[Updated 31 March 2021]
The blessed month of Ramadan is almost here and we’re very lucky to witness it again inshaa Allah! Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide and as you might already know, it is far more than just abstaining from food and drinks. Fasting is the act of being closer to God. As a side effect, we will experience deep inner peace and calmness of the soul.
The act of fasting itself is good for us not only in the spiritual sense, but also in the physical sense. So, to welcome this beautiful month, here are 8 self-care tips to refine this year’s Ramadan, and help you have a smooth and fulfilling journey!
Join us at Hello Ramadan!
Happening from 7 April to 13 May 2021, join us at Hello Ramadan
, HHWT's immersive virtual event that aims to bring the joy and celebration of Ramadhan and Hari Raya to wherever you are! Marked as a time for self-reflection and self-improvement, make sure to join in our 1% Better Challenge featuring 30 challenges you can take on to be a better you.
Plus, look forward to Grand Draw prizes throughout Ramadhan. Sign up by 6 April 2021 (2359h)
and the first 150 from Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia will win GrabFood vouchers!
1. The importance of sahurCredit: GIPHY
Let’s face it, sometimes it is not an easy task waking up in the wee hours of the day to prepare sahur (pre-dawn meal). Nevertheless, we should never, EVER skip sahur as it is essential and you are actually advised to make it your largest meal! Even if it’s just some porridge or juice, it’s the perfect time to get some complex carbs for longer lasting energy. Just what you need to get you through the day! Having said that, it’s a time for nourishment, and not to fill your belly with as much food as you can.
Credit: @whomy_shariff on Instagram
Before the fasting month begins, it is good to stock up the fridge with a variety of vegetables, protein and fresh fruit. Make a quick smoothie for sahur with yoghurt and fruits
– these can even be pre-made in freezer bags which you can prepare sahur in no time. A cup of MILO or Ovaltine can also be a good nutritious drink to give you the best start to your day.
If you incidentally woke up late for sahur, these are some super quick recipes to try
. Don’t forget to set your alarms earlier next time!
2. Be more mindful of the food (and drinks) we consumeCredit: @foodie.mat on Instagram
What many people tend to forget is fasting during Ramadan isn’t simply an obligation to mindlessly fill our stomachs during dawn and dusk. Self-discipline is involved here and it’s a good time for cleansing and self-control. Nourish the body with that it needs, and not what it wants at that moment. You can think about healthier cooking methods – such as baking and grilling instead of frying. Or grab some fruits and yoghurt instead of a bar of chocolate. Try to swap oil, fried or salty food to healthier options as these little steps will ultimately be beneficial for you in the long run!
Dates have also been traditionally eaten to break the fast and encouraged by Prophet Muhammad according to the Hadith
. With good sources of natural sugar, essential minerals and fibre, you know dates are best accompanied with a glass of water (or milk)! Water is also essential during night-time hours – drink up at least two litres every night.
3. Rest well and exerciseCredit: Kiril Rusev on Flickr
It is vital to get some shut-eye during this blessed month – something that is often overlooked. Many tend to undermine the importance of good sleep at night but it is actually what you may need as it keeps you well-rested physically and emotionally for the month. Simple physical exercise can also be invigorating for the body that can ward off the weariness during fasting. Light exercises and some cardio are definitely great to keep the blood flowing and system working – just don’t overexert yourself!
Credit: ai.fitactivewear on Instagram
You can also keep energised without eating or drinking by taking small breaks from studying or work, or planning meals to ensure you are eating the right things. If it helps, you can also consider writing down what you may find challenging throughout the day (physically or mentally), and work on addressing them – all these little steps can all have a bit of positive and holistic impact on keeping you healthy!
4. Time for a reevaluation of ourselves and detox
The beautiful month of Ramadan can be the time of a great reset and re-evaluation of ourselves. Fasting facilitates the spiritual growth, faithfulness and dedication to The Creator. If you feel hungry while fasting, you abstain from eating and you consciously think about every action and intention that you have. It is a restoration of love and care that can be achieved through discipline. It can make you more mindful of your words, and going a little more out of your way to being kinder to those around you.
