.

It seems simple, but I was experiencing severe postpartum depression when I began this practice. I can now say with confidence that I have never been happier.

What else would you add to this list?

Sincerely, Sania

9/11 Video Backlash

Let us take a moment of silence for those that lost their life on 9/11.

Let us also take a moment of silence for those that lost their life as a result of 9/11.

I never expected to cause as much controversy as I did with my TikTok video, which discussed the backlash Muslim-Americans experienced post September 11th, but it clearly caused a reaction.

Some were supportive of Muslims and my message, many questioned why I chose 9/11 to discuss this topic instead of solely focusing on the deceased victims, and some hurled racist remarks with an incredulous degree of boldness.

Worse was the amount of “likes” those racist comments received.

I had to take a step away from social media after reading some of the hateful messages, but essentially, I was told “Muslims aren’t American” and “go back home.”

Well, for me—home is Houston, Texas. I was born & raised in Houston, and I have never moved away.

I was in 5th grade when the attacks took place on 9/11, and I’ve been apologizing for my religion & culture since that day. I’ve carried (along with other Muslims & Sikhs) the weight of a crime I did not commit, and to this day, I worry when discussing my religion openly.

The actions of a few do not define the whole. As much as the media wants to smear the image of Islam, I stand by the statement that it is a religion of peace.

Spend a day with any devout Muslim & you’ll see.

Sincerely,

Sania Khiljee

Lovevery Unboxing: 16-18 Month Box

I have been subscribed to Lovevery ever since Lily was an infant. For us, sensory play boxes hold a special meaning, because before my daughter was born, we actually co-founded a company called Bumble Brain Box, which was a subscription box for baby brain development. We sold the business due to some health issues I was facing at the time, but now we love experiencing as many sensory play boxes with Lily as we can. We’ve tried many of them, including Koala Crate and will do a comparison in a separate post.

Now, let’s get to the box!

 

Lily loved “unboxing” the items, and we will share each learning toy below.

  1. Threadable Bead Kit

2. Shapes Puzzle

3. Car Ramp 

4. Fuzzy Bug Shrub

5. Simon Says Cube

6. Organic Cotton Ball

7. Books 

8. Wooden Compact Mirror

9. Playthings Storage Box

10. Mouse in a Sack 

11. Drawstring Bag

Review

While this hasn’t been our favorite box (the 12-15 month box was epic), Lily was EXTREMELY stimulated by the contents of this month’s Lovevery box. She’s older now and appreciates independent play a lot more, and as her mother, it gives me so much joy to watch her explore each of the toys on her own. I revel in her reactions.

She absolutely adored the car ramp, the fuzzy bug shrub, the puzzle, and the beads. She loved the books too, of course. My baby girl loves to read, which is awesome because her mama is a children’s book author.

What I appreciate most about the box, though, is the guide that comes with it. The guide book includes monthly milestones, tips for parents to encourage their little one’s development, instructions on how to play with each item, and alternate activity ideas to stimulate your child.

This is all I do for work. I own a preschool, after all, but that doesn’t mean I “know it all.” I absolutely adore how well-thought out this product is, and I’ll continue to enjoy it with Lily until she outgrows it.

Expensive, yes? Worth the price? I think so.

You can get the box here.

Date Night: Stargazing & S’mores

We went all out for this date and got a cabin in the woods via Getaway House (they have locations in several cities), but you can do this at home in your backyard. If you end up doing it at home, it would be fun to climb onto the rooftop (if it’s safe) and use the Star Chart app (Free on App Store) to go stargazing. We then ended the night with some card games and Scattergories with candlelight.

Love, Sania

 

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my Blog

Who are you? 

Hey, this is Sania Khiljee, a lifestyle blogger @SaniaKhiljee across all social media platforms, the author of “Brown Girls are Beautiful” on Amazon, and a serial entrepreneur. I’ve been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, HuffPost, and more. I’ve built a 7 figure business, amassed over 1 million followers, co-authored a bestselling book, and spoken on stages across the country. More importantly, I’m a Muslim, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend.

What is this blog About? 

This blog features stories and lifestyle posts about my family. The conversation on this site will include my books, businesses, the wife life, motherhood, family, mental health, style, play date ideas, date nights, food, travel, fitness, and more. There will also be some affiliate products that I recommend.

What is your book about? 

