BOREDOM! It was such a terrible companion for me when I first moved into my house. I was all alone in my new environment and my introverted nature did nothing but worsen the situation. I had nowhere to go and no friend to talk to. I began to miss home so terribly that the air of regret suddenly forced itself into my worried head, giving me the funny conclusion that setting out to be on my own was a big error from the very beginning. I was wrong. I later found out that the problem was in “ME” and since I was trying to prove to my parents how capable I was of handling and solving my own problems without their intervention, it became an opportunity to live by my own rules.
For most people, the first problem they may not be able to escape when moving out of their parents’ houses is boredom. It becomes hard to make new friends and get accustomed to the new environment. Some may even experience a great deal of frustration and later give up. But one thing we should know as Muslimahs is that succumbing to a problem effortlessly is not part of our deen and each problem that comes our way has hidden opportunities waiting to be uncovered by us. Fighting boredom may not be easy at first but, in the end, it becomes a source of blessing for us. Here are a few tips to knock it down:
Take time to explore
Boredom is determined by what you do when you are alone. So, while being alone, you can enjoy yourself to the fullest. Setting aside adequate time to explore your new environment is one way to get rid of this problem. You may take a walk round town in your free time or visit specific places once in a while. You may also go window-shopping or visit the park and eating out once in a while may afford you the opportunity of having a different taste of your favourite food. While you are at this, do not forget to get yourself accustomed to the Muslim communities around you. Pray in the mosques once in a while to get used to the new system. Just go out and explore the new world around you. It’s a good start to enjoying your new life in your new house.
Be useful in your new community
A busy person seldom has a humdrum moment. So, in your spare time, you can earn yourself more rewards from Allah (SWT) by helping out with a lot of work in the community. A great avenue for doing this is at the mosque. There are lots of engagements to keep yourself busy with, such as helping to collect for charities, cleaning up the masjid for congregational prayers, helping with some research works, collecting books for the library and lots more. This does not mean that your helping hand should be limited to the mosque; you should also extend it to your neighbourhood. Help remove harmful objects from the street and also aid in the general sanitation of the environment. Being useful in your community gives you a sense of responsibility and inner fulfilment, making you enjoy a good start to a new life.
Make new friends
For some people, making new friends could be a little difficult but, without any desperation on your part, true friends will certainly come your way as time goes on. So, your only role to play will be finding them in the right places. Your activities in your community will attract your friends to you. Attend Islamic intellectual forums, sisters’ circles, book clubs and other such activities. You may also volunteer to work for Islamic organisations or plan big events. While doing these, you have to purify your intentions by having it at the back of your mind that your involvement in these activities is for the sake of Allah (SWT) alone and that making friends is secondary. Insha Allah, the right set of friends will come your way.
Create new spiritual routines
One thing we all should know is that a soul that is in close contact with Allah (SWT) is never bored. This is because Allah is enough company for any of His slaves. So, try as much as possible to practise more spiritual exercises. Begin to recite the Qur’an more often or even embark on a journey to memorising the Qur’an. Seek knowledge by reading books and attending Islamic lectures. Fast more often and make your night nawafil more constant. You may also make every physical exercise rewarding by remembering Allah (SWT) in all you do and purifying your intentions over and over again. Did you know that eating something halal earns you enormous rewards from Allah (SWT)? All you need to do is start by His name. Observing constant spiritual exercises goes a long way in boosting more confidence in you.
Revive your body
Change of environment often changes our body system. Fatigue, nausea, stooling, skin irritation and stomach upset are some of the problems we encounter when we change our environments, so you also need to focus on adapting your body to the big change. You should not just sit inside your house idly, waiting for miracles from above. Get medical check-ups from time to time at a trusted nearby hospital as soon as you move into your new house. Eat a balanced diet, plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink a lot of water to aid your blood circulation and ease your bowels. Move your body regularly and do a lot of exercise to keep in shape. Stay beautiful by observing a regular beauty routine. You could call a professional female masseuse to give you a body massage from time to time. Get a regular manicure and pedicure and always take care of your hair, mouth and skin. Reviving your body will keep you healthy and happy to run your affairs perfectly in your own way.
Try out new stuff
You will definitely have leisure periods even if for just a short while. One way of utilising this time is to try out new productive activities. Doing the same thing all of the time will soon become monotonous and may also dampen your spirit. So, do other fun things when you are less busy. It may be that you want to try out new make-up techniques or that you want to try your hand at sewing. Experimenting with new recipes in your kitchen is not a bad idea and redecorating your house from time to time will not only enhance your mood but also make your staying alone a worthwhile experience. You may also test your creativity in writing or quench your curiosity by learning new things on the internet. Make certain that everything you do in your leisure time is within the confines of the shari’ah and try as much as possible not to come close to haram.
Following these tips will go a long way in helping you adapt to this great change in the easiest and most interesting ways.
O Allah, I seek refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men. (Bukhari)
Wardah Abbas is a law student at the Nigerian Law School. She is a passionate Muslimah and a budding writer who believes in intellectualism as a prerequisite to change. You can read more of her writings on therosespen.wordpress.com