Taking good care of yourself is a major part of being a happy, healthy, and functional human being. In a world that demands a lot from you, finding some time to take care of your own needs ensures that you will have the energy and strength to keep going.
For thirty days, follow these daily challenges to spend more time engaging in self care activities that help you rest and relax by focusing on your needs.
30 Day Self Care Challenge
Day 1: Identify key areas of your life that cause you stress and anxiety.
One great way to attend to your self care needs is to know when you need some self care time most. Many people like to have self care time after they experience something that makes them feel particularly anxious or stressed. Understand what triggers your stress and anxiety so you can be ready to engage in self care afterward.
Day 2: Spend some time outdoors today.
Reconnecting with the outdoors is a great way to practice self care and relax. Get your feet into the cool grass, feel the warm sunshine on your skin, and take deep breaths of fresh air – all of these experiences are guaranteed to make you feel a little calmer.
Day 3: Use a deep breathing technique to recenter and refocus yourself.
Deep breathing is a phenomenal way to regain control of yourself when you feel anxious or panicked. Practice some slow, steady inhales and exhales to get your body feeling level and calm again.
Day 4: Block off one hour of time to spend doing an activity you genuinely love and enjoy.
Self care time should involve activities you genuinely love. Today, carve out one hour of time to do something you enjoy.
Day 5: Schedule an appointment you’ve been avoiding for a while.
Sometimes self care activities involve taking care of personal business. Make a point to schedule an appointment you’ve been avoiding for a while today – whether it’s the dentist, the mechanic, the plumber, or the doctor, you’ll be glad you’re one step closer toward actually getting the task handled.
Day 6: Start off your day by saying one genuine, honest, and kind thing about yourself.
Positive encouragement is good self care. Start off today by giving yourself one genuine, honest, and kind compliment. Be good to yourself by speaking to yourself kindly.
Day 7: Make a point to help a stranger with something, whether the task is big or small.
Spreading kindness to others is a fantastic form of self care. Not only will you help another person, but you’ll also benefit from feeling good about doing kind things for others. Do something kind for a stranger today – hold open a door for someone or give a stranger a compliment, for example.
Day 8: Practice saying “no.”
Telling people “no” can feel tough. You don’t want to disappoint them, but saying “yes” to some things can cause you a lot of strife. Today, practice saying “no” to someone if you genuinely do want to say no.
Day 9: Plan some short 10-minute breaks throughout your day.
Trying to work a constant, non-stop day is tiring and counterproductive. Rather than trying to run yourself into the ground, schedule some purposeful 10-minute breaks throughout the day. This simple act of kindness toward yourself is a great self care boost.
Day 10: Find a physical activity you enjoy and do it today.
Whether you like to run, walk, swim, bike, or dance – do it today! Get your body warmed up with a physical activity you genuinely enjoy for some positive and happy movement today.
Day 11: Go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Staying awake for “just one more episode” eats into your valuable sleeping and resting time. Tonight, stick to your goal of going to bed at a reasonable hour so your body can get all the quality sleep it needs.
Day 12: Designate a time slot of your day to be the “no cell phone zone.”
Put emails, texts, calls, and social media updates to rest for a while. Silence your cell phone for a specific time slot of the day so you can work, rest, or relax uninterrupted.
Day 13: Treat yourself to something small and nice, such as your favorite meal.
Give yourself one of your favorite little treats today. Grab your favorite takeout, get a new haircut, or pick up a coffee from your favorite cafe. These little self care acts boost your morale.
Day 14: Practice stepping away to decompress when you’re feeling tense or stressed during the day.
Not every problem needs to be solved immediately. Today, engage in self care by practicing stepping away from a tense or stressful decision before speaking or acting. Give yourself a few minutes to refocus before engaging in the situation again.
Day 15: Take a critical look at your regular daily schedule and find one task or routine you can eliminate from it.
