By Mai Elsayed, NextGen MENA Committee member, Clinical Hypnotherapist with Psychotherapy Skills, Internationally Published Author and PR Manager at Seven Media
We are almost halfway through that special time of the year where we get to embrace the divine energy of the holy month of Ramadan. It is a very unique opportunity to reboot our system while detoxing our mind and body. From fasting to practising mindfulness, it is the most ideal period to check-in with ourselves to live a much healthier, balanced life. The true essence of Ramadan is not only about abstaining from food, but it is also about doing good deeds and embodying qualities that resonate. Here are four key tips to help you make the most out of the second half of Ramadan!
1: Eat clean and healthy
With a limited eating window, it is important that you plan your meals ahead of time. This allows you to manage your calorie intake and at the same time control the macros that you consume. Treat this month as a chance to test how your body reacts to food that might be sensitive to. Try cutting out bread, diary, sugar, and other inflammatory foods. Consider for example replacing sugar with something more natural such as Stevia. Similarly, try to nourish your body with a balanced diet that is rich in protein, fibers and complex carbs at Suhur and Iftar, to keep your hunger under control during fasting.
2: Do at least one good deed a day
Humanity and self-discipline are very significant aspects of Ramadan. Charitable behavior and giving back to the community reflect the spirit of the holy month. Set a simple, achievable, and daily goals for yourself to connect with those who are less fortunate than you in meaningful ways. This could mean feeding the poor, donating clothes you no longer wear or even smiling at people and wishing them well! In fact, science has proven that making a difference in another person’s life releases neurotransmitters that make us feel happy and fulfilled.
3: Keep a journal
During this period of transformation, reflecting on your journey Is an integral part of the process. Monitor how you feel while fasting, after you have your first and last meals, and when you engage in any act of kindness. Your journal will act as an emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical thermometer. It is a powerful tool that would help you identify what works for your growth and wellbeing and what doesn’t.
4: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about being present and truly engaged in the moment. While setting sometime aside during the day to focus on your breathing sounds ideal, some might find it challenging during Ramadan. Therefore, praying is one easy way you could easily train your mind to have focused attention. Also, Iftar time is very special and gives you the chance to really feel grateful and get in touch with your senses by indulging the food as you chew it. It’s a good idea to focus on the eating experience by avoiding excessive chatter and screentime on the dining table!