Not many things in life are black and white, but when it comes to Ramadan there are a few things which are clear: making sure you eat properly and rest properly during the long days of fasting to be able to get through the day and have some energy left for prayers.
Some people learn the hard way though. I have always taken the position that you are meant to carry on almost as normal in Ramadan with work and housework. This has been okay in past years when I was younger and the days of fasting were shorter. This time round though, we are fasting around 19 hours a day and losing a lot of sleep.
I managed to get to the third day, before I finally had to accept that your normal non-Ramadan routines were not going to work. I had to make a trip into town which exhausted me and I spent part of the day in the kitchen standing for hours making batches of chicken pasties to freeze and ended up with a painful back and legs. By the end of the idea I had a nasty headache and nausea and just spent the evening curled up trying not to throw up. It took until midnight for it to ease up enough for me to keep something down.
I promised myself I am not going to overdo it again. The pain was a big enough lesson. Ramadan deserves its own routine – less time in the kitchen, simple food, more rest, shorter work day where possible, naps after work, sleeping in on non-work days as long as you need to and napping in the afternoon.
I’m still tired and my back is still sore, but I am getting through the day. I'm a little piqued by how much less I can do – the piles of laundry, the sink full of dishes that get left for the morning, the million and one ideas for projects that I have to leave for now, the to-do list, Eid preparations, but piqued is still better than in pain and completely unable to function.