INSIDE: If you wish you would put yourself first more often or you feel guilty about taking time for you, maybe it’s time for a self-care challenge. I did one last month and cannot tell you how good it was to just focus on myself. Not sure what one is or how to do it? Find out in this post!
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When did you last make time for you?
I know you know that self-care is important. And that you should be incorporating self-care activities into your day. But sometimes that’s easier said than done, right?
When there’s so much going on all the time, it’s easy to let your self-care fall to the wayside. Especially if you’re having a tough time or a bad day. When you’re doing all you can to just keep your head above water, it can be hard to find the energy or motivation to make your wellbeing a priority.
Which is silly, because it’s during those times that you need self-care more than ever!
Establishing a self-care routine…
Creating a self-care routine that sticks takes work. It’s not something you master overnight. It takes persistence and practice. In order to benefit from it and get good at doing it, you need to practice self-care every single day.
But how do you do that if you don’t know what self-care activities to do? Or you struggle with finding the time and motivation never mind actually remembering to do it?
Well, that’s where the self-care challenge comes in!
Do a self-care challenge and not only will you discover how easy it is to put yourself first, but you’ll also get into the habit of filling your cup first – WITHOUT feeling guilty about doing it! Pretty cool, right?!
Want to know how it works? Keep reading because all is about to be revealed!
What is a self-care challenge?
Just like the name suggests, a self-care challenge is a challenge that helps you to focus on your self-care. For a set number of days, you do one thing every single day that helps you to practice self-care and make your wellbeing more of a priority.
A self-care challenge can be as long or as short as you like. Whether it’s for 7 days, 10 days, 21 days or 30 days is totally up to you. Personally, I prefer 30-day self-care challenges because they allow you to focus on your health and wellbeing for a whole month.
However long you choose to do it for, the idea is that, come the end of the challenge, you’ll feel fitter, healthier and happier. Chances are you’ll feel more relaxed, calmer and less stressed too. You’ll probably also find that you’re sleeping better because you’re less stressed.
And because you’re being more intentional about how you practice self-care, come the end of the challenge, you’ll find it much easier to make your self-care more of a habit going forward.
Why do a self-care challenge?
A self-care challenge is a great way of kick-starting your self-care routine. It helps you take care of your mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing. And it helps you to be more intentional about finding time for you every single day.
If you’re just starting out with creating a self-care routine, a self-care challenge can help you to get up and running with minimal fuss and effort. Especially if you’re not sure what self-care activities to try.
With a self-care challenge, all of the hard work is done for you. There’s no thinking about what you need to do. All you have to do is follow the challenge. You just look at what day it is, find time to incorporate that activity into your day and do it.
Self-care challenges make life interesting…
Another great aspect of doing a self-care challenge is that it makes self-care interesting. Because let’s be honest, doing the same self-care activity day in, day out can be pretty boring! And if you’re not enjoying something, you’re less likely to do it. Knowing that you have a new activity to look forward to each day makes life interesting. Which in turn means you are far more likely to create a self-care habit that sticks.
The best benefit…
My favourite benefit of self-care challenges though is that they help you discover which what self-care activities suit you best. They encourage you to try new activities that you might not have thought of doing before. And they give you the opportunity to try an activity that you have thought about doing but wouldn’t necessarily want to do for a whole 30 days.
Knowing that you only have to do that particular self-care challenge for just one day removes that pressure. It also means that if you happen to find a self-care activity you really enjoyed, you can make it more of a regular part of your self-care routine.
Which self-care Challenge should you choose?
Well, that’s totally up to you! It depends what you’re looking to achieve from doing the challenge. Are you wanting to focus on your emotional wellbeing? Your mental wellbeing? Your physical wellbeing? Or all three? When you know that, spend a few minutes scouring Pinterest and you’ll find all kinds of self-care challenges that would suit.
Alternatively, to save you the hassle of looking, you could just do the self-care challenge that I did!
My 30-day self-care challenge…
In this post, I’m sharing the self-care challenge that I followed for the whole of last month so that you can do it too. If you’re looking for a self-care challenge that focuses on your emotional, mental AND physical wellbeing or it’s the first time you’ve ever done a self-care challenge, this is THE self-care challenge to try!
Not only does it give you the chance to try all kinds of self-care activities so that you can see what you like, but this self-care challenge is also a lot of fun too! It’s packed with lots of activities that I would never have thought of being considered as self-care. But now I’ve done them I can see why they’re so important.
This self-care challenge has helped me to get my self-care routine back on track and made it more interesting. It’s helped me to create a self-care plan going forward and it can totally do the same for you too!
