Thriving

Things to Give Up for Lent and Beyond

Whether or not you celebrate Lent, the 40-day period is a good way of refocusing your goals you set at the beginning of the year. Consider it New Year part 2 – the remix. Did you slip a little bit on your dietary goals? Did you quit Dry January or Fit February a few days into the month? No matter, it’s not too late to start over! Here are some ideas on how to refocus

 

Social media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. While social media has its benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Go on a full #detox for a little while and see how your mood changes when you’re not scrolling endlessly.

Unhealthy food

Refined carbs, sugar, salt-laden chips. All of these things are delicious, but none of them are good for you. Cardiovascular disease is nothing to sneeze at, and increased consumption of these foods can put you at higher risk for it. If your diet needs an overhaul, why not try it right now?

Snoozing your alarm

I’m very guilty of this one, so I’m giving this up for Lent. It is a scientific fact that every bed is most comfortable right before the alarm goes off. There is no benefit to snoozing other than feeling like you’re getting more sleep. Just get up and get on with your day, instead of rushing your morning routine for 10 minutes of mediocre half-sleep.

Relaxers

Have you been pondering going natural lately, but just didn’t get around to it? Nix the chemicals for Lent and never return, and embrace your budding afro.

Buying stuff you don’t need

Impulse buying and the fear of missing out has been a marketing tactic for ages, and now with same day shipping, it’s easier than ever to scratch that shopping itch. Save your coins this Lent by leaving your credit card somewhere hard to reach, and keep a running tally of the money you didn’t spend!

Meat and dairy

If you’ve thought about going vegan, Lent is a good time to dip your toe into this healthy lifestyle. Flavorful vegan recipes are easy to find, and more and more restaurants have a dedicated full-fledged menu if you’re having a meal out.

 

Smoking

You don’t need me to tell you the horrors and ills that come with smoking. The nicotine is addictive and it is a tough habit to quit. There are many aids to assist with kicking the habit for good, and now is as good a time as any to try.

Caffeine

Most people I know say they can’t survive without coffee (or tea). Caffeine is pretty addictive too, and can come with a whole host of unpleasantries like restlessness and irritability if consumed in large quantities. Switch to decaf or uncaffeinated teas like chamomile or green tea and see how you get on without the stimulant in your day.

Your car

 

If you live in an area with decent public transport links, why not try them out for a few weeks? Walking is a great way to get into a fitness regimen and best of all, it’s free! If giving up your car is out the question, spend this period parking as far away from your destination as safely possible, and get some extra steps in that way.

Rap music

Sure, some songs might have a good beat and a catchy hook. But most rap and hip hop lyrics are definitely doing you no favors. Give up the entire genre (hopefully beyond Lent) and watch how your outlook improves.

Eating out

 

In our busy lives of commuting and working and existing, it can get hard to prepare a home-cooked meal. Use this time to try your hand at meal prepping or even try a healthy meal-subscription service to help you get on your way.

Gossiping

 

Spilling and sipping the tea is usually only ‘fun’ when you’re not the topic of discussion. Separate yourself from these potentially toxic dialogs in all areas of your life, and continue avoiding drama after the season’s over.

Alcohol

 

Booze isn’t cheap, and most of it is bad for you. Give your liver a break for this period by giving up all alcoholic beverages. After all, mocktails are freakin’ delicious.

Soda

 

The sugar, the carbonation, the lack of thirst quenching no matter how much you drink – soda is terrible, y’all. Abandon the bubbly beverage in lieu of drinking more water, or fresh juices or smoothies if you need something sweet to tide you over.

Arriving late

 

It’s a real shame that “black people/colored people time” is a thing. Obviously sometimes getting to our destination a little after we planned is out of our control. Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier (or just don’t snooze it like I do!) and actively try to get where you need to be at least 5 minutes before you’re expected.

 

These are only a handful of things you can give up this Lenten season. If your dietary, beauty and health habits are in pretty good shape, well done! I’m proud of you! Instead of giving something up, add something to your daily routine, like more positive self-talk, spreading joy to the people around you, or focused meditation.

 

What will you be giving up (or adding on) for Lent? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

 

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