40 Ideas for Lent
Lent was always an important time in Catholic Ireland and growing up here we were encouraged to make sacrifice during lent like give up sweets or sugar for the duration. But in later years I started to think about using the time to explore other options. So we’ve put a list together with 40 ideas for you to think about during lent. Whether you are religious or not why not give some of our tips a try?
But let’s start at the beginning. What is Lent? Well, Lent is a period of 40 days that leads up to Easter Sunday, where it is a time of reflection for Christians the world over. It is to symbolise the 40 days spent by Jesus in the desert and is normally marked by fasting and no meat on Fridays.
But did you know that there are actually 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday? The Sundays are not counted and in Ireland there are only 39 days in Lent because St. Patrick’s Day isn’t counted either! You have to hand it to the Waterford Monk Luke Wadding, he who is responsible for putting St. Patrick’s Day on the calendar. He knew that we needed a break during lent!
People often ask “What is Lent”? Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Lent is marked by fasting, both from food and festivities.
So what are we supposed to abstain from?
Fasting is done on Ash Wednesday: we abstain from meat and snacks during these fasting days in the Lenten season. There are certain things that you can eat/not eat during Lent. In fact, no meat on Friday is followed until Lent is finished. You also will try to refrain from what you gave up for Lent.
So here are a few ideas that you could do during lent
- Stop buying things you don’t need.
- Starting donating things to charity that you don’t need.
- Give up gossiping.
- Pick up some rubbish every day and recycle or dispose of it properly.
- Eat when you’re supposed to eat and cut out snacks.
- Give up sugary fizzy drinks.
- Give up sweets and snacks and chocolate.
- Give up alcohol.
- Get out and get more exercise.
- Use mindfulness to think about what you’re thankful for.
- Look for the good in things and try not to complain.
- Carry out one good deed every day.
- Find a way to get positively involved in your community.
- Try a new hobby. (Libraries are a great source of information for this subject).
- Put a smile on your face. You’ll be amazed at the reaction you’ll get.
- Help someone out whether it’s a neighbour, friend or even a stranger.
- If you are in a car park and you still have time left on your ticket then pass it onto someone who has just arrived.
- Try to leave your phone down as often as you can. (Except when you’re looking at Waterford In Your Pocket of course. We’re great! Lol)
- Try not to use the snooze button in the mornings.
- Eat more fruit and veg.
- Stop buying convenience food.
- If you use bad language try to give it up.
- We all look forward to the weekends so try to plan ahead and enjoy what’s on your doorstep.
- Visit somewhere you have never visited before. This is easier than you think and believe it or not it could be just out the road from where you live.
- Make sure you get enough sleep and don’t leave your phone beside you in bed.
- Use the stairs instead of lifts or escalators.
- Park at the far end of the car park.
- Say something nice each day to your work colleagues and friends.
- Take a picture of something you love everyday
- Try to listen more.
- If you are texting stop using abbreviations.
- Put your phone away when you are with friends.
- Stop being a keyboard warrior and giving out about everything on social media.
- Start looking at food labels and start buying locally produced food.
- Don’t buy anything online. If it’s not in your local shops then you probably don’t need it.
- Stop procrastinating. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- Cut down on the amount of sugar you use in your tea or coffee, in fact you could give up tea or coffee.
- Give up smoking or vaping.
- Stop leaving electrical devices on standby, like your TV.
- Amaze yourself at what you can achieve if you just give it some thought.
We’re not trying to say that you should give up all or any of these things but could you imagine how it would make you feel? The list is endless and these are just a few ideas for you to think about.