What is Lent?
Around the world, groups of Christians celebrate Lent in the 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up Easter. In total, the religious event lasts 46 days, and it begins on Ash Wednesday. On this day, Christians swarm to the church to receive ashes that symbolize the death of Jesus and the penitence felt as a result.
During Lent, there are certain traditions a majority of groups follow. First of all, Christians fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday to honor and to replicate the sacrifices made by Jesus. Besides this, people abstain from eating meat on Fridays in Lent, which is one reason many establishments and churches have Fish Dinner Events during the Lenten time period. This is also a time period to embrace the Bible and daily prayer.
One of the main and most popular things Christians do during this season is give up something in honor of Jesus's sacrifice. This item or items are often more personal and are typically used each day as a luxury. This item is typically given up until Easter!
Holy Week transpires during the last week of Lent before Easter. It begins with Palm Sunday which signifies Jesus's entrance into Jerusalem. Palm crosses are usually distributed during mass on that day. Then, later in the week, Christians attend mass for Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday. On Easter, Christians joyfully celebrate Jesus's Resurrection that transpired three days after his death.
Continue reading below to learn about potential items to give up during Lent this year!
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Now that you know more about Lent, here is a list of potential items you can give up during the Lenten Season!
1. Candy or Sweets
Give up chocolates, candies, or sugary treats that you have a tendency to eat.
You could either give up coffee altogether or the act of buying coffee at a coffee shop!
Instead of drinking soda, try to drink more healthy beverages.
4. Ice Cream
If you are an ice cream lover, try to give it up for the Lenten season.
5. Snacks Between Meals
Instead of munching on snacks in between meals, try to only eat three main courses a day.
6. Dining Out
Give up fast food, take out, and dining in at restaurants.
7. Certain Phone Apps, Social Media Apps, or Websites
If you've been spending an excessive amount of time online, try to give up your phone or certain applications within it.
Resist the urge to talk about others behind their backs. Use this time to focus on yourself.
9. Gambling (Lottery Tickets)
Save your money, and quit gambling.
Cut back on the alcohol during this time.
11. Television (or Your Favorite Show)
You could give up television all together or give up a singular show. If you wanted, you could also give up television after a certain time in the day.
12. Online Shopping
If you spend too much time shopping online, use this time to cut back.
13. Hot Showers
Instead of using warm water, only use cold water.
14. Car Radio
Instead of jamming out to music in your car, give up your car radio for trips.
15. The Mirror
Although it may be hard to avoid all mirrors, try to cut back on your time in front of them. If you spend too much time focusing on your appearance, this is the perfect time to distance yourself from self-absorbed and critical thoughts.
If you have a habit of purchasing magazines, give them up for Lent.
17. Control of the Remote
Let your friends, family, or roommates choose the shows and movies.
18. Instagram Filters
Instead of using filters on all your photos, keep them natural.
If you tan often, why not give that up for Lent?
Stop wearing makeup. If you tend to wear makeup everyday, give it up so you can better appreciate it down the road.
If you have a tendency to eat pizza, give it up for a few weeks.
Only eat gluten-free foods.
23. Energy Drinks
Cut back on energy drinks during the Lenten season.
24. Snoozing Your Alarm
Get up as soon as your alarm goes off!
25. Leaving the Lights On
Make a pact to turn off lights you are using.
26. Complaining and Negativity
Try to cut back on negative thinking this season. If you have difficulty with this task, put a rubber band around your risk. Flick it when you mess up. This will train you to think more positively.
Use this as an opportunity to cut back on your meat intake. Instead, try to use meat substitutes.
28. A Certain Amount of Sleep
Give up a certain amount of sleep per night. Set your alarm clock slightly earlier each day. With your extra time, you could pray more.
Try to swear less during the Lent!
30. Bottled Water
Instead of using bottled water, use a refillable water bottle! Save the planet with less plastic waste.
If you tend to use headphones and block out the world, make your Lenten sacrifice be your headphones.
Make a goal to not take any selfies during the Lent season.
33. Fried Food
If you have a habit of eating fried food, sacrifice this interest for a while.
34. The Elevator
Instead of using the elevator, try to walk up and down the stairs throughout the day!
If you eat bread often, give it up during the season.
36. Your Bed
Instead of sleeping in your bed, use an air mattress, sleeping bag, or couch to sleep in.
37. Your Car
Instead of traveling by car, use public transportation, walking, or biking to get around.
38. Your Pillow
Giving up your pillow may change up your sleeping pattern, but it would also teach you to appreciate the little things.
Try to limit your procrastination for work, projects, and housework during the Lenten season.
40. Gaming Systems
Set down the PlayStation or Xbox systems for a while!
41. Parking Spots Near Stores
Instead of getting the front-row parking spot at stores, take spots farther back.
You don't always have to give up something for Lent. You can also decide to dedicate more of your time to a certain activity.
42. Pray More
Engage in prayer more often throughout the day. You could even set up specific times throughout the day to pray.
43. Read the Bible More
You could even start a Bible study to better understand the depth of the verses.
44. Exercise More
Set a goal to improve your physical wellness as well as your spiritual wellness.
45. Listen to Christian Music More
Instead of listening to traditional pop or rock music, turn on the Christian music more and worship the Lord through song.
46. Read More Books to Lead You to Jesus
There are an assortment of books rooted in Christian ideals and miracles. Pick up a few, and read them all!
47. Volunteer More
Try to volunteer more in the community.
48. Donate "40" of Something (Articles of Clothing, Books, Food Items)
Donate 40 items to a worthy cause in honor of the 40 days of Lent (excluding Sundays).
49. Complete Random Acts of Kindness Each Day
Write a list of random acts of kindness. Each day, pick a different activity to perform. Slowly you'll be making the world a better place.
50. Listen More
In today's society, we often listen to respond instead of listening to understand. Before you open your mouth, try to listen to what is being spoken to you more. It can change your perceptions on the world.
51. Eat the Same Meal Every Day
Although it may get slightly repetitive, try to eat the same (nutritiously fulfilling) meal or meals every day.
52. Write a Thank You Letter for a New Person Each Day
People touch our lives throughout our childhood and into adulthood; however, some people are never told how big of an impact they have truly made. Write a heartfelt letter to these people in your life who you think need some appreciation. It could just make their day.