By Mona Ismaeil
The time has come when you may find yourself in those awkward situations where you offer your colleague something to eat or drink and they say they are fasting! Ramadan is near! It doesn’t have to be awkward! Here is what you need to know about Ramadan and your workplace:
What is Ramadan?
The Holy month of Ramadan is a very spiritual month for Muslims around the world. For 30 days, Muslims will refrain from food, drink, smoking and spousal relations from sunrise to sun set. Between these hours, Muslims fast. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
There are a number of reasons Muslim fast during Ramadan. The first is that it shows devotion to Allah (God). Secondly, during periods of fasting there is a heightened spirituality and closeness to God. The time of the year includes more prayers, reading of the Holy Qur’an and gathering in remembrance of God. Next, Muslims practice self-control and finally there is a recognition of the many blessings we are granted.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims are required to give a percentage of their wealth to those in need in an act of charity.
SkirtsAfire Festival in Edmonton is self-described as “diverse, inclusive and daring”, guaranteeing there’s something for everyone at their 10th anniversary festival, running March 3-13 in Old Strathcona. With the ever-changing pandemic climate we’re all navigating, there is one thing for certain – SkirtsAfire will offer 10 days of engaging and entertaining performances and experiences!
We have taken in their MainStage Productions since 2017 as well as Opening Night Parties, and of course, the fantastic SkirtsAfire Skirt Design Competition. Featuring the work of women and non-binary folks in the arts in Edmonton – MARCH 3-13, 2022. Check out SkirtsAfire, experiencing theatre, visual art, design, music, comedy, and more.
Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
In Part 1 of this 3-part series, I described some of the behaviours a child might exhibit if they have perfectionist tendencies. To refresh your memory, check out the post here. Not only will this help a child with perfectionism, but it can prevent it from developing in the first place.
PART 2: CELEBRATE MISTAKES
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to prevent our kids from making mistakes? As kids we were always cautioned against making mistakes, right? So why do I want to celebrate my kids mistakes?
I hear kids all the time, especially in a dance class or sports, “I hope I don’t make a mistake” or “I hope I don’t get it wrong.” They hope they don’t make a mistake because they view the mistake as a diminishment of who they are. That somehow, they aren’t good enough. Many kids, by age 5 or 6 years old, are already determining their self-worth by their mistakes.
In my family, similar to many conservative traditional families, making mistakes was not okay. You did not make mistakes. Mistakes meant punishments.
Negativity and fear seem to be a daily fixture in society right now.
I know I have had many sleepless nights and tumultuous days worrying about everything that is beyond my control. In order to maintain sanity I have chosen to focus on what we still have, and some positive changes amongst all of this crazy Covid-19 chaos. Last night as my husband and I curled up with our glass of wine to watch the last episode of Tiger King, it dawned on me that this was the first Netflix series we had been able to watch in its entirety since the birth of our first daughter seven years ago! We have a million series we want to watch, but never the time to sit down and binge. This hiatus has allowed us the gift of trashy television viewing without guilt! So here are a few more silver linings I’ve been able to identify amongst one of the larger storm clouds of our lives.
#1 The excuse to wear crap clothing
For reasons unbeknownst to everyone, including myself, I have saved much of my childrens’ hole-y, ripped and slightly stained clothing. This is perfect, because now we can save our nicer and more socially acceptable wardrobes for the return to normalcy. As for now, its shredded leggings and mismatched socks all the way!
You are the glue keeping everything together right now. You set the tone for the ebb and flow of your family routines. You are constantly taking the emotional temperature of your child, children, and spouse. Now you are not only Mama but Mme. Mama, teacher as well as cook, nurse, maid, and your own person. And it is to this last point that I would like to touch on at this time. You. You must also rescue yourself right now, you must look after yourself, stimulate and nurture your spirit and mind at this moment that feels like we are trying to stay afloat swimming in a toxic soup of uncertainty.
I am not neurotypical. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, ED, LMNOP… Depression, anxiety and others I don’t know enough about to write about quite yet. Along with these letters, each one carries their own unique symptoms I deal with on a daily basis and while I try not to let diagnoses define who I am, it has been pretty clear that my diagnosis are something I can’t ignore. Also, LMNOP is not a real diagnoses, before we go any further.
When I was in my 20’s I played the game with myself where I decided I would not let my past effect my future. That I would not “dwell” in it and that anything I had gone through before was not going to shape who I was. This led me onto several unsavory paths that definitely shaped who I am if my diagnoses didn’t. Ignoring your symptoms is pretty impossible. While you think you are ignoring them, what you’re actually doing is pushing away anyone effected by your symptoms and bringing in people who have the same symptoms as you in the guise of “understanding” and “relating”. Let me tell you something, two unstable people does not a stable relationship make. In time, your life becomes chaos. The people in it are causing chaos by mirroring what you’re going through and dragging you down with them. The people you should have in your life that love you, you subconsciously push away in order to protect them. Or, you’re too afraid to hear the truth and be faced with the consequences of your own decisions. The decision that you were going to ignore your symptoms.
I have had anxiety for the majority of my life now that I look back and can reflect on it and health anxiety is a large part of it. My search history reflects a list of asking google about my symptoms. Google and I have a love-hate relationship because nothing good ever comes up with googling symptoms. EVER!!
My anxiety seemed to be managed and I was doing so well for a long time.
Well, you know how that goes. Life happens. Family issues pop up, especially around the holidays. I got busy and missed a few days of my medication and boom. The insecurities, the irrational thinking, the fear, all come on and it feels like I’m drowning again.
And you would THINK you would notice this in yourself but in my case I didn’t. I had to have a friend give a good swift kick and say – Ok, what’s up – you haven’t been like this in a long time. Then it dawns on me, and I remember missing days. And my Dr. has said that particularly stressful times will make my anxiety “flare up” but there is also the issue of time.
It seems like a simple activity that we should all be able to do right? It is cheap, can be done at any time, and doesn’t take any equipment other than shoes.
Most women that I work with feel really frustrated when it comes to running because just doesn’t feel good. They leak, they have back, hip, pelvic and/or leg pain, or it just feels awful on their bodies.
Lots of Mamas I meet love running and want to return to running races or plan a getaway for a destination race. Some just want to get out for a run a couple of times a week for fitness and for the mental break. Many want to run with their kids and not be stuck on the sidelines watching as their kids grow.
The most common strategy that I see women take with running is to take it slow. They start with a slow 20-30 minute jog around the block with plans to work their way up to longer or faster runs.
And I totally understand why! I made the same mistake myself nearly 9 years ago when I returned to running after my first baby Avery was born.
This approach misses a few KEY strategies though, which is why many women find it hard to get past this distance or they quit all together.