During Ramadan, Muslims often make changes to their lifestyle as most of them pledge to break their bad habits and replace them with a good ones. This is done in hopes that they can reap the blessings of the spiritual month and abstain from commiting sins as much as possible.
Despite this, it is pretty normal that most Muslims tend to lose this driven momentum as they feel tired while fasting and cannot rely on food and drink to energise themselves throughout the day. Thus, unproductive habits like sleeping long hours in the afternoon or overeating during iftar, begin to arise as the month progresses.
To combat these unproductive habits, we've come up with a list of things that Muslims tend to overdo during Ramadan so have a look below and reflect on whether you are guilty of commiting these acts, and if so, how you can make changes to your lifestyle before Ramadan ends.
While you might be eager to break your fast with your family and friends with a hearty iftar meal - do try to avoid overeating. After all, Ramadan is about sympathising with the less fortunate. Thus, while it is good to replenish your body with nutrients after a day's worth of fasting, you should eat in moderation.
Furthermore, you should consider breaking your fast with healthier options such as rice, fresh fruits, vegetables, grains or pulses, that will give you energy to fast the following day.
Going for nutritious food options as well as quality over quantity will be good for your well being. By following these tips, you will most definitely reduce feelings of bloating and lethargy during fasting hours.
While there is no harm in keeping up with important news, try to limit your phone usage to prevent it from becoming a distraction. Ideally, you should download Islamic or Quran apps to help you stay focused and maintain a spiritual mindset. Examples of these apps include Halaltrip, LearnQuran and Tasbih.
Alternatively, you could also read Islamic literature books or watch educational Islamic documentaries rather than stay glued to your phone 24/7.
While it is difficult to control your emotions, you should always try your best to maintain a postive mindset while fasting. Yes, you might feel pressured during Ramadan because everyone around you seems to be making many positive changes to their life all of a sudden.
But the truth is, no one can be completely prepared for Ramadan. As long as you have tried your best to be a better version of yourself, you are already doing enough. Take everyday one step at a time and be glad that you have gotten the chance to visit Ramadan this year, together with your loved ones and other fellow Muslims.
Remember, Allah is very forgiving. Yes, you shouldn't take advantage of this quality, but this should serve as a reminder that as long as you put your best foot forward and are genuine in your actions, Allah is already proud of your progress, no matter how much. So take time to value this Ramadan experience rather than stress about it.
While fasting is both spiritually and physically beneficial, it is inevitable that some of us may feel lethargic since we are not able to rely on food and drink to reenergise ourselves throughout the day.
Hence, it is okay to take power naps every once in a while, as long as you are not overdoing it. Oversleeping will only serve to make you feel even more tired. Additionally, this might even interfere with your prayer times, which is something you should avoid at all costs during a holy month like this.
In essence, take short naps rather than long slumbers and believe me, you will be more productive throughout the day.
Admittedly, most people cannot resist the Ramadan bazaars and special discounts that are being heavily advertised. With shops open until late hours of the night in some countries, it is very easy to get carried away.
But how many things do we really need? Be honest with yourself! Material things will make you feel content for a limited period of time. Ending the day with a lighter wallet because of how much you've spent is not going to make you feel good at all.
Try your best to limit your spending by only purchasing what you need rather than what you want. Avoid being materialistic during Ramadan becuase that undoubtedly goes against the main purpose of this Holy month - giving.
As mentioned earlier, feeling tired during Ramadan is common especially during the first week of fasting. It's quite tempting to sit around and relax a bit longer than usual.
However, rather than laze around, you should stand up and do simple exercises such as light stretching or brisk walking. This will surely help you keep active and reduce that lethargic feeling. You do need to do extremely strenuous exercise, just keep fit so you can stay focused on completing your daily tasks.
Moreover, do rememeber to make time to perform acts of worhsip whenever you can. And hopefully, as Allah has promised, all your rewards will be mutiplied by 70 during Ramadan.
As mentioned above, Muslims tend to overestimate their appetite by overeating during iftar to make up for the lack of food they ate during the day. Once again, this is completely unneccasary because it leads to something we all tend to do a lot: waste food.
This is wrong on all levels. You must put yourself in the shoes of the poor people.
Rather than waste food, perform acts of kindness like charity or feeding the poor, because that is an essential part of what makes Ramadan.
Yes, it is common for people to cook large amounts of food or order food in bulk portions during this month because you will feel hungry during the day. However, if you end up with extra food on your iftar table, do not hesitate to give it to someone who needs it more. Perhaps, you could also package it and then donate it to the masjid or give it to your neighbours as a treat.
So Muslim brothers and sisters, let's make the best out of these last two days of Ramadan insya'Allah :)