Nothing enriches a summer more than Ramadan, but with it, three weeks of summer have already sped by. Hopefully, many of us feel we have put our time to good use by making bonds, attending the masjid and gaining spiritual strength. With less than 8 weeks at hand, you may be wondering how to make the most of the remaining time, especially if you are not traveling abroad. Here are some ideas that may stimulate personal development, as well as fun for you, your friends, and family.
1. Rewire your brain ELearning has grown in popularity and has become incredibly common . While most students are familiar with Khan Academy, there are several other options available to cover almost every subject, from pet grooming to quantum physics. However, along the lines of personal development, there is Neuroplasticity (rewiring your brain). Imagine entering the new school year with a brain that is trained to manage stress and side step distractions naturally, all while having the calm and focus of a fighter pilot. A few mindfulness drills can take you to a new level of intelligence and inner peace. One possible course is provided here- https://www.udemy.com/share/10004s/
2. Learn Yoga
Contrary to popular belief, yoga can actually be a fun and engaging experience, especially if you try it with a group of friends. There are numerous free yoga classes offered all over Atlanta that are just a click away, such as-
https://tinyurl.com/y8tbb8gw. As yoga can be an experience for all ages, if you cannot drive, encourage your parents and other family members to join you :-) Learning yoga is a gift of a lifetime.
3. Staycation-Vacations Yes, you can stay in Atlanta and still go out on a vacation! Did you know Atlanta is one of the biggest tourist hubs of the South? The North Georgia Mountains offer a whole different world just a short distance from home. There are also a variety of family activities to try out such as The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse (a personal favorite), escape rooms, and a visit to Ponce City Market. Check out this comprehensive guide- http://www.exploregeorgia.org/things-to-do/outdoors-nature
4. Take on Horseback Riding Whether it’s taking classes or simply partaking in the activity once, horseback riding is an experience with a wide range of benefits such as increased body awareness, quick thinking, core strength, and coordination. Horseback riding is also known to serve as a form of meditation as well as a confidence booster. If you're interested, check out this link to get a discount on the activity: https://www.groupon.com/local/atlanta/horse-riding
5. Experiment with Cooking Food Network can be fun to watch, but how many of those recipes have you actually tried? Though it may seem intimidating, cooking appetizers, main dishes, or desserts can be a whole lot simpler than people make it out to be. There are thousands of step-by-step tutorials on YouTube to get you started, as well as an infinite amount of websites with recipes for different tastes, such as https://www.simplyrecipes.com/ Encourage your friends or families to join you, and host potluck parties with different themes to encourage those around you to try different dishes and experiment for themselves.
6. Learn Photography (and have a photoshoot party) There was a time when learning photography was an expensive and time-consuming hobby, but now it seems that the film days have come and gone. Even phone photography beyond the simple selfie is a universe to be explored on its own. If you’re interested in making the most of your smartphone camera, try these simple tricks to improve your photo-taking abilities: https://iphonephotographyschool.com/mobile-photography-tips/ However, if you’d like to take it a step further, you can set up your own affordable, private photo studio by purchasing a DSLR camera as well as a backdrop and lighting kit which can be seen here: https://tinyurl.com/ycjeqnun
7. Be an Activist or a Volunteer Atlanta is a town with tons of soul-enriching, fun volunteering, and activism opportunities. One of the best ways to make new friends is to strive together for a common cause. If you like humanitarian work, try Hands on Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity or https://www.glitterofhope.org/ to help refugees in Clarkston. There are plenty of social and political volunteer opportunities available through CAIR GA, The Georgia Muslim Voter Project, and I-PAC Georgia. There is never a dull moment in your life when you are an activist :)
8. Learn to Code or Web Design We live on the Planet of the Apps, and it’s best we learn their language :-) Not all of us may end up being a programmer, but knowing basic coding, especially if you are a teenager, may prove to be a great investment of your time. It can enhance your career potential or simply become a wonderful hobby with seemingly limitless creative power. What App do you love most? How would you have designed it? Code Academy, Udemy or Lynda can be free to affordable learning resources.
9. Redecorate your room Sometimes we don’t have to look beyond our own walls to bring about positive change in our lives. Redecorating your room can mean anything, from adding string lights and fresh paint, to replacing your furniture and changing up the color scheme. Revamping your personal space can allow you to become more productive and boost creativity as well as foster inspiration. Check out this link for fresh ideas: https://freshome.com/small-bedroom-ideas/
10. Learn basic Quranic Arabic Try learning the meaning of our daily salah or the translation of simple surahs. You can easily enhance this experience by creating an Arabic learning circle with your friends and family. Encourage them and yourself to set a goal to learn the meaning of one longer surah- Imagine how wonderful it would feel, while listening to it in the Taraweeh next year, as you understand every word of it. https://quran.com/?local=en