Blessed Friday

You must have come across the TGIF message somewhere on some Friday. Maybe not today, but earlier. And for many of us, Friday is definitely That Day To Wait For. And why not? Week of labour is at the end, and the weekend is at hand.

But for some of us, Friday is more than just the day when we plan the relaxation time off work wise, possibly some party time in the evening and hangover on the following morning… You know those things we all have done when we were younger.

For some, Friday is the eve of Shabbat with preparations to be done for the holy day of the week. For them, the day might be almost as busy as for the rest of us, but their targets are still ahead.

For some, Friday marks the weekly congregational prayers in the afternoon, as it is sunna to do them in a mosque.

For these people, weekends mean more of a spiritual relaxation and recharging than mere physical rest. For them, it is their way of recovering from the weekly toil. These prayers break the monotonous day and give a clear feeling of the start of the weekend.

And for some, Friday marks the end of working for someone else. The weekend is time allocated for planning or growing their own business empire, for which there is a need for an allocated time. They see their weekend time as something very valuable, as time that needs to be used properly to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Their rest and relaxation might come in the form of empowering themselves through their own business.

For me, as a nurse, weekdays don’t really hold a special meaning anymore. We work on each day, on 7 days a week, on 365 days of the year, throughout the clock. But at the same time…

Fridays still have a special meaning for me as a time when I should really strive to be a better Muslim. But where I live, I don’t really have a possibility to go to Mosque for the Friday prayers. For me, those are a communal thing and a deeply spiritual thing.

But as much as I would like to think that Fridays are a spiritual thing, I firmly believe that it is more of a mental health thing:

When we allow time for ourselves, time to relax, time to enjoy whatever activities our weekend is filled with, we subconsciously allow our brains and nervous system to rest. Like a psychological equivalent to walking in a forest.

Why a walk in a forest? Studies have shown that having a slow walk in a forest whilst looking and listening around, actually lowers down your heartbeat and blood pressure, relieves stress, and lowers the level of stress hormone in the body.

So, this Friday, I charge you to think happy thoughts and go have a nice walk in a forest!

Happy Friday and weekend everyone!

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