Fasting Tactics for Ramadan and Beyond 🌙
It's Ramadan, and so begins A month long medley of food, gatherings, and activities.
I would say "It's that time of year again!", but unlike other holidays, like Christmas or Halloween, Ramadan begins based on the lunar calendar, meaning that it's beginning and end varies slightly every year.
The most prominent component of Ramadan is the daily fast. Muslims who practice Ramadan fast between 10 and 17 hours per day for 30 days. Here in Connecticut, where I reside as of this writing, Muslims are fasting for approximately 14 hours per day without food or water.
That's right, no consumption of food or liquid for the duration of the fast. When I was younger and would inform my friends that I was fasting, they were aghast, which was expected considering that their exposure to hardship was limited.
For the most part fasting never perturbed me. That's because I make a conscious to follow 2 simple tactics to distract myself from pangs of hunger that I've seen paralyze others. These tactics are:
- Teaching Myself Something New
- Staying Hydrated
I'll take a moment to discuss each of these tactics below.
Teaching Myself Something New
The pace of change in technology is unrelenting. As a technologist, I attempt to keep up with things by learning throughout the year and being selective about what I learn. I need to be selective because no one can learn it all. There's just too much information out there.
When Ramadan arrives, I become less selective about what I learn in order to expose myself to experiences I may not encounter during other parts of the year. What I've uncovered over the years is that exposure to new knowledge and experiences can enhance the input you bring to your own profession/craft/hobby etc...
I Think My Handmade Spaghetti Turned Out Well
This year, I plan to finally learn touch typing, which means typing without looking at the keyboard. I've been putting off learning to touch type for a while because I thought my time may be better spent explicitly learning new programming languages or libraries, but I've come to the conclusion that being a proficient touch typist would be more efficient in the long run. I'm using this website to learn because it offers excellent analytics on what precisely I need to improve upon.
By involving myself with a new endeavor, I'm distracted from the hunger long enough to break the fast at the appropriate time.
This one took longer for me to appreciate than it should have. While I can't drink water during the fast, as per the conditions of Ramadan, I drink two or three 16.9 fluid ounce bottles at the start of the daily fast, which this year is around 4:45 am for me.
By staying hydrated, I feel less hunger throughout the day
I wish a happy, sincere Ramadan to all Muslims around the world! To all the non-Muslims who made it this far, I hope you learned something new!