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Self-Care During Ramadan

13th Mar 2024

The holy month of Ramadan is a time of spiritual practice. During this time people reflect on the stories and lessons of the Qur’an as well as exploring how to apply this to their own life. It is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar and a time that many look forward to.


Significant changes to habits and routines are made during Ramadan which can include fasting, prayer and studying the Qur’an; it can also mean spending more time with family, friends, and the community as well as practising good deeds and charitable giving. The changes made during Ramadan can affect your mental health in different ways, to get the most from Ramadan it’s important to look after your mental health.


Written by: Vicky Keating

Here are 8 tips to self-care during Ramadan

1. Look after your physical health

During Ramadan when you usually have a shorter window to eat during the night time hours, it's important to try and have a healthy well-balanced diet which include slow energy releasing foods.

A well-balanced diet is crucial for good mental health. The British nutrition foundation have put together further information and tips on having a healthy Ramadan. It is easy to forget to drink enough water and this can be even harder when you are fasting, something that can help is keeping track of how much you are drinking. Eating disorder charity Beat offer advice on coping with celebrations during Ramadan.

2. Look after your sleep

Timings for eating and prayer during the night time hours can have an impact on your sleep. If you can't adjust your routine for daytime rest, it might impact you more. Consider taking a nap or an extra break if you're working or studying. Changing your routine may mean you struggle to sleep.


3. Connect with others

Strong relationships positively impact mental health. Socially connected individuals tend to be happier and experience fewer mental health issues compared to those who are less connected. Ramadan is a time to connect, and the mosque is a great place to come together. There are many opportunities to get together and pray, share meals, or learn with each other. If you are not able to go to the mosque, another way to feel connected to your community is to watch or listen to prayers and teachings on TV or radio. There are also online communities you can join.


4. Talk to people if you're struggling or need help

There are many different reasons why you might struggle with your mental health. It can be going through a big life change or dealing with a challenging situation, or it could be a mental or a physical health problem that's affecting your overall wellbeing. Any of these things might affect you during Ramadan. It is important to remember though that whatever you are going through you are not alone. Find a trusted confidant—someone you feel comfortable opening up to. This could be someone from your mosque or a professional like a therapist, helpline, or support group.


5. Be kind and do good deeds

Research indicates that performing acts of kindness can boost mood and reduce stress, contributing to emotional well-being. Given the challenges of the higher cost of living, it's understandable if people are unable to give as much as before, and that's perfectly ok. Giving should be within your means and capability.


6. Write down your reflections and feelings

Ramadan is a spiritual month involving personal reflection and growth it is expected that different thoughts and feelings may come up through prayer, learning, and contemplation. To help recognise and manage your feelings it can help to write them down, how different practices make you feel and what you'd like to continue after Ramadan.


7. Set realistic goals and don't compare yourself to others

Setting your own personal goals can help you make the most out of Ramadan and keep you motivated and focused. Try to make sure that your goals are realistic and will work for you, it is not meant to be a burden or unachievable. While there are many shared practises during Ramadan it is OK for it to look different for different people. Everyone is a unique individual with different lives and priorities try not to compare yourself to others whose routines and practices may look different to yours.


8. Keep an open mind to learning

During Ramadan, seize the chance to learn with an open mind. Explore various learning methods, such as podcasts, videos, or group sessions at the mosque, to find what suits you best. All these different ways to learn are valid so why not find the one that helps you most?


For people living with long term conditions or a mental health problem

If you have a mental or physical health problem, remember there are exceptions for observing Ramadan to ensure you stay well.

If you are unsure about how to observe Ramadan safely you should seek help and advice from a suitable professional to ensure you are prioritising your own health and wellbeing.


For additional tips, advice and links to further resources you can get information from here.