Stay alert and stress-free during working hours in Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is about patience and peace, but at times it can seem stressful, especially for those facing stress at work. It is important that people find ways to maintain a healthy mood in the office during fasting hours. Here are some tips to remain stress-free at work and at home.

Get up and walk around: Sitting down for long hours at the workplace can cause stress on the mind and body. When you are sitting, you are in an unnatural state as humans are not designed to remain seated – you have more than 600 muscles and more than 300 joints in your body – and you are designed to move.

Being in a seated position also disengages the core, which can cause a lack of breath, which is why you need to breathe correctly. If you are in a seated position, you can not inflate your lungs to full capacity – you might only breathing around 60-70 percent of your full capacity. Your brain will be receiving less oxygen and this will have a massive effect on your mood and your alertness, thus causing you greater stress.

One way to stay alert during fasting hours is to take breaks every 30 minutes, in order to spend  five minutes walking around the office, or outside. This will help maintain alertness and allows the body to wake up, because it will be in a depleted and exhausted state during Ramadan, especially, during the first week.

Healthy meals: One way to combat stress at work is by eating healthy and nutritious meals for Iftar and Suhoor, which will have a significant impact on how much stress a person could feel the next day. The quality and quantity of food are also important – increasing fruits and vegetables help with energy, whereas eating fats, carbs, salt and sugar cause the person to feel drained, because of the rise in glucose in the body.

Increasing water intake from Iftar to Suhoor will help maintain a better mood at the workplace. If you follow a healthy Ramadan diet and drink plenty of water, then you will feel calmer at work.

Deep breathing: Employees facing stress at work, whether it is from workload or from irritable colleagues, need to take a moment with themselves and conduct diaphragmatic breathing techniques. Instead of responding to a colleague who is bothering you, which will only cause more stress, take a moment with yourself and control your mind through deep breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing involves a deep inhale and slow exhale technique. Take two minutes for deep breathing, whenever you feel stressed or loaded with work, it will help calm the mind.

Stretching exercise: Another method to dealing with work-related stress is by stretching throughout the day, which provides a sense of relief for busy workers. Make it a point to fit in a few stretches every day, before or after work. Even 10-15 minutes a day goes a long way. This will help your mind and body relax and divert your focus away from your hunger pangs.

Mindfulness: Another approach to turning stress inside-out, is mindfulness-based stress reduction. This technique teaches individuals to gain perspective and become more accepting of thoughts. Find a comfortable seated position, (either on the floor or in a chair), then close your eyes and become aware of your breath, paying attention to it for a few minutes, as it enters and leaves your body.

Learning to watch one’s own thoughts, rather than reacting to them, provides a whole new level of freedom.