How to Manage Stress in Ramadan
Ramadan is the month of blessing, purity, and spirituality. However, it is also the prime time to change your bad habits into good ones and implement a new style of living. Ramadan may also cause a change in your daily system which can be a source of stress and anxiety. To deal with this stress, we need to first realize why it occurs. Our usual routine, such as our sleeping schedule and work timetable are switched up. This change brings about unease and people may not be able to balance both their personal and professional life along with fasting. People also may find it difficult to manage and overcome this stress.
There are several keys to manage stress and make Ramadan more productive and spiritual for you. Firstly, keep far away from negativity. Try to remove negative or toxic influences from your life as their problems are just an added burden to yours. If certain people are not conducive to your life, and instead hamper it, they are negative and not good for managing your stress levels.
Also, read as much of the Holy Quran as is possible. Every free second try to spend reciting it or memorizing it. The lyrical language is calming, the blessings of reciting it are doubled and tripled in this month, and the messages the verses contain also produce calming affects. This recitation also strengthens your faith and God-consciousness.
Try to be practical this Ramadan. Do not make goals that are unreachable on the best of days. Have practical aspirations like completing all you daily prayers, being more pleasant with your family, or reaching the mosque earlier for extra time for Sunnah prayer. When you are able to achieve or complete one of your goals, you feel more in control of your life as you are able to do at least one thing on your to-do list. This leads to less stress in your life.
Try to make a Ramadan resolution as well. Instead of going with the flow and making a New Year’s resolution which you never even end up following, try to make a firm decision to become a better person and a better Muslim, as one always has room for improvement. Try to bring about a small change in your personality during this month which will be for yours, and for others, benefit, and try to keep this characteristic. This leads to you being a bit more grounded in Ramadan, which lessens anxiety.
Also, do not skip Sehri in favour of a few more hours of sleep as it is neglecting the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If you do not want to have to move far from your bed at Sehri time, the night before you can place food and water underneath it and eat immediately upon waking. Do not eat junk food either, which will leave you hungry in the latter half of the day. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet. For both meals in your day consume foods which are high in fiber to keep your digestive system sound and make you less hungry during the fast. Also do not over eat. Ramadan is the month where we are supposed to lose a few extra pounds and in this way cleanse our body.
Fasting in the day is no excuse for eating a massive iftaar, full of deep fried and oily food. Do not stress if you feel weak in the beginning of Ramadan either. Your body is adjusting to the new system and is flushing out the waste it contains. Eating healthy and not gaining weight will help you manage your stress as you will have power over at least one aspect of your life which increases the control and security you feel which leads to less anxiety and stress.
Also, have Taqwa (God-consciousness). Know and understand that God is always watching you, even if no human is. This will help you stay away from bad behavior and bad decisions. Inshallah these tips will help you be able to manage your stress levels this Ramadan and make it more productive and enjoyable as well.