I know you’re busy, I’ve been there. Working late at night and cramming family activities into early mornings. Thinking I was still reasonably fit and healthy because I dragged myself out for a run a few times a week. If this sounds like you – then yes, you do need the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.
You see there’s a difference between going through the motions of health and fitness and taking proper care of your mind, body, and soul. I thought I was fit and eating a reasonable diet, and yet some days I struggled to breathe from anxiety. Certainly, I wasn’t thriving. I was putting myself under too much pressure and destroying myself in the process.
It was the intervention of a friend and a self-care challenge just like this one that made me realize my life had to change. I couldn’t change everything overnight but I did start carving out some “me” time and building a daily self-care routine.
Creating A Self-Care Routine
We’re all different and it takes time plus some trial and error to nail down a self-care routine that works for you. Something that’s going to give you a healthy immune system and benefit your mental and physical health.
It’s best to build habits – short and effective self-care routines you can practice every day with some longer self-care activities you can turn to when you have an hour or two spare – perhaps as a Sunday Self-Care Routine.
(Just to be clear, self-care isn’t a substitute for a doctor’s appointment if you have any mental health or physical health issues. Think of it as a soft-touch approach to improving your mental wellbeing and physical fitness).
Taking this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge will make you try out some new ideas. Maybe things you’ve dismissed too quickly in the past. I never thought I could meditate but I now love spending a few minutes emptying my brain of all the random junk and just being still. It helps me to be so much more productive for the rest of the day.
As you progress through the challenge, keep a note of self-care ideas that foster wellness and benefit your self-care routine.
What Is A Self-Care Challenge?
A self-care challenge is a commitment to complete one act of self-care every day for a set period, in this case, 30 days. You can follow a shorter self-care challenge such as 7 days or 14 days but I love the idea of focusing on your wellbeing for a whole month.
This way it has more of an impact and helps you make the mental switch of putting your needs first, even if it’s only for a short period of the day.
Why Do A Self Care Challenge?
Well, that’s down to you. It could be because:
- You’re a whacked-out mother of small children surviving on adrenaline.
- You spend all your time daydreaming about sleep but when you get there you’re too tired to doze off.
- On Mondays, you’re exhausted when the alarm goes off and it’s not because you’ve spent the weekend having fun.
- You can’t remember the last time you had any time to yourself – not even 10 minutes.
You’ll know why you need to do this self-care challenge – so get your support team onboard and start carving out a little “me-time”.
My Favorite 30-Day Self-Care Challenge
Self-care doesn’t have to take long. Sometimes it’s just about being kind to yourself and learning to say NO when you’re pressed to take on yet another favor.
This is my favorite self-care challenge – the things I like to do when I want to give my physical well-being a boost. But don’t feel you need to stick to the list.
The best self-care challenges are flexible. Pick and choose from this list or find some other self-care ideas on this site. Just make sure you practice ONE new self-care act every day.
Meditate for at least 5 minutes. If you’re new to meditation 5 minutes will seem a very long time. Don’t panic if your mind wanders – just rest and refocus your mind and energy.
Take a bubble bath with candles and your favorite music. It’s the classic vision of self-care and it can be just what you need after a long day.
I can never spend very long in the tub but just soaking for a few minutes can be ever so soothing. No bathtub? Take a long hot shower!
Go for a walk in nature. Being outdoors is good for your mental health. Fresh air makes you feel calmer and more alive.
Write down five things you’re grateful for. Our minds trick us into focusing on negativity. Focusing on the positives will help with your confidence and self-esteem.
Declutter one small area of your home or workspace. Tackling a whole room or even your entire home can be overwhelming. Instead, start small. Just cleaning up your desk can make your day feel better.
Cook yourself a healthy meal from scratch. Maybe this is something you do all the time. If not, your body and soul are in for a treat!
Use a face mask and spend some extra time on your skincare routine. Skincare rituals are relaxing and therapeutic.
Do some light stretching or yoga. If you spend most of the day sitting down, your body will benefit from moving. Spend 10 minutes trying to move every part of your body.
Disconnect from technology for an hour or even longer. Could you manage an entire day?
Write in a journal about your feelings and thoughts. Sometimes we keep worries and concerns bottled up inside. A journal is a good way to express yourself.
