While the month of fasting is one where we all try to zone in on our spiritual improvement and physical health, life won't step aside for us to do that. Our responsibilities don't stop, and that includes our work: The classic 9-5 job for many people.
While duties and responsibilities don't change, your routine might.
Your drive-thru coffee becomes a sad little drive-by instead, your mid-day lunch you look forward to gets delayed to a 7PM dinner, and that pick-me-up energy drink in the afternoon gets replaced by some daydreaming and salivating. It's tough, let's be honest. But despite the physical struggle of skipping your coffee and lunch to get you through your day, it's good to know that often times, being in a workplace gives you the opportunity to spread more knowledge about Islam. After all, skipping lunch isn't normal, and by the time you start to drape over your desk in exhaustion, I'm sure you'll get some questions.
Some co-workers might even be up for a little challenge and join you on a day of fasting! If not without water, then perhaps at least without food until sunset, and then you could treat yourselves to a nice dinner out when the day is over!
If you're lucky enough, your management might be accommodating with switching up your schedule a bit, depending on your job. Some people prefer coming in later during Ramadan, since late nights filled with prayer and family time is commonplace, waking up at 7:30AM to get to work sounds impossible. However, most people would rather get home around 4:00PM so they can rest up during the harder last few hours of fasting and enjoy dinner at home. Thee 7-10AM range of fasting is a lot easier to survive than the 4-7PM range. Therefore, some employees are more willing to come in a touch earlier to get out earlier. Figure out which one works for you and open up a discussion with your employer. If you're your own boss, then consider yourself lucky!
Here at Nominal, we're blessed to have a Muslim team who can all struggle (and support each other) together during Ramadan. Truth be told, sometimes work makes the day fly by much faster, since you aren't at home glancing at the clock every few minutes, so let's consider ourselves blessed to have a workplace to keep us busy.
Remember: it's just one month, and it tends to fly by every year, subhanAllah. We hope this year is easier than ever before for you. Some tips to remember:
- Stay extra hydrated in the times that you can drink water.
- Have a healthy diet balanced with exercise in the evening so that your energy levels can stay optimal.
- Get some air if you feel tired; an office / workplace isn't always the most uplifting environment, so go for a light walk and breathe some fresh air.
- Wash up if you're feeling drowsy.
- Stay busy and get your mind off the dinner: let time pass quickly.
- Remember why you're doing this and inshaAllah you will be rewarded even more for any struggles you endure.
The struggle is rewarded and it won't last too long. As soon as Eid comes along, you'll be able to enjoy your morning coffee yet again, with forgiveness and good deeds under your belt, inshAllah!