Brown Girls are Beautiful” is a children’s book. Layla, a brown girl, becomes self-conscious of playing in the sun after hearing another child make a comment about her dark skin color. Layla’s mother then takes her daughter on a journey of self-love. This book is a perfect gift for children to teach diversity.

Where can I buy the book?

Amazon. Click the link here to get it

How Can I follow you on social media? 

All my social media links are @SaniaKhiljee. Click here to follow

How do I contact Sania Khiljee? (Collabs, Questions, Business Partnerships, Etc.) 

Please email sania@loserstolegends.com

 

How to Rewire Your Mind for Positivity 

“A negative mind can never give you a positive life.” -Anonymous 

3 months ago, I would wake up in the middle of the night from panic attacks. My mind was racked with worry. I constantly accounted for negative “what if” scenarios… 

All day, every day, I assumed the worst would happen. I thought I had to be prepared, but here’s the thing: the worries I had were affecting me as if they had already happened. 

 My body responded as if all my fears were real, and I was constantly going in and out of doctors offices trying to understand why my back and neck was in so much pain. I was 26. This shouldn’t have been happening, but it was. A slow deterioration of mind, body, and soul. 

Skip ahead to the end of summer, and I am happier than I’ve ever been… 

What changed? 

Nothing did, except for my mindset. I decided to retrain my mind for positivity and emotional resilience. I was tired of accounting for all the worst case scenarios. Instead, I wanted to envision all the best things that could happen instead, and let that optimism energize me. My dreams, goals, hopes, and passion literally started to fuel me, and things just started to work out.

Napoleon Hill states in “Think and Grow Rich” that positive emotions are the key to a successful life–and must be strengthened. 

So how did I go about eliminating negativity from my life? I followed these 4 steps.

1.Replace a negative thought with a positive one immediately 

As soon as a negative thought entered my mind, I instantly either blocked it or reframed it into a positive thought. For example, in tough situations, I would begin to think, “Why did this happen to me?” Then, I would instantly reframe to ask instead, “What can I learn from this? How can I use this situation to grow?” It changed my view of obstacles. Instead of seeing them as a road block, I now see them as an opportunity for development. 

2.I surrounded myself with positive people. 

Energy is contagious. There is a popular saying that “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Despite no longer being in high school, I had a few people that brought unnecessary drama into my life. By cutting them out and any one else that was a source of negative energy, I found I was naturally more cheerful and optimistic. Now, I feel out someone’s energy when I meet them. Are they positive? How do I feel when I’m around them? I am careful about who I let affect my vibes. 

3.I filled my day with positive and motivational talks, books, and exercises 

Self-learning, in my opinion, should never end, but instead of learning endlessly about entrepreneurship and marketing like I normally did, I took time to learn more about self care and psychology. I filled my days with content related to happiness, and as a result, I was more conscious of what it took to be happy and what would permit me from feeling positive. Having an almost clinical awareness of this allowed me to be a lot more careful in what thoughts I had–and ultimately, how I felt.

4.I learned that positivity is not a result of a positive outcome. It’s the other way around. 

Positive people aren’t the way they are because of positive outcomes. Positive outcomes are the result of the actions of positive people. Even the most optimistic people face challenge and hardship, but when they hold onto faith that they will overcome it, solutions tend to unfold eventually. 

What are some things you do to cultivate a positive mindset? Comment below & subscribe to the blog for more self development. 

8 Tips to Improve Your Mood

Dr. Larry Senn, the founder of Senn Delaney, a culture-shaping firm, coined the idea of the “mood elevator.” It is essentially a dashboard for human emotion. It starts at the top with gratitude and then moves down to depressed. The quality of your thinking improves as you go higher on the mood elevator, states Senn, and he gives us practical tips on how to elevate our moods and thus, our life.

themoodelevator

Continue reading “8 Tips to Improve Your Mood”

What do You Want to do as You Grow Up?

Personal Development

Our whole life we’re asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” As soon as we graduate school, we’re asked, “What do you do?’

It feels like a test every time someone asks me what I do for a living as if my worth as a being is tied to my professional title.

I love being an entrepreneur and a blogger. I’m proud to say that I’ve found my passion, and I’m pursuing it every single day…

But what about those that haven’t quite figured it out yet? Why don’t we keep asking them what they want to be? Why do we imply that once you’re out of school, it’s too late?

It’s never too late.

“At 23…JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the YMCA. Oprah had just been fired as a TV reporter, and Walt Disney had just declared bankruptcy.” Continue reading “What do You Want to do as You Grow Up?”

Hurricane Harvey

harvey

You see disasters on the news all the time.

Hashtags that say #PrayFor [Insert City Name]

And you feel bad. You hurt. You move on.

Except this time, it was my city that people were praying for.

And I can’t just move on.

***
[The Onset]

Talks of a storm began. I rolled my eyes. We’d heard it all before, the hype of the media and their desperate grasp for five minutes of fame.

Stock up on water, they said. And essentials.

Again, I thought this was hype until notifications started coming in. School districts closing all across the city, and I had to help my family decide. Would our schools be closed too? Eventually, we decided yes.

I didn’t mind the idea of a long weekend. My husband and I played movies and snacked on our favorite: guacamole and chips while a slight rain started in the background.

“I bet you that’s all we’re going to get,” I said as if to prove that the news had fooled us all again. I almost wanted them to prove me wrong.

I wish that thought had never crossed my mind, because the next day, we woke to amber alert after amber alert: tornados, flash flooding, and warning to take shelter now. And so it continued for the next 4 days.

***
[The Storm]

I slept. I woke up. I stress ate. I walked in circles around the house as the rain pounded mercilessly against our glass windows.

My cats hissed at the rain as if to make it go away. I scooped them up to try and comfort them, but they bit my hand and ran away.

We were all a bit on edge.

My husband checked out pantry and counted water bottles. He’d ride his bike to scope out the damage every time the rain slowed down, but he’d always come right back: dripping wet and with an update that things were going from bad to worse.

We’d dealt with a lot of heavy rain the past, but this simply wouldn’t stop. It collected in the streets. Lakes overflowed, and the pool of water began to make its way up the steps of people’s homes.

Mandatory evacuations were called for across the city.

“We’re okay now,” my husband said. “But if the levee breaks…”

He didn’t have to finish that sentence. I packed my bags and called my family to come.

They weren’t better off in their area. The lake in their backyard had overflowed into the streets, causing their neighborhood to look almost like a lazy river. No regular car could come in and out of their gate, so they rescued me in a school bus.

30+ adults were staying in their home, 3 cats, and a toddler. We ate, talked, played games, and prayed all while keeping a nervous eye toward the window at all times. The news played on in the background, showing the devastation around us.

***
[Checking for Damage]

As soon as there was a pause in the rain, we went to check on our schools. Water had collected in some of the classrooms, and a few ceiling tiles had crashed to the floor. Water dripped along the wood, but we counted ourselves lucky.

I didn’t know what had happened to my house. I kept my fingers crossed as we drove back to our neighborhood. My heart sank as I noticed the first half of the neighborhood was underwater. The streets were full of water—in some places almost one or two stories high—with cars submerged underneath.

Then, we were only five houses away from mine…

My eyes fell upon my little home, sitting on the corner, safe and dry. The water had stopped just a few feet away, and I whispered a prayer of thanks.

***
#HoustonStrong ]

Military planes flew overhead. Tanks rolled by.

Looting began, and a neighborhood watch was promptly assembled. Old military vets stood guard at the front of my neighborhood with rifles, ready to fire.

I stepped outside and walked toward the water, only a few feet away, where a group had gathered.

“What are you all standing here for?” I asked.

They pointed in the distance, where people in rubber boots and air mattresses worked to enter and collect whatever valuables could be saved from the affected homes. A family of four neared us with clothes and photo albums piled high. I asked them if they were okay.

The father couldn’t meet my eyes. “We lost everything,” he said.

His wife broke into tears.

I didn’t know what to say or what to feel; I still don’t.

How the Law of Attraction Changed My Life

Law of Attraction

I remember watching The Secret for the first time in 2013 and having mixed feelings. Could it be so easy? Could what I think about simply be “attracted” into my life? I was skeptical, but as a self-proclaimed personal development junkie, I decided to give it a try.

I would close my eyes after praying and exude feelings of love, desire to become a writer and entrepreneur, and positivity. That was two years ago. I eventually realized that the Law of Attraction was so much more than my simple exercise. It included what I focused on, thought about, talked about, looked at, etc. so I committed myself to pursuing writing and entrepreneurship more aggressively.

I began to think about my dreams in detail. I reflected on what the moment would be like when I finally got a call that my writing would be published. What would I do? How would I react? Where would I be? I dreamt of it constantly.

And as the law promises, things began to come together in my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

Continue reading “How the Law of Attraction Changed My Life”