5 Easy Ways to Get Up from a Downfall

Whether it’s a family dispute, a fight with a friend, a breakup, or leaving your job on a bad note, most of us have been through a rough patch. Also, we might have struggled and took more time than usual to bounce back. Here are 5 easy and guaranteed ways that will speed-up the heeling process and the recovery from a downfall

      1. Get busy living
While it may be so easy to give up to the sweet temptation of sitting on the couch and binge watch shows on Netflix, there are healthier ways to get over bad times. It is very important to keep your day fully occupied. Whatever opportunity you are faced with to keep yourself busy, accept it! Be a “Yes man/woman” and accept opportunities to step outside and do things. See if you can help colleagues or friends with work, find volunteer opportunities, or help a cousin  with baby sitting. More importantly, exercise! This is the most beneficial task you would do for yourself! Hit the gym or jog in the park like you always said you would. The key is to keep your time and day occupied from morning till night with positive tasks.

  2. Look forward to something new
This is crucial! Looking forward to something new that you are interested in will keep your happy thoughts activated while waiting for this upcoming event.

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Abu Dhabi, UAE

My favorite option would be travel to a new city or country that you have never been to before. If this is not financially or timely feasible, you can aim to start reading a new book, learn a new language, try a new water park, or think of a new hobby and work on it! The key is that this action is a new thing that you are very excited about and you can easily start in the coming few weeks.

     3. Taking care of a life
Taking care of a life in your house can be an immense source of positive energy. If you are settled in certain city for quite some time, I highly advise getting a pet! While taking care of a pet can be a lot of effort, having a buddy in the house that you play with, feed and take care of really pays of. A good alternative to a pet is a plant! While plants enhance breathing and increase Oxygen, many studies proved that plants increase productivity and positive thinking.

4. Help others
You would be surprised how being there for others who need your support can give a great sense of satisfaction! The bigger the support you are giving the better it feels. However, simple actions like giving a confidence boost, a sincere conversation, a smile with a nice comment can do wonders! These actions will make you feel as good as you made others feel!

5. Reach out to old friends & family
You never know who is out there who might be going through a similar situation and need you as much as you need them! Reaching out to old friends can be very nourishing as it can be a nice drive down a memory lane that will remind you of your old-self and the simple things that used to make you happy!

6. BONUS point: Count your blessings!
My good friend and life coach, Karim Zayed, told me that he advises his clients to spend a minute per day to think of all the minor and major details in their lives that they are thankful for. When I tried this myself, I did it the first thing in the morning while I am still in bed. That was the best way I ever started the day! ( I messaged my friend right after) For only 1 minute, be thankful for the good people in your life, body, face, skills, house, car, or gadgets, etc. You will eventually realize that you have a lot to be happy and thankful for than to be upset about (I hope).

Borrowing your experiences, can you please share with us other ways you think help to get up from a downfall?!?

Now, there’s no better opportunity to have a fresh start than a new year 😊 Even though every day is an opportunity for a fresh start, take advantage of the new year to dust off the ashes of any tough experience that you have been through and start a fresh new page!

Happy holidays and wish you a great new year ahead!

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Globalization is in our Traditions…

 

I always repeat and say that “beauty is in our differences.” I have always believed that we don’t have to be the same to get along. In fact, there is so much beauty when people of different backgrounds and beliefs synchronize. For that reason, it upsets and confuses me to see people shying away or letting go of traditions or local habits. There are reasons behind these traditions; and those reasons made these traditions inapplicable to other cultures.
I have always been jealous of Indian weddings because they are so rich in traditions. For example, before an Indian wedding, the bride and her friends participate in a Mehendi ceremony to apply Henna drawings on their body parts. It is said that the deeper the color of the Henna the stronger the bond between the husband and the wife. Seriously, wow! Also, it is widely known how in western cultures, on the wedding day, the bride has to wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” henna-1581329_960_720This tradition originated from an old English rhyme that says how something old represents continuity; something new represents optimism, something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity. How nice!

There’s a whole other dimension of traditions that originate on religious basis. I find it especially exquisite because such traditions combine spirituality, religious goodness and cultural values. For example, the UAE has this delightful tradition, Hag Al Laila, that takes place before and sometimes during the holy month of Ramadan. The custom carries the idea where children go around the neighborhoods knocking on doors and asking for candy and money (kind of like Halloween!) to foster the Islamic notion of sharing goodness and increase giving during the Ramadan. Later on, this tradition evolved to distribute the candy and the money to the poor families and to sick kids at hospitals.

