One of our Heads of Social Media, Lou Goswell, gives you a few ideas on what to do over this Lent – started already? Great! Still need some inspo or you’re unsure what it’s about? Read on…
Shrove Tuesday (or for many PANCAKE-DAY!) this year fell on the 5thMarch, and for many it is a day of fabulous indulgence. It is a day where important questions circulate: lemon and sugar?; chocolate?; maple syrup?
But this article is not to advise on your pancake toppings, as I am sure you are all well practised enough to choose your own (mines lemon and sugar, always!). Instead, I want to talk a little bit about those six weeks (approximately) of Lent that follow Shrove Tuesday, on the lead up to Easter Sunday.
So, what is Lent?
Lent is the forty days that lead up to Easter in the Christian calendar. Christians believe that Jesus withdrew into the desert for 40 days and fasted. It is a time, then, for Christians to follow in his footsteps and make sacrifices.
It is a wonderful time for everyone regardless of religious beliefs to challenge themselves and push themselves to be the best version they can be. You may have been trying to give up a bad habit for a long time now – Lent is a perfect time to push yourself to do so.
Growing up as a Christian, I have always considered this time of year a really good opportunity to challenge myself. It has been a real test on my endurance in the past few years, when I have given up tea and coffee, and one year even chocolate digestives (shock, horror!).
But it is not just a time to give something up. It is also a time to try and do new and good things – sometimes things that might only take thirty seconds! I succeeded in my no-chocolate-digestives-Lent, but by Easter morning, I had devoured enough to make up for the last 40 days… kind of defeating the point. A successful Lent is when you get to the end of the 40 days, and you think you have made a really impressive difference – to yourself, or for others. Why not start something new, rather than giving something up?
Here are a few things that you could try to help you feel better about yourself, and to positively benefit everyone around you:
- Too much caffeine/chocolate/fat/sugar? How about cutting down, even by just a quarter.
- Take the things out of the trolley that you don’t really need in your weekly shop.
- Avoid plastic packaging whilst doing your weekly shop.
- Do more exercise.
- Do a good deed a day for your family/friends/a stranger.
- Pick up litter once a week.
- Give a compliment to a different person every day.
- Try to turn any negatives that come your way into positives.
- Set realistic and achievable goals to complete throughout Spring.
- Have a purge, giving what you don’t need to charity.
- Get out of bed earlier.
- Volunteer for a charity.
- Go outside among nature more.
- Visit a friend/family member.
- Drink more water.
- Give money to charity.
- Smile at a stranger – you never know what people are going through.
- Cook more, stop eating out or ordering food in.
- Watch half an hour less TV and take that time for yourself to think.
- Finish a book a fortnight (or more if you have time!).
- Do what you enjoy, but normally don’t have time for.
- Try to be more grateful for what you have. Take time to reflect on everything you have in your life that makes you happy and be thankful to those who help you feel this way.
This Lent, I will be spending more time outside. Sometimes when there’s so much going on, I forget to take time out of my day to get fresh air and exercise. We have a really beautiful campus here at Loughborough; I will be trying my best to appreciate it more. I hope you choose to do Lent this year, regardless of your religious beliefs, because, really, it is a fantastic time to challenge yourself, but also to take a step back from our crazy manic lives and to take a breather.
Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna