Manic Behavior

Yesterday began with an excited, irrational need to experience a “high.”

For me, that meant driving an hour across town during lunch to visit an exotic pet store, where I met a friendly, middle-aged shopkeeper.

“I adore the prairie dogs as well as the sugar gliders,” I said. “Which one is a more affectionate pet?”

She explained that, once bonded, the sugar gliders would be more affectionate and could even be carried on-the-go quite easily via a bonding pouch.

I was sold.

I got one, and then, when explained the importance of keeping gliders in pairs, I purchased a second.

I named them Chip & Dale, and I was ecstatic.

…But, there was one problem.

My husband had told me over & over again, “No more pets.”

The 5 year old in me thought I could get away from hiding them in the closet, but when I went back to work, my anxiety kicked in.

“Did I secure the heat lamp properly? What if it falls off? What if it hurts the gliders? What if the house burns down!?”

I ended up calling my husband and confessing what I’d done.

He took a deep breath and said, “I’ll talk to you later.”

Then, he called back a few minutes later and said, “We are returning them in the morning.”

I hope we don’t, but I think he’s pretty serious.

Let’s see what happens 🙁

UPDATE: HE LET ME KEEP THEM!!!!!

Spiritual Awakening

I went to a cemetery for the first time this weekend,

And it changed me.

I know I sound dramatic (I’m pretty good at that), but it’s made me question every aspect of my life, including:

-My Spirituality

-Strengthening my Marriage through God

-How I Raise my Child

-Who I’m Friends With

-How I Make Money

-What I Want for the Future

-The Impact I Want to Make

-What I Leave Behind, my Legacy

I somehow feel both ignited & extinguished, and it doesn’t make sense at all.

Maybe I’ll get some sleep and tackle life tomorrow.

 

Insomnia

I’ll confess—

It has been a year since I could sleep

Properly, that is

I used to pass out the moment my head hit the pillow, but now, I’m steadily increasing my dose of melatonin to catch a couple hours

And today, even that didn’t work.

So here I am at 4:30 am, contemplating the macro & micro of life

With a warm cup of chai in my hands

Have you dealt with insomnia? Any tips to get better sleep?

The Burial

I have never visited a cemetery until today.

And to see my uncle being laid to rest right beside my grandmother—

It was heavy.

But after today, I’m no longer afraid of graveyards.

There’s something incredibly spiritual about being in a place where you are reminded so strongly of your mortality.

And furthermore, it does not matter who you are

Your race

Your color

Your religion

The same soil covers us all

Grief

Just 5 months prior, we buried my grandmother.

And now—her son.

Scarves drawn overhead, prayer books shifted through.

We look at who is left in the room,

And while we are thankful for each other,

The void of those no longer here weighs heavy upon us

May we all be reunited in Jannah, InshAllah

Until then, your names will be at the end of every prayer.

Our duas are still with you.

Why I Love Mondays

I know this might be a little weird, but I wake up excited on Monday mornings.

It’s this energized feeling of a fresh new week, new possibilities, and a new chance to make my dreams into a reality.

There’s also nothing quite as satisfying as drinking a warm cup of chai while writing my goals for the week out.

Here’s what I hope to accomplish this week: 

  1. Make Naush’s Birthday Week Incredible 

2. Start Working out Daily

3. Begin Writing Daily 

4. Pray 5x Per Day 

5. Increase Enrollment at my Business 

What are your goals? Share them below, so we can keep each other accountable.

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