Make the Most of Lent

Often times, Lenten sacrifices tend to parallel New Year’s resolutions. At first, we are committed to our goal, but some of us eventually find ourselves first making excuses then giving up. This is why we should not approach Lent with the same mentality that we possess when going into a new year. Lent is 40 days, not 365. The 40 days of Lent reflect the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and praying. During Lent, we typically give up something we enjoy or add something meaningful to our lives to improve ourselves. To make the most of Lent, we must be active in our decision making, consciously choosing to avoid that which is harmful and to strive for what is good. Here are a few easy ways to make this Lent meaningful!

1. Cut back time spent on social media

This doesn’t mean you should go “Ron Swanson” and give up social media completely, but maybe try only checking your Instagram feed twice per day or leave some time in between responding to Snapchats.

2. Improve your health

You can do the classic and “give up sweets” for Lent, or you can go to the gym more, take an exercise class such as Zumba or yoga, or cut out (or cut back) on smoking and drinking alcohol. Mental health is equally important. Try doing some meditation or daily reflection to evaluate yourself and your choices.

3. Stop gossiping

Almost everyone is guilty of gossip. We know we shouldn’t talk bad about others and we hate the thought of others talking behind our back, but we continue to do it. This Lent, don’t start a conversation about someone else and if you are brought into a conversation involving gossip, refrain from commenting.

4. Care for others

During the season of Lent, it is easy to get wrapped up in self-improvement. This is not a terrible thing, as we should always strive to be better, but we should also try to improve the lives of those around us, whether they are friends or strangers. We can sacrifice some money and donate it to charity. We can sacrifice our time by volunteering. We can smile at a stranger, compliment a friend or say a prayer for someone. Always refer back to the phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” and remember, a good act is a good act, no matter how small!