JM | Feb 22, 2023

What are you giving up this Lenten season?

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Each year the world commemorates the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday (February 22) with fasting, prayer and reflection until Thursday (April 6). Ash Wednesday also signify the start of the 40 days and 40 nights of prayer and fasting that Jesus did in the desert to endure temptation until Thursday (April 6).

Lent is typically a time for repentance, spiritual cleansing and self-denial in preparation for the upcoming Easter period, a time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Whether you are a believer of the Christian faith or an occasional churchgoer, the period of Lent can be a time to let go of bad habits and develop positive ones.


Giving up smoking for 40 days and 40 nights can yield several health benefits to the body and improve your quality of life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is responsible for 11per cent of all non-communicable diseases and 3 per cent of communicable deaths in Jamaica.

Smoking can causes several disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and chronic bronchitis.

While it is not easy end cigarette addiction, it is beneficial to take small steps to reduce the use for this season of Lent.


Procrastination which the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite the negative consequences is another habit that you should give up this Lenten season.

As the popular saying states, proper preparation prevents poor performance. Procrastination does more harm than good, there it is important to plan ahead of situations so if there are unfortunate instances the situation can be remedied ahead of time.

Unhealthy eating habits

According to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries are a major public health burden in Jamaica, and are the leading cause of death.  In 2015, an estimated seven out of ten Jamaicans died from the four major NCDs, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease.

It is important to lower the salt and sugar intake this season to prevent the risk of developing non-communicable diseases. If there are instances where you must have these types of foods, try to limit the proportions.




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