20 creative things to give up for Lent in 2020

teaspoon of sugar over coffee

In order to prepare for Easter, it is a Christian tradition to celebrate Lent. During Lent, some Christians fast, give something up, or commit to certain acts of kindness for 40 days. If youve decided to give something up but cant decide what, we have a few ideas for you.

Heres a list of potential things to give up for Lent that can also improve your health, finances, and overall wellbeing.

When does lent start?

Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, this year, that falls on February 26. Lent is 40 days long not including Sundays and ends on Thursday, April 9, which is three days before Easter.


You probably already know that giving up coffee can lead to impressive savings, especially if youve been grabbing your cup of joe on the go. Cutting a R30 drink each day will save you R210 a week and R1200 the entire 40 days of Lent. Consider donating that cash to a charity youre passionate about.


Try and steer conversations away from gossip. If a friend starts talking about someone else, say something nice about that person and change the subject. You can also tell your friends that youre trying to avoid gossip. They might appreciate the nudge toward positivity.


Giving up that glass of wine with dinner might be tough, but it could have life-changing benefits. Pressing pause on alcohol could improve your sleep, skin, and mood and help you save money while you do it.

Donate three things each day

For example, you could donate three lightly worn pieces of clothing, three toys, three books, or three cans of food. Cant find three things? Give a compliment to three strangers or leave a 30% tip on your next meal.


If giving up all meat is not possible, give up red meat only or limit your meat intake to certain days of the week.

Your phone after 8pm

Youre probably not doing anything important on your phone after 8 pm, anyway. Instead of scrolling Instagram for hours, dock your phone and spend quality time with family or roommates. Before bed, read a book to fall asleep.

A half hour of sleep

Wake up a half hour earlier and spend that extra time reading, doing some light exercise, or savouring your morning coffee and breakfast. If that sounds too difficult, simply give up the snooze button instead.

Your favorite (unhealthy) food

Is there an unhealthy food that you eat a lot of throughout the week? (Were look at you pasta, bagels, sweets, etc.) Try giving up that food item for Lent. You just might surprise yourself with a creative alternative.

Write one letter of gratitude each day

Take on a 40-day gratitude challenge and write one thank-you note, text, or email each day. If you dont feel comfortable sharing your gratitude, simply write down three things youre thankful for each day.

Frivolous spending

Is there anything you overspend on that you know you shouldnt? For example, eating out, clothes, or Uber? Cut one of those things out and donate the money you save to charity.

Swear words

Whether your computer crashed, youre running late, or you stubbed your toe, try to avoid muttering the first expletive that comes to mind. Instead, challenge yourself to expand your vocabulary or express yourself in a different way.

Buying lunch at work

All it takes is an hour or two on Sunday to prepare delicious meals that will last you all week long. Plus, cooking your own lunch is way healthier than buying out.

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Mindless snacking

Help yourself meet this challenge by portioning your snacks before you eat them and avoiding keeping unhealthy ones (like chips) in your house.


Whenever you find yourself in a feedback loop of negative thoughts, try to think of three things youre thankful for.

Bottled water

If you havent already, swap those plastic water bottles for an environmentally-friendly reusable one. Make this challenge even more difficult by cutting out other single-use plastics, too. Giving up plastic shopping bags, straws, and eating utensils can seriously cut your waste.

Food delivery

Make it a point to cook more and order delivery less (or at the very least, make a personal rule that you must pick up your food to avoid extra fees).

Binge-watching TV

Without realising it, our binge watching can add up to hours of TV a day. Thats valuable time that could be spent doing anything from cooking a nutritious meal to spending time with loved ones, working out or volunteering in your community.


Let your skin breath over the next 40 days by cutting makeup from your routine (or using the bare minimum). Replace your makeup with some of the best skincare products that will give you the most amazing skin ever.

Instagram, Twitter or Facebook

If giving up social media entirely feels impossible, try ditching just one app. Take note of how much more free time you have when youre not stuck in an endless online scroll.


You probably already know that a can of fizzy drink isnt the best way to deal with that dreaded 3 o clock feeling. Instead, try to replace your soda with water.

Image: iStock

Source: Good Housekeeping US


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