Why and What to give up for Lent?
“Lent” is a period of 40 days before Easter. It always starts the day after Pancakes Day (“Shrove Tuesday”) and finishes on Easter Sunday. Of course, if you wish to be pedantic and count the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, you will actually get to 46. But remember that Sundays are ‘discounted’ so it’s ok.
In the Anglo-Saxon countries, from England to America, via Australia and Canada, we like to give up a particular vice, like eating chocolate or McDonald’s ice-cream, for Lent. Some people even give up meat or fizzy drinks. Others prefer to help someone instead.
So please read on for a mix of interesting ideas around what you can give up for Lent. We have included some traditional ones and spiced those up with our own, more original and off-the-wall, ideas. By all means, we hope you find these inspirational and pick at least one that will truly help you better yourself! Please let us know what you think by commenting below or get in touch with us directly.
And of course enjoy the numerous coffee-time conversations that this article will inspire in your colleagues!
1. Give up the Restaurants
For a start, stop eating out for 40 days and see how much you can save. But also imagine how much waste you can avoid. And of course that should include restaurants and takeaways too, you cheeky monkey!
2. Pay a Compliment a Day
Pay someone a compliment, praise someone or simply say something nice. And it doesn’t have to be strangers or colleagues only. In fact, you must always start with your own family. “Didn’t you brush your teeth superman-fast this morning darling!” … You will feel like a much nicer person immediately – guaranteed!
Then try varying the people you compliment each day and observe how different people react to praise. Do it just for fun.
Last but not least, why not give up the criticism altogether? Whenever you feel like making a negative comment about someone, complaining about something or being critical in general, make an effort and stop yourself. I guarantee you will be surprised how difficult this step is!
Every day, we are faced with so many temptations. Chocolate, ice-cream, new movie subscription, new shoes, new phones… For Lent next year, give up buying the food, clothes and gadgets you don’t need. If there is something you want, but don’t need – don’t buy it. Instead, look at the price and put the money you would have spent, into a jar. From experience, clothes are the easier ones to stop. But try doing it with food… Good luck!
At Easter, count how much you have saved in just 40 days. And if that is not satisfying enough for you, try putting half of the amount in your savings account. And then donate the other half to the poor!
4. Give Up Sugar
Apparently, sugar causes more deaths each year than car accidents. That’s a good enough argument for me to cut down my processed sugar intake in general and give it up altogether for Lent. A word of warning though – it won’t be easy and you are likely to have mad cravings for sweet things for at least 10 days. It does get easier as days go by, promise! And remember, there is always a spoon of honey or some dried figs to keep you going and get you through the day.
And what about giving up late night snacking? So many of us feast on chocolate, ice-cream or even cheese in the evenings in front of telly. Instead, try treating yourself to a light dessert at the end of dinner. And then stick to cups of herbal tea only. It’s actually more difficult than it sounds… Easier said than done.
5. Declutter And Throw Away One Thing A Day
Pick one thing every day of Lent to throw away or, even better, give away! And you will be amazed how good it feels to give – while also decluttering your home! As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t used something for a year, you are probably ready to part with it.
6. Exercice Instead Of Watching A Screen
Try complementing at first. For example, for every minute of Netflix you plan to watch, do that many minutes of working out first. Jogging, stretching, dancing – they all do the trick! Any type of exercise is good enough really, as long as it gets you away from the screen. Then observe how your addiction to the screens eases off as Lent goes by. Who knows, perhaps some time around Easter you will be capable of substituting screen time with exercise, and not just complementing.
7. Give Up Buying Plastic Bottles
Here at EXSELLme we are committed to making changes to help the planet. From boiling the kettle only once in the morning then using flasks to keep tea warm for our team and students throughout the day and encouraging the use of public transport, to avoiding ready-made meals for staff and minimising the number of our car journeys per day. And we are even going as far as declaring our new floating office on the Rhein in Strasbourg “plastic-free”. For 40 days only, or longer if you wish, work with us to help the planet: stop buying plastic bottles. Give up buying plastic for Lent.
If you liked this article please check out some of our other articles :
- Dealing With Post-Confinement Era
- 5 things to do in London with your Plus One
- TOP 10 Series to Watch to Improve Your English
For additional sources of inspiration and ideas on how to develop your level of English this summer in a way that is also enjoyable and not purely academic, simply dial in – wherever you are in the world! And I will be happy to chat and advise you on the best way for you to perfect your English.
Please note that while we run English classes for professionals in London and in France, you don’t need to sign up for a whole week in London with us to benefit from our personalised advice. In fact, Online Sessions by the hour are now available for booking directly on our website, our Facebook page, and Instagram.
Of course, our regular individual English sessions are still running throughout the year and we are happy to combine face-to-face meetings with virtual online sessions. In view of travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also introduced the Weekend Language Stays in Alsace in France. So call to discuss!