Lent is approaching fast and will start on the 26th of February. Lots of people don’t take part in lent whilst at the same time many do. It’s a nice time to try and ‘better yourself’ by abstaining from something that you’d normally do. It doesn’t need to even be something you eat, it can be a bad habit or even related to how you act. It also helps that at the same time, people around you are also trying to give something up which usually increases your own resolve to get through the 40 days of lent.

Ideas For What To Give Up For Lent

The first thing that comes into mind is some sort of food, but there are lots of different things you can give up:

  • Food
    • Sweets and chocolate
    • Fast food
    • Alcohol
    • Sodas and diet sodas
    • Coffee
  • Behaviour related
    • Negativity (or a generally negative attitude)
    • Gossip
    • Any sort of addictions e.g. smoking, video games
    • Snacking
    • Staying up too late
    • Binge-watching
    • Using social media too frequently
    • Bad habits e.g. nail biting, being late to meetings
    • Buying unnecessary items

It’s up to you to determine whether you think that giving up something for lent will be beneficial towards your development as a person or whether you think it will have little to no benefit at all. Some people will consider some the items mentioned above as things they could remove to better themselves, whilst others will see some items as non-removable or will perhaps see nothing wrong or nothing to be gained by using social media less.

Athletes across a range of sports may choose to try and remove food items such as fast food from their diet in hopes of improving their recovery between bouts of training and health in order to improve their performance during training and competition.

The challenge of abstaining from doing something is not an easy one. If you choose to take part in Lent then I recommend trying to give something up which will benefit you. For me, I’m going to try and give up diet sodas for the 40 days since I’ve gotten into a habit of having about one a day. Whilst I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world, I certainly think I’d be better off without it.

Why Give Up Something For Lent?

Lent is considered a period of ‘fasting’ or abstinence and in Christianity, some people fast completely every Friday throughout the period of lent. It is said in the Bible that Jesus fasted for the whole 40 which is why Lent is a 40 day period of giving something up.

40 days is considered by many a long time to ‘give something’ up for. However, it’s also long enough that if you succeed you should be able to break any bad habits. It’s a time of year when you can try and improve yourself and your behaviours along with other people.

You could even give up something that you think will benefit the planet such as giving up foods wrapped in lots of plastic packaging. Another option would be to give up something more valuable. Time. And use it to help people in disadvantaged situations, such as by helping the homeless or helping out charities.

My Experience With Lent

In the past, I remember taking part in Lent (when I was about 13) and giving up chocolate because I felt conscious of the fact I was eating far too much of it. The first week certainly was a struggle, but after about 3 – 4 weeks I found that I no longer craved chocolate in the same way I used to. From then onwards to the end of the 40 day period it was a lot easier, so much in fact that I chose not to eat any chocolate Easter eggs. Now I consciously choose when to have chocolate without feeling like it has any control over me.


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