For the 40-day period of Lent, practicing Christians are expecting to “give something up” starting Ash Wednesday. Usually, people abstain from meat on Fridays and relinquish a favorite food or hobby, but there is another way Lent can be observed. Instead of taking something away, how about trying to add a little more of something? Listed below are some alternative ideas:
1. Attend church — Most Christians make time to go to church on the major holidays, like Ash Wednesday and Easter, but making weekly visits doesn’t always happen. For Lent 2016, make a vow to wake up early Sundays and make penance.
2. Pray — This is similar to going to church more often. In addition to attending a weekly service, Christians can promise to pray throughout Lent, which can help them connect further with their faith.
3. Eat healthier — It’s common for people to give up fast food or alcohol, but instead of focusing on what cannot be had, try to eat more veggies and drink more water. Bonus: Your body will be beach ready for summer.
4. Listen — For people who are contemplating giving up social media, they might want to make a vow to become a better listener instead. With everyone’s faces in their phones, they sometimes miss out on what’s going on around them. This year, make time for quality conversation. It can be relaxing and also help someone who needs to talk and be heard.
5. Volunteer — Not only will it get people out of the house during the dreary winter months, but it will also help out the community. See if there is a local shelter, nursing home or hospital that need volunteers. If people skills aren’t one of your strong points, most neighborhoods have an animal shelter that could use a helping hand.
6. Smile — It sounds elementary, but a simple smile can go a long way. A little grin can make the day more bearable. Plus, it’s hard to be unhappy while smiling. Try to flash your pearly whites whenever socially acceptable.
7. Compliment others — Most people like it when they’re acknowledged for something good, so why not be one of those people who is a do-gooder? Handing out a compliment a day to a stranger or loved one can help make their day a little brighter.
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