1. Plan Your Holidays
Planning your holidays will help you to be prepared for the activities you intend to do. First, make a list of the things you want to do and then, organise them into weekly activities. Make sure you do not organise too many tiring activities within a short period of time. Keeping it to one or two activities per week should be manageable. Every morning, note what you have to do during the day. Remember to organise your activities around salah time. This way, you can pray on time and still be able to fit in your other activities for the day.
For example, if you decide to start scrapbooking, make sure you are fully prepared. Keep a note book where you can note down your ideas. Create a space for you to carry out your scrapbooking activities. Arrange your materials in an accessible and a tidy way. This will save you the chore of looking for your materials as well as saving you time when you need to put them away. Creating a nice space will also motivate and inspire you to do creative things.
2. Organise Activities with the Family
Holidays are the time to maximise family time. It is a good time for organising games and outings.
Try going to places that would please everybody. Consider the age and health of your family members. If you are travelling abroad, plan your stay in advance. Learn about the country, climate, availability of halal food, mosques and methods of transport. Get a map and find out about the places you can visit. Plan your trips so you can make day trips to nearby places. It might be less tiring to alternate long and short trips. Before deciding on anything, discuss with your family and make sure everyone is comfortable with the itinerary.
You can play games or do other activities that will interest everybody and that everybody can participate in. You can also learn new things with your family. Look for common interests and learn together with your family. You can use this opportunity to try to learn about your family and even your extended family. For example, involve the elders by asking them about your ancestry and involve your younger siblings by asking them to help you make a family tree. You can also connect with members of the family whom you have never met.
Other simpler ways to strengthen ties between generations would be to learn family traditions from your elders. You can, for example, learn family recipes from your parents and grandparents.
3. Helping with the Household Chores
Holidays do not apply to household chores. On the contrary, there might be more. You can help your mother with the chores around the house. She will love having your help. But do not let the chores ruin your holidays. Instead, turn them into fun activities in which the whole family can take part. Include your siblings in daily cooking and cleaning, allowing them to see that even work can be fun when everybody helps. This would speed up the work, reduce tiredness and even allow you some quality family time.
4. Do not Abandon Good Habits
During the holidays, there is a general tendency to be less disciplined and to succumb to bad habits. This can have a negative effect on your holidays. If you want to enjoy your holidays, you need to be fit. Eating well and sleeping well are very important. Avoid going to bed too late. Instead, sleep right after Isha’ salah so you can wake up early the next morning and maximise the day. That way, you can carry out your activities well and without tiredness.
Another common mistake is that we spend too much time in front of the television or on the computer. Allocate some time for these activities and make sure you stick to your plan.
5. Reconnect with Allah
Holidays offer us more time to reconnect with our deen and increase good deeds, bringing us closer to Allah . Give more time to your deen at both a community and at an individual level. Help out more at your local masjid and other Islamic organisations. You can plan at least one Islamic activity with your family, such as cooking food for the poor. When you are on your own, make more duas, memorise new surahs and recite more of the Qur’an. Make yourself stronger before the holidays are over. This will also help you to resist the temptation of participating in haram activities, which are so prevalent during holidays.
6. Find Some Time to be Alone
Practising solitude can be very beneficial. You will have time to think about things that pertain to only you. If there are any changes you want to make to your life and self, holidays are the time to start them. Holidays could be the time to get your routine back on track. For example, those who have hectic routines can benefit by signing up for time management or stress management courses.
You could also look for a part-time job to make some pocket money. An internship or apprenticeship could earn you some work experience as you will gain a better understanding of the industry you wish to pursue.
Think about some things you would like to do that would bring some personal satisfaction to you. Be creative, develop your abilities, discover new skills and explore them. Take up a new hobby or restart an old one. Continuing it after the holidays will make your routine less boring and add more colour to your life.
We hope these tips can inspire you to use your holiday time wisely and productively. If you have any other tips or thoughts let us know in the comments below!
About the Author:
Loubna, Nushrat and Hanna are sisters and students at different levels. Since they face the same challenges in the course of their studies, they believe Muslim students around the world might be in the same situation. Thus, they want to share some of the things that have helped them.