With Ramadan here, I’d like to give a few tips and tricks to help you get through this fasting season with sources from everywhere, be it family members, friends or the interwebz.
So here’s what I’ve collected:
1. Eat Sahur.
The Prophet Muhammad highly recommends eating a pre-dawn meal before starting your day of fasting. While getting some extra shut-eye might sound like it’s worth skipping this meal, do note that you can always catch a quick nap when you’re fasting anyway, but you can’t eat or drink for the next few hours.
To make your mornings easier to handle this holy month, just set out your utensils and dry food on the table before you sleep so you can eat and go back to sleep after your meal.
2. Limit your fat intake.
You don’t have to cut it out, but it is advised that you do limit it. If you’re not sure what constitutes as ‘fatty foods’, think fried, greasy or super sweet foods.
3. Remember the golden rule of one-third.
It’s usually called the Prophet’s golden rule, but it’s said more often during Ramadan. The rule is that we should try to have no more than on-third of food, one-third of liquid and one-third of air in our stomachs when eating.
Basically, don’t do this.
4. Take a walk after Iftar.
Before you keel over from exhaustion, take a short walk around the block for a change of environment and fresh air to help wake you up a little if you have another activity on your list.
5. Take a short nap & adjust your sleep-schedule.
You don’t need more than a 15-minute cat-nap to really refresh you for the rest of your day. If you’re working, just set an alarm on your watch/cell phone and take a quick nap. This can also help your biological clock to adjust according to the daily Ramadan schedule which requires you to wake up early every day. You should also try and sleep earlier so as to get a solid stretch of four to five hours of sleep before you have to wake up for Sahur and prayers.
6. Practice makes perfect.
Get a little practice run. Some devout practitioners fast two days a week just to prepare their body to fasting, as was the practice of the Prophet.
7. More. Coffee.
You can’t have your daily caffeine during Ramadan, so it is often advised that you decrease your caffeine intake a couple days prior so as to limit the withdrawal effects of caffeine.
You live in Malaysia, hence fluids and water is very important. Getting 8 glasses of water a day might be difficult in a short amount of time, so try to get some juices or yoghurt drinks in you when you can. Coconut water is also refreshing and beneficial, as is fresh watermelon juice! However, you should be careful with drinks with loaded artificial sugar as they give bursts of energy but late on, it’s going to be hell.
9. Stay cool.
I don’t think I need to reiterate that you should always keep yourself hydrated, but another way you can do that is to stay cool with clothing… and maybe a hat to limit direct sunlight.
10. Keep it fresh.
Keeping your breath fresh is difficult without a mint or drinking water ever so often during the day. You can keep your breath fresh by gargling on water or mouth wash to keep your breath fresh for as long as… well as long as it isn’t fresh again. Rinse. Repeat. Literally.