(504) 452-5937 1799 Stumpf Blvd. Building 3, Suite 2, Terrytown, LA 70056
(504) 452-5937 1799 Stumpf Blvd. Building 3, Suite 2, Terrytown, LA 70056

Positive “Sacrifice” Ideas for Lent that can Improve Your Mental Health

Adding something positive to your life during Lent, alongside making a sacrifice, can provide a major boost to your mental health.

When many people sacrifice a particular vice or habit during Lent, we’re suggesting you also add positive reinforcement to your life. Instead of just giving up alcohol, sweets, social media, etc., add an intention that improves your family life, betters yourself or helps others.

Let’s use this time not only to make sacrifices but also to improve our families, ourselves, and our community, doing something that lasts far beyond Lent. Below are some ideas on ways you can get started.

Ideas for

Families

  • Play a board game
  • Video call a distant family member
  • Visit infrequently seen extended family
  • Take a one-tank trip
  • Family bike ride
  • Feed the ducks
  • Take a nature hike
  • Work in a soup kitchen
  • Prepare and enjoy a meal together
  • Hug each family member
  • Pick a cause in your community and contribute your time or talents together
  • Ask about a family member’s day
  • Nurture a window box garden
  • Compliment each family member
  • Let go of the past
  • Create a gratitude jar that you put one note into every day
  • Spend money on experiences together (not things)
  • Read a book together and have discussions on each chapter
  • Go one-on-one and focus on improving each individual relationship with quality time together
  • Send funny cards to each other via old fashioned snail mail
  • Send a romantic card to your spouse at work
  • Keep a gratitude journal for Lent—longer if you love how it makes you feel
  • Before anyone goes to bed, leave a little treat, like a Hershey’s Kiss, on their pillows
  • Have everyone go through their closets drawers and remove 5 things they don’t wear or need any longer and donate those items to charity
  • Hang some of your kids’ favorite artwork masterpieces in your home
  • Learn something new together as a family—like how to play chess, or do a new craft
  • Help your kids make brownies or chocolate-covered strawberries to deliver to your neighbor
  • Redecorate one area of your home with input from the entire family
  • Say “I Love You” more often
Ideas for

Individuals

  • Take a class for self-improvement
  • Work on a long-neglected or yet-to-be-started side project
  • Mentor someone
  • Really start working out to enhance your health
  • Volunteer for a charity or organization that betters the community
  • Pick up or actively pursue a new or neglected hobby
  • Ask for feedback and focus on improving
  • Overcome your fears
  • Write a letter to your future self
  • Give people a second chance and forgive regularly
  • Remember and use people’s names whenever speaking with them
  • Take challenging assignments
  • Expand your network
  • Cut down on your television/phone consumption
  • Use positive language
  • Tidy up your personal space
  • Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”/be open to learning
  • Seek the company of those who bring out and nourish your best qualities
  • Spend money on experiences (not things)
  • Give praise to people you work with
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Listen to enriching podcasts during your commute
  • Start a blog about something you love
  • Start meditating
  • Get out of your comfort zone by seeking new experiences
  • Create a mission statement for your life (or one area of your life)
  • Journal regularly
  • Purge anything you haven’t used or worn in over a year
  • Wear a rubber band around your wrist as a reminder of promises you make to yourself and others
Extra ideas for

Anyone at Anytime

  • Whenever someone tells you “have a nice day,” no longer reply with “You too.” Instead, take the time to say, “You have a great day.”
  • Be the first to say hello to everyone you meet. Don’t wait. Don’t hold back because they haven’t said it yet. Be the ember that lights the fire.
  • Make at least one person smile every day. You’ll immediately realize just how contagious smiles and happiness can be when you start smiling more often.
  • Be the optimistic one. Negativity doesn’t help anyone, and with so many realists in the world, it’s a relief to run into people who visualize something more. Nothing meaningful was ever accomplished without believing it can be done.
  • Give back, even when nothing has been or will be given to you. People remember most those who do the unexpected.
  • Do more listening, less talking.
  • Leave a little more than your loose change in the charity jar.
  • After eating out, wipe your table down. Follow the old saying of leaving it better than you found it.
  • See how others see you. Play devil’s advocate and counter your ideas from the other side to get a better understanding and more well-rounded approach.
  • Compliment at least three acquaintances/strangers today. Make them feel good about themselves.
  • Talk to three random people while out today. Connect with them. Tell a joke. Help the world relax a little bit.
  • At some point, today, stop doing whatever you are doing, go outside, sit and just enjoy the sunshine for five minutes.
  • Go through your cell phone and randomly pick a person from your contacts. Text them and wish them a great day.
  • When shaking hands with someone, lightly touch their elbow with your other hand for about three seconds to create a momentary bond. Body language experts state that this easy gesture puts people more at ease when meeting others and lessens our natural distrust of others.
  • Laugh at yourself. A lot. There’s nothing worse than a world that can’t take a joke, and nothing better than people who can roll with the punches.
  • When you get home today, don’t go straight inside like you usually do. Take a walk around the block. Enjoy being outside. Enjoy the moment. Everything inside will still be there when you get back.
  • Slow down.
  • Ever notice how many people look so intense/mad when in the car? When you’re driving around, smile. Enjoy the ride. You’re alive. Appreciate the day. Simple as that.
  • See potential “friend” instead of potential “threat” on the face of strangers.
  • Stop and give that homeless person some change and a kind word, even if you doubt their intentions.
  • Find something in your house that you no longer need to give away to someone who can use it.
  • Pick up and throw away trash that you see on the street or in a park.
  • Say something kind or complementary to the person who is serving you or waiting on you in a store or restaurant.

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