In today’s society, Muslims may face temptations that can come in many forms. Focus, dedication, and detox then come into the picture to help ward away the temptations. What we really mean by detox is to abstain from bad habits that can be harmful physically or spiritually. For example, smokers can take the chance to kick their habit and carry on abstaining from smoking beyond Ramadan.
Self-care for the mind, body, and soul – when better to start than in Ramadan?
5. Go beyond the acts of worship – internalize and understand the meaning
For many individuals, it is easy to read the holy book. But more often than not, we tend to overlook the importance of understanding the meanings and teachings that the Quran holds.
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185
Ramadan is known as the month of the Quran, so what better way to celebrate it than to reconnect and reflect on its meaning and wisdom? You are also rewarded for each Arabic letter that you recite, and it’s never too late to start the habit of reciting it daily.
During this month, it is also a wonderful time to inculcate the habit of performing your non-obligatory prayers before or after your Fardhu prayers. It is always during these intimate prayers that you feel closest to Allah, inshaa Allah.
6. Use your time productivelyCredit: Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Facebook
To help you in increasing your remembrance of Allah, this month is a wonderful time to disconnect from social media and unnecessary activities. In a world today where we find it difficult to stay away from phones and laptops
, it is actually necessary to think of the value of life without those. Unplugging from social media and scrolling through feeds helps us appreciate the things in life and the people around us. Disconnecting from social media will also help get rid of the feelings of dissatisfaction that constantly being online can cause.
With this time, we can also find peace and solitude through reading the Quran and increasing our remembrance of Allah. We can also set aside some time to attend religious talks and events that brings the community closer, or to work on our self-improvement through reading and reflecting
Once we are in the month of Ramadan, we can also try to better optimise our time
by spending a few minutes reflecting on how we spent the past days and jot them down in a journal. It also allows us to track progress throughout the month, and gives us the chance to set goals to make use of our precious time during the blessed month.
7. Rebuilding and renewing ties with loved onesCredit: Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Facebook
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Anyone who wants to have his provision expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.” [Al Adab Al Mufrad]
Another reason why many of us look forward to this month is the ability to strengthen ties and friendships over iftar! It doesn’t matter if it is over a hearty porridge at the mosque, to bazaar food or a simple iftar at a house, it sure feels good to reconnect with family members and old friends. And if you finish classes or work early, why not prepare a meal for your loved ones as well? Take this chance to bond with your family members! Check out these 6 easy recipes to try this Ramadan.
After iftar, join your family or friends to perform your Tarawih prayers in congregation at the mosque
P.S. Check out some of our tips for introducing young children to the mosque
8. Find a way to contribute back to societyCredit: Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) on Facebook
“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (Quran 2:261)
As Muslims, we are taught offer alms, lend a helping hand and spread the goodness of sadaqah. What better time to do so than during the most blessed time of the year
? Let’s make the most of our Ramadan, where every good deed is multiplied and compensated for in akhirah, inshaa Allah.
Time is always the best gift that you can offer to someone
. The number of activities you can do is limitless – from bubur masjid distribution, to helping the less fortunate and donating your traditional Raya costumes. For example, you can volunteer with BAPA Organisation
to sponsor iftar meals and help in the distribution of food packs and ease the burden of the poor and needy. Meals-On-Wheels
is also another programme where volunteers help delivering food to homebound seniors and the disabled.
Credits: Ramadan Charity Basket on FacebookVolunteering is a good reminder for ourselves that there are others who need our help and to always remember to count our blessings
. Once, I heard a quote from a team leader before we started a volunteering programme, she told everyone that volunteering isn’t always about helping others because the act itself is actually helping ourselves. Let’s all aim to help spread warmth and kindness to the less fortunate this Ramadan (and beyond).
We hope these simple self-care tips will help you out. Wishing you all very peaceful, happy and productive one this coming Ramadan!