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Yasmin Essa

5 Holistic Ways To Reduce Your Breast Cancer Odds

October 2015 is coming to a close and we've all seen our fair share of pink ribbons, etc. Awareness is a great thing, but it's action that makes real difference in your real life.

Breast cancer is a personal topic for me. Two of my maternal aunts fought aggressive battles against breast cancer, so I've seen first hand what it can do to a family. While it was hard on me and still remains a sensitive topic in my heart as their niece, I can only imagine how hard it was / still is on their children, my dear cousins.

My one aunt passed away after a long battle of aggressive treatment. She lived in Egypt, but she even came here to the US for treatment. I remember those countless days and nights in the hospital very clearly. My other aunt successfully beat cancer after undergoing a lot of aggressive treatment. The amazing thing is that my aunt who beat cancer found out she had cancer after being tested after learning about her sisters' diagnosis.

I am sharing these tips with you, so that you can do what is in your hands to reduce your odds for breast cancer.

1) Love up your lymph, especially the lymph surrounding your breasts
When it comes to our lymph nodes, my favorite analogy is that they are like the sewage system of our body. Just like a sewage system filters out harmful substances from waste water, our lymph nodes filter out harmful substances from our body. The thing is though, that everything has an upper limit. When we have too many harmful substances in our body, it can contribute to our lymphatic system becoming congested. Lymph node health is strongly linked to breast health.

Here are some ways to love up your lymph:
  • Exfoliate. Use a natural bristle dry brush or a loofah to get your lymph moving.
  • Say no thanks to aluminum and other heavy metals. They take a toll on your lymphatic system. Easiest ways to reduce your exposure? Use aluminum free deodorant (my favorite is Primal Pit Paste, and no they are not paying me to say that. I also make my own sometimes, and yes it works). Also, use cookware made from ceramic or glass, rather than aluminum or metal.
  • Trash those wired bras. Let's be honest. They are not comfortable, and you and I both know that. Plus they reduce lymphatic movement.
  • Learn how to do a self-breast exam, and do one every few months.
  • Massage. It reduces stress, can serve as a self breast exam (when doing breast massage), and gets lymph moving. Focus on your chest muscles, neck, shoulder, breasts, underneath your breasts, rib cage, and below your armpits.
  • Sweat it out. Find exercise you enjoy and do it regularly (at least 3x per week)
2) Respect your comfort
When you sit down and think about the things that women do in the name of "beauty", it's quite absurd. Trust me, I love a fashionable outfit as much as the next person, but when fashion equals pain, I say no thank you.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Suffocating your body increases inflammation in the body.
  • Give yourself daily breaks from bras. It's good for you and it feels good. Enough said.
3) Say no thanks to fake estrogen
Fake estrogen is all around us in the form of phytoestrogens (plants that act like estrogen) and xenoestrogens (substances like plastic that act as estrogen). It's one thing to be existent in small amounts. It's a completely different issue when it's highly prevalent and many women are estrogen dominant. Estrogen dominance is one of the leading hormonal imbalances in today's day and age.

The key problem with fake estrogen is that it acts like estrogen, but do not actually carry out the job that real estrogen does. Imagine how confused your body is when there is an intruder that looks like the real thing, but can't perform like the real thing.

