The holy month of Ramadan is just around the corner, it is a period of spiritual cleansing which is greatly fulfilling. However, it can get a little tough, with all the preparations and going about your day in general.
Working during Ramadan can be quite difficult, preparing the meals for Iftar can be a rush, and on top of all that, making sure you are reading the Qur’an can be quite stressful, therefore we have compiled some useful Ramadan hacks you can apply to your routine to make things flow a little easier!
1. Space, space and more space
Picture Credit – zaraloveslavandre.tumblr.com
Since prayer and reading the Quran are major practices during the month of Ramadan, it is important to prepare your home to facilitate worship. Some homes may already have a separate room dedicated for worship while others may not, but don’t fret; there are enough and more space-saving hacks available in order to create the right environment for Ibadah.
Utilise any empty crevices in the living room or bedroom as a shelf space, for example; the space under the staircase can be used as a storage space or even as a minimal home office setup increasing the square footage of the living space. You can even temporarily push in any furniture into these niches to make room for worship. Another practical approach to maximize space is to have a TV wall unit set up.
Picture credit – makespace.com
In wall built shelving is a very practical way to have maximum use of the floor space. Have multi-purpose shelves which can hold a variety of items; custom made bookshelves fitted with drawers and cabinets are a great option! Another fun option for creating space is a Murphy bed, also known as pull down beds which fold into the wall and will easily transform your bedroom into the right space for Ibadah!
Having lightweight and easily moveable furniture will also greatly help you during the Ramadan season. You can achieve this by using minimalist furniture, which follows a ‘less is more’ outlook, and can be easier to handle.
A little tip on preparing for Ramadan: Clean and prepare prayer spaces prior to Ramadan, so that you don’t have to rush and stress out while fasting.
2. Bad breath? No problem!
Keeping your breath fresh can be a bit of a struggle during the month of Ramadan, as being deprived of water leads to having a dry mouth which causes bad breath. However, there are some Ramadan hacks that can save you from fasting breath!
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink water before and after fasting to stabilise those water levels and reduce dehydration throughout the month of fasting. You can also use mint chapstick to help maintain fresh breath all day, as well as keep the chapping at bay.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day – yes, very obvious fact, but brush thoroughly and make sure all that plaque is brushed out! Dental flossing is also very helpful as well as tongue scraping.
Now to the more bizarre option – oil pulling with coconut oil – yes, you read it right the first time! A good ol’ rinse for 20 minutes with a spoonful of coconut oil will do the trick. Coconut oil is said to absorb harmful bacteria, relieve toothaches, and whiten teeth and even cure the common cold – what can’t coconut oil do?!
3. Fasting Ahead of Ramadan
It is very easy to get distracted by an empty growling tummy during fasting and suddenly all you can think about is food! This can be avoided by practicing fasting before the month of Ramadan so that you can train your stomach to be empty for long periods of time before accepting food.
Another trick is to consume food rich in proteins during Iftar as these take a longer time to digest, be sure to have a wholesome Suhoor and it is important not to skip this meal. The idea is to keep your energy levels and metabolism as stable as possible even though you are fasting – so make sure the meals consists of vegetables and fruits as well as meats and dairy products. It’s advisable to reduce carbohydrate intake as this may make you feel lethargic and sleepy.
Starting off your Iftar with dates and something warm will help prepare your stomach for the rest of the glorious food you are about consume. It is also best to avoid overeating as much as possible; you don’t want to feel uncomfortably full afterwards.
Last but definitely not least – hydrate!
4. Stash your Distractions into a Box
With an empty stomach and an unfocused mind you can easily get distracted so it’s best to lock away these distractions. It’s easier if you begin to cut down on certain habits before the start of Ramadan, like cutting down on time spent on social media. Have a safe box which you can lock up distractions in order to make up more time for reciting the Quran.
Make a plan for Ramadan, that way you know what comes up next and you don’t have to be distracted by the thoughts of food and you don’t have to feel miserable waiting for Iftar. If you are finding it hard to focus on work, plan your work day, utilise time pockets such as lunch break to read the Qur’an, re-adjust your work schedule by discussing it with your boss.
A little tip: listen to a recitation of the Quran on your way to work, to make up for lost time.
5. Shop in Advance of Ramadan
It is always best to do your Ramadan shopping prior to the start of the holy month, that way you prevent any last minute mishaps! List everything you will need for the month ahead, may it be food or clothes. Stock up on food items as this will definitely help in making your Ramadan routine smooth without any bumps. Shop for outfits before the start of Ramadan and get prepared. Pick your outfits for prayer in advance as to save time and not be distracted from other important practices.
Above all, Ramadan is a time to be close to your family and community and enjoy spiritual revelation; hopefully these tips and tricks will help in making your experience an easy and productive one!
By Rashmi Wickramasinghe
Source from: Halal Trips – https://www.halaltrip.com/other/blog/ramadan-life-hacks/