Have you decided what you’re giving up for Lent this year?
While the most popular things to give up for Lent include alcohol, social media, coffee, and chocolate, you don’t want to choose something just because it’s popular. After all, why bother giving up chocolate or soda for 40 days if it won’t have a noticeable effect on your faith?
No, you want something meaningful. Something unique. Something that will truly make a difference in your life this Lenten season.
Here are 10 unique (and meaningful!) ideas to help you brainstorm.
1. Anger, Unforgiveness, or Bitterness
Is there anyone you’re currently still angry with because of events that have happened in the past? If so, it may be time to forgive and seek closure, so you can move on.
Forgiveness does not mean what the person did was okay, and it doesn’t mean you have to allow the person to hurt you again. You can still set healthy boundaries. It simply means you don’t have to carry the burden of anger, unforgiveness, or bitterness any longer.
Related Reading: Four Things Every Christian Needs to Know About Forgiveness
We’ve all fallen victim to the weight of comparison at some point or another in our lives. Whether we’re comparing ourselves to our peers, people online, or someone else entirely, the weight of jealousy and comparison can be heavy.
If comparison is something that dominates your thought process, it’s time to give it up. Rather than focusing on what everyone else has, take some time to thank God for all the many blessings He’s given you!
Related Reading: Constantly Comparing Yourself to Others? Here’s How to Stop
Are you constantly full of worry about things happening in your life or in the world around you? It’s so easy to allow worry to invade our minds and take over. If you find that this is happening to you, it may be time to lay your worries to rest.
If you’re a Christian, consider praying to God and asking Him to help you stop worrying and instead trust in Him and His plan for your life.
Worrying is a hard habit to break, but it is possible to break the cycle!
Related Reading: The Truth About Worrying (and How to Find Peace)
Have you ever found out that someone was talking about you behind your back? It’s a terrible feeling.
By skipping the gossip, not only can you refrain from making someone else feel the way that you did, but you also allow yourself more time to speak positive, uplifting words instead.
The next time someone around you wants to stop and gossip about a friend put an end to the conversation by changing the subject or refusing to engage. Allow the gossip to end with you.
Related Reading: How to Stop Gossiping Once and For All
5. Stress Eating
While Catholic Christians have specific Lent fasting rules, you don’t have to be a practicing Catholic to give up food for Lent. If you find yourself constantly eating sweets, enjoying too many cups of coffee, or bingeing on junk food, it may be time to give up stress eating for Lent.
You might choose to go without one specific food, or you might choose to give up snacking in between meals or during certain times of the day. Use your cravings as an encouragement and reminder to draw your strength from God — not from the foods He has provided us.
Related Reading: What Does the Bible Say About Anxiety?
Life can be difficult and because of that, we may find it easy to complain about all of the inconveniences in our day both big and small.
This Lent season, try filing the complaints away by instead looking for the beauty and joy surrounding you. You can even use this as an opportunity to thank God for all of the wonderful things in your life. You’ll be amazed at how your mood instantly shifts.
Related Reading: What Miriam in the Bible Can Teach Us About Positivity
7. Critical Self-Talk
In a society that shows their best selves on social media, it can be easy to get caught up in doubting yourself and engaging in critical self-talk. Thankfully, we serve a God who loves us more than anyone else and who sees the best in us.
The next time you’re tempted to insult yourself because of your perceived failures, take a minute to look up what the Bible says about you instead. There are tons of Scripture verses available to remind you how fearfully and wonderfully made you are (flaws and all).
Related Reading: Who I Am in Christ: 10 Life-Changing Bible Verses
8. Playing Games on Your Phone
Have you ever realized that an hour has passed and all you’ve done is played a game on your phone?
While playing games on your phone can be fun, getting sucked into your device for too long can cause you to miss on out important memories with those around you as well as intimate moments with God.
This Lent season, consider taking a break from the games so you can spend more time studying God’s Word or with loved ones.
Related Reading: 7 Best FREE Bible Study Apps for Christian Women
9. Taking the Best Parking Spot
Do you usually circle the parking lot looking for the best parking spot? I assure you that you aren’t the only one.
Instead of taking the best parking spot for yourself, consider leaving it for someone else who may need it more than you do. Although we only give things up for Lent for a short time, this small act of kindness is something that you can continue practicing even after Lent ends.
Related Reading: 52 Random Acts of Kindness for a More Charitable New Year
10. Your Time
For many of us, our personal time is precious. After the end of a long work day or time spent with the kids, we just want to relax.
There’s nothing wrong with self-care, but what if we used some of that time to grow closer to God or volunteer our time to help others?
This Lent, consider volunteering with a cause that matters to you, reaching out to friends and family who may need additional support while going through a tough time, or serving the less fortunate. The options are endless if you take the time to notice them!
Related Reading: How to Always Make Time for Your Priorities
This article originally appeared on Equipping Godly Women.