Good Habits to Practice in Ramadan

1. Walking in general is really good for your health. But walking while fasting is even better. Try to include 30 minutes before maghrib just to walk around your neighbourhood or something. It’s the best time to walk because the sun would be gone and you can drink water right after so you wouldn’t feel too dehydrated during the day. My parents and I have been doing this for a few years now and I can’t explain the energy you get throughout the day let alone the efficient vitamin D you get. It’s a good time to bond with my family too. You might want to do this alone as a time to reflect on your life and choices and that’s great too! Just find the time and try to get to it anyway. 🚶🏽‍♀️

2. Find time to read a bit of Quran throughout your day and especially once you’re fasting. Sadly, a lot of us get too preoccupied with life and the busy work we have, we often neglect the Quran all year. If you’re one of those people then try to incorporate a few pages into your day at least this holy month. It’s worth a lot of good deeds if you finish the Quran in ramadan, and you can do that by just reading a chapter per day. If you’re not used to that then you can read half a chapter or even a page. Just try to include it in your daily routine this month at least. The Quran has information about everything you need, good advice too and that’s why we read it, besides the good deeds and being closer to God.

Also try to include reading in general in your day, it’s the time where you expand your mind and exercise your thoughts. I’m recently exploring genres outside my usual field and can’t lie they’re really fun to read. Currently reading Honour by Elif Shafak and it’s been honestly great! Reading will get you places, if you’re a writer or not then you need to explore different writing techniques, new words and knowing more about different cultures and information. Don’t be stuck in one place only knowing minor information about your own surroundings. EXPLORE NEW MINDS. 📖

3. MINDFULNESS. Be mindful of your presence. Your breath. Your mind. Your physical state. Your spiritual state. Your mental state. Be mindful of your food, don’t splurge and binge eat. Now’s the perfect time to do that. Be aware of your thoughts too, what you’re feeding yourself and your brain. Are you feeding it with books and positivity? Or are you feeding it with negativity and insecurities? What is the result of what you’re feeding it? BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF. 🧘🏻‍♀️

4. Invest in yourself and find a new hobby. Honestly my favourite thing about Ramadan is knitting and crocheting. I taught myself how to do that last year during Ramadan and now it kind of became a ramadan ritual. FIND A HOBBY. Let it be painting. Quilting. Sewing. Drawing. Reading. Editing. ANYTHING that will set your mind at peace and challenge it at the same time. You’re never too old or too young to learn anything. There’s always room to learn something new. You can spend 5 minutes on it daily and I can guarantee you that it’s so much better than nothing at all. Learn a new language, learn new words everyday, read about a peculiar topic, cook or clean for all I care. Just grow. 🧶

5. Less TV shows. Game of thrones can wait. Just try to spend more time doing things and reading and with your family and friends. You have 11 months in the year to watch whatever you like. Not saying don’t watch at all, just try to minimize. I realized when I watched too much tv or binge watched a show a few days in a row, not only did my muscles hurt but it lead to other bad habits too. I didn’t read much, I didn’t feel like exercising, I felt like binge eating more and I didn’t even feel like socializing enough. I was also noticing that I was a bit more unhappy than the days that I watched less tv. That’s why try to force yourself out of bed or out of that couch and DO SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD. 📺

6. Exercising after breaking your fast is also important every other day if you don’t want to lose your shape and what you worked so hard to maintain throughout the year. If you’re just starting to workout, keep in mind that you just ate, that you’re fasting all day, go slow and don’t rush the process. If you’re used to working out, then try something new this month. A new group class or a new sport. Now is the time to create new habits but also a time to enjoy the process and again CUTTING YOURSELF SOME SLACK. Be mindful also in your workouts and know your own limits. 🏋🏻‍♀️

7. Ramadan is a month of gatherings and delicious food and while losing weight and making up new habits is great, CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK. Enjoy the food mindfully and guilt-free just in moderation. Eat a spoon of cake or of pasta THAT’S OKAY. I promise you’ll be fine. Don’t cancel plans just because of your diet, it’s ramadan anyway, ENJOY IT. It’s very common to have gatherings late at night and meals served after 12 am and while that’s unhealthy, it’s even MORE unhealthy to be too stiff and unflexible with yourself. Enjoy your gathering and eat the delicious food. You’re going to die anyway, what’s the point of being too harsh and restricting yourself too much. Eat healthy, I’m all for it. Be committed, great. But be flexible and enjoy your life. 🥧

8. Spend time with people you care about, there are only so many Ramadans and I know many people who are celebrating this year without a loved one. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

اللهم ارحمهم في قبورهم واجمعنا في الجنة يارب.

Time passes by too quick and before you know it, you’ll be telling your grandkids about your previous ramadan rituals. Enjoy your time with your loved ones. Family matters. Friends come and go, but family, you’re stuck with. Life isn’t beautiful at all when you’re alone.

9. It’s a holy month, so try and do something religious this month no matter how small. If you don’t normally pray, focus on praying all 5 prayers on time. If you usually do, add a few sunnah prayers in between. If you already do, try going to taraweeh prayer. Just challenge yourself a little and do something extra. It’s only once a year. Don’t do something you hate doing, just start small and don’t be too extreme, Islam is easy and isn’t difficult at all. 🕌

10. I usually listen to music when I go for a walk, but during Ramadan we’re fasting and we try not to listen to too much music. Listen to a few podcasts, I use the podcasts application that comes with the phone but there are many other ways you can listen to podcasts like YouTube or similar applications. My favourite ones lately are “The Daily Boost” and “Ted Talks”. Often times I just play any random podcast and be surprised with what I can learn so easily. Life’s so simple now, it’s much easier to learn new things. USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. Don’t sleep on it. 🎧

11. Be patient and be nicer. A lot of people are cranky in Ramadan, but in reality it’s supposed to be a peaceful month. So try to be nicer, if you can’t, just don’t spread negativity. A lot of drivers are insanely rushed during this month and coffee addicts and smokers are red with short temper all the time. Stop complaining, we didn’t ask you to become addicted to your coffee or cigarettes, we shouldn’t have to pay for it. 🥰

12. GRATITUDE. GRATITUDE. GRATITUDE. Write it down. Sometimes it helps and makes it more real once you write down your blessings. If that works for you then write down one thing you’re grateful for every night before you sleep. Recite it in your prayers. It shows great gratitude when you’re thanking god in your prayers. Thank him for all the blessings he gave you. Get into the habit of having a conversation with god. Feel it in your bones. If you don’t want to write it or recite it, just feel it and that’s the least of them all. Help out somewhere. If you’re feeling grateful, it’s easier to give. Give to those less than you, give to your family and friends even. Generosity is a gift and you should share it. DOESN’T MATTER. Just be grateful regardless we’re truly blessed in many ways. 💗

By Elaf Trabulsi

Engineer & freelance writer

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