With Ramadan upon us and exam season just around the corner, there’s no doubt that we can feel overwhelmed with the stresses of revision whilst trying to make the most of such a blessed time. The days of fasting can be long, and with the weather becoming increasingly warmer, very demanding also.
Trying to juggle the responsibilities of your studies and increasing in our own personal acts of worship can be tricky, so we’ve compiled our tips that we hope may be beneficial during this holy month!
- Set your intentions.
We may feel like we’re missing out on the blessing of Ramadan if we have to study, and we would much rather be praying or reading Qur’an. BUT with the intentions of pleasing God, your studying can be a beautiful act of worship. Make your intentions to earn a halal income, benefit others, increase and share your knowledge etc. and Insha’Allah you’ll be rewarded for your studies too!
- Adjust your schedule
Trial what works for you. We prefer to make use of the time during the night to study (the best time to power it out is when your full of fuel), and sleep during the day.
Study between Isha and Suhoor (hard core modules).
Sleep post-Fajr until midday.
Wake up to pray Dhuhr.
Study 1-6PM (lighter topics/admin).
Rest until Isha.
This example is very specific, some prefer to study post-Fajr (when they’re full of beans) and others prefer to stick to a normal schedule consistent with daylight hours. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, every person has their own preference. You may want to consider factors such as timings (e.g. library hours if you prefer to study away from home) and your own personal responsibilities. The most important point: ENSURE YOU ARE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP.
- Take breaks
Revising for long periods of hours can be draining, especially during Ramadan. You will have period when you’re struggling to focus, so recognise when your brain needs a break. It can be anything from taking a shower, to having a nap, or going for a walk. Remember its completely OKAY to rest. Just make sure when your energy returns, you use it wisely.
Breaking up your work in sizable chunks and fitting in frequent breaks can prevent you from burning out and to keep you going. A very common technique used by students is the Pomodoro technique, but it’s very common to adjust it to what suits you the best.
Chunking doesn’t just apply to work, splitting up your Qur’an or prayers can also be more manageable and easier to sustain. For example, read X number of pages of Qur’an after each prayer as opposed to in one-go – you’ll also find your concentration is higher during these smaller bursts.
- Don’t neglect spending time with those you love
Being on a different schedule to your family and friends can sometimes be isolating, so be sure to set aside some time to spend with them. Sometimes we see time spent with family as wasted time, that alternatively could be spent revising or in ibadah, but taking the steps necessary to maintain your wellbeing will be beneficial in the long run. And remember that with the right intention, this time can also be ibadah in itself.
- Increase the intake of brain foods
After a long day of fasting, it can be tempting to eat fried foods or order a meal of junk food. However, remember what you eat will have a knock-on effect on your revision, making you feel lethargic and less energetic more quickly. Try incorporating more brain foods and more slow energy release foods. Check out this article by Havard Health Publishing which outlines the best brain foods according to research.
- Don’t skip Suhoor.
Dehydration can be detrimental. Even if you’re not hungry for a full meal, try to have a glass of water and a few dates.
- Motivative each other
Doing revision and exams remotely can be lonely, unmotivating and might take a toll on your mental health. Sometimes zooming a friend or organising group revision sessions can make revision more fun and can help you to motivate each other to get through the work. Never underestimate the support system you can be to the people around you.
- Start small
So, you’ve taken a break, you’ve come back to work and you’re still unable to focus. Sound familiar? We recommend doing a small task, something easy and achievable. When you check off that task, your brain releases dopamine and you feel you have accomplished something, which can then powers you through the next task. Sometimes the hardest part of a task is getting started on it.
- Tie your camel, and have trust in God’s plan
Lay your plan, try your hardest and remember the rest is in Allah’s hands.
Allah (swt) says: “Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you.”
We pray that Allah allow us to a fruitful Ramadan, may He make all of our paths easy and grant us success, and accept all of our intentions.
Your MM Committee