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Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

As the nation goes into a state of emergency and people react to the uncertainty facing us, it’s hard to know where to turn for solid information, grounded advice, and clear direction. The Family and Youth Institute team has come together to produce this list of vetted articles and resources to help you find your way during this uncertain time.

From resources for parents on how to talk to your kids about the anxiety and fear they are witnessing around them to du’a and hadith that help focus our concerns towards our Creator – this toolkit is designed with you in mind. You’ll find mental health resources written by professionals in the field, tips and tricks for working from home, relationship advice for the closer quarters you may be sharing with your loved ones, and even activities and things to do as a family at home while self-quarantining.

Grieving Loss of a Loved One During a Pandemic

Many of us have lost a loved one or know someone who has lost a loved one. COVID-19 has changed the way we grieve and honor the passing of our loved ones. Try these strategies to cope with some of the unique issues you or your loved ones may be struggling with after the loss of a loved one.

Not being present at the time of death or engaging in the usual Islamic rituals can make it harder to grieve your loss. Try these strategies:
  • Connect to the death of the great Sahabah, Muadh
  • Adapt your rituals to the current times of social distancing: virtual family meetings or du’a sessions, donate to organizations, virtually visit your loved one’s friends/relatives
  • Ease your concerns about proper washing and Janazah rituals by referring to these guidelines about the ghusl and prayer/funeral processes during this pandemic
  • Complete your loved one’s rights upon you in other ways, such as du’a and engaging in good deeds on their behalf

Find alternative ways to grieve and find closure in a time of social distancing:

  • Acknowledge and accept the feelings.The best way to overcome your grief is to go right through it. Learn how to ground yourself and be more mindful
  • Pay attention to spiritual bypassing, when religion and faith is used to shut down emotions, like “You just need to pray more…”
  • Alternate between “loss-related” activities (e.g., looking at photos of the deceased, crying, talking about the person) and “restorative” activities (e.g., making plans for the future, spending time on hobbies)
  • Exercise. Your level of activity can have a significant impact on your mental health

Support someone you know who lost a loved one during Covid-19

  • Say nothing but do something— don’t wait for them to ask:
    • Arrange for meals or snacks
    • Deliver care package
    • Send quick but meaningful messages
    • Set-up check-in calls only if they want to
  • If you want to say something, try these:
    • “It’s okay to hurt or be in pain.” Validate their feelings rather making them feel they have to hide it or get over it quickly.
    • “I am here for you”. Be present, without being burdensome.
    • “I remember when…” Share memories of the loved one.
    • Most importantly, just listen— without judgement.

Grief is a very unique process for everyone, but if your sadness becomes too much to bear, know when to seek professional help.

For much more information, check out The FYI’s Original Article – Losing a Loved One During the Pandemic.

Stress, Anxiety and Managing your Mental Health in the Midst of a Pandemic

Teens

 

Young Adults

  • Use these strategies to protect your mental health
  • Find and stick to your routine
  • Focus on the things you enjoy
  • Connect with others in new ways
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Have open conversations with your college rommates about staying safe during the pandemic

Please check out the Parent Resource section below for additional resources on parenting during this pandemic.

Religious and Spiritual Resources

How should we be thinking about the coronavirus from an Islamic perspective? How can we cope with the situation that is facing us in these hard times? Here are some Islamic tips, reminders, duas and stories.

Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

#WFH (working or studying from home)

Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

Check out the parenting section for resources on keeping children engaged while you try to work!

Student Support – College in the Time of Coronavirus

Teaching During Quarantine

Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

Enhancing Relationships

Parenting Resources

Do you know how to talk to your kids without increasing their anxiety? How can you help them build a sense of control during this time? The following links provide advice and tips from experts that may help guide your conversations with your children and include videos, games, activities, workbooks and social stories.

Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

Now that you are home with your child(ren), check out these resources to pass the time and have some fun!

Schooling your child(ren) at home for the first time? Check out these resources for the various academic subjects:

  • Watch this Muhsen webinar for helpful resources, activities and services for Individuals with Disabilities During COVID-19
  • Home learning for Special Education
  • Supporting individuals with autism
  • Advice for Families with members who have ADHD
Other Activities to pursue while the child(ren) are at home:

Financial Impact

Wellbeing in the Time of Coronavirus

Strengthening Community Connection in the Face of Social Distancing

Resources for Immigrants

  • Plenty of resources for immigrants ranging from unemployment benefits to mental health resources, listed by state.
  • Coronavirus fact sheets in 11 different languages
  • Arabic Resources explaining preventative steps, symptoms of the virus, and those who are at risk.
  • Isolation guidance in multiple languages: Farsi, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Italian, & English

Feedback

Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us. It helps us refine and improve our efforts to better serve you. Whether it’s positive comments that motivate us or constructive criticism that guides our enhancements, your insights are an essential part of our journey. We genuinely appreciate your time and input as we work to provide the best possible experience. Thank you for being a part of our process!

Zakat eligibility of The FYI

The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
(Al-Tawbah 9:60)

According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

About Shaikh Ali

Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).