As most Christians are probably aware, Ash Wednesday is today, marking the beginning of the Lenten Season.  

During the 40 days of Lent, Christians are called to fast and “give something up” to unite themselves with Christ and his suffering, remembering his 40 days spent in the desert. For the Catholic Church, Lent is also a time in which Catholics are called to remember their baptism, and new members of the Church are going through initiation, or RCIAaccording to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

Learn more from USCCB about the season of Lent and how Christians are called to participate in it (here). 

Often times Christians give up tangible things such as sweets, junk food, caffeine, or television. While these things are definitely challenging to give up, they might seem a little too predictable, run-of-the-mill, “same ole, same ole” for long-time Christians. If you’re looking for a change this Lenten season and want to abstain from something a little bit more compelling than dessert, look no further.  

What to Give up for Lent: 

  1. 30 minutes of sleep (use this time for prayer, reflection, working out, etc.) 
  2. Mindless social media (instead of sitting there scrolling mindlessly, take a different approach instead; read #8 here
  3. The elevator (take the stairs!) 
  4. Complaining/being negative  
  5. Gossiping 
  6. Buying things you don’t need (be a minimalist this Lent) 
  7. Eating after dinner 
  8. Hot showers 
  9. Sleeping with a pillow 
  10. Cracking your knuckles 
  11. Eating out 
  12. Saying the word “like” (or a phrase you frequently say) 
  13. Listening to music in the car 
  14. Cussing 
  15. Wearing makeup/hair product 

Hopefully this list helps, but if you’re still searching for something that resonates with you, there are plenty more ideas (102 to be exact) available here. 

Whenever you get tempted to break your Lenten promise (we’ve all been there), remember this quote from Ven. Fulton Sheen. 

“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

Let us know what you’re giving up for Lent (or debating between) in the comments below!