Breaking Bad… Habits: Ramadan Edition

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We’re all in this together.


Have you already failed to keep your New Year’s resolutions? Don’t worry about it, we have our Ramadan resolutions to disappoint us all over again. Or maybe not! Ramadan is the Holy Month of giving and helping people in need. It is also a perfect time for introspection, to create good habits we can kick off during the season. Sometimes all you need is a pep talk and a few tips to get you back on track.

If we’re being honest, not all our bad habits can be stopped at once in this short period of time. Whatever one’s resolutions are, there will always be factors beyond our control that will deter us from our goals. It’s difficult to uphold our resolutions when we set our expectations very high. Start small, and give yourself a break from harsh expectations.

For the sake of the article, we will be sharing with you some of our own Ramadan resolutions this year, which is probably the same as most of you— good luck to us!

1. Keeping a good sleep schedule

When Ramadan comes, we all forget the true meaning of “good sleep”. But after all, how can we sleep early when all the good Ramadan TV shows start late at night. Oh and of course, the city lights up after Iftar time. One way to keep a good sleep schedule is to abstain from staying up till suhoor but rather sleep and wake up before fajr prayer to eat and pray. dksa_illustrations_v1-2-copy

2. Be more active

A lot of times, we associate Ramadan with a sprinkle of laziness. We almost always find ourselves in a food coma that glues us to our couches thinking of our post-iftar nap. Try starting your workouts an hour before Iftar time so that you finish right before sundown.

You also don’t need to commit to a gym membership just yet, you can start with easy 20 minute walks around your neighborhood. If you’ve gone to a mall before maghrib on Ramadan, you might’ve come across a herd of people circling round. It’s wogging and a good alternative if you want to gain your step count while avoiding the heat. dks_illustrations_v1-3-copy

3. Eat cleaner food

We can all agree that the food we usually eat during Ramadan is both oily and heavy. It doesn’t make sense if it’s anything other than that. However, it is important to find your own balance between “unhealthy” food and cleaner food. If you feel like your Iftar was rather heavy, try eating something light for suhoor, and vice versa. It makes a difference in the long run.dksa_illustrations_v1-1-copy

4. Watch less TV

Tell me Ramadan started without telling me Ramadan started, I’ll go first. When Ramadan advertisements play on MBC, that’s when we truly feel like the Season has started. Nothing takes our mind off food better than TV, at least, up until I get bombarded with the mouthwatering kabsa, oat soup, and Vimto ads. We can always substitute it with any other activity that doesn’t require much effort like drawing, reading, or even writing.

Now in a lot of households, Ramadan TV soap time is considered a family affair. And kudos to you for sitting with your aunts, grannies, and the whole lot. But how ‘bout setting up other family bonding activities just to break the pattern. Set up game night or do storytelling, no need to crack open a book, just have grandma, your uncles tell their own tales of yore.

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5. Be more patient

This one is rather difficult. During Ramadan, the hunger, mixed with a dash of dehydration, makes our buttons much easier to be pressed. The smallest inconveniences leaves us filled with anger. But you can’t fight fire with fire. Leave it till after you’ve eaten, it might not bother you anymore by then. dksa_illustrations_v1-6-copy

6. Spread the Kindness, Share your blessings

If you’re reading this from the comfort of your home, and know that you can head to the Kitchen and eat whatever you want; then you have plenty to be thankful for. Pass it on, be the reason for the joy of others. dksa_illustrations_v1-3-copy

Charity is a major part of Ramadan and we should all engage in it as much as we can. For this year, I am hoping to provide at least one person in need with a three course home cooked meal for Iftar. Want to give yourself a push to commit? Get others involved. Ask the family if you all can cook extra and buddy up with your friends to hand them out.

Illustrated by Farida Kamel

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