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I would not describe myself as a fully practising Muslim. For example, I do not pray five times a day and I do not cover my head. My husband, on the other hand, is a revert (a convert to Islam) and practices more than I do. He will often stay awake and pray. He explored various religions as he felt he needed direction in his life. Islam was the path he chose. I would like to become more practising and am currently using the excuse of "I don't have the time". I am working on it.

However, like many Muslims around the world, I do observe the month of Ramadan. For me it is an opportunity to take stock of what life has given me and what other people do not have. It really shows me how lucky and blessed I am. I know it sounds clichéd but it does help me appreciate that I have no shortage of food or water unlike millions of people. It is very much a humbling time. It encourages me to slow down and be more mindful, which is not difficult as you certainly feel more tired during Ramadan. In that spirit, we usually make an additional donation to charity during Ramadan. The two of us do have separate charities we donate to all year round.

A typical day during Ramadan would involve my husband and I waking up a little before sunrise to have some food. I never really feel like a full meal that time of morning especially as it makes it hard to get back to sleep. 

This year the fasts have run from around 4am to around 8pm. Each day they get a little longer. My husband has recently returned to work having been unable to work for most of lockdown owing to the nature of his job. As part of a phased return he is now doing reduced hours. This is great for me as it means he is home at a reasonable time and we can break fast together. He does most of the cooking and it is lovely to see because he enjoys making food even more when he has been fasting. Just for the record, I do all the tidying and washing up! Sitting down to eat when you have been fasting all day is a glorious feeling. It is important to eat a normal sized meal and resist the temptation to eat too much. I do feel a little hungry when I am fasting but not being able to drink is definitely the hardest part. It can be tiring to fast especially when it is hot. You do have to be careful and make sure you go for walks, get plenty of air and take breaks from the screens because being tired can lead you to be less alert. 

This year was the second Ramadan in lockdown, although restrictions were eased just in time which was a relief. Some of my colleagues are joining the final fast day out of solidarity and to raise awareness and understanding. I look forward to hearing how they have got on and what they take from it. Subject to medical advice and your circumstances, I would recommend fasting even for a day - it is an amazing experience.