15 things to give up for Lent: good ideas for Christian observance, how long it lasts and rules explained

Lent is a Christian observance where many Christians give something for 40 days

Lent is an annual tradition that begins every year on Ash Wednesday. In the Gregorian calendar, Lent generally falls between February and March and is 47 days before Easter.

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What is Lent?

Lent is a solemn celebration that lasts 40 days before Easter.

This season is observed by different Christian sects such as Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Lent marks the season when, according to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days in the Judean desert before beginning his public ministry during which he endured the temptation of satan.

For some Christian denominations, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday.

The purpose of Lent is believed to be to prepare the believer for Easter through prayer, mortification of the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, simple living, self-denial, and discipline.

What can you give up for Lent?

The overall purpose of Lent is not to give up something that doesn’t make sense, it is to delve deep within and attempt to eliminate a vice or practice that is hindering a relationship with God. .

The purpose of Lent is absolution, so many Christians use this time to let go of something they indulge too much in.

Some do-or-ditch ideas during Lent:

One of the most popular things that many people give up for Lent are foods such as sweets or junk food. It could help you start eating healthier and learn to manage any cravings, which will help you develop a deeper sense of self-discipline.

2. Listen to music in the car

Short trips to work or on the way to school could be the perfect time to reflect on yourself. Giving time to reflect on what you plan to do today or how your day went can lead to uninterrupted time to draw closer to God.

3. Unnecessary online shopping

Giving up shopping online can help build some self-discipline and give you insight into what you need materialistically. It’s only for 40 days, but you might see some of these habits seeping into your daily life.

Quitting alcohol can improve your sleep, skin, and mood, as well as your bank balance. Use this time to find different new and exciting drink recipes that don’t contain a drop of alcohol.

After a month without smoking, your lung functions begin to improve. Now may be the perfect time to learn self-discipline and dramatically improve your overall health. The first two weeks are the hardest but from there you will see your health slowly improving.

6. Donate time to charities

Giving money to charities is as easy as dropping change into a collection bucket. For some people, that’s all they can do. If you can, spend time with charities by actively participating in food runs or banks, or by donating desperately needed items like socks, and amp up the aspect of alms of Lent.

With all the meatless alternatives on the market, there is an option to try a healthier lifestyle and go vegetarian for 40 days. If that’s not an option, try reducing the amount of meat you eat during Lent.

Social media is a great communication tool, but if you find yourself scrolling through Instagram until 2 a.m., you can try the next 40 days to reduce the time you spend on social media and limit its use to the socialization and communication only.

Chocolate is a popular item to give up during Lent, but instead of giving it up altogether, try reducing the amount you eat first, which will help nullify any cravings.

Finding time for an active hobby will help you learn to take up something new and give you a reason (and motivation) to start something you’ve always wanted to try.

11. Take more time for reflection and meditation

Taking a few minutes each morning to reflect and meditate helps undo stress levels and gives you a chance to reconnect with yourself and those around you. As Lent is a religious observance, you can use this time in prayer and seek a stronger relationship with God.

Coffee can be addictive and overpriced, so giving it up (or reducing the amount you have) could be a great way to save money and kick a habit.

Use this time to expand your vocabulary and find more creative ways to express your feelings rather than the first expectation that comes to mind.

Gratitude helps us realize how badly what we want, we have, and by reflecting on how far we’ve come, we can take a moment to appreciate it. Gratitude can be something as simple as “It didn’t rain today” to “I got a promotion I worked hard for.” Giving gratitude to something small can help improve our mood and overall positivity.

15. Participate more in religious studies

Many non-religious people also observe Lent, and although it is a religious observance, learning more about your religion or others could help reflect your spiritual understanding. This Christian season is about repentance and developing a relationship with God, which can be achieved through reading as well as action.

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