How I recovered from Ramadan Burnout
Ramadan is a time for prayer, reflection, transformation and a spiritual detox right? So this Ramadan, like every other Ramadan, i sat down with my paper and pen and wrote down everything i was going to achieve, not just in terms of my spirituality but also what i would be doing with my kids to ensure that they were engaged and aware of the importance of the month. All this resulted in Ramadan Burnout.
I started with a lot of gusto, an array of ideas and a mammoth plan. However midway through the month, i began to lose momentum, i failed to meet the unrealistic targets i had set for myself. I burnt out, like totally. One night, I couldn’t even manage small tasks and that made me feel terrible.
My husband had repeatedly told me from his time in hifz class, that they were taught that small and consistent was key and to build your ibadah slowly. Whilst i had managed that outside of Ramadan, i had somehow forgotten this piece of advice during Ramadan.
So after, discussing what i was feeling with my husband, i decided to tackle this head on. After all, i was not about to miss out on all the blessing that came with the last ten days. I refused to fall into despair.
These are the things i did to get back on track:
Renewal of intention
‘The deeds are considered by intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention..’ (Sahih Bukhari)
I reminded myself of the true purpose of this month and told myself that what i really wanted was to please my Creator. It wasn’t about how much i could do. It was about the quality of my ibadah.
I stopped putting so much pressure on myself
I looked at my list and streamlined it to fit in with my life reminding myself that taking care of a family is also ibadah.
All those craft activities on Pinterest look great and last year i managed to do one a day with my children, but this year i have only managed to do a few activities as i was also working. I reminded myself that, that was ok and my kids were enjoying the month anyway.
I also stopped pressuring myself to blog three times a week. It just wasn’t happening and not for want of trying. I figured that i could put my foot back on that accelerator when Ramadan was over.
I streamlined my to do list
I removed anything from my list that wasn’t essential to do right away and asked for help with the rest of it! Woohoo for help!
I took away the distractions. That included anything that was wasting my time and taking me away from my aim for the month. I thought of it the same way in which I think of my companions. The influence a companion can have on a person is probably similar to the influence of distractions like following random people on Social Media who may not have a similar outlook as yourself.
My husband reminded me to focus on dhikr which doesn’t take much time but holds so much benefit. Some of these include:
- Istigfar – Repeating Astagfirullah throughout the day as well as asking for forgiveness. ‘If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.’ (Abu Dawud).
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported:I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He (ﷺ) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).”
- Whoever says “SubhanAllah wa bihamdihi” a hundred times during the day, his sins are wiped away, even if they are like the foam of the sea. (Sahih al-Bukhari; Sahih Muslim)
- Subhan Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan Allahil Azim – Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon him) said, ‘There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Surah Ikhlas (x3)- Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and be upon him) said to his Companions: ‘Could any one of you not recite one third of the Qur’aan in one night?’ They found the idea too difficult, and said, ‘Who among us could do that, O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said, Soorat al-Ikhlaas] is one third of the Qur’aan.’” (Al-Bukhari)
I poured my heart out to my Creator
I let it all out. I said everything that i needed to say to my Lord and asked Allah for help to keep me focussed, steadfast and keep me migrating towards him.
I shared messages
I shared messages that i thought would benefit both myself and my family/friends and checked and rechecked my intention whilst doing so. Social media may have its drawbacks, but the best thing about it is that we are able to share messages that benefit people with a click of a button.
‘The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Convey from me even an Ayah of the Qur’an.’ (Al Bukhari).
I listened to lectures
When i was drained, I lay down and listened to lectures that were uplifting, motivating and encouraging.