5 tips on how to get through Lent well

Alcohol, gummy bears, chocolate, junk food: the list of things we can do without is long. Here's how you can get through Lent without giving up anything.
Where does the tradition come from?
Before you start fasting, you should take a look at the history. In the Roman Catholic religion, Lent is the Easter penitential season, which begins exactly 40 days before Easter in the church year. In calendar terms, the 2017 Lenten fast begins on March 1 and ends on April 15 - and thus takes place between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday. During this period, the faithful are required to perform asceticism and penance and to pray - only on Lenten Sundays, there is no need to fast. Because: The Sundays are not included as so-called holidays of the resurrection.

But what is the Lent before the Easter Vigil actually supposed to remind us of? Lent today is meant to remind us of the 40-day period Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and resisting the devil. The end of the penitential period is marked by Palm Sunday - a day that commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and heralds Holy Week with the subsequent celebration of Easter. In general, the number 40 has a very symbolic meaning in the Bible. Thus, the Flood poured over the earth for 40 days and Moses was also 40 days on Mount Sinai. But now to the 5 tips on how to prepare for and get through the pre-Lenten period:

1. make the meaning clear
Whether you are fasting out of religion, tradition, or mere ambition: Make clear the purpose of your undertaking. Why are you participating in the fast? Is it the desire to abstain from overconsumption for a while or is it the idea of doing something good for your body? Important: Free yourself from the idea that you are not "allowed" to do something - you have to want to do without. One thing is certain: if you go without for 40 days, you will be proud to have persevered.

2. build up your own routines
The first weekend without alcohol, the first week without sweets - some of you may already want to throw in the towel. But it's hard to get started, so build up your own routines so that you don't find it too difficult to give up during Lent. Replace the after-work beer, for example, with another non-alcoholic drink that you've always wanted to have. 3.

3. continue despite slips
If you have "sinned" in the meantime, it's no big deal. However, you should leave it as a one-time slip instead of saying: "What the heck, now I've broken Lent anyway. I might as well not do it at all." Instead, direct your thoughts to the positive aspects of fasting.

4. do not forget the sport
To be especially balanced during fasting, exercise and sports are recommended. Sporting activities are not only distracting but also offer a great change of pace from everyday life. Also, make sure you get enough sleep, as this helps the body to regenerate or (possibly) detoxify.

5. reaching the goal together
Last, but not least: It is better to do without if you go through the fasting period together. Plan your time of renunciation best with friends or your partner. Then it will be easier for you to eliminate food or other things from your daily routine. Basically, you should not take fasting too seriously and approach the whole thing with a certain looseness. If you put yourself under permanent pressure, you will end up suffering and getting stressed. And that, in turn, makes it much more difficult to keep up during the fasting period.


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