Things to fast from this Lent apart from chocolate

Chocolate, candy, and sweets are common Lenten sacrifices, but giving up the same thing every year can begin to feel like a routine rather than a sacrifice.

Fasting should be a meaningful gesture of self-denial out of love for God. All the better if it helps us grow in self-control and deeper appreciation for various pleasures, conveniences and luxuries in our lives.

If you want to try something a little different this year, consider the following alternatives.

1) Screen time and digital devices

Most of us have some level of attachment to our gadgets and digital media, and Lent is the perfect time to fast from them. Perhaps it’s no TV before bedtime, no random web surfing during the day, or no social media until Easter. You might consider going completely screens-free on weekends or using your smartphone for essential communication only.

2) Negative talk and criticism

It’s a rare person who doesn’t criticize others occasionally or engage in some form of negative talk —  a light jab here, an unnecessary comment there. Fasting from this kind of speech is much easier said than done, but it’s a powerful act of self-denial that can change you for the better.

3) Hot showers

There’s nothing like a hot shower to get your morning started, but consider turning that temperature down and submitting yourself to lukewarm or cold showers instead. Another alternative is to set a timer and take short showers instead of leisurely ones. (Which of course will be easy the colder the water is!) In February and March, this can be an especially tough sacrifice. Then again, Jesus died on the cross for you. Just saying.

4) Non-essential shopping

Many people have a hard time saying no to the latest gadget, a fabulous new pair of shoes or little extras like gourmet coffees when they’re out and about. Consider staying away from shops during Lent. You can take this a step further and give some of the money you save as alms — another pillar of Lenten practice. Continue reading

  • Zoe Romanowsky is lifestyle editor and video content producer for Aleteia, the source of the article above.
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