You may not be able to avoid fake estrogen 100%, but you can control upwards of 95% of your exposure. Here are some ways to do so:
  • Avoid soy. Anyone who has been following my work long enough knows that I don't believe in blanket restrictions. Soy is the king of all exceptions. Not only is soy a phytoestrogen, but it is also a goitrogen (inhibits thyroid function), and it's high in phytic acid (an antrinutrient). 
  • Choose glass over plastic when you can.
4) Cherish your cells, daily.
Every single type of cancer starts at the cellular level and then grows. We have trillions of cells in our body and our immune system (when healthy) is fighting off intruders and disease all the time. Wrap your head around that for a second.
    • Alkalize your body on the daily. It has been scientifically proven that cancer cells can not grow in an alkalize environment. Acidic environments provide the proper breeding grounds for cancer cell growth.
      • My favorite ways to alkalize are:
        • fresh squeezed lemon water on an empty stomach
        • homemade dressing using 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part extra virgin olive oil
        • eating dark greens at each meal
        • green juices and powders (Remember to choose quality over quantity, and avoid green juices that are loaded with too much sugar)
    • Take a food based vitamin D supplement once a day, after having a meal or snack that contains a healthy fat (vitamin D is fat soluble). In terms of what dosage to take, that depends on your current levels. Your doctor and holistic health coach can help you with this based on your bloodwork.
    • Drink plenty of water on the daily
      • It should be a crime not to hydrate properly. When you don't drink lots of water, you are not taking care of your cells at the most basic physical level. How can you be healthy if you are dehydrated? Aim for at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you're an active individual, drink even more.
    • Be on the lookout for any underlying infections
      • Infectious disease is all around us. In functional medicine, treating underlying infections is key to heal the root cause of chronic disease. When you have a swollen lymph node, it is often your body fighting an infection. You can monitor this by keeping up with bloodwork and monitoring any abnormal white blood cell activity.
    • Get your c reactive protein tested, it is a marker for inflammation in the body. If you find your body is highly inflamed, here are some things you can do to reduce your overall inflammation
      • incorporate fresh ginger into your day
      • incorporate turmeric (both fresh and powder) into your day
      • get tested for food sensitivities that may be causing inflammation 
      • take an omega 3 oil supplement daily
5) Trust your story
Remember: At the end of the day, you can't guarantee anything. Sure, you can follow these tips, but nothing guarantees your full immunity. That's kind of how this life works.

Does that mean you should throw it in the bag and do nothing? Um, absolutely not. These methods are scientifically based methods to reduce your odds. I use them myself and I know they make a difference, because I used to a live a not so healthy life years ago.

I used to really fear breast cancer. I don't really fear it like that anymore. I know I am doing my part and that's all I can do.

At the same time, we must remember that "what is meant for us will not pass us by".

In the Qur'an, Allah SWT tells us that:

{Certainly, We shall test you with fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient—those who, when afflicted with calamity say, "Truly to Allah we belong, and truly to Him shall we return." It is those who will be awarded blessings and mercy from their Lord; and it is those who are the guided ones.} (Al-Baqarah 2:155–157)

Therefore, do your part, and leave the rest in the hands of the Most High.

Do you have a personal connection to breast cancer or some tips of your own? Go ahead and share your story in the comments below.

phonto (1)

Yasmin Essa

Savory & Zesty Chicken Salad

Yummy Chicken Salad

This salad is perfect anytime of the day. It's loaded with healthy proteins and fats. Feel free to pair it with your favorite healthy carbs. Feel free to improvise and switch up any ingredients you aren't that keen on, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Salad Ingredients

Use as much or as little as you want of each ingredient.

  • Strawberries
  • Cooked Chicken Breast
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Spring Mix (massage it after washing
  • Tomato
  • Avocado

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 Parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Part Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pink himilayan sea salt to each 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Enjoy, inshaAllah. :)

Yasmin Essa

Healthy Chocolate + Cherry Protein Pancakes (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

Healthy Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate + Cherry Pancakes
My husband Kyle & I enjoyed a fresh homemade batch of these on our 2nd wedding anniversary. :) I improvised this recipe and it came out awesome, fluffy, light, and fulfilling. Enjoy, inshaAllah.

Wet Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
    • if using store-bought almond milk, use a brand that does not have 'carrageenan' in it, as this destroys the interested
    • you can use water if you don't have almond milk or have a nut allergy
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (we used SunWarrior vegan protein powder, you can substitute an additional 1/4 cup oatmeal + 1 teaspoon chia seeds)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flour (you can substitute 1 tablespoon of cinnamon if you don't have coconut flour)
  • 1 shake non aluminum baking soda
Topping Ingredients

  • Enjoy Life Brand dark chocolate chunks
  • Cherries
  • Cinnamon Powder


  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the wet ingredients until mixed
  2. Add the dry ingredients and blend again until mixed
  3. Heat your pan until hot
  4. Add a little bit of coconut oil to pan and wipe any excess with paper towel
  5. Pour mixture into pan the way you would with any other pancake mix.
  6. Lower your heat on your pan when not in use between making pancakes and wipe your pan in between if you begin to see black debris
  7. Keep the cooked pancakes in a warm covered plate while you finish all batches
  8. When all pancakes have been cooked, plate them and add cherries, chocolate, and cinnamon
  9. Enjoy, inshaAllah (Godwilling)

Yasmin Essa

Delicious + Guilt-Free Homemade Pizza - The best gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free pizza, hands down.

