It is the beginning of a new month which means new health hacks are here. Since today marks the beginning of the Season of Lent I thought it fitting that some, or all, of March’s Health Hacks could coincide with Lent and how I have come to view this 40 days leading up to the Easter celebration.
That was not the original intent of the Health Hacks I intended to share, but during the cool down portion of one of the classes I was teaching today, one of my sons texted me this question, “What are you giving up?” I had already decided that this year, during Lent, I would not be giving anything up, but attempting to add something good to each day. This has been my practice in the past few years and I’ve felt much better at that and more intentional with the Season. I have written about my Lent practices on this site. I have explained how I grew up Baptist so the Season of Lent wasn’t something we practiced. I have found that during recent years, more people observe this time regardless of their true religion.
Some look at it as a time of sacrifice, a time of reflection, a time to regain focus. Some even view it somewhat like a New Year’s Resolution and a time to purge of bad habits, unhealthy foods or favorite things as part of a sacrifice. Since I didn’t want to give away my real Lent practice in a text I responded that I was going to give up micromanaging him for 40 days. This is a family joke as it is a huge struggle for me. I come by it honestly as my mother was the absolute Queen of Micromanaging. She would micromanage how you got a glass of water. I do not exaggerate here! And as she got older she got even worse. So, I am seriously trying to back off the micromanaging of my people – before, during and after just the 40 days of Lent!
This year my Lent practice does coincide with the word I chose for the year as my New Year’s Resolution and I’m going to share with my family in hopes that they’ll play along. More on that later, so if you are curious you have to stick around!
Back to the Health Hacks and a check in from February Health Hacks. Did you find yourself more aware of your posture during February? That is such a great focus and I hope you continue with it so it becomes a natural habit to be aware of your posture. Did you think of doing anything for your future self? What did you think of that concept? And lastly, have I turned you on to the beauty of podcasts and audio books yet? Have you discovered how they can be a lifesaver during some mundane chores? Here’s what I am thinking about during March, and as I said, these would be good habits to carry on past this month and could be part of your own Lent journey.
- Buy Less, Do More.
We live in such a consumer based society. We are yelled at and screamed at to buy, buy, buy at every turn. I think it can be so healthy at times to turn off those messages and resist the urge to purchase another unnecessary something. I have done this at different times, last year even going as long as six months without buying anything for myself that was not a true necessity. While at times it was brutal, at others I realized I never really needed anything. I always had enough. I was also able to free up so much time from looking at websites and catalogs and browsing in shops. I found so many other things to occupy my time and my head space. I am looking forward to looking at what I have this month, cleaning out and donating what I know I do not need, and appreciating the things I have already purchased and not seeking more. How good will it feel for us to have that time to devote to our people, being outside, taking a walk, or just doing activities that do not involve mere “things”. Give it a try and see how it works for you for the month.
2. Cut Your Gym Time
Did I just say that? Yes! I did! This month take the less is best approach to your gym time. Get in, get it done, and get out. There are so many of those who take things too far – and actually overtrain, or basically spin their wheely. No one needs, or even has the time, for a two hour session inside of four walls. You can get in a great total body workout in 30 minutes, or even less at times, if you are focused, intentional and don’t spend your time piddling around. When I do go for my own workouts, I am notorious for putting in my headphones and not really talking during a short and sweet session. Take your leftover time and take the dog for a walk, play basketball with your kiddos, or do whatever sport or activity you enjoy. Give it a try this month and see how it works for you.
3. Turn IT Off
I’m sure you’ve guessed what I’m talking about. Yep. Your phone. Find some time each day to simply put it down. Turn it off. Our phones have become part of our attire, our bodies, and we think indispensable. Social media is great at keeping us connected with friends near and far. However, it can also be a complete time suck. I can’t even count how often I think I’ll just take a peek at Facebook and find myself still glued to my little screen thirty minutes later. (or more if I’m honest!) I’ll never get that time back. It is gone forever. I have missed the opportunity to connect with the people in the very room or in the room next door. That is where I should be spending my time and energy – with the real people in my life that are right with me. That is where the real experience is.
Speaking of experience, this is the time of year when folks begin taking trips and spending time with family and friends. How cool would it be for folks to look around themselves, notice their surroundings and people, enjoy the experience, without checking in on their phones? Imagine how much you could get done, how less distracted you would be, and how many real conversations you could have. This month try to put down that phone for 10 minutes, twenty, thirty or more. . . if you dare.
Now, as for my own Lenten journey this year, I am going back to my New Year’s Resolution to be more grateful. With that in mind I intend to specify one thing each day for which I am thankful. I have even made a 40 Day of Lent List and put it on our refrigerator. I have attached a pen so I am reminded each day to write out what it is that day. I am hopeful that the rest of my family will join. Knowing my boys, I’m thinking things might get a little interesting.
Enjoy Your Day!