Mental Health & Ramadan: Managing Signs of Stress | Aspris UAE Mental Health News and Blog | Aspris Wellbeing Centres UAE

The holy month of Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and involves fasting from sunrise to sunset. This is a time for prayer, reflection and community, where many people focus on carrying out good deeds and charitable gestures.

For those observing Ramadan, this can be a time for positive reflection and a time to focus on the benefits of Ramadan and how this may bring to your mental health. However, for people who are suffering with the symptoms of stress, this can be a challenging time.

At our Aspris Wellbeing Centres, we can help support you during this month with our top tips for managing stress and mood swings during Ramadan.

How can observing Ramadan affect stress levels?

For some people, the benefits of fasting during Ramadan helps focus the mind and reduce stress levels, but for others, during Ramadan fasting hours the symptoms of stress may be exacerbated due to lack of food or change in routine. Factors contributing to stress during Ramadan may include:

  • Hunger causing mood swings and low energy levels
  • Social pressures
  • Irregular sleeping patterns causing tiredness
  • Family and relationship strains
  • Work pressures alongside fasting and prayer

How to reduce symptoms of stress during Ramadan:

  • Stay hydrated – Try to drink as much as possible when not fasting, and if you can, drink in smaller amounts over longer periods.
  • Eat mindfully – Eating more nourishing foods can help with hydration, hunger and energy levels. Fruits, such as watermelon, can help keep you hydrated for longer, whilst soup is also a good way to keep hydrated and nourished. It’s important to avoid too much salt and try to keep up a balanced diet during Ramadan.
  • Focus on sleep hygiene – Sleep patterns often change through Ramadan. Some people choose to take naps through the day during this time. It’s recommended to try to get at least four hours sleep at night after Iftar, and another block of sleep after Suhoor and Fajr to ensure you’re rested enough for the day ahead. This time can be particularly challenging for those with sleep disorders, but there are a number of techniques to help manage this.
  • Prioritise your mental health – During this dedicated time of reflection, you may experience some difficulties with your mental health if you are already encountering symptoms. Being mindful of your feelings and actioning strategies to improve your wellbeing is key. Practicing meditation techniques or breathing exercises is helpful to lower stress levels Also consider how to best plan your daily activities in order to reduce stress levels throughout Ramadan.
  • Keep organised – If you’re still carrying out daily work duties through Ramadan, hunger and low energy levels may feel like more strain than usual. With added pressures of routine changes and family/social commitments, it’s important to plan your time efficiently to avoid burnout.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help – If you’re struggling with stress, depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, this holy month of Ramadan may feel particularly difficult. However, this is also a time of reflection and community, so may be an opportunity to reach out and ask for support. Whether it’s from a trusted friend or relative or a professional, just like our friendly team at Aspris, seeking help for your mental health is a positive thing to do.

We have a number of resources available to help you to look after your mental health during Ramadan, including our other Ramadan blogs and our team of specialists.

If you’d like to speak to one of our friendly team of experts about any of our mental health services, please contact us today on (+971) 4 385 4493 for our Dubai clinic, or (+971) 2 651 8111 for our Abu Dhabi clinic. Alternatively, please click here to make an online enquiry.