Living a healthy life isn’t just about what’s on your dinner plate or what you do at the gym. True holistic wellness focuses on your emotional, mental, and social health, too. That’s why it is just as important to workout your self care muscle as it is to get your sweat on doing your favorite activity (to some extent, perhaps even more important).
Self-care, when it becomes something we should do, somehow loses its appeal even though there is nothing more fun than doing stuff that feeds your soul. Think about it, would you rather clean the kitchen or do some yoga? So why is the kitchen always clean?
We’ve created a 10 day self-care challenge to help you find ways to improve yourself. Each challenge is designed to improve either your mental, physical, or emotional health – all equally important for our being.
You can start with ‘one day – one thing’ practice. With time, you may complete more and more items from the list in one day. Soon you will want to add new items to the list. Finally, if you persist and persevere towards your goals, you will turn it all into your habitual healthy lifestyle.
10 Day Self-Care Challenge – Go For It!
Before we go any deeper, in case you’re someone who actually hasn’t heard much about self-care and you’re wondering what the big deal is, here are just a few of the benefits:
- Self-care improves your confidence & self-esteem
- It improves both your mental health & stress levels
- Self-care boosts your physical health
- It also helps you get to know yourself better
Remember, this challenge is for YOU, so make any modifications to the daily challenges as needed. Challenge accepted? Let’s get started.
DAY 1: MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY
Nothing affects our ability to process and handle challenging situations more that adequate sleep. When we are well-rested, we are better equipped to keep our emotions in check, be productive and find creative solutions. Unfortunately, our busy schedules often keep a good night’s rest at bay.
Today, take the time to develop a nighttime routine and get in the habit of making sleep a priority.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (seven to nine hours per night). Customize a bedtime routine that will help you wind down and eliminate stress before bed.
Some ways to promote healthy sleep habits include: taking a warm bath, unplugging from screens one to two hours before bed, drinking herbal tea, and implementing a little aromatherapy.
DAY 2: DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Our society has a habit of reaching for a diet soda over bottled water, and that isn’t good. Sodas, coffee, and energy drinks can be full of sugar and are often more dehydrating than they are hydrating.
Water is an essential ingredient for our body to function properly and without it, we feel both the physical and mental effects.
Today, drink more water.
Not sure how much water is enough? Follow the 8×8 rule and aim to drink eight ounces of water, eight different times today.
Drinking enough water is critical to your health, as it helps your cardiovascular health, promotes healthy digestion, and improves your energy level and brain function.
DAY 3: COMMIT TO HEALTHY EATING
Eating healthy can do a lot for your body like improve your skin, reduce inflammation, and increase your energy level. On the other hand, having a diet that includes predominantly unhealthy foods (such as ultra processed, fried foods, and refined grains) can have serious implications to your health – from increased risk of disease, hair loss, and mental health issues to a weaker immune system and more.
Today, challenge yourself to eat more plants and/or less processed foods for every meal and see if you notice any improvements in how you feel.
DAY 4: MOVE MORE
Everyone agrees that exercise is good for you. It elevates your mood, decreases stress and gives you more energy. So if we can all agree we should exercise more, why aren’t we? Lack of time is usually the response. Well, the good news is you can realize the benefits with as little as ten minutes a day. Surely, we can find ten minutes, right?
Today, go for a walk, find a 10-minute exercise routine on YouTube or do some stretching at your desk. Whatever you choose, choose to move more today than you did yesterday.
DAY 5: HAVE A QUIET READ
Pick a cozy corner or create a zen space in your home and read a book. Get lost in something other than what’s directly happening in your life – it can be a great escape, without ever leaving the house. Your book can be on any topic you’d like, as long as it gives you a mental break and leaves you feeling more relaxed (or invigorated) than you felt before you picked it up.
Reading keeps our mind sharp, and an active mind better equips us to handle stress and life’s challenges. Be on a constant quest to learn and challenge the mind. It will contribute to more positive thoughts and a better outlook on life.
Today, pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read and read a page … or ten.
DAY 6: UNPLUG
When’s the last time you took a break from your phone? Challenge yourself to keep away from your phone or any digital distractions for an entire day. If a full day without digital devices is unrealistic for you, try an hour or two.
It can be very beneficial to step away from the rings and pings for a while and only focus on what’s in front of you. This might also help you connect with the people around you today, or sleep better tonight.
DAY 7: ENJOY A HOBBY
Having time to do something just for the fun of it is the ultimate example of self-care. Everybody feels good when they are doing something they love. Taking up a hobby isn’t about mastering a skill, it is about releasing the stress and chaos of our day in an activity we enjoy.
Today, try something you have always wanted or do something you love – just for the fun it.
DAY 8: SPEND TIME OUTDOORS
Nature is a calming place for most people. The fresh air, the beauty, and the solitude of nature can help you clear your mind, increase your creativity, lower your stress levels, and become more mindful, among other benefits.
Take some time to go outside and take a walk or just sit in nature and take note of your surroundings. Get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air. Walking outside for an extended period of time is not only great exercise, but exposing yourself to the right amounts of vitamin D can also help boost your mood.
Make it fun by going to your favorite path or trail. You can even make it a family activity, bring your partner along, listen to your favorite podcast, or call a friend.
DAY 9: LAUGH
Laughter really is the best medicine, and it can do so much for our health. So, do something that makes you laugh today – and every day preferably. You could watch funny movies/videos/shows, read a funny book, talk to someone who makes you laugh, play with your silly pet, or look at funny memes online.
DAY 10: SPOIL YOURSELF
Spoiling ourselves is not self-indulgent, it is necessary. It’s important we take the time to remind ourselves that we are special and deserving of the good in our lives. When we treat ourselves well and when we believe we’ve earned it, more opportunities of abundance will begin to appear.
Today, do something special just for you – because you deserve it.
More Challenges to Add to Your List
Now that you’ve completed your self-care challenge, consider committing to another one. Add challenges to your list in any order and enjoy your life!
- Give up alcohol for 30 days
- Drink herbal tea before bed
- Spend time coloring
- Watch a TED Talk
- Do yoga
- Eat your meals without distractions, like your phone or TV
- Skip added sugar
- Walk 10,000 steps a day
- Feng shui a room in your home
- Set a reminder for three mental breaks during your day
- Join an online workout class
- Start a morning journal
- Write down three kind things you did today
- Do 10 push-ups
- Be creative and try painting
- Write a business plan
- Start a hobby like cross stitch
- Make a sugar scrub
- Take a personal day
- Call a friend
- Go swimming (just for fun)
- Write a love letter to yourself
- Treat yourself to a massage
- Make your bedroom a zen room
- Light incense or a candle
- Try something new
- Learn how to grow something
- Create a fitness goal (run a marathon)
- Complete a puzzle
- Video chat a family member
- Sketch a landscape
- Do 30 sit-ups
- Declutter your space
- Eat something green with every meal
- Get rid of 3 things you don’t use
- Have a spontaneous date night
- Say “no” to someone