Which self-care challenge did I choose?
After a bit of searching, I came across this challenge from GoodLife Fitness. I knew it would be perfect because it’s not just about early nights and bubble baths. With challenges like “listen to a guided meditation podcast” and “do a 10-minute stretching routine“, I knew it would give me the chance to switch things up and start making my self-care more of a habit.
And having now done it, I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. Want to know what my favourite mini-challenges from the GoodLife Fitness 30-day self-care challenge were and why? Here they are!
My favourite 30-day self-care challenges…
Self-care challenge #5: Do a random act of kindness for someone else
Initially, I didn’t think that doing an act of kindness for someone else counted as self-care. But I was surprised to find that it totally does. There really is something quite powerful in spreading a little love. Not only does it make the person you share that kindness with feel good but it makes you feel good too by boosting your emotional wellbeing.
What did I do? I ordered a little care package for my best friend and her two kids. Given that we’ve not been able to leave our homes for a few weeks, I thought it would be nice to send a few treats to her direct from Amazon. And so, I ordered her a bottle of her favourite tipple and a puzzle for her boy that had his favourite superheroes on. And for her daughter, I ordered a bracelet-making set that they could sit and do together.
It was a really nice surprise for them and they’ve had great fun doing the activities together. She was really touched by the gesture and it gave them something nice that they could do at home together. It’s made me want to do random acts of kindness like this more often!
What would you do as a random act of kindness for someone if you were to do this self-care challenge?
Self-care challenge #14: Groom yourself.
This was probably one of my most favourite activities of the challenge. I really enjoy things like colouring my hair and painting my nails but it’s not something that I do very often. And so, for this mini-challenge, I decided that I would spend a day pampering and grooming myself this way.
Handily, this challenge fell on a Saturday which was perfect timing. I’ve had a hair dye sitting in my draw for almost six months. I’ve been meaning to use it since I bought it but never got around to it. So, I spent my day colouring my hair and painting my nails in the brightest colour I could find. I even painted my toenails which is something I never normally do!
It felt so good to spend time grooming myself, doing things to pamper myself and make me feel good. Looking down and seeing my brightly coloured toenails whilst wearing my flip flops really makes me smile. I’ve decided that from now on, I’m always going to have colour on my toenails. And I love how my hair looks too – there’s not a grey hair in sight!
What would you do to groom yourself for this mini-challenge?
Self-care challenge #15: Go to a yoga class.
Before I had my youngest, I used to go to yoga once a week after work with a friend. I stopped going when I found out that I was pregnant and for some reason just never went back. I don’t know why I haven’t picked this hobby back up because it was a self-care activity that I always really enjoyed. So, this challenge was a great excuse to try it again.
Because of everything that’s going on right now, I couldn’t go to an actual yoga class so I decided to give a YouTube yoga video a try instead. It reminded me just how much I used to enjoy practising yoga and when we’re all finally allowed outdoors again, one of the things first things I’ll be doing is signing up for proper yoga class.
Which yoga workout did I do? This one from SarahBeth Yoga:
Self-care challenge #16: Create/review a list of goals for yourself.
I’m really good at reviewing my work goals but when it comes to reviewing my personal goals, I’m not so good. And so, it was nice to see this challenge as part of the self-care challenge. Because if you’re to be happy and live a life you love, you need to accomplish your goals and dreams, right?!
But if you don’t regularly cheque in on where you are with your goals it can be hard to know what you need to do next. Checking in on them not only helps you identify whether they are still goals that resonate with what you want, but it also gives you the opportunity to switch things up if you need to too.
When was the last time you reviewed your personal goals? If it’s been a while, this mini-challenge will help you to get it done!
Self-care challenge #17: Listen to a guided meditation or podcast.
During my chemotherapy, one of the things that kept me going was listening to guided meditations. And it’s a practice that’s stayed with me ever since. I’ve been using the Calm app for a long time now and so I thought I would use this mini-challenge as an opportunity to find a different guided meditation.
My medication gives me insomnia and so going to sleep and staying asleep is something I struggle to do. So, I decided to look for a guided meditation that would help me get to sleep. After a bit of searching on Spotify, I discovered the Sleep Cove guided sleep meditation and sleep hypnosis podcast.
With a mix of relaxing sleep hypnosis, guided sleep meditations and bedtime stories, it’s become my favourite guided meditation podcast. I now listen to it every single night both when I go to sleep and if I wake up during the night. I now sleep so much better and wake up far more refreshed. If you don’t listen to it already and struggle with getting to sleep too, I highly recommend checking it out!
