We are over a week into Ramadan, a holy month in which many Muslims will be fasting from sunrise to sunset. And yes, this means not even drinking water. However, this is a once in a generation occurrence in which during Ramadan, the whole of the country, along with many others, is under lockdown due to COVID-19. As someone who will be observing Ramadan myself, it’s important for me to ensure that I keep my physical health, mental health and wellbeing a priority and still go about my day to day duties whilst working from home.
From my experience, there are a few things I will miss about Ramadan this year and these are:
On a normal day, I would go to work and continue my daily routine, just without eating or drinking until sunset. However, as people who don’t fast would also agree, being at home comes with many distractions. Such as food! I myself, find resisting food in order to fast quite easy nowadays but even I will get cravings whilst sat at my desk and so there are a few things I have been doing to help with this.
Taking my full lunch would be one of them. When working from home and fasting, make sure you take your lunch and do something with it. You could set yourself a goal every day to do something new or keep up a hobby. Some of the things I like to do on my lunch break are:
- Exercising lightly (Here is a handy video to help you figure out when is best to exercise)
- Journaling or practising gratitude (Jodie Hill has a great video about gratitude and how to practice it)
- Learning a language (I’m currently learning French and Korean. Apps like Memrise and Duolingo are great and free!)
- Going for a walk as the one time you are allowed out during the day.
There are loads of different things that you can do on your lunch break to not only distract yourself from eating but get that well needed break from work. This is also helpful advice for people who are furloughed and need things to do in the day to help them get through, routine is so important.
Seeing your family and opening your fast together is a big thing for Muslims during Ramadan and is one of the things we simply can’t do during lock down. This is where technology has played a great part. Calling family members not only makes your day better but will show that you are thinking of them in this quite isolating time.
There are a few apps that have gotten quite popular. On Facetime, you can have over 30 people on a call. However, if not everyone in your family owns an Apple device, Zoom seems to be a popular option at the moment. If you would like some activities when on the call, the House Party app is a good shout with a few games to play whilst on a video call such as Pictionary and trivia.
Sending people food
Another big thing to do during Ramadan is sending people food for them to open their fast with. It can be hard to know if you have properly sanitised a food parcel and whether the recipient will know how to then stay hygienic if you leave it on their doorstep.
A company I have found that can help with this is The Date Project. This is a service in which you can order dates (a popular food in which Muslims eat to open their fast) online and get them posted to your door or a friend or family member if you have their address. This is an act of kindness that not only minimises the spread of COVID-19 but a percentage also goes to charity.
The main thing we need to remember is that this is temporary and we are all in the same situation. We will come out of this more grateful, skilled and optimistic for the future.
There are also loads of ways you can help your employees during this time as well which we outlined in our Ramadan blog last year.
If you need any advice on working from home or your employment status during the COVID-19 outbreak, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Khaleeqa Bostan.