Helping you get through tough times

Giving stuff up and taking stuff up for Lent

Well it’s Pancake Tuesday, so you know that means? Apart from mandatory pancakes. Lent starts tomorrow.

Gingerbread people by Nikki PaulieEven if you’re not Catholic, Lent has a strong place in the Irish psyche. It comes around every year, but why not try something different this year?

When we think of Lent, the first thing that springs to mind is giving up stuff, maybe what we try to give up every year.

Goal setting

If your New Year’s resolutions are a wistful memory maybe Lent can be the time to revive them.

Along with abstinance, Lent can even be a time to set some new goals, hopefully boosting your mental health and self-esteem in the process.

Aim for healthy

Eating healthily is of course one of the most common promises you’ll hear someone make during Lent. Giving up your favourite (and sometimes tastiest!) food can be tough to handle, but the outcome could be positive for both your body and mind.

Starting out, many different sites can offer you ideas for healthy food options making it hard to choose the one for you. Try out Safe Food’s healthy eating recipes to start you off in the right direction.

Start small

If you’ve tried giving up certain things before, you might already be aware that it can be a struggle. Remember, starting small can be a large step towards getting rid of a certain food or even a bad habit.

In my own experience, just replacing my regular glass of coke with water at dinner, can have a big impact. It’s been almost a year on and I haven’t gone back.

Saving money

Finding yourself low on money can be daunting, even going as far as causing stress. You can find new and interesting ways to save small amounts of money during Lent that can go a long way.

Giving up just one small item you buy everyday, for example, can save you a little money. It’s about being organised too, but can make all the difference and help alleviate stress. Try not getting take away coffees, making sure you make your own lunch, walking or riding your bike rather than driving or taking the bus.

Start something new

You don’t exactly have to give up something you can’t help part with. If you’ve always wanted to start something new, why not give it a go?

Now is the perfect time to start a hobby, start a new exercise routine or just get some more fresh air. All of these new and exciting experiences can help towards improving your mental health.

Get back up

Going at it alone makes it hard to motivate yourself you could end up breaking your promise. Getting family or friends involved can give you that extra little push.

Aim to support one another and remember to keep communication open between yourselves to help overcome any difficulties you might face.

Don’t fear failure

At the end of it all, failure is always a possibility. However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying.

Read about the seven changes to achieving change.

Lent can be an excellent starting point for a new you, and of course bring about a state of positive mental health. Good luck!

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