Dana Perino: A Lenten reflection and five ways to bring serenity and joy this season

What is Lent?

Lent has a history going back centuries. Here is what it originates from, and how it is practiced.

The Lenten season is a time of prayerful reflection, renewal, and repentance. It invites us to open our hearts a little wider, understand our Lord a little deeper, and rediscover our goals and our intentions. 

From its start on Ash Wednesday until its conclusion on Easter Sunday, Christians typically fast, give something up, or commit to doing certain acts of kindness. Yes, this may bring back childhood memories of giving up candy or television for what seemed like an eternity. Don’t worry, this is true for me, too. That’s why many people don’t look forward to Lent each year.

But the Lenten season is much more than that. The spirit of Lent isn’t defined by “sacrifice,” but rather defined by “growth.” It is a 40-day period to reflect on the way we’ve been living our lives; to check to make sure our values and our priorities are in line with God’s desires for us. It is a time of grace, gratitude, and spiritual growth, and a time to find your inner strength and serenity.

This year, rather than giving something up, I’m for adding something in. In my upcoming book “Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons For Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)”, I suggest several things you can do that will help improve your career track as well as bring more serenity and joy to your life. 

"Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)" will hit retailers on March 9.

Here are five suggestions for you to consider this Lenten season:

1. Posture

Allow me to share my obsession with posture. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that people who have good posture appear more confident, positive, and assured. Bad posture can send the wrong signal— that you’re tired, weary, and not interested. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle isn’t helping our posture, but actually working against it. Not to mention the fact that working from home quadruples the amount of time we already spend hunched over our electronics. Make it a priority to sit up straight while you type away on your computer or as you watch TV. Your neck and your back will thank you in the long run!

2. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier

One piece of advice I give in “Everything Will Be Okay” is that you have more control of your time than you realize. Try setting your alarm a half hour earlier and spend that extra time bettering yourself. Listen to a podcast or catch up on some reading. Take control of the clock so that the clock doesn’t take control of you!

3. 10-minute guided meditation

Meditation may sound intimidating for those who have never tried it before, but that’s an even better reason to commit to this for your Lenten journey. Everyone is bound to have stress in their lives—your demanding job, your restless kids, your dating woes .. the list goes on. This stress will eat you alive if you don’t find a way to release it. While some people may choose to relieve their stress by journaling or cooking or drinking wine (no judgements), I have found that a 10-minute guided meditation works wonders. Plus, there are plenty of free ones available online!

4. Reach out to two people a day

Invest in your friends. Trust me, I know life is busy and it can be hard to stay in touch with people, especially those you don’t see on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important (actually, quite the opposite!). Go through your rolodex and reflect on someone you haven’t caught up with in a while. Pick two people each day and reach out to them. It can be as short as a text or you could write them a letter. Whatever you choose, you will feel better knowing you’ve made the effort. Friendship is a two-way street, so make sure to prioritize the loved ones in your life!

5. Daily note of gratitude

A key theme I discuss in Everything Will Be Okay is Perspective, with a capital P. Things could always be worse than they are and it is easy to lose sight of the things that matter most in life – health, happiness, family, faith. Take a few minutes of your day to write down something you are grateful for and why. Gotta count your blessings!

Choose one, or all five, and see your outlook improve—you won’t be the only one who notices. Your supervisor, clients, friends, love interest, or family will notice your efforts. And the effort is, believe it or not, reward in itself.

Dana Perino’s forthcoming book “Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman)” is set for release on March 9, 2021.

Preorder your copy today by visiting danaperinobook.com or https://www.twelvebooks.com/titles/dana-perino/everything-will-be-okay/9781538737088/

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