Unconventional ideas for fasting during Lent

Monday, March 18, 2019 - 10:30

The Lenten season is a 40-day period where many Christians abstain from things they love as a form of fasting. Doing this is understood to be a form of sacrifice that replicates Jesus Christ s withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. Although Lent itself is a time of religious observance for Christian believers, it s a great opportunity for anyone to give themselves a 40-day break from detrimental habits and do something that s better for our bodies and our environment alike. Typically, we tend to find the same things being given up every year, for example sweets, alcohol, meat and junk food. While there s nothing wrong with these fasts, there are many other things we can sacrifice that can be just as significant during this time. If you haven t figured out what you want to give up or a practice that you want to let go of for Lent, it s not too late! Here are some unconventional ideas that you may want to consider.

Go makeup free

This is a great sacrifice to make for women who feel like they must have a face beat done for every place that they go to. Admit it, sometimes you can t even head to the grocery store without filling in your brows and wearing some mascara. Yes, there are some days you only apply the bare minimum of BB cream, mascara, and lip gloss, but that doesn t mean that you have really been letting go of the face coverage and going makeup free . I get it, as humans we naturally find ourselves insecure about things in our physical appearances especially since social media is loaded with supposed perfect shots of women that seem to not have a single flaw. Truth is, even if you don t wear an insane amount of makeup, you can take a 40-day break to embrace your natural self during this period filled with prayer and reflection during Lent. God made us in His own image and likeness, so what better time to embrace our true image. No more concealing of who we truly are.

Log out of social media

By now we all know that social media is addictive. I m sure you find yourself switching between Instagram, Twitter and Facebook more times a day than you even realise. This may not even be a conscious act, but social media has formed an urge in us to stay connected all the time with what s happening, so connected to the digital world in fact, that we can actually become disconnected from reality. I know that putting down your phone is easier said than done but let s think of it as a digital detox. Consider deleting all your social media apps for the Lenten period and use this time to be more spiritual. Rather than continuously spending time looking at your phone, take time to see what s going on around you and be present in that moment and what God has placed around us.

Goodbye fancy gadgets

Although your gadgets may be deemed a necessity for school or work in today s society, sometimes our obsession with them can become detrimental. Lent is the time where we typically let go of those damaging things. While your fancy gadgets aren t as harmful to you as is drinking alcohol or smoking for instance, our constant need for them says a lot about how much we have allowed ourselves to become dependent on the little forms of technology. Technology has made doing so many things faster in a world that s becoming more time sensitive each day. For this reason, choosing to let go of your gadgets during the Lenten period is a great act to also help you to embrace living slowly again by disconnecting from them. Whether it be your iPad, apple watch or your mobile phone, you would probably find by choosing to let one or all of them go, even for a couple hours each day, is a good practice and allows you more time to spend in prayer.

Don t buy anything that you don t need!

Ask yourself, what are those things you often buy but realistically can do without? This reflection might generate a longer list than you expected which shows how much of a consumerist society we live in. If you can live without it, there s a high chance that you don t actually need it. Giving up unnecessary shopping during the Lenten period is a good sacrifice to make not only for yourself but in a way that can help others. Put the money that you would have spent into a savings or use it for charity. Not only does this help you to curb poor spending habits but it encourages creative ways to reuse what you already have and enforces some sustainable habits in your life.

Give away 40 things for 40 days

In addition to fasting from the unnecessary shopping, Lent is a great time to do some decluttering. A great way to use the Lenten season is to cleanse your household of unwanted or inessential items that you have been holding on to. If you know that you really never use that bread maker machine or you those blankets that you bought years ago but have never used, you can simply donate these items to a less fortunate family or charity that would find better use for it. Make it memorable and consider adding a handwritten note sharing a piece of scripture, that way you re giving of yourself spiritually as well. This is a perfect act especially if you find yourself to be someone that s constantly feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the mess in your home because you have too much stuff.

Gossip no more!

What better time is there to fight the urge to gossip than during the Lenten season? I m not saying gossiping is ever a healthy practice, but I also know some of us ladies just can t seem to help ourselves. Instead of trying to focus on the faults of others, this is a period to focus on your own faults and sins. The bible tells us that it s easy to notice the splinter in your brother s eye  but do you take time to notice what s in yours? Our mothers have said to us many times if you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all and that s as straightforward as it can get. Rather than tearing down one another, try to speak in a positive uplifting way. You don t need to keep abreast of the latest celebrity news because this too just fuels your desire to know about the personal affairs of others and speak about it. The internet is loaded with news about everyone s business so if you think you need to give gossiping a break for Lent then you can pair it up with logging off of social media too. Use this period to focus on correcting yourself and being concerned with your own affairs paired up with reflection on how to be a better human being.