Courtesy of www.SelfCarePursuit.com
With the month of February brings thoughts of love, so what better way to kick off the month than with a Self Love challenge! Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers or show you they care, do something kind for yourself or even bring friends and loved ones along for the ride! This is a perfect list for practicing self love anytime of the year.
Day 1: Mindfulness
Practice mindfulness and meditation for 5 minutes today. Focus on being in the moment and quieting your mind. This is a great way to start the challenge with strength. For more information about the Health benefits of Meditation, see my previous post.
Day 2: Your Bedroom Sanctuary
Declutter and rearrange your bedroom. This month is about Self love...for YOU! Your personal space is a protected sanctuary and should be clean and decluttered so you can end and start each day with a peaceful space. Make your bed with fresh sheets, put away all items on dressers or on the floor, get rid of trash, and organize your clothing. All of these things help promote restful sleep and a feeling of peace in the bedroom. (For more information regarding the Importance of Sleep, read my prior post)
Day 3: Sunrise/Sunset Moments
Watch the sunrise/sunset. Now, I realize that some of your live in an area that is COLD in February. So this is a time that you set aside to just be in the moment. Get up early to have a quiet moment to yourself or take time after dinner to retreat and enjoy peace. No phones or distractions.
Day 4: Indulge
Bake cookies. And if you don't enjoy baking, buy a cookie and eat it (or another special treat you enjoy)! Use mindful eating techniques, enjoy and savor each bite, don't over eat and don't eat while distracted. Allow yourself a quiet indulgence in moderation.
Day 5: Music
Listen to your favorite music today. Think of a song or album that takes you back to a happy time in your life or something that you haven't listened to in a while. Music is uplifting and very personal! Don't let the kids hog the radio, or your loved ones pick the songs, it's YOUR choice today!
Day 6: Long Term Affirmations
Write down 3 affirmations about your long-term goals as though