Young Muslim businesswoman commuting on a train. Getty Images/MichaelSvoboda
The period after Ramadan may feel bare for many Muslim professionals. You’ve just been through one of the most intense 30-day periods of the year spiritually, physically and socially, and you feel entirely spent by the end of the month. Couple this with the back-to-back Eid festivities and getting back to work and your “normal” pre-Ramadan routine and productivity.
So how do you pick yourself up from the post-Ramadan void so that this period doesn’t feel wasted?
A big tip comes from the world of sports: When you complete a marathon or a long bike ride, you’re encouraged to “actively recover”. This is a process of engaging in low-intensity exercise to help muscles recover from the intense activity that has just been completed. The idea is not to go cold turkey and do nothing at all, which could make it even harder to recover from the intense exercise.
Keeping this in mind, here are three steps to help you actively recover from Ramadan so that you exceed your pre-Ramadan productivity.
1. REFLECT ON YOUR RAMADAN
Ramadan is an intense experience full of personal development lessons. What did you learn about yourself during Ramadan? What went well for you this Ramadan spiritually, physically and socially?
This shouldn’t take you too long. All you need is a pen, paper and some time to yourself to reflect on your Ramadan and connect the experience you just had with valuable personal development lessons.
2. THINK OF POST-RAMADAN HABITS/ROUTINES VS. RESOLUTIONS
As you reflect on your Ramadan, ask yourself a critical question: what habit or routine should I take from Ramadan into my post-Ramadan life?
A lot of people have post-Ramadan goals that are broken within the first 30-days after Eid, just like New Year’s resolutions. Instead, think of new habits and routines you want to introduce into your life post-Ramadan.
The genius of Ramadan is that it breaks old habits and routines that were built up over the course of a year and helps us reflect on whether they were as important as we thought they were before. Try to graduate from Ramadan with a new set of habits and routines that will help upgrade your life.
This idea of thinking of habits and routines vs. goals is perhaps why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged us to fast for six days after Ramadan not only as a spiritual “active recovery” exercise but to help entrench the habit of fasting in our lives after the Holy Month is over.
3. SMALL, CONSISTENT ACTION
You’ve reflected on your Ramadan and identified the key habits and routines that will help upgrade your life post-Ramadan. Now focus on small, consistent action. By this I mean the bare minimum in viable routines and actions that you need to focus on after Ramadan to ensure an active recovery period that builds you up towards your best self spiritually, physically and socially.
Identify specific actions. Add them to your calendar. Hold yourself accountable each week through a weekly review to see how well you are doing in achieving them. Keep this up for a month or two and these new habits and routines will be part of your new best self.
Thinking of the post-Ramadan period as one of active recovery will help avoid the usual post-Ramadan disappointment of finding yourself not as good as you were during the Holy Month. Follow the three steps and you’ll be well on your way to building a better version of yourself.
Mohammed Faris is an international coach, author, and speaker who helps executives, professionals, and entrepreneurs rebalance their lives spiritually, physically and socially to achieve peak performance and live meaningful lives. He’s the founder of ProductiveMuslim.com and author of The Productive Muslim: Where Faith Meets Productivity.
(Writing by Mohammed Faris; Editing by Seban Scaria [email protected])
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