5 Ramadan Essentials

Mine (and many others) favorite month has arrived – Ramadan. I always feel unprepared for this month, but as it starts, the blessings start to kick in, fasting becomes easier, and the spiritual development that comes with it continues to grow and remind me the true purpose of this month. Of course, as much as I love it, it can be difficult. As Refinery29 stated, "Between strengthening our faith, asking for forgiveness, and dealing with the logistics of daily fasting, the holiday can take up a lot of time and energy."  I have a few essentials that keep me grounded in places ranging from spirituality to the simplicity of keeping up physical energy for the long fasts.

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1. Podcast 

This is something I've been doing for a while, but listening makes the feeling of ramadan so much more ingrained into me. Qalam Institute's podcast, encounters many topics ranging from the purification of the heart to rights of companionship. In a society that bombards us with endless information and media, and many of us are filled with stress and anxiety, feeling a sense of calm can be hard to reach. But whether you're driving in your car, or just sitting in bed and need to plug your headphones in, their podcast series is a great way to further spiritual maturity.

2. A Water Bottle (Duh.)

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I know this sounds blatantly obvious but it's serious. I've had days where I've passed out due to lack of water during my fast, because one glass during Suhoor isn't enough, trust me. I absolutely love my stainless steel water bottle from the brand S'well - as it's a more sustainable option. (because why wouldn't you want to stay hydrated– and help the environment?) I carry mine with me from iftar, to taraweeh prayer, and to suhoor. Chug Chug Chug.

3. Wholesome Snack

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As much as I love grabbing some of my mom's mini samosas as a nightly snack, it can drain my energy and defeat the purpose of the fast. If you're not properly fueled, it'll be difficult to perform all of your Ramadan rituals at best. (I'm not saying you can't have any - that would be torture.) But it's important to be mindful on what's best for you. To keep my energy levels high, I keep RX bars on me to snack on at the mosque. My favorite has to be chocolate sea salt, which contains 3 egg whites, 6 almonds, 4 cashews, 2 dates and most importantly.....NO B.S

Another coveted favorite is smoothies, because who doesn't want an easy to make drink that will keep them energized all day? (No one.) My recent favorite is The Fitnest's Chocolate Date Smoothie Recipe, which you can find here. 

4. Skincare

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During Ramadan, our routine obviously changes - and it isn't surprising that the sleep schedules, summer heat, and changed diet choices can affect our skin by making it dry, dull, and more prone to breaking out. Of course, this month is about taking care of our souls, and the direct focus isn't personal appearance, but that doesn't mean to also neglect everything else, as taking care of our skin does have an effect on our overall health and personal hygiene. I use a couple products ranging from Vitamin C and facial creams to keep my skin hydrated and refreshed by Eid.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

This isn't an everyday product for me because I do have oily skin, but in this month where my skin starts to feel extremely dry, I could use the extra hydration. I use it at night, and it's texture is soft and sinks right into your skin, leaving you to wake up with a fresh face.

Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum

What's worse than dry skin? Dull skin. This product is a savior, as it helps combat dullness, and skin texture. It's a staple in my daytime routine, and the price is a little up there at Sephora, but a good dupe is The Ordinary's vitamin C serum.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Just because we cant drink water ourselves, doesn't mean our skin can't use a little mid-day refresher. This spray, which is around 7 dollars at Ulta is perfect to give me a little pick me up when the fast is getting to me. 

5. Gratitude Journal

According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of a day — and why the events made them happy — lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.We all face different struggles, and it can be hard to find things to be thankful for. But putting our hearts into faith, and finding the beauty in life's hardest moments, can be a powerful tool in spiritual development. It's difficult at first to maintain, but as you continue it becomes a part of you routine. Keeping a consistent activity of focusing on the good, rather than the bad, and writing it down ends up serving as almost an antidote for negative emotion. 

I wish you all a very blessed Ramadan – filled with blessings, ease, and prosperity. 

 

Yusra Siddiqui