By Clementine Hall

Yesterday (Wednesday 17th February) marked Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent – the 40 days until Easter Sunday where people give up a guilty pleasure.

With all of us being in lockdown right now, we don’t blame you if this year you give up absolutely nothing. Because after all, life is hard without jam. So don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself reaching for that chocolate bar you hid at the back of the cupboard!

If, however, you’re looking for some inspiration about what to give up for Lent, then here are the top 5 most common things we all try to banish during this period:

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is the number one thing most people are giving up for Lent

According to The Independent, chocolate comes out on top as the most popular thing people give up for Lent. Probably because it’s one of the most delectable treats to grace this planet and we all love it, right?

Equally, if you have the willpower to stay off the choc for 40 days then tucking into those Easter eggs on Easter Sunday will make them taste oh so much sweeter.

2. Alcohol

People are giving up alcohol for Lent, particularly if they failed at Dry January

If you failed at dry January, here’s another chance to give up your favourite tipple and go sober.

Pressing pause on alcohol might be tough but it can have major health benefits including improving your skin, sleep and mood.

3. Social Media

Giving up social media for Lent is also a popular choice

These days, staring at your phone screen and switching between Instagram, Twitter and Facebook in a constant loop is an easy habit to fall into.

Decreasing your daily screen time can lead to better sleep, less headaches and better productivity. So logging out of your accounts and taking an online detox could lead to a nice reset of the mind.

4. Coffee

Giving up coffee for Lent is a popular choice, but it certainly won’t be easy for some of us!

Giving up your daily cup of coffee can not only make you less dependent on caffeine to wake you up in the morning, but can also lead to impressive savings, especially if you’ve been grabbing your cappuccino from Starbucks every day.

This one is tough so maybe try a decaf blend to start off with rather than going straight cold turkey.

5. Meat

Others are swerving meat for Lent – a good opportunity to sample Vegan life!

For those curious about the plant-based lifestyle and who skipped out on Veganuary, the 40 days of Lent are a great opportunity to try out the Vegan life.

Use that time to get creative with your cooking and try some new things. If you find that you can’t cut out all meat straight away, start with limiting your red meat intake and go from there.

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