Every year Ramadan creeps up on us almost out of nowhere. This year we wanted to make the transition a little smoother by preparing ahead of time.
Here are our top tips to help you do the same:
1. Fast Voluntarily: Whether you need to make up missed fasts or you just need a little detox, fasting before Ramadan is a great way to get into the zone ahead of time. An easy way to do this is by fasting on Mondays and Thursdays like the Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ would.
2. Reduce caffeine intake: For caffeine lovers like myself, the inevitable withdrawal from tea/coffee often gives us headaches during the first few days so reducing caffeine beforehand will reduce the effects of withdrawal. Or you could try a decaf alternative?!
3. Begin to eat mindfully: Start eating with your full attention and reduce the quantity of food you eat. Setting the intention to eat less now, makes it easier to continue to do that once Ramadan arrives. Do a little research and decide a menu for the month ahead in advance making sure that you are choosing food that will enhance your energy and not drain it so that you are able to take full advantage of the increased blessings of the month.
Also meal planning/shopping before Ramadan can save you a lot of hassle, especially during the first week of Ramadan while you are busy adjusting.
4. Character building: You don’t have to pick any potential resolutions yet, but now is the time to start becoming aware of any habits that you may need to work on.
5. Regulate sleep: Start regulating your sleep from now. If you normally sleep late and wake up late, start to mimic the sleep pattern that you are likely to have during Ramadan. If this isn’t possible, try to sleep a little earlier and wake a little earlier every day.
6. Exercise regularly: When you exercise, you also have more energy to work on any goals you may have set for the month. Try to workout in the few hours that you won’t be fasting. Setting that habit now, will make it less daunting come Ramadan.
7. Decide on your goals for the month: Preparing a goal list ahead of the month means you are more likely to stay on track. You can then also incorporate these goals into your Duas.
8. Prepare a Dua List: Nowadays we have access to endless resources to help us to make Dua using the correct etiquette. Read useful resources and make a list of Duas ahead of the month. This will mean you are ready to make all the Duas you want answered, from day 1.
9. Read the Qur’an and it’s translation: Start getting into the habit of reciting Quran and reading some of it’s meaning. Reading and reflecting on the Quran, helps us to feel spiritually alive and at peace, putting us in the correct head space for the month ahead.
10 Try to incorporate some easy Sunnah habits into your day: Learn more about the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and follow him by emulating some of his actions in the hope that these become long term habits and bring you closer to God.
11. Give Charity: To get into the habit of giving charity regularly during the month of Ramadan start putting a small amount of charity money into a box every day. Even just 10p a day is OK.
12. Dhikr: Increase in Dhikr to not only benefit from the blessings that come with it but also because Dhikr has a special way of touching the heart.
‘The effects of dhikr are immense and it is hard to fully understand them.’ www.seekersguidance.org
13. Make time for Self Care: In order to excel in all that you do, taking care of yourself is essential. Read our post on creating a relaxing bath at home and schedule in some me time.
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How are you preparing for Ramadan? Please share your tips with us, we would love to hear from you.