Self-care challenge #19: Treat yourself to whatever you like.
I thought long and hard about what I would treat myself to for this challenge and decided that I would purchase some supplies for the hobbies that I used to have when I was a child that I’ve always wanted to get back into.
When I was 9 or 10, I would spend my weekends colouring, practicing calligraphy with my brush pens and making cards for friends using quilling. I loved doing these so much but when I hit my teens, like any normal teenager, I was more interested in going out with my friends and so I stopped doing them.
As an adult, I’ve always wanted to get back into them but never really had the time. And so, I thought that this challenge was a good excuse for me to buy the supplies that I needed to do just that. I now have a new calligraphy book to practice my writing in, a new Johanna Basford colouring book and colouring pencils as well as a quilling starter kit!
I cannot tell you how good it feels to get back into these activities again. It’s so nice to sit of an evening and do something that’s just for me.
What would you treat yourself to if you were to do this self-care challenge?
Self-care challenge #21: Do a 10-minute stretching routine.
Like anybody else, I do my warm-up and cool-down stretches when I’m working out. But I’ve never thought of doing a stretching routine on its own as a self-care activity. I really enjoyed this mini-challenge and felt so good after having had a really good stretch!
My dog has his own stretching routine which is incredibly funny to watch. I’ve never understood why he does it so often until now. A stretching routine loosens you up and makes you feel more energised. It makes you feel so much more flexible too. This is one of those self-care activities I now intend to do every single day.
If you’ve never tried a stretching routine before, this is the day to do it. Watch out though because just like me, you’ll be wanting to do it every single day! Here’s the one I did -it’s from Natacha Oceane and although the stretches take a bit of practice, it’s a LOT of fun!
Self-care challenge #26: Take a photo walk.
I love going for walks whilst listening to podcasts and audiobooks. But I’ve never thought of taking pictures while I do it instead. And so, for this challenge, I took myself off around my usual walking route and snapped a few photos as I went.
The unexpected benefit of doing this was that I realised that I appreciate my daily walk so much more than I thought. It also made me so much more mindful of what I was doing and be more present and aware of my surroundings than I am when I zone out to my music or podcasts.
I’m going to do this again but next time walk around my local forest and see what pictures of the birds, squirrels and deer I can capture!
Self-care challenge #29: Practice mindful breathing.
I practise mindful breathing as part of my guided meditations but like the stretching routine from challenge #21, I’ve never actually tried practicing mindful breathing as its own self-care activity. Turns out that it is a great stress-buster!
Now, whenever I’m having a tough day or I’m feeling a little stressed, I stop what I’m doing and spend a few minutes practicing mindful breathing. Sitting in my favourite chair, I close my eyes, breathe in for a count of four, hold my breath for four seconds and breathe out for a count of four. I do this for about 5 minutes and it really helps me to ground myself and feel calmer.
If you’ve never practiced mindful breathing as a separate self-care activity before maybe today is the day to try.
The self-care challenge that helps you make your wellbeing more of a priority…
There you have it! The 30-day self-care challenge that helped me to add more self-care to my day and my favourite mini-challenges from it! This challenge was part of my year of 30-day challenges. Twelve fun and practical 30-day challenges I’ve specifically chosen to do to help me:
- Be more intentional about the way I live my life.
- Be more present.
- Have more fun.
- Use my time more wisely.
- Take better care of myself.
Last month’s 30-day challenge was all about nurturing my marriage. Which was perfect considering it was Valentine’s month! And having spent the month strengthening my relationship with my Hubby, I thought it made perfect sense to follow on with a self-care challenge that would help me to strengthen my relationship with myself!
And do you know what? It was super beneficial! Not only did it help me discover new self-care ideas to try, but it also helped me add more self-care to my day and help my self-care routine become more of a habit.
And it can totally do the same for you!
So, if you’re wishing that you could make your wellbeing more of a priority, or did something that was just for you every single day, why not give this self-care challenge a try?
Tempted but feel like a 30-day self-care challenge is too long?
Why not try a 21-day self-care challenge, a 10-day self-care challenge, or even a 7-day self-care challenge like this one instead! Simply pick your favourite mini-challenges and just do those!
Better still, why not create your own that you repeat every single month?! And if you do, share it on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @asimpleandcontentedlife so that I can see it and share it too!
Want more 30-day challenges like this?
Don’t forget to join the Facebook group too so that you never miss any of the challenges!
That’s it for this post! Have you tried a self-care challenge before? Has this prompted you to give one a try? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…
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