My husband Kyle & I love to make homemade pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? At one point in my childhood, I used to make homemade pizza with my mama bear every Friday night for a little while. :)

P.S. This is not just any old pizza. This pizza is dairy free, gluten free, soy free, filled with love, omega packed, alkalizing, delicious, and amazing for your energy, digestion, and hormones.

Kyle & I love to make this every so often, sometimes on Fridays when we have home date nights, or on some Saturdays when we have my little sister come over during the school year, after Islamic school.

See... you may hear Gluten & Dairy free and think.. what the heck.. that's not pizza. That's super restrictive.

Here's the thing though... I am not about restriction.

First off, I do not advocate that everyone should eat the same way. We are all bioindividual. I eat this way because it makes my joints happy (big plus for someone who has scoliosis), it gives me energy (ummm, yes, more please), and it keeps my digestion on point.

1) Food should taste amazing (and yes, this recipe tonight is the bomb dot com)
2) Food should make you feel amazing mentally, physically, and spiritually (cause I mean...what good is it if it satisfies your lips, but wreaks havoc on your digestion, kills your energy, and messes up your hormones... because, like...... hormones are already crazy enough on their own.. so let's not go messing them up, people...
3) Food should not give you anxiety (ain't no calorie counting up in here... but we do care about ingredients, sustainability, food justice, supporting brands that don't support apartheid, supporting local, affordable food (because budgets are cool), eating foods that alkalize you, etc etc..)


  • 1 packet of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Mix (available at many stores + online)
    • If you're like me and you love coupons, you can download a $1 off coupon on their website
  • 2 eggs (found at most supermarkets)
    • I highly recommend that you use organic eggs that come from chickens that were treated with TLC (tender + care + love)
  • 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil (found at most supermarkets)
    • Make sure that your olive oil is actually 100% olive oil. A lot of brands of olive oil are cut with cheaper, low quality oils 
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds (found at most supermarkets)
    • Chia seeds are lalala loaded with goodness such as inflammatory fighting omega-3 fatty acids and gut loving fiber.. aim for organic here too, if you can.
  • Cinnamon powder (found at most supermarkets)
    • Aim for organic if possible
    • Adding a pinch of cinnamon powder to your crust will help balance your blood sugar levels
  • Coconut Flour (found at most supermarkets)
  • Pizza sauce (found at most supermarkets)
    • You're free to make your own homemade pizza sauce
    • If using a store bought brand, use these tips to get the best one
      • Aim for organic (tomatoes are a dirty dozen and are high in pesticides)
      • Aim for a jar that comes in glass (plastic acts as a xenoestrogen in the body and messes up hormonal balance
      • Aim for a brand that uses olive oil as the oil
      • Aim for a lower sodium brand
      • I personally use Nature's Promise Organic Pizza Sauce found at Stop & Shop. It's only $2.50 a jar, organic, in glass, and only has optimal ingredients. If you can't get your hands on this, simply use the instructions above, inshaAllah. :)
  • 1 Bag of Daiya Dairy Free Mozzarella Cheese Shreds (available at stores like Stop & Shop, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Natural Shops + online)
    • If you are not sensitive to dairy, you can opt for high quality organic dairy cheese instead
    • As far as non-dairy cheeses go, Daiya is the only brand I use, as they don't use soy (no good for hormones).
    • However, I do not recommend all of Daiya's products. Some products in their line have "carrageenan" which disrupts the intestines
    • While I recommend Daiya's Dairy Free Mozzarella Cheese Shreds, keep in mind that it is still a highly processed food that you would want to consume in moderation. :)
  • Toppings of your choice
    • Some Recommendations:
    • Fresh garlic: aids in digestion, adds a punch of flavor, and great for detoxification of the body
    • Mushrooms: aids in digestion, adds fiber
    • Spinach: alkalizes the pH of our body, aids in digestion, adds fiber
    • Olives: great for skin health, aids in digestion, adds fiber


