Lent. In the aftermath of the gluttony of Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day comes the deprivation and re-issuing of good intentions as folk endevour to give something up for lent. Pancake Day was a big deal this year if social media is anything to go by. I for one didn’t instagram my crepe (Ham and eggs are hardly an original or particularly visually attractive concept) but I did notice that millions couldn’t resist showing their flipped delights off. I admired them all enviously, and felt pious eating my gluten and refined sugar free American style chocolate chip banana pancakes.
Lent is about 40 days during which the nation whose New Years resolutions might already be failing, give it another go and give up sweets, booze or shopping. I for one will be all but cutting out refined sugar, while my fella will be saying farewell to chocolate. I’m a big believer though in the concept of trying to adopt a new hobby or habit, as well as just trying to abstain or focus on the negative. Don’t just break a bad habit. Make a new one. I encouraged my friends to take up meditation or mindfulness, starting them off with the Headspace Take10 app. I’ve enjoyed it, and found it a brilliant way to start the day.
I’ll be stepping my meditation game up a bit with a bit more yoga. Why not, after all: It’s good for the body. Good for the soul.
I’m sure there is a whole load of stuff out there saying that Lent doesn’t work, people fail, why try and do something for only forty days rather than forever. I happen to think that that first bit of chocolate on Easter morning tastes waaay better after over a month of deprivation. And surely every little helps- a few weeks without chocolate is better than constantly indulging, i might even lose a few pounds.
It’s fashionable to give things up these days; we’ve just not long come out of Dry January after an Autumn defined by Movember, and Stop-tober. Lent isn’t a sponsored cause though, for me in any case, the religious connotations aren’t a real incentive, but the principle of good habits and preparing for Spring is something I can totally buy in to. My Mum is a teacher and says they use Lent as a way of encouraging the children to not be greedy, and not to be so selfish. It’s all about trying to improve who we are, and that is no bad thing.