Studying While Fasting: Strategies To Bring You Ease

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Written by Breneya Johnson

Ramadan Mubarak!

Alhamdulilah Ramadan has arrived! For many of us, that means we start fasting before sunrise until sunset. If this isn’t your first Ramadan or your first time fasting for long periods of time, you know all too well how easy it is for your energy levels to plummet in the blink of an eye. Juggling academics, extracurricular activities, work, your social life, and self-care can become overwhelming when your body is in a state of deficit. But fret not! I come bearing strategies that give you some ease. 

Strategy #1: Your first meal (Suhoor) should be thought of as your fuel for the day

It is important that you eat foods that will provide your body with the nutrients and hydration that it needs to sustain itself throughout the day. It is recommended that you eat foods high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Fruits and vegetables that are rich in water like watermelon, oranges, kiwi, cucumbers, or tomatoes can help you stay hydrated throughout the day. Whole grain cereals like oats are also a great option. 

I personally love to eat granola in non-dairy yogurt with nuts and chia seeds, topped with raisins and dates. Every meal is accompanied by plenty of water. 

Avoid foods that are salty, really sweet, fried or oily foods and spicy foods. These can increase thirst and don’t always provide the nutrients your body needs. If you can, stay away from foods that are processed or packaged. 

Strategy #2: Take naps!

I have never been a nap person but I always take naps when my body tells me it needs a break. For me, it is best to take a nap between 1 pm and 4 pm for about thirty minutes to an hour. This allows my body to restore energy and I still have plenty of time left in the day to complete my to-do list. 

Find a time that works best for you and your schedule. Try to take your nap hours before you break your fast. 

Strategy #3: The Rule of 3

You may be used to being a busy bee, doing as much as you possibly can in one day. While fasting, I have found that it helps to choose 2-3 things to add to your to-do list in each area of your life. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or commit to doing more than your energy levels allow. 

Strategy #4: Don’t plan to do much after you break your fast

Don’t plan any tasks to be completed after you break your fast that requires a lot of energy or brainpower. You want to do most of the taxing activities before breaking your fast so that you can give yourself time to pace yourself with food and water. It’s important to have the freedom to fall asleep early if you want to rather than stressing over an assignment that needs to be done. 

Strategy #5: Give yourself grace

Let’s be honest. We aren’t our best selves when we are hungry or tired. Give yourself grace when you don’t complete everything that you planned to do. Give yourself grace when you don’t eat the best Suhoor or your water intake isn’t where it needs to be. Give yourself grace when that person that you don’t like jumps on just the right nerve and annoys you. 

For those of us fasting Ramadan, we know it is so much more than abstaining from food and drink. During the month of Ramadan, we are actively working towards breaking bad habits and developing good ones, praying more, giving more charity, focusing on community, and training our patience and self-control. Ramadan is a month of generosity, spirituality, good deeds, sacrifice, and joy. 

Ramadan Kareem! 

May we be granted all the blessings of Ramadan and an abundance of ease! 

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