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Lent: A Time for Fasting (and Feasting)

February 14, 2013


For Christians, Lent is a time of preparation for the Resurrection.  If fasting is part of your normal Lenten observance, you may have been thinking of giving something up for the season—coffee, chocolate, soda, and desserts seem to be popular fasting choices.  While giving up small pleasures for Lent is a good practice, it might also be helpful to look at Lent as a time to develop new habits that help you to respond more positively to your world–no matter what the season.  You may want to consider adopting these practices for Lent, and then as they become habits, practice them throughout the year.

  • Rest more: getting enough sleep is important in improving both our perspective and our overall health.  As a Lenten practice, go to bed half an hour earlier than normal.  Or, if you rely on the snooze button, set your alarm for a realistic time to get more uninterrupted sleep.
  • Read more: Reading a book during Lent has been a monastic tradition since the Fifth Century C.E.  Choose a book that will help you bring balance to your days, or take time to explore a new author, or a new genre.  If you’re interested, attend a book group at your church or your local public library.
  • Refrain more: During Lent, commit to refrain from adding anything new to your life.  Don’t take on any new activities or buy any new little luxuries.  Feel free to say no, and cite religious reasons if that would be helpful.
  • Reconcile more: go easy with yourself.  Practice letting go of whatever doubts, shame, or self-judgment you may have.  Forgive those who have wronged you, and let go of that anger and hurt.
  • Relax more: adopt a slower pace for the Lenten season—one that is creative, refreshing, and restorative.  Spend time on activities and with people that nourish your spirit and your soul.

Lent doesn’t have to be all ashes and sack cloth.  You can use the time to re-fuel our own dedication to your work, your family, and your responsibilities.  If you are caring for a loved one and are in need of respite care to rejuvenate yourself, we may be able to help.  Our home health professionals can provide care in your home so that you can rest and take time for yourself.  Please call us at (808) 547-6500.  We are St. Francis Healthcare System.  We understand, and we want to help.

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