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18 Little Things To Make Ramadan Easier On Your Body And Soul

Simplify, don't stress.

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Ramadan is the time of year when Muslims around the world fast from food and water from sunup until sundown. It's a pretty intense challenge of will and self-control.

So to help out, we polled members of the BuzzFeed Community on their hacks and motivations that help them win at Ramadan. Here are the best of their responses.

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1. Start training for Ramadan early, if you can.

Noisey / youtube.com / Via giphy.com

"A few days before Ramadan, abstain from eating and drinking for a few hours and increase the hours everyday. You can start with three hours and then follow it by adding one more hour every day until the first day of Ramadan. This will make it easier to adjust."

Submitted by Hannath Abdulla, Facebook

2. Keep eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner; just start thinking of your dinner as your breakfast.

"For those of us who work, a good iftar with protein and a midnight meal helps. It's like eating three meals at night instead of through the day. So breakfast is actually iftar (the meal when we break our fast). Then, I'll have a small sandwich around midnight. Finally, for suhoor, I'll have a lot of water, a smoothie with eggs and maybe a granola bar. It sounds like a lot, but it's not, considering the fast will be about 15 hours this year."

Submitted by themistressofmayhem

3. Keep a full glass of water in your hand from after iftar until the time you go to bed.

Flickr: Enid Martindale / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: enidmartindale

"If you don't want to wake up at 4 a.m. to chug water before starting your fast, keep a full glass of water in your hand from after iftar until the time you go to bed. You will be far less thirsty the next day, and the slower intake of water means you will pee less of it out."

Submitted by miriamo436bf76a2

4. Divide the day into prayers, not hours.

"For example, when you pray Dhuhr, say to yourself that there are two salats (prayers) left. When you pray 'Asr, there is one salat left, and then you pray Maghrib and you're done."

Submitted by sahra

5. Drink lots of protein shakes.

Picture by Madelon Risakotta / Via waymadi.nl

"I break my fast with one, drink one before bed, and drink one when I wake up for suhoor. Only way to ensure I don't lose my gainz!"

Submitted by youssefm4407a700b

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6. Remember to eat good fats and carbs with fibers, and avoid processed foods.

"Carbs don't make one feel full for a long time, so we should eat food with lots of fibers for suhoor. Eat raw nuts as well. They contain good fat and you'll get omega-3 from walnuts, etc. Cut down everything that is packaged, processed, sugary, or fast. Remember: Fill one-third of your stomach with water, one-third of it with food, and the rest with the air as our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) suggested."

Submitted by bguenaydin

7. Break your fast with a date, but then eat some soup before diving into your meal.

Flickr: ~W~ / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: hope4happiness

"After eating the date, the next best thing to do is to have something warm. I feel like having (mostly liquid) soup first relaxes your stomach and also stops you from eating too quickly, which creates major cramps. Take a little break after the soup, then nom nom nom til you drop."

Submitted by Leila Saleh, Facebook

8. Distract and reward yourself as best you can.

"Use lots of distractions and reward yourself every time you're kind and patient with someone who clearly did not deserve it!"

Submitted by Noor Cutestory, Facebook

9. Adjust your work schedule.

Psphotograph / Getty Images

"Negotiate a better work schedule with your employer that allows you to go to work shortly after suhoor and come home before rush hour."

Submitted by Nyle Usmani, Facebook

10. Share it with family and friends, and work on your bad habits together.

"Ramadan is a hundred times easier and more fun with family or friends. The communal atmosphere makes it a lot more special, since you have others to go through everything with you. The hardest parts of Ramadan for me are breaking bad habits (swearing, lying, getting angry too often, etc.) and having to make a concerted effort to avoid those. It makes you nicer if nothing else."

Submitted by Aleena Shaikh, Facebook

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11. Watch some cooking shows to take your mind off things.

"It's such a weird thing, but I genuinely love watching Man v. Food and MasterChef during Ramadan. It's a really weird form of essentially torture, but in a way, it helps you appreciate actual food more."

Submitted by Hussein Kesvani, Facebook

12. Remember to be humble and thoughtful.

"I've been fasting since I was old enough to understand what Ramadan is about. I've fasted in the comfort of my home in America with fully controlled AC settings, and I've fasted in the sweltering heat of Pakistan with no electricity. Sure, fasting is hard, but that's kind of the point. For 30 days in a year, you feel what millions feel daily. The hunger and the thirst are a reminder that at the end of the day, I'm still blessed enough to have a meal or take a drink. That thought keeps me going. It doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, to be honest, because the end result is to be a humble and kind Muslim."

Submitted by Huma N. Awan, Facebook

13. Learn how to make nutritious suhoors and iftars.

Flickr: Dean Sharesky / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: shareski

"Eat a good and nutritious suhoor, with extra vitamins thrown in the mix. Drink one liter of water (at least four cups). I also learn to cook different traditional Indonesian iftar food every day. They're quite labor intensive, so it's perfect to pass the time."

Submitted by Irna Nurfendiani Putri, Facebook

14. Reflect on why you're fasting.

"My biggest motivation to keep going is to reflect on why I'm fasting at all. For me, that means learning to have control over my body and emotions. If my body tells me 'I'm hungry! I need to eat now!' Ramadan has taught me that I have the power to withhold and eat at a later time (not whenever my body dictates). This also carries over to how I'm feeling emotionally. If I'm angry, I've learned from fasting to refrain from lashing out at others whenever my irritability flares up, which can occur even more frequently during Ramadan because I'm not eating. For me, this control is liberating and definitely a big motivation to continue fasting every day, even when the hours are incredibly long or when the weather is unbearably hot. Personal reflection in general can also be a helpful exercise during this month. Contemplating who you are (and have been over the past year) as a person and how you hope to develop as a person during Ramadan can also act as a strong encouragement."

Submitted by Fatima Mohie-Eldin, Facebook

16. Write down your cravings.

"When you're craving something during the day, write it down, and after you break your fast you won't want it as much."

Submitted by sarab9772

17. Don't totally give up on exercise! Try light exercise or going on a walk.

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"Don't give up on exercise! Night prayer and tarawih prayer will keep you active, and eventually you'll have upgraded your praying game while praying with your community. But try to go for a walk. It's usually warm even at midnight in summer Ramadan, so just walk anywhere. As most of you may know, it takes about 3 weeks to break a habit or form a new habit. Ramadan allows you the time to think and evaluate your lifestyle, and change it."

Submitted by bguenaydin

18. And most importantly, remember that sleep is the key to success! Be smart and divide up your sleep schedule so you get enough.

Flickr: Meena Kadri / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: meanestindian

"I divide my sleep up in two parts: two hours after I come home from work, and about four to five hours from roughly 11 p.m. to 4 a.m."

Submitted by SirLaughALot and turntablesmicrophone.

This piece is part of a series of posts and essays celebrating Ramadan. Click here to read more!

And be sure to follow BuzzFeed Community on Twitter and Facebook for more content like this. Submissions have been edited for clarity and content.

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