Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through the holiest month of the year.
It always surprises me how quickly the days seem to go by in Ramadan. This is the week where I often realize there’s so much more that I want to do before it slips away completely. But at the same time, it’s also the point in the month where my fatigue really starts to set in.
Ramadan is one of my favorite times of the year, but it certainly takes a lot out of me. As much as it fills me up, this month also requires some emptying. And part of its actual purpose is to clear out the things that are taking up unnecessary space in my head and heart. So it’s only natural that this process occurs, but it’s one that tends to bring up a lot of the unresolved baggage in my life.
Experiencing this inner turmoil during a time of year that’s known mostly for lifting one’s spirit can be quite unnerving. Every time I feel broken in Ramadan, it makes me question myself and wonder if I’m just doing something wrong. But over the years, I’ve learned that this is part of my personal healing journey during this special month. And if you can relate at all, I’m writing this post for you.
How to Use Your Breaking Point for Healing
There have been a few practices that I’ve found particularly helpful to me in my Ramadan healing journey over the years. And below, I’m sharing seven of my favorite ones.
Are you ready to do some healing work this month? If so, here are seven tips worth trying:
- Embrace the struggle. Ramadan is a beautiful month, but it’s not an easy one. And that’s how it’s supposed to be. Some of our most important growth lies within the difficult moments of our lives. And this month teaches us how to engage with challenges in a healthy way. By accepting that there will always be difficulties, but having faith that we can indeed do hard things.
By embracing the struggle rather than fighting it, not only can you save both time and energy. You can also access all the blessings and lessons that come from our more difficult experiences.
Within the hardship also lies salvation and points of ease. But first you’ve got to be willing to take on the hard stuff. Of course, this is easier said than done. Take it one day at a time. Even one hour at a time. There will be some moments where it’s much tougher to “embrace the struggle” and that’s ok too. The point isn’t to be perfect. It’s just to keep showing up and trying.
- Give yourself permission to slow down. The nature of Ramadan is meant to be slower. But the month can often feel rushed as we try to fit in our typical daily lifestyle in addition to the sacred practices we add in.
But what if you stopped trying to do it all? What if you focused on just what’s absolutely necessary rather than the status quo? How would that feel?
Give yourself a chance to test this out and see what happens. Let go of one task or habit in your day that isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Talk to God. There are so many ways to do this. Journaling, prayer, meditation, anything that allows you to sit down and be with Him. And if you can’t think of anything to say, that’s ok. Just be there. Breathe. Enjoy sitting in His presence.
The words will come if you need them to. But God knows what’s in your heart whether you can put it into words or not. It’s you who will benefit most from figuring what you need or want to say. At least, that’s been my personal experience.
- Let yourself feel your feelings. Let’s be real – this one is tough. But you can’t move on from an emotion until you face it.
The only way to truly move forward in life, is dealing with the stuff that it brings up for you. So learning how to face these feelings in a way that feels safe is so important for both your healing and growth.
This doesn’t mean feeling every emotion all at once. You can start small. Get curious about one situation that brings out a strong emotional response in you. Allow yourself to explore it a little bit. And if it feels too heavy, try to find a container to help you hold it – you can write in a journal, email yourself, or talk to a friend or coach or therapist.
- Develop a gratitude practice. Taking a few minutes every day to think about something you’re grateful for sounds simple, but it was a game changer for me.
The list of things we can appreciate about each day is endless, but coming up with 3 new things each day that you’re grateful for will open your eyes to both the blessings you’ve grown used to as well as the unexpected ones that come along.
And thinking about the things that you’re grateful for every day over an extended period of time can literally change your brain for the better. Having a gratitude practice has been shown to increase the “feel-good” chemicals in our body like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. And the benefits of this pours into our experience of daily life. It’s so worth setting aside 3 minutes a day to think about a few things that you’re grateful for.
- Focus on forgiveness. This is a month where we often ask God for forgiveness. But what about the forgiveness work that we need to do?
Let’s not even worry about forgiving anyone else yet. Let’s start with you.
What’s one thing that you’ve been beating yourself up for lately? Maybe it’s a decision you made. Perhaps it’s something you said (or didn’t say). It might even be a mistake you made at work.
Whatever it is that you’re struggling with, what would it take for you to forgive yourself? Take some time to really think about this question and what your answer is. Then comes the next big question – are you willing to take these steps?
Learning to forgive yourself is a process that takes time, but the lessons you’ll pick up along the way are infinite. Developing a deep sense of grace within yourself will help you have it with others as well.
- Remember to nourish your body. There’s so much emphasis this month on spiritual growth that sometimes we can forget to take care of our most basic needs.
Just as our soul is a gift and responsibility from God, so is our body. Eating well and getting adequate rest are both necessary for survival as well as contributing factors to our spiritual practice.
Taking time to prepare healthy meals, drinking plenty of water, and squeezing in time for a nap during the day or going to bed early can all be spiritual acts if you make your intention so. And they’ll give you the energy and vitality you need to show up for the other acts of worship you choose to partake in.
On the other hand, forcing yourself to keep up with an unmanageable pace without taking in the nutrition and rest that you need will slowly begin to deteriorate your ability to keep showing up this month.
Use Ramadan as a chance to nourish your body along with your soul.
Bringing it all Together
We’re currently in the midst of a month like no other. Ramadan is full of opportunities for healing and growth – spiritually, mentally, and physically alike. And this is in part because of the many challenges that this month poses on us. It’s within these challenges that we can fully tune into some of our greatest strengths. But there are definitely going to be growing pains along the way.
The seven tools above have become life lines for me when I’m in the midst of my toughest days. They help me stay afloat when sinking seems like the easier way out. Taking time to practice even one of them always makes a difference.
As we step into these last precious weeks of Ramadan, I’m wishing you so much tranquility and contentment. But if you find yourself needing something to help you keep pushing through, I hope these tools are as supportive for you as they’ve been for me.
Peace and blessings,
Hanaa Garad is an Emotional Freedom Coach and EFT Practitioner. She shares bite-size pieces of inspiration every month on her blog as well as videos that help sensitive women and mothers explore complicated feelings and prioritize their needs, goals, and desires in an ever-demanding world.