Traditionally, Lent is a time for fastingand reflection, where it’s common for Christians to refrain from eating specific foods. This period of abstinence reflects the sacrifice Jesus made during his 40 day journey through the desert.
Today, many of us see Lent as an opportunityto detox, and to reflecton our general health, lifestyle and wellbeing. Lent is theperfectcatalyst tohelp us ditch thosebad habits and replace them with healthier alternatives.
Lent is not just about giving up certain foods; it can also be about shedding the luxuries of our modern lifestyle. For example, we might choose to watch less television;give up electronic devicesand social media; or be less reliant on our car.
We might also want to consider work related habits which can be given up for Lent, especially if they help improve our mental and physical wellbeing.
As a teacher, it’s unrealistic to say that we are going to give up marking, but there are many habits we can abandon to improve our lives for the better.
Below is a list of habits I wish I’d given up during my teaching life. The following might strike a chord with you too:
Worrying about things that are out of our control. Worrying is a colossal waste of energy and it serves literally no purpose at all. It doesn’t make us feelbetter and it most definitely doesn’t solve any problems.
Throwing away cups of cold tea or coffee. No matter how busy we are, taking those 5 or 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee provides us with a moment of calm and poise, so we are ready to tackle the next part of the day.
Taking thingspersonally. Take things on board, learn from them and move forward. Beating yourself up over past events is neither healthy nor productive.
Neglecting your own hobbies and interests. Make time each week to do something just for you. It can be a real oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic week.
Saying yes to everything. It’s ok to say no; to explain that you already have enough on your plate and you are unavailable at this time. People will respect your honesty and it demonstrates that you have a good understanding of your workload and prior commitments.
Reading and responding to emails out of work hours. Your own time is precious. It’s the time you spend with loved ones. It’s your time to unwind and relax.We work to live not live to work!
Finally, but by no means least, we should fight the urge to achieve perfection at all times and at all costs. Sometimes, for our own sanity, good enough is just that – good enough!
This is by no means a definitive list of habits that we can afford to give up for Lent, but it’s a start.
If you want to achieve a better life/work balance, we have resources to help you tackle the next half term and beyond.
Sue, a mum of three, has sixteen years teaching experience. She joined Classroom Secrets in its infancy and has been creating resources ever since. Her aim is to create stimulating resources that the children will enjoy doing.