  1. Empty Bob's Red Mill GF Pizza Crust Mix into a large mixing bowl
  2. Work on a clean counter top and do not cross contaminate things that touch yeast. Make sure that when you're done with cooking utensils and bowls that have yeast in them, to clean well in your sink.
  3. Rinse flour off of the yeast packet inside the crust mix. This will ensure that when you mix the yeast with water in step 3, flour is not mixed into the yeast & water mixture
  4. In a separate large bowl, combine 1.5 cups of warm water with packet of yeast (comes inside Bob's Red Mill Mix). Use a fork to mix real well, and eliminate any clumps.
  5. Allow yeast & water to sit for 5 minute
  6. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup of chia and 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon powder into the bowl with the bowl with the pizza mix
  7. When yeast & water has been sitting for 5 mins, add 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it and mix well
  8. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix well until a dough is formed
  9. Cover dough and allow to rise for 20 minutes
  10. Preheat oven to 425°F, so it will be ready when dough has risen
  11. Turn your kitchen fan on if you have not already, because your kitchen is going to get hot!
  12. Prepare parchment paper (you will probably need two big sheets). You can also use a pizza stone if you have one. "Grease" parchment paper or pizza stone with 1 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle some coconut flour (about 2 Tablespoons). This will help keep the dough from sticking, inshaAllah (Godwilling)
  13. When dough has risen, place dough on prepared surface (parchment or stone). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of coconut flour on top of dough. Using slightly wet hands, roll dough out using a rolling pin. Use coconut flour sparingly if dough is sticking to rolling pin. It should not be sticky.
  14. When the pizza crust is fully rolled out, create a crust and seal the crust with a fork or side of the rolling pin
  15. Bake crust without toppings for 8 minutes, inshaAllah (Godwilling)
  16. While crust is baking, wipe down your countertops from any yeast or egg residue, so you're ready for topping the pizza when it's done in the oven
  17. Remove crust from oven and cover with your favorite sauce and toppings (you can find my suggestions up top)
  18. Bake for 17 minutes, inshaAllah (Godwilling)
  19. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3-4 mins before using a pizza cutter to cut.
  20. Enjoy!!!

Wellness with Yasmin Bonus Tip!

Pair this delicious pizza with the following salad! See, pizza is not a complete meal. By having it alongside this salad, you'll be getting the following benefits

  • Protein, there is not enough protein in the pizza alone
  • Raw enzymes. the raw enyzmes in the salad helps your digestion
  • Reduced water retention due to increased sodium. This pizza recipe is optimal and healthy, but it's higher in sodium than many of the other dishes I make in my kitchen. By pairing it with parsley, which acts to fight sodium induced water retention
  • Increased detoxification due to consuming processed foods. Like mentioned above, the pizza uses some processed ingredients such as daiya. There are some ingredients like guar gum which are okay, but can have negative impacts if consumed often or alone. Incorporating foods like ginger and beets helps reduce inflammation and increases your body's natural ability to detoxify, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Parsley, Carrot, Ginger, Beet, Avocado Chicken Salad Recipe

Makes 8-10 servings
  • 1 bunch of chopped
  • 1 chopped up carrot
  • 1/2 inch of grated ginger
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped up beets
    • Make sure they have been boiled previously and cooked down
  • Cut up cooked chicken breast cubes or strips
    • I like to cook a lot in advance and freeze or refrigerate)
Homemade dressing
Mix all ingredients before tossing in salad
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pink himilayan sea salt
  • freshly cracked black peppercorns 

Enjoy :)

Here is a video of Kyle & I making both the pizza & the salad on periscope!

Here is part 2 (technical difficulties), where Kyle & I enjoy both the salad and pizza.

