It has taken me years to realize that I cannot live up to the standards of society. I hate to say it but Ramadan is one of those months that make me feel so guilty. I feel guilty that I’m not able to pray like others. Read Quran like others. And the list goes on. Instead of focusing on achieving spiritual wellness and become closer to Allah, I go into a guilt trip of not being the perfect Muslim.
Hey. You have a mental illness and you’re unique. So the way you pray to Allah cannot be the same as everyone else.
Following are some of the things that I have learned that make Ramadan easy for me and my mental health.
Don’t beat yourself up
There’s no point in feeling down and beating yourself up. If you can’t fast because you’re not well, then don’t. Don’t force yourself or make yourself sicker, because that’s not how Allah would want you to fast. For days you’re not fasting, you can feed the poor and help around the house and spread kindness and love.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations
We want to recite the complete Quran during Ramadan. I have never been able to because I cannot read more than 2 pages of Quran per day. Don’t be afraid to accept what you can and cannot do. It’s okay if you can only read a page a day, as long as you understand and implement what you’ve read. Understanding is all that matters.
Don’t have to be so strict
I know we’ve been doing things are a certain way because that’s how we’ve seen our elders doing that. But times have changed and we need to adapt. Specially if you have a mental illness or mental health concerns. If you cannot comprehend Urdu translations and you don’t have an English translated Quran, you can always read Quran in an app. If you don’t have the energy to pray standing up, you can pray while sitting down. If bending and kneeling hurts you, you can pray sitting on a chair. There’s always a way.
Simple acts go a long way
Recite Durood shareef and Qul on tasbeeh. You can do it even while lying down. Listen to bayaans on your phone while you walk or play them on speaker while you work. Acts of kindness and charity have double the reward in Ramadan. Give as much and as little as you can to the poor and needy. Give to people who won’t ask you for help. Help your parents, siblings and maids around the house.
If you are able to, put your work and projects on hold. You need proper sleep and rest to be able to fast with a mental illness. Even if you feel energetic, don’t work too much.
I hope this blog helps you somehow.
P.S. Get our FREE Ramadan self-care printable to help you stay on track.