Sometimes just the act of writing down things you’re anxious about can make them seem less troubling and it’s easier to see solutions.
Spend quality time with a loved one or friend. Friendships nurture our souls and yet we neglect them. Seek out a friend today. Speak to them on the phone or meet up for a good long chat.
Read a book for pleasure. Instead of reading the latest book, everyone’s talking about just to keep up with your peers, pick up a book that appeals directly to you.
If you don’t have much time, just reread a few pages of a much-loved book. Reading at the end of the day can calm the mind before you fall asleep.
Treat yourself to a favorite snack or treat. Even when you’re on a diet, total denial of all your favorite foods never ends well. You can end up in a fast and binge cycle. A little taste of the food you love can be enough to stop cravings.
Take yourself on a solo date – see a movie, visit a museum, etc. I used to work away from home a lot and instead of spending endless hours in a hotel bedroom working or watching lousy TV, I’d plan a solo date. Give it a try!
Practice deep breathing exercises for 5 minutes. When we’re anxious we forget how to breathe properly. Take a few minutes out of your day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing. Try these breathing tips.
Listen to your favorite music and dance like nobody’s watching. If you can’t remember when you last danced you may surprise yourself!
Dance is very freeing but we’re normally too self-conscious to express ourselves fully when there’s an audience. This self-care idea is fun to try with young children!
Do something creative – paint, draw, write, etc. Being creative is both absorbing and satisfying. It helps to build self-confidence.
Get a massage or give yourself a self-massage. If you have any specific pain issues this site has some great advice for relieving joint pain.
Practice positive affirmations and self-talk. Do you give yourself a hard time? Constant negative thoughts can be exhausting. Only allow positive thoughts in your head for a day and you’ll be surprised at how much easier things become.
Watch a funny movie or TV show. We all need to relax and watching a show that makes you laugh is a great way to relieve the stress of the day.
Do something kind for someone else – volunteer, donate, etc. You’ll get a feel-good vibe and help someone else. Random acts of kindness can be as small as stopping for a chat with an elderly neighbor.
Take a social media break. Social media isn’t just time-consuming, it can negatively affect your moods. We all know friends mainly post the good stuff about their lives but when you’re going through a tough time it doesn’t help reading about a friend’s new house or their trip to the sun.
Spend time in the sun and soak up some vitamin D. If you live in a rainy part of the country, you need to make the most of rare glimpses of sunshine!
Practice mindfulness while eating a meal – savor each bite and be present in the moment. Instead of eating on the go or whilst scrolling through your phone, try taking a proper lunch break. You’ll be less likely to overeat and you’ll appreciate your food more.
Engage in a favorite hobby or activity – or take up a new one! Do something you enjoy but have neglected for some time or find a new activity. You may have a busy schedule, but it’s essential to make time to enjoy your life.
Take a power nap to recharge. If you feel your energy levels dropping, a few minutes of shut-eye can make all the difference.
Nap for 5 to 20 minutes – no more. Any longer will leave you feeling groggy. If you’re worried about waking up – set your alarm.
Cut out caffeine for a day and drink herbal teas instead. You may find you sleep better at night and you’re less anxious during the day.
Spend time with animals – play with a pet, visit a shelter, or watch birds in a park or garden. Contact with animals can help to reduce stress.
Do something adventurous or out of your comfort zone. Take a mini adventure. It could be a trip to somewhere local you’ve never been before. Go with friends or family and have fun!
Reflect on your self-care journey and celebrate your progress. Hopefully, on this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge, you’ve found things you enjoy and improved your wellbeing.
Use your experiences to build your morning routine and fill your diary with self-care activities for the month ahead.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
Practice self-care and see the health benefits. Self-care is not selfish – it’s essential for your overall well-being. It’s important to make time for yourself, even if you have a busy schedule.
I like to return to this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge at least once a year. Even with the best of intentions, I end up neglecting my needs. At the end of the challenge, I find I can:
- Laugh more.
- Make better use of my time.
- Feel more positive about the future.
- Take day-to-day challenges in my stride.
- And enjoy the good stuff.
If you want the same positive vibes, give this challenge a try!