Yasmin Essa

12 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself

  1. Be kind to yourself by accepting yourself & loving yourself unconditionally. You are enough. Stop thinking you are not.
  2. Take extra time to yourself when praying. Get lost in your connection with your Creator. Yes, I know you have to make dinner. Yes, I know you have studying or paperwork to do. Yes, I know the bills need to get paid. Yes, I know you're busy. So what. Shut the world out. It's just you & your Creator.
  3. Appreciate your quirks and imperfections and admire God's perfection. Women have this crazy pressure to people-please and try to be perfect. Do us both a favor and stop. Only God is perfect. You can't really appreciate His Perfection or find your own peace until you accept your humanness. You are amazing. Just the way you are. :)
  4. Be kind to yourself when you feel like a crazy mad woman. In times like this, step back and treat yourself with kindness and acceptance. It's ok to feel crazy. You are not crazy. You are a woman who is wired with so many emotions. Don't let it hold you back. It will pass. It will pass even quicker if you are kind and understanding with yourself.
  5. Stop eating your emotions. It never makes you feel better, now does it? Nourish your body with beautiful, colorful foods that come from the earth.
  6. Get dolled & dressed up at home, for no reason at all. Do it for yourself and your loved ones. 
  7. Give yourself permission to feel beautiful. It will improve your romantic relationships and also your non romantic relationships, especially with your children. Children thrive when their mother is happy.
  8. Admire your internal traits. Your creativity, your humor, intelligence, etc. Get lost in the things you love.
  9. Stop stressing out already. Figure out what is really 'urgent' and what isn't. Stop people-pleasing. Start living and lighting up.
  10. Be confident in yourself. You have God with you. You have no reason not to feel confident. I'm not talking about being vain. I'm talking about healthy self-image that allows you to shine.
  11. Treat yourself to something nice. Bonus points: Next time you're on the way to buy yourself a new piece of clothing, drop something from your closet off at a donation bin.
  12. Eat real food, not out of boxes. Eating good food is not expensive. Destroying your body is.

Yasmin Essa

Interview with Farheen Khan, 1st Place Awardee, 2015 Dreamer Doer Awards

In this interview, you'll hear about so many amazing things ranging from her current life as a Federal Candidate at Mississauga-Centre NDP, her 175 lb weight loss journey, her hijab story, her inspirational father who was a big player in building the first mosque in her area as a child, her experiences working at a women's shelter, how she turned a brutal attack into a means of drive and inspiration, her passion for fighting poverty and social injustices. She was raw and honest. I can go on and on, but instead, listen for yourself, inshaAllah. :)

Learn more about Farheen's Political Work here, inshaAllah
Learn more about Farheen's book From Behind the Veil: A Hijabi's Journey to Happiness, inshaAllah
Learn more about Farheen's second book A Hijabi's Journey to Live, Laugh & Love, inshaAllah

Check out the awesome work that the 2015 Dreamer Doer Award Judges are doing:

 Asma Khan, Soap Ethics, soapethics.com 
 Debora McNichol, Muslim Writers Publishing, muslimwriterspublishing.com
 Elena Nikolova, Muslim Travel Girl, muslimtravelgirl.com 
 SISTERS Magazine Editorial Team, sisters-magazine.com
♥ Yvonne Maffei,
 My Halal Kitchen, myhalalkitchen.com 
 Saiyyidah Zaidi, saiyyidahzaidi.com


No idea what the 2015 Wellness with Yasmin Dreamer Doer Awards are?

Check out details, 2015 nominees, and 2015 awardees here, inshaAllah.

Yasmin Essa

[Video] Ramadan Prep Seminar at ISCJ: How To Optimize Your Best Ramadan Mentally + Physically + Spiritually



Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatAllah wa barakatuhu :)

I did a seminar locally in NJ, sharing some of my best tips for your best Ramadan Mentally + Spiritually + Physically.

Here is the video, and you'll get to see some of my 6th graders chime in with awesome questions.

 ✿ .. As always, remember ..
* You are capable.
* You are worth it.
* You are cherished.

With Love & Peace,

وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]
[Surat Al-Baqarah, Ayah 45]

Ramadan Waiting List (3)_copy

Yasmin Essa

3 Tips to Optimize Ramadan with Your Family & Friends

Ramadan is a time to connect with family and friends. Here are some tips to optimize that time, inshaAllah (Godwilling).
Note: You can adapt these tips to work with your spouse, parents, children, siblings, friends, etc.

Tip #1: Use shared lingo.
My husband Kyle loves sports and all things competitive. He regularly says "let's get it" even if it's not a sports conversation. I like to be silly with him and say it myself. It is highly unlikely for me to use this type of 'lingo' around just anyone. Therefore, it makes a special connection between us. To make this example Ramadan-specific, last year, I used this phrase many times as it relates to Ramadan. While we read Qur'an together, I would say "let's get it" many times right when we were about to start another ayah. :)

Tip #1 Action Item:
What are some unique phrases your family member or friend says? How can you mirror their language and make it Ramadan specific?

Tip #2: Help & Be Helped
Ramadan is a time to really connect with Allah SWT (God). Help each other get dunya (worldly) related things done quickly and efficiently. Two people can bang out tasks faster than one.