Now, while we are so different, we are also (yes, you said it) the same! We are all children of Adam and Eve. Such similarities are very visible in any country’s borders. This is when the strong differing cultures of two countries fade out and they both blend-in to be very similar. For example, Nubia, is a region that lies in southern Egypt and shares borders with Sudan. Unlike cities in northern and central Egypt, Nubia shares a lot of common qualities with Sudan. They both have similar music, food, architecture, wedding traditions, and dances.

The trigger of this thought is that lately, there has been a trend happening in the Middle East where people especially those who belong to the new generation tend to refrain from practicing cultural traditions. I am not sure why exactly; but, it could be due to several reasons. People might be associating such old traditions with old and underdeveloped mindsets. Another reason could be the fact that the media sometimes portray western traditions are more common and “cooler” to practice than Middle Eastern traditions. It’s pretty easy to break that stigma though. People may truly value the uniqueness of their cultural identity by exposing themselves to other cultures. This will make us realize how such local traditions are highly valued in the eyes of outsiders.

Basically, we’ve got to embrace our traditions and not shy away from our local habits. Such habits came for a reason that has history and meaning that we can share. Globalization and exposure to other cultures should not translate into letting go of our local traditions. While it’s important to be “globalized” to train ourselves to naturally accept what’s different from what we know, it is even more important to hold tight to our ethnic origins as this is an essential part that contributes to every person’s unique personality.

If Strangers Can Share A Room, Then They Can Definitely Share The World

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Not my room (mine was not that cute). Picture was taken in my best friend(Samar)’s room on our last day at the dorms. Oh I miss the dorm

 

Nine years ago, I left my parents’ house for the first time (yay I guess?) and moved into a shared room and bathroom in my university’s dorms in Sharjah (small city near Dubai). I have arrived a day ahead of my roommate that the housing has randomly assigned. I was so excited to meet her to have all the crazy fun that the media bragged how roommates usually bond together. Bearing in mind that the university did not use any criteria to assign roommates other than similar nationalities; hence, they have assigned me an Egyptian girl who was 17 (one year older than me; yup, I was the youngest in my batch.)

 

When she arrived, it took me seconds to realize that we wouldn’t mingle together at all and we have quite different religious views. Sparing you the details on these views, I could easily identify from her choice of clothes that she can be positioned towards the religious and conservative end of a scale; whereas, I could be positioned somewhere towards the opposite end. My first impression was actually right! Also, you can guess what kind of thoughts I was having and how both of us might have silently judged each other. Clearly, my visions of having the wild fun of a student life with my roomie were diminished. All sorts of questions came to my mind and whether I should change the room immediately or wait for the end of my first semester.

 

Despite of this quite early clash, I’ve decided to stay, at least for now, and I thought maybe it would be better if I do not get along well with my roommate, at least I could focus more on studies in the room and have all the fun I want outside. As time passed by, I’ve made a lot of friends with similar interests and I got my fair share of partying, exploring almost each and every club that Dubai has to offer! (And I called that “fair share”). Although I had the option now to move out with other friends whom I have developed a stronger bond/connection with, I preferred to stay with my original roommate who over time has turned out to be the best roommate that I could ask for. We were both very considerate of each other’s feelings, respected each other’s space, and aligned with each other before any minor or major changes in the room.

 

Luckily, we stayed together the whole four years of college, we were perfect roommates; but, not strong friends. The point from this story that has crossed my mind only few weeks back when I was having a drink with my friend in Florida is (yea, I know), if two people with extreme different views were able to share a room for four consecutive years, I fail to understand why can’t people with different social/political/sexual views share a country or share the world! Why can’t we not only just accept each other’s differences; but also, love them and be considerate of our different views.
Again, I find it hard to understand the strong urge of every religious group or political party to convince the other with their views assuming they are better if not the best. A diverse population sharing a country and resources is definitely more complicated than two college students sharing a room. However, if it worked out perfectly well with two strangers in a room, at least I would like to believe that with enough understanding and acceptance, it would be equally perfect for strangers to share the world too!