Clinical psychologist at the International Wellbeing Center, Jakarta
Muslims mark Ramadhan by fasting. (Shutterstock/File)
What a special month Ramadhan is! Muslims mark this holy month by fasting. This means restraining themselves from food, drink, negative emotions and even bad habits while improving themselves by working on good deeds as well as good habits.
Yet of course, with good intentions comes great responsibility and challenges. Some people may find it challenging to commit to their good intentions because of external factors such as personal conflicts, the heat, traffic and even watching or hearing overwhelming news.
So how do we manage our emotions despite the possible challenges?
Hopefully, some of these tips can be applied to your daily life. I also hope they can be helpful for us to improve ourselves, and that we can practice these habits for the rest of the year. Good luck, and enjoy your Ramadhan with your loved ones!
It sounds basic, yet some people tend to forget to do so, especially considering that people tend to eat out for iftar (breaking of the fast) events. Prepare a good meal, consume a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins. This will help restore your energy, and good energy comes from within.
Although we may not rest enough during the night or in the early morning, make sure to still get all possible rest. Use your time wisely. Learn to sleep earlier, so you can get up easily in the early morning for sahur (predawn meal). Use your breaks at work to rest if you can. Power naps help a lot. The proper amount of rest will help you maintain a balanced moods and better manage your energy.
Limit negative news
Be critical and wise when consuming the news. With all the good and bad things happening around the world, you need to filter information carefully. Watch or read only credible news sources. Always check and re-check the information, and do not dwell on bad news for too long. Distract yourself with some light and positive information afterwards. This will help to balance your mood.
Make yourself comfortable
The current weather can get extremely hot, and some people may find it overwhelming. Excessive heat can put you at risk of becoming more emotional. There is not much we can do to change the weather; however, we can change the way we respond to it.
If possible, choose indoor activities. Limit yourself from excessive exposure to the heat, if you think it might distract you. Go out when the sun has started to set. If you really need to venture out, choose to wear something light and avoid dark colors to keep your cool despite the hot weather.
Manage your time, including while traveling
This special month may bring renewed spirit, including the intent to get home on time and gather with loved ones. It is common to find heavy traffic after working hours. You may also encounter aggressive drivers that can easily test your limit.
First of all, it is important to note that it is nothing personal. So restrain yourself from negative vibes. Second, you can help yourself by managing your time. Be mindful in deciding when to leave from work. Listen to something soothing along the way. This can help you feel more relaxed and at ease.
Surround yourself with positive people
Choose your environment wisely. Surround yourself with positive people that can bring you good energy. Restrain from reacting to those who act negatively. Soothe yourself with kind words whenever you feel provoked.
Pursue positive activities
Fill your days with positive activities and stay active, yet be mindful. If you are keeping a regular work schedule, try to keep it positive. Manage your time well. Learn when you feel most energetic so you can work more effectively. Break your work into short bursts to maintain focus. Outside work, find new and positive hobbies. Learn something new. Spend more times with loved ones. Rediscover yourself.
Help yourself to relax
Despite your usual hectic days, you can maintain balance by doing things that soothe you and helps you to relax. Some may find peace from reading books, engaging in conversation, practicing mindful breathing and even praying. Training yourself to relax will help you to always maintain your balance, no matter what you are going through.
Read also: Where to spend family time this Ramadhan
It's okay not to feel okay at times. It is okay to sometimes feel that you might have lost your grip. Acknowledge your ups and downs, yet try to always maintain balance. When negative emotions or thoughts come up, try to face them with positive ones. In this way, you can learn how to manage yourself better without necessarily ignoring your true needs. (wng)
Cita is a clinical psychologist at the International Wellbeing Center. She works with young adults and adults on a variety of issues, including personal relationships, anxiety, depression, stress management, trauma and work-life balance. She earned a masters in adult clinical psychology from the University of Indonesia. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her loved ones and reading a good book.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.