Ramadan is about more than fasting. It’s about prayer and reading the Quran, gaining closeness to God, reflection, charity, and goodwill. Ramadan is the perfect time to cultivate better habits. Here’s a list of things that can help you become a better, more well-rounded person this month.
Make time to reflect on God, faith, and the Quran
When you’re not careful, it’s easy to be caught up in the ritual of religion without reflecting on what it means and why you’re doing it. This Ramadan make some time to read an English version of the Quran or find podcasts and videos that explain the meaning of the Quran. Try to understand and learn something new about faith.
Learn something different through reading and listening
Switch up what you’re reading or listening to. Find a good podcast series or the audiobook of something that you always wanted to read. Read a book that will teach you something about a different period in history, a social movement, a person that contributed to the progress of humankind, or change your perception about life. Hoda Katebi’s radical reading club Because We’ve Read has some excellent suggestions.
Create more, consume less
We live in a world where everything is readily available for consumption – if you have enough money. Food comes pre-packaged, all types of clothes are available for purchase, entertainment and information is available through the wonderful internet. But we need to create as much as we consume, otherwise we become machines. Take some time to plant something, cook a meal from scratch, knit a scarf, or write a poem about something.
Have more meaningful conversations
Instead of yapping on about the royal wedding or Kim Kardashian’s latest post on Instagram – which are both exceptionally entertaining topics – try and speak about ideas and reflect on life with other people. People are multitudes and we can teach each other and learn together.
Eat more mindfully
A lot about Ramadan is centred around sehri and iftar – the meals we eat, what we are going to eat before we fast, and when we break our fast. Be more mindful about what you put into your body as delicious as the fried and baked savouries and sugary treats and milkshakes are, they’re not that great for your body. Be more conscious about what you eat and how much you eat. Eat more veggies; drink more water. Ramadan is the perfect time to change your unhealthy eating habits and change your relationship with food.
Be more environmentally conscious
Being conscious of your carbon footprint is always a good idea. Try to use less plastic – from packaging to single-use plastic straws. Save water and electricity, carpool or use public transport. It’s all about the three R’s: reuse, reduce and recycle. The earth is a beautiful place and we should be working towards making it better and not worse.
When you’re hungry and fasting, you’re more inclined to be angry. This Ramadan try to make a conscious effort to be patient with other people, patiently wait for the time to break fast of course, and be patient with yourself in the journey – especially if you lose your cool for some or other reason.
Be more giving
Ramadan is a month of giving. Give money to a worthy cause or give one of your favourite items away to charity. But besides money and things, give of yourself. Volunteer at an organisation that is doing good work.
Let go of bad habits, toxic people, unhealthy thoughts and behaviours. Give up things and people that are not adding value to your life – you deserve better. Let go of a past grudge or petty thoughts and behaviour. Forgive someone. It is freeing.
Treat people – and yourself kindly and better
Kindness is so underrated. Sometimes a single act of kindness can change the course of someone’s day, week, or even their life. Be kinder to people. But more than that, be kinder to yourself. Sometimes you might slip up and forget a prayer or get angry with someone or use a single-use plastic straw. But that’s okay, you’re trying. You can do better tomorrow.