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Using Lent to improve your Lockdown!

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Happy Pancake Day!

Today is Shrove Tuesday, the last day of feasting before the start of Lent (or Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, Lent is a period of fasting for 40 days; from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday.  Although Lent is historically a Christian celebration, many people across the world now celebrate pancake day and use lent to give up bad habits, or build new good habits!

This year Lent runs from 17 February to 3 April. You might be thinking you’ve been forced to give up enough already under the current lockdown restrictions – but how about using the tradition of lent to improve your lockdown? Take a look at our ideas below!

Give up Skipping Exercise

We all know the physical and mental benefits that exercise brings us, so why not work out an exercise plan and stick to it.

This doesn’t mean you have to exercise every day or follow an hour-long video by a super fit fitness influencer.

Exercise can include going on a socially distanced walk with a friend and tracking it on the Long Road Walking/Running Strava Club; emailing our Progress Coach Dorigen to join our Wednesday lunchtime virtual Yoga sessions or following along to our home workout videos on YouTube.

Make a plan that works for you and do your best to keep to it!

Improve your Posture

Often, one of the difficulties of working and studying from home is finding the space to do so! It’s not always possible to have a proper desk or table to work from and this can have a knock-on effect on your posture.

Next time you’re in virtual lessons, or even watching TV, think about the way you’re sitting and if you need to, move so you’re sat up straight. Your body will thank you later!



Give up Meat

Veganuary was a huge hit this year, with more people than ever giving up animal products for the first month of 2021. Why not try going vegan or vegetarian for Lent as well?

If the idea of giving up meat completely sounds impossible then cutting down on your meat intake is just as good. Limit the types of meat you eat, for example giving up red meat, or only eat meat on certain days of the week.



Turn off your Phone at 8pm

During lockdown we have all been spending more time in front of screens – mobile phones included! Why not make a commitment to turn your phone off at a set time every evening and use that time normally spent watching TikTok videos to read a book, go for an evening walk or spend some quality time talking with your family.

You’ll find you gain a lot more free time in the evening to fill with new hobbies and will likely start seeing benefits in your sleep too!



Positivity Challenge

Lockdown continues to be a really tough time for us all and it can sometimes be hard to see the positives.

Take on the Positivity Challenge for Lent; write down 3 things every day that have made you feel positive or that you are grateful for. This will not only help you feel better at the end of each day but by the end of Lent you’ll have over 100 positive notes to read when you need a boost!




Save Don’t Spend

Spending the majority of your time at home with the same old routine can make it all too easy to start online shopping. Whether its clothes or video games, we have all fallen victim to buying stuff online that we don’t really need just for some excitement when that delivery arrives.

Giving up spending money on things you want, but don’t need, is a great way to save money over Lent. If you’re finding it difficult then why not make a plan with your friends for all the fun activities you can do when lockdown is over – with the money you’ve saved you can afford to go to that fancy restaurant!


Become Your Own Chef

Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the day that families would eat all the foods that would go off during the 40 days of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, families would begin fasting and give up foods such as meat, fish and eggs.

While we’re not suggesting you have to fast for the whole of Lent, why not give up takeaways and become your own Chef? With more free time, lockdown is the perfect time to expand your cooking skills or try to recreate your favourite restaurant meal or takeaway at home!



Social Media Detox

We’re all spending more time than ever on social media during lockdown. Although it’s a great way of catching up with friends and family, it can often leave us feeling pretty down about ourselves (anyone else wishing they were living in New Zealand right now!?)

A social media detox doesn’t mean you have to delete all your profiles right now!

There are different styles of detoxing, so pick one that suits you:

  1. Choose one social media app to delete off your phone for the next 40 days.
  2. Ditch filters and retouching apps.
  3. Cleanse who you follow and remove any accounts that leave you feeling negative. You can even search up some wellbeing and positivity accounts to replace them!

Fix Your Sleep Pattern

We know that a lot of you are struggling with your sleep pattern during lockdown; stuck in that cycle of not being able to sleep and then getting up late. Use the next 40 days to fix your sleep pattern and take back your daily routine.

Make sure you go to bed at a similar and sensible time every night, put your phone on Do Not Disturb, read a book or even try a Sleep Aid App to help you drift off. Set an alarm in the morning and don’t hit that snooze button!

It might feel difficult at first, but once you’re back into a routine and getting a good nights sleep you will feel your mood improve!

Break Your News Addiction

It feels like we are bombarded with news from every angle at the moment. While its always important to keep updated with what’s going on in the world, right now the news can be a scary place.

Too much news is leaving many of us feeling anxious, so break your news addiction and limit the amount of news you consume each day.