By Rasha Alshafie
| April 27, 2022
Well-Being Tips for Ramadan

Ramadan can be a great opportunity for self-reflection and improved spirituality, both for those fasting and not fasting. However, it is natural to feel fatigued or stressed during the month, not just due to going without food and water for long periods of time, but also as a result of a drastic change in sleep and work schedules. This can be compounded by poor lifestyle habits, such as staying up late until suhoor, physically exerting ourselves near dusk, and bingeing at iftar. Those with existing mental health struggles may struggle with additional feelings of overwhelm due to the physical effort of fasting or increased social obligations such as hosting or attending iftar parties, managing work and family life, and increased pressure to be more ‘spiritual’. 

These stressors can cause one to feel physically weak and irritable, affecting not only our motivation but also our relationship with our families, friends, and coworkers. 

Fasting can be as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one, but there are ways in which we can prepare our minds and bodies to stay healthy during this time. A Little bit of self-care can go a long way. Here are some things you can do:

Space out food and water intake 

  1. Overeating at iftar and suhoor causes bloating or feeling fatigued and dehydrated during the day. 
  1. The best practice is taking regular sips of water between your fasts, whether or not you feel thirsty. 
  1. It’s also a good idea to break your fast with a lighter meal (e.g. a drink and some fresh fruit or vegetables) followed by a full dinner after a short gap. 
  1. Try to plan the start of your suhoor meal early, so you are not rushing to fill your stomach before the start of the fast.

Communicate

If you feel excessively tired or overwhelmed make it a point to reach out to someone close to you.  Remember that at its core, Ramadan is meant to be a month of seeking a spiritual connection, and not social approval so avoid getting caught up in the race to appear perfect. If people in your workplace do not share the same faith, it is also a good idea to inform them in advance about what you will be doing during Ramadan, so you do not have to feel guilty about rejecting any plans for coffee/lunch breaks, etc during the month.

Inculcate mindfulness into your routine 

If you seek to improve your spiritual connection, instead of focusing on the quantity (e.g. the number of pages of the Quran you read, the number of good deeds you perform, etc), seek to improve the quality and experience of worship. 

It is important to remind yourself of the essence of Ramadan, which is not limited to abstaining from food and water, but an opportunity to practice spirituality and kindness not just towards others, but also yourself. Even if you’re not fasting, it is a great time for you to become more in tune with your mind and body and find just how much strength you can derive from yourself.

Focus on keeping excess chatter in your mind at bay whilst praying, and strive to be present in the moment. Iftar meals are a good opportunity to exercise mindfulness by slowing down and appreciating the colors, textures, and structures of the food on your plate.

Related Blogs

Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals that you can track.

Mental Health issues are on the rise. According to the mental health foundation, 1 in 8 adults receives mental health treatment.

Misconception: “A therapist is going to tell me something is wrong with me.”