If you think back to when you were a child, you will almost certainly remember giving things up for Lent – usually things such as chocolate and crisps. Now that you’re an adult, you might want to step up to the challenge again, but why just give up the same, boring old things that you usually give up?
If you’re looking for something better to choose – we bring you some great ideas about what you can give up for Lent that you might have never thought about before. With this being the case, you might find that you are able to make a very real difference to your life – which is always something to aim for!
Travel is one thing that impacts on our carbon footprint more than anything else, but it’s not just us – it’s the food that we eat, too. If you choose to eat things that has lots of “food miles”, then you are likely to be eating something that has been on a plane, a truck, a train, a van; all of that before it gets anywhere near your plate.
So, this Lent, why not try to eat only food with low air miles, that has been grown locally. Your best bet for doing this is to look at some of the smaller, local shops in your area, as they are more likely to source their produce from local farmers. If certain fruits and vegetables are in season, then supermarkets are likely to use food with low air miles, too, so it’s always worth checking.
Short car journeys
Modern life has made lots of us lazy in many different ways, and this is mainly due to the fact that everything is so much more convenient than it would have been in the past. We don’t have to walk anywhere if we don’t want to, including to another floor of our office building, or even across the room to change the channel on the television.
Although on the whole technological advances are a great thing, sometimes they can have negative effects, and in this case it is encouraging a rise in obesity. To combat lazy bones, why not give up using your car for short journeys, say, less than a mile. It won’t take too much time to walk, yet it will give you some exercise and help lower your carbon footprint, too. Not only this, but you are likely to save money on fuel, which will feel great in your pocket!
Recently, there has been a rise in the amount of health professionals linking meat to negative health effects. With a lot of us becoming more health conscious, more people than ever are trying to cut back on the amount of meat that they eat, or even give it up completely.
This can seem like quite an undertaking, so if you want to start slowly then Lent is a good place to begin. Thanks to the fact that it is only six weeks, it can seem like a reasonable challenge, and this means that you may not feel as though you’re missing out too much.
It is important that you replace the nutrients that you were getting from meat, though, as this could have a negative effect on your health. Meat alternatives such as tofu and Quorn are great, and things such as nuts, seeds and vegetables contain lots of vitamins and minerals that will make you feel great. When Lent is over, you may well feel as though you haven’t missed meat as much as you thought you would, and this could encourage you to make the change more of a long-term change.
We all know the risks – yet the habit it notoriously hard to quit. This Lent, why not try to cut down on the amount that you smoke, either by removing one or two cigarettes out of your daily routine, or by trying to replace them completely by using an e-cigarette. Replacing smoking with an e-cigarette is advised by the NHS as a key tactic in people stopping and has a proven success rate. The period of Lent is a good time to do this, as you will find that you get lots of support from your friends and family, which means that you are much more likely to succeed than you otherwise might have been!
Using your mobile phone in the bedroom
If you think that you have issues with your sleep, then you should look to your mobile phone habits as a form of explanation. The light from your mobile phone may be preventing you from falling asleep – and using it in bed makes the issue even worse. To help with this, during Lent, you should resolve to keep your phone out of the bedroom, and try not to use it for an hour before you go to sleep. Over time, you should notice a huge improvement in your sleeping patterns, and therefore your health in general.
So, now that you have some ideas, it’s entirely up to you which one you choose to opt for. One thing’s for sure – you will have a great challenge to get your teeth into this Lent, and you are certain to have a great sense of achievement by the end of it.
Matt Foster is a writer and fitness enthusiast currently living in London. Self-improvement and wellbeing are high on his agenda!