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Harnessing a Champion’s Mindset in COVID-19 Ramadan

Ramadan will certainly be different for most of us this year, with most of the world in a lockdown of some sort due to Covid-19.

During the background noise of endless news reports, we find ourselves entering one of the most treasured months on the Muslim calendar.

This Ramadan could not have come at a better time. We are anxious, weak, and exhausted by the uncertainty of the future. Our world doesn’t feel normal and we are not sure if we will ever get normal back.

Ramadan is about the renewal of faith and an overhaul of our spirituality. With the challenges that lie ahead our main resolve is to complete this Ramadan as strong as we begin the fast.

In order to do this, we need to change our mindset to that of a champion. Life coach Tara Massan says, “The mindset of a champion is flexible and strong. Champions harbor the ability to cope with setbacks and obstacles, but they also have the strong will to succeed and overcome any failures that come their way.”

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So even in these times, we need clarity surrounding our spiritual pursuits. And at the same time use our brain power in such a way that we can push through the whole month despite the challenges.

Let’s not just go in strong, but also come out of this Ramadan with a champion mindset. That will helps us to cope through the rest of the year.

Here are 6 ways to capture the champion mindset throughout Ramadan. These points cover the general areas of our life which include, the self, our family and the community.

1 – Believe in yourself

Allah is in control of all our affairs. We feel helpless because of everything that is happening. While we can’t control what is happening, we can control our thoughts.

Don’t get bogged down with what you have no control over. This still can be the best Ramadan despite the fact that we can’t go to the masjid for prayers, or see our family and friends in person. S

till set the bar high this Ramadan. The world and it’s people are aching. We need to do more for our immediate community and our Ummah. We tend to give ourselves too little credit, but it’s a law of energy: the more you do the more you can do. Just believe that you can and Allah will guide you through the rest. 

2 – Constantly renew your intention

Every action is judged by our intentions. Every Muslim should have a firm intention to do a certain amount of acts of worship during this month. Write your intentions down and have a quick read through daily.

Remember, small consistent good actions will get us where we need to be. Most of us will find that the first few days our willpower is strong, and we won’t need much of a reminder.

By the second week, we find the exhaustion slowly creeping in. We start to push things back till later in the day or maybe skip a few days. When you find this happening try to be more mindful of the intentions you have made.

Look at what you have written down, and remind yourself why you are doing this. Renewing your intentions mindfully, will help you to not feel hopeless but instead invigor a train of thought motivating you to complete what you have started. 

3 – Consideration for family members

This Ramadan you will be spending more time with your family members in your home more than ever before. To stay on track you need to be more considerate about the people that you live with.

This is fundamental to having a successful Ramadan. Learn about your family members instead of simply living with them. Read about your teenager’s love language and then use it to communicate effectively with them. Actively engage and check in with your spouse, how can you make their load lighter. Indulge the younger ones in your family.

Harmony in the home means that you can focus better on your goals and have a more joyful spirit without losing sight of the goalpost.

4 – Press your reset button

Have your self-reset button on speed dial and use it often. Our rest button is istighfar (seeking repentance). Our soul craves istighfar so practice it as often as you can. 

Ramadan is about building a relationship with Allah at a time when our souls feel weary and tired. We will make mistakes along the way and we will fall, so use this button as much as you can muster.

Remember that all is not lost if we do make a mistake, just move forward stronger. Champions don’t look back. They know that if you focus on your faults it will make you lose your resolve to move forward.

5 – Keep your community in mind

Even though we will not see much of our communities during the lockdown, don’t forget they still need you. Many organizations need volunteers to help with food banks or some may need donations so they can carry on with the essential work they are doing.

There are many people who are not only struggling with being alone during this time but also many people are anxious are about losing their jobs and paying their rent. If you can afford it, sponsor or feed a family in your neighborhood. Check-in constantly with friends and families. We become stronger together.

6 – Time is fluid 

We all get constantly overwhelmed with time. There is just never enough time to do what we need to do. Every single day is a race against the clock. We often hear, “I don’t have enough time to read my Qur’an or make extra ibadah.”

Even during this time with everyone at home, schedules tend to clash. We need to have a mindset shift and realize that everything that we are doing, including living through this pandemic is living in the service of Allah.

Say “Bismillah” before bed, remembering that we are rewarded even for our sleep, so make every moment of it count this Ramadan. Every task, whether it’s preparing food for our family or working so that you can feed your family can be a means of worship. Don’t focus on the time, but rather how you can use your time productively in the sense of it being ibadah. 

Fasting is about the self. It’s a spiritual act that we, for the most part, do on our own. 

There’s no doubt that our focus needs to be stronger than ever before. It will be hard this year during the COVID-19 pandemic not to fill our spiritual cup with the Ramadan spirit from our usually sources: attending community iftars or praying Tarawih Prayers.

Still, there is great benefit in worshiping Allah in seclusion. We need to use this time to build a connection to Allah.

A connection that will continue to thrive throughout the year. But there is more, this Ramadan we have the opportunity. An opportunity to focus on what we need to do in order to become champions at everything.

About Fatima Bheekoo-Shah
Fatima Bheekoo-Shah is the author of "Saffron" (A collection of personal narratives by Muslim women), a freelance writer and book reviewer. She resides in Gauteng, South Africa. A book nerd and avid reader, Fatima is always looking for her next great read.