Schedules can become as cluttered as a storage closet – people are often to discover that they follow certain routines out of habit rather than necessity. Look at your schedule the same way you would a storage closet: what can stay in your schedule? Are there any routines you can remove from your schedule?
Do a little “clean out” and see if you can find one task or routine that can be removed from your regular schedule.
Day 16: Pack yourself a reusable water bottle and some snacks to take with you while you’re out and about today.
Staying hydrated and satisfied is an important part of self care. Don’t let yourself get too thirsty or hungry today – pack a water bottle and some snacks you can keep with you throughout the day.
Day 17: Clean and organize one of your personal spaces today.
If your car, office, bedroom, bathroom, or closet are becoming too messy and unorganized, choose one of these spaces to clean today. It’s easier to function and feel comfortable in a clean and organized space.
Day 18: Try learning a new skill or hobby.
Spend some time trying to learn a new skill or hobby today. At the end, you’ll likely know some of the basics of the new skill and you’ll get to engage in an activity that genuinely interests you as a part of your self care.
Day 19: Plan a date in advance to be away from work or school.
Scheduling some rest time away from work or school is essential for self care. Take a look at the calendar and choose a day you can be away from work or school. Even if you only stay at home and relax, you can still benefit from taking the day off.
Day 20: Practice some deep breathing exercises.
Regaining control of your breathing is a great way to help yourself regain a sense of calmness and control. Practice some deep breathing exercises to steady yourself today.
Day 21: Cook a new recipe you’ve never tried preparing before.
Grab the ingredients from the store you need to make a new recipe you’ve never tried before. Experimenting in the kitchen is a great (and delicious) way to engage in a healthy, self care-related distraction.
Day 22: Challenge yourself to read a chapter or two of a book before bed instead of scrolling on your cell phone or watching television.
Televisions and cell phone screens can cause your brain to signal to your body that it’s time to be awake – this isn’t conducive to falling asleep easily. Instead, try reading a chapter or two of a book before going to bed instead as a part of your self care routine.
Day 23: Engage in an artistic or crafty activity.
Being creative is a great way to practice self care. Spend some time engaging in an artistic or creative activity you enjoy today and allow your mind to focus on creation for a while.
Day 24: Journal about the day’s events.
Journaling is a great way to get unhelpful thoughts out of your mind. At the end of the day, journal about what you experienced – your thoughts, experiences, actions, and words can all leave your head and live on the page.
Day 25: Learn a basic yoga pose or two and try them.
Yoga stretches are a great way to warm up your muscles and calm your whole body. Look at some free resources, such as Youtube videos, to learn a basic pose or two and try them.
Day 26: Spend some time really laughing at something that you find genuinely funny.
Laughter is really and truly the best medicine. Find something that makes you laugh, whether it’s a comedic book, a funny movie, or a silly podcast, and spend some time enjoying it so you can get in a good laugh for self care.
Day 27: Challenge yourself to create a “don’t do” list.
Many people view self care as things you should be doing, but it can also include things you don’t do. Think about activities and choices you should avoid as a part of your self care.
For example, if you feel stressed out and anxious when you procrastinate projects, add “procrastinating on projects” to your list.
Day 28: Relax while listening to some of your favorite music.
Music creates powerful memory pathways in the brain. Spend some time listening to some of your favorite songs today as a way to engage with those powerful memories and forget the world for a little while.
Day 29: Make your social media usage mindful and purposeful.
Be mindful when using social media today. Comment with purpose, follow pages you actually care about following, and be selective with who you friend. You may even want to spend part of today doing a “clean out” of friends and pages you no longer want to follow anymore. Being mindful about how you’re using social media can make it a more meaningful practice.
Day 30: Reflect on the last 29 days of this challenge and repeat your favorite self care activity today.
Developing good, healthy self care habits means you will need to find the strategies that work best for you.
No two people have the exact same needs or preferences when it comes to self care regimens – today, think about the last 29 days you spent trying different self care activities and choose to intentionally repeat your favorite today.
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