As we approach the last few days of Ramadan, feelings can begin to overwhelm us. Perhaps we would have liked to achieve more? Maybe the lack of sleep is getting us down? Also, many of us are currently suffering from loneliness as we are separated from loved ones due to the current circumstances. This is why it is so important to look after our well being and make sure we practice self care during Ramadan, especially in these challenging times.
We’ve collected together some helpful self care tips to help you manage stress and Inshallah these can benefit you:
1. Take a break from the news.
It can be addictive to keep watching information to find out every single detail of the crisis. Yet most news sources are designed to grab your attention and to keep it. Often this results in the over-sensalisation of everyday events. Information overload and constant negativity can quickly begin to affect our mental health. This is why it’s so important to make an effort to turn off your TV or other news sources once in a while.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep.
We probably all know this one but we don’t always make sure we do it. It’s especially difficult when we’re staying up late for Taraweeh or Laylat Al Qadr. Sleep boosts our immune system and gives our brain that all-important time to rejuvenate.
It’s definitely worth using an eye mask or investing in blackout curtains or blinds for the bedroom as the light can disturb our sleep. This can be one of the challenges when we’re going to bed as sunrise begins. So making sure it’s quality sleep is just as important as actually going to sleep.
3. Make time for exercise.
Exercise produces the happy chemical endorphins. Even light exercise for only 20 or 30 minutes every day will give you a boost. Helping to improve your mood and overall health.
If little bursts of exercise aren’t for you, then try doing one hour three times a week. Our Prophet always emphasised how important it is to keep active and to stop ourselves from becoming lazy. If we take away the important first step of keeping ourselves active, then like dominoes others will start to fall.
4. Have a healthy balanced Iftar.
It may be tempting to drink all the sugary drinks and to quickly reach for the energy-boosting sugary snacks but food greatly affects our mood. The issue with sugar is that while it may create a temporary and fast energy high. We equally end up crashing quickly the other side when our body has used it all up.
Miqdam bin Madikarib said:
“I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’”
Having a smaller meal filled with nutrient-rich ingredients and none processed foods can have us feeling better in as little time as a week. Always aim for a colorful rainbow of vegetables and don’t forget your seeds, beans plus legumes too! There’s nothing worse than feeling lethargic due to overeating or eating rubbish foods! Yet we all know we can be a little bit guilty of doing this and ignoring this part of self care during Ramadan.
5. Make time to unwind.
In a modern world surrounded by modern technology. We rarely give ourselves a break from the world. Allowing time for our mind to ponder and to just switch off is hugely beneficial for our well-being. Switching off instead of doing an activity is definitely an element of self care during Ramadan that we sometimes overlook. Take that time to feel refreshed and go after your goals!
Once the kids are in bed or once all your daily tasks have been completed for the day, go grab yourself a hot drink and decide on a relaxing activity. It can be anything from having a bath, praying a few long Rakats or just allowing yourself some time to stare up into the night sky and wonder. The point is that it’s something which you enjoy and relaxes you. It could even be taking the time to write something and letting out your inner thoughts. Whatever it is, this is your set time, where you switch off from the stress of the world.
6. Take time to connect with others in a meaningful way.
Due to the current situation, we did a virtual iftar for the first time. This was actually really fun. My friends and I broke our fast together, prayed and then had iftar together. Having a nice conversation over dinner and seeing familiar faces, really helped a lot. Especially because I live by myself and my family are miles away.
It doesn’t have to be a virtual iftar, it can be other activities such as volunteering or helping others. Being able to have a laugh or speak to others is a huge step in fighting loneliness while also feeling good in ourselves. Feeling part of your community is definitely something we have to actively pursue even if you’re an introverted person. Pushing yourself a little out of your comfort zone and you can potentially see huge results. Find that balance that works for you.
Also, don’t forget to check out our handy Ramadan placemats that include a dua for you to read when you break your fast.
We hope these self care tips are a benefit to you inshallah. Especially during these difficult times where many of us are isolated and stuck indoors for long periods. If there’s one advantage of many of us working from home is that we can take that time that would have been our morning or evening commute and dedicate it to ourselves. Ramadan Mubarak!