Tip #2 Action Item:
What is something that your family member or friend normally takes responsibility for that you can help with? What is something you normally take responsibility for that you can ask for help with? What Ramadan focused activities can you do with the freed up time?

Tip #3: Get Involved
Volunteer at a soup kitchen together, give away old clothing together, teach a class together. Do something for your community.

Tip #3 Action Item:
What can you do together this month to gain the pleasure of Allah SWT?

Those are the tips I have for you.

Leave a comment below and let me know any tips you have to optimizing your Ramadan with your family & friends, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Thank you for reading! :)

If you want further support this Ramadan, keep reading....

I created a state-of-the-art program to ensure you (and I) rock this Ramadan with loads of energy, optimizing the maximum benefit of this Holy month. This is the 3rd time I'll be running my Ramadan Mind Body Soul Online Retreat, and this time it's open to not only sisters, but their families, organizations, and students.

2015 Ramadan Mind Body Soul Online Retreat
Here are what some participants said last year:

"I feel very inspired uplifted in spirit and don't feel hungry or thirsty until just before breaking fast. Right around Maghreb prayer I fell like I could faint. But following your diet and its really fabulous i have energy and feel really good." -sister from North Carolina

"P.s I really liked your Ramadan videos, I'm working my way through the initial ones and also the recipe book is great (lack of a more exciting word fails me) and I'm working on the journal." -sister from the UK

"I quite like the idea of this online Ramadan retreat as most of u with children will know... escaping anywhere is near impossible! I pray we all have an uplifting Ramadan guided by Yasmin Essa whose Ramadan planning videos and journal have been my best start to Ramadan ever!" -sister from the UK
 3 Tips To Optimize Ramadan With Your Family & Friends

Yasmin Essa

10 Ways Ambitious Women Can Thrive When Overwhelmed

Like many other women, I am one ambitious girl. Being ambitious can get me in trouble. Hello overwhelm! The good news is that over the years, I've learned how to press the PAUSE button when I am overwhelmed and leverage the situation to benefit myself and others. The goal is not to get rid of the overwhelm [entirely], but to use it as a map and move ourselves forwards. In this post, I'll be sharing some awesome tips, where I'll keep it real and help you do the same, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Tip #1: You are not your overwhelm. So, stop judging yourself

This one is HUGE! You will never, ever, ever thrive while experiencing overwhelm unless you treat yourself with kindness when you are at your worst. A big part of overwhelm freedom is realizing that you are not your overwhelm. You are not crazy just because you are feeling crazy. 

Fill in the blanks next time you are not feeling a little over your head: 
Even though I feel ___________________ right now, my overwhelm does not define me.

Tip #2: Connect with yourself
The more connected you are with yourself, the more you will be able to understand yourself when you are overwhelmed. This allows you to hit the PAUSE button required to reflect & redirect. It's very easy to get disconnected in this fast paced, digital world. Especially when juggling several roles. A good way to connect with yourself is to remember what you used to love when you were a little kid...before you became an ambitious overwhelm magnet :).

Tip #3: Pray + Remember that Allah SWT (God) is close

When we are overwhelmed, it is easy to fall to feeling alone & without support. News flash: this will not help you thrive. Remember that Allah SWT (God) is always with you, and always close. 

وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] - [Surat Al-Baqarah, Ayah 45]


Tip #4: Trust your intuition
Allah SWT (God) created women differently than men. We feel things differently than men do. Our brains are wired differently. Allah SWT has gifted us as women with this AWESOME intuition. It's what wires us to be awesome mothers and caretakers. Don't ignore this gift! In fact, ignoring your own intuition or 'gut' feeling can often lead to overwhelm.

Tip #5: Prioritize your self-care.
This is a tough one to swallow for many of us. As women, Allah SWT has gifted us with naturally being wired to take care of other people. The mothers certainly know what I am talking about. Even if you are not a mother, you can relate to this. Although I'm not yet a mother, I have carried many responsibilities for many things in regards to my two younger sisters. As women, we tend to take care of everyone else first...and then ourselves...if we get to it. While this is very altruistic, there is a problem. This turns you into a bitter old lady.

Tip #6: Be kind to yourself.
Be kind to yourself when you're at your worst.
Be kind to yourself when you're at your best.
Be kind to yourself always. 

