8 ways to manage your mental health in Ramadan
Home, work, spirituality, emotions, social life, charity, nutrition, exercise, being hangry, other people being hangry - its a lot for a person to handle in Ramadan! Here are our top tips for managing your mental health in Ramadan.
1) Take a breath
Every time you’re annoyed or upset by something in your day, stop and take a deep breath and close your eyes as you breathe out. Do this as many times as you need. This might help you feel calmer, and more able to deal with the issue effectively.
2) Be honest with your prayers
This is a month of praying and fasting, and moving closer to God. It can be really helpful to spend more time reflecting on what your prayers mean to you. What do you pray for? Why? Is there a voice in your mind that says you need to let go of a particular thing you’ve been asking for, or a niggly feeling that when you’re asking for something, its covering up an insecurity? What does your heart really want?
3) Participate in communal things when it works
Too tired to make iftar? Missing the warm, fuzzy feeling of being around fellow fasting people this year? Go to a local mosque or the Ramadan Tent Project's Open Iftars to break bread with others, while not worrying about making food.
4) Don’t participate when it doesn’t work for you
It's ok to say no to an iftar invitation. It's alright to have iftar on your own if that’s what you need. Particularly if need to spend time on your own to rejuvenate and increase your energy, take that time out when you need it. Iftar for one can be a nourishing experience in more ways than one.
5) Consider carefully whether you should be fasting
It's very clear that if fasting presents a burden that you cannot bear, you should not fast. It can be easier to understand this in a physical context, but harder when it comes to mental health.
6) Make sure you’re getting enough nutrition
If you’re not getting the right nutrition, you might experience sugar lows even after you have eaten your iftar. This can leave you feeling low, depressed, irritable and teary. You can read about the best things to eat and how to handle your nutrition here.
7) You don’t have to stop exercising, but look after yourself
If you’re used to exercising, particularly if you exercise to manage things like anxiety, you don’t have to stop. However, you do need to listen to your body and make sure you don’t overdo it while fasting.
8) Reach out
If you’re feeling low, MYH is here for you. Call or chat with us every day between 4pm and 10pm, or email us any time.