Think of Lent as the new New Year’s. Instead of making one resolution for an entire year, you only have to stick to a plan for an entire 40 days — the time signifying some of the Christian church’s most holy days. Of course, many non-religious folks, lapsed Catholics and celebrities alike choose to forget about the whole faith-based part of Lent and instead stick to the idea of giving something up simply for the challenge. Whether you’re a follower of Jesus or Oprah, here’s a list of things to give up for the next six weeks between now and Easter.
8. Your phone
I don’t mean chuck it out the window right now, I mean make a conscious effort to be present in the moment and not always checking your phone for updates about nothing. When sitting with someone during dinner, look into their eyeballs and ask them questions. Instead of scrolling through Facebook before going to bed, try reading a book. Novel, I know.
7. Casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday …
In today’s culture people wear pajamas to the grocery store and yoga pants to funerals. Rather than playing it casual on the daily, choose to put on a dress or tie and do something different with your hair. Focus on presenting your best self to the world. You’re going to feel better.
6. Netflix and chill
This one is a two-parter, looking at both connotations of this term. First, yes, “Netflix and chill”, in the way the kids use it, refers to a booty call. “Hey girl, you lookin’ to Netflix and chill?” a text might read. And to this potential suitor, the answer, right now, should be "I thank you, dear sir, for the kind offer, but I've given that up for Lent." On the literal side of the term: instead of just putting on Netflix at the end of the night and chilling, try to fill your time with something more meaningful... like reading (the public library is amazing
, I hear) or actually talking to your significant other or just getting more sleep.
5. Negative words
No person is one thing. Stop labeling. Stop leaving mean comments in the comment section of Inlander
articles. Put the terrible rude language away and instead try to compliment others (and even yourself). Ask people how they're doing and stick around to find out the answer.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. No one can give up booze for 40 days. And if you agree with that last sentence that’s exactly why you need to give up the beer/wine/cider/liquor immediately.
3. One take-out meal a day
I’m not here to put anyone on a diet or tell you to cut out all the calories or carbs or gluten (whatever that is
). That’s often super difficult to maintain. But what if you made one more meal at home a day? That’s right, eat out less. Maybe cut out a coffee run. Making food and drinks at home can often be cheaper and more healthy.
2. 10 minutes of your day
Yes, give up 10 minutes to get away from the hectic stresses of life. Maybe that means going on a walk or praying and meditating. Perhaps write in your journal or practice yoga. It’s your time and your space. Do what you want, commune with nature.
1. Some of your money
Money can be challenging to part with
. But Lent (so early in the winter this year) is a wonderful time to focus on others. Thankfully, the Inlander
puts together a yearly Give Guide to help you select local non-profit charities worthy of your donations. Check it out.