Muslims look forward to Ramadan every year: it’s a time of devotion, kindness, and inner peace. Hunger and tiredness is usually welcomed: it’s a constant reminder of the spiritual choices we make. However, for students, it can be incredibly difficult to balance academia with Ramadan – the early mornings, food slump and lack of water can mean sacrifices towards your studies have to be made. Read on for some clever and quick tips to get the most out of this month both academically and spiritually.
Switch around your routine
This is probably the most important aspect to consider to get the most out of your day while studying and fasting. Your habits change drastically during this month, and so most people benefit from changing up your routine along with it. Spend the first few days trialling different methods, and consider these two popular routines to find what works for you:
- METHOD 1: if you work better in the morning and have daytime responsibilities
– SUHOOR- MIDDAY: Do heavy work, such as essay writing or difficult modules, as you’ll have energy from breakfast
–4PM- 6PM: if you have energy to do more work, do some light work before the evening meal, such as catching up on lectures or admin
–Have a guilt free evening, and use the gaps in the day to take a power nap and fulfil ramadan duties
- METHOD 2: if you’re a night owl and don’t have lectures or heavy day time responsibilities to attend to
IFTAR- SUHOOR :After dinner, until the early hours, do your heavy work. This is great for people who like to drink coffee, water or have a snack while studying
–12- 4PM: after you wake up, do some work here. Again, keep it light: stick to activities that won’t burn you out
–Enjoy your dinner, but make sure to eat well in the evening to not crash as your prime study hours will start a few hours after you eat!
Eat a fulfilling suhoor
What you eat for the morning meal can have an effect on your whole day: and can be the difference between getting some good quality work done or not.
- Mind over matter: It can be tempting to refrain from eating so early in the morning, but it’s important to set yourself up well for the day. Try your best to eat, even if it’s a just a little bit
- Stay hydrated! Dehydration can be detrimental to both your study habits and your health. Make sure to drink ample water in the morning. Electrolyte drinks are also useful to consider: and they can hydrate you faster than water. Coconut water, watermelon or watermelon juice, or simply electrolyte powder or supplements is a great way to boost hydration
- Eat a fulfilling breakfast that will fuel you – it’s not just to fill you up, it’ll also be your brain food! Stick to protein and fibre to give yourself energy and keep yourself full. This can include eating eggs, yoghurt, dates, grains, and fruit. With oats, greek yoghurt and nuts all included, overnight oats has become a popular suhoor food: just grab it out of the fridge in the morning
Prepare yourself for caffeine withdrawal!
One of the most challenging parts of Ramadan for students is the lack of caffeine. Whether you realise it or not, if you drink coffee or energy drinks every day you are likely dependent on it to concentrate or feel awake. Taking it away suddenly can be incredibly difficult, and you may struggle to complete your work or start to feel irritable. It can also be painful – one of the symptoms of lack of caffeine are withdrawal migraines, which may last hours, so it’s important to confront this issue as soon as you can!
- Have some in the evening or in the morning: To curb caffeine withdrawal, have a little coffee at the right time, depending on your study routine. If you study in the morning, have some here, and if you study after dinner, have it throughout the evening.
- Wean yourself off: It takes 7-10 days to stop experiencing caffeine withdrawal. A week or two before Ramadan, stop drinking coffee so it’s not a shock, or start drinking decaf coffee.
- Consider caffeine supplements: This may seem like an extreme option, but it’s a great solution for people who struggle heavily with the lack of caffeine or have very long days. Time-release caffeine pills can enhance alertness and release energy slowly throughout the day
Don’t isolate yourself
- Find a study buddy: It can feel especially off-putting to study alone late into the night or in the early hours alone. Doing it with those in the same position can leave you feeling fulfilled and keep you on track.
- See your fasting friends and family: Ramadan is a time where you can feel the most demotivated if no one is fasting around you. You won’t be able to study properly if you’re not in the right mental state. Have iftar with your family, make a recipe with your friends, and make sure to talk to someone fasting if you’re feeling lost – they’ll be able to help you through it and share their tips!
Ramadan Mubarak and happy studying!
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Posted by Owen Redman
Co-founder of Roome