Because here is the blunt truth: 
If you can't practice kindness with yourself, you can't **TRULY** be kind to any other human soul. It's just not possible.

If you can't be kind to yourself, you can't truly be kind to:
your daughter  your son  your mother  your father  your extended family  your husband  your fiance  your best friend  etc...etc..etc..you get what I mean.

This is not about being selfish or vain. This is about realizing that if the glue that holds things together (you) is falling apart, everyone else ultimately falls apart, too.

Tip # 7: You are 100% responsible for your overwhelm. 
No one can make you feel anything without your permission. If you fail to accept this fact, you will never leverage your overwhelm.

I've had women tell me that when their overwhelm is out of control, they fall into 'victim' mode. That's the first step: consciousness of what you are doing. To stop being a victim. Even if someone wrongs you, you control how you choose to respond to that situation.

Trust me, sister. I know it's hard. I realize that our families can sometimes drive us up a wall. I realize that stress can be at an all time high. I realize that obligation and responsibility can seem overbearing at time. Hard doesn't mean impossible, though. Plus, I promise it gets easier with practice. I realize that sometimes, we have a bunch of crazy hormones running through our body and we get upset for no good reason at all. Even so...you're still in control of your overwhelm. If you want emotional freedom, you need to own your overwhelm.

Tip #8: Be patient
Realize this is a process. A process requires patience.  Leveraging overwhelm does not happen overnight. Sometimes you'll get it right. Sometimes you won't. And, that's okay.

Tip #9: Disconnect from technology daily!
I won't tell you exactly how to do this, as it will be different for everyone. But, please, please, please, make sure that you are spending time away from your devices and technology. Also, consider turning off your push notifications. I personally do not get any push notifications. Not for emails. Not for social media. I've been practicing this for a long time now, and it's one of the best ways to decrease digital overwhelm. While you're at it, unsubscribe from mailing lists that don't serve your truth.

Tip #10: Seek Support
There are many ways to seek support, such as family, friends, coaches, programs, books, etc. Find a way that works for you and seek support! 

I run several live programs every year for women. My next live programs are my Ramadan Mind-Body-Soul Online Retreat & my Glow From The Inside Out Monthly Support Group

If you'd like to get on the waiting lists for either of these upcoming live programs, please use my contact page to shoot me a message. Please include the program you'd like me to keep you in mind for, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Did you benefit from this article? If so, please share it. 

Leave a comment with some of your favorite tips when you get overwhelmed.


Yasmin Essa

2015 Inspirational Muslim Women "Dreamer Doer" Award Recipients

Wellness with Yasmin was built to support women become the best versions of themselves. In honor of International Women's Month, we asked you to nominate and share with us the spectacular women you have come to know. 

Award recipients will be invited to a video interview, to share their work and inspiration, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

2015 Award Recipients

♥ 1st Place: Farheen Khan of www.farheenkhan.ca 

♥ 2nd Place: Aisha Al-Hajjar of www.amanibirth.com 

♥ 3rd Place: Linda Delgado of www.muslimwriterspublishing.com

2015 Nominees

Abdulai Zainab's Sister
Aisha Al-Hajjar
Al Hajjah Miniimah Bilal-Elahi
Alaa Suliman
Ameena Shehab
Azra S. Baig
Camilla Stein
Debora McNichol
Farheen Khan
Hafsa Taher
Hawa Bibi Docrat
Hend Hagazi
LaYina Sanni
Linda Delgado
Mohamed Tariq's Wife
Nahida Esmail
Nevien Shaabneh
Nicola Sofia
Nikki Rana
Sa'diyya Nesar
Saadia Faruqi
Sandra Akkad
Sanjida Shaheed
Shadiyah Marshall
Sharrifa's Mom
Sidra Mahmood
Tahanie Aboushi
Tahira K.
Tasnim Nazeer
Theresa Corbin

 Asma Khan, Soap Ethics www.soapethics.com 
 Debora McNichol, Muslim Writers Publishing www.muslimwriterspublishing.com
 Elena Nikolova, Muslim Travel Girl www.muslimtravelgirl.com 
 SISTERS Magazine Editorial Team www.sisters-magazine.com
♥ Yvonne Maffei,
 My Halal Kitchen www.myhalalkitchen.com 
 Saiyyidah Zaidi www.saiyyidahzaidi.com


To learn more about the Dreamer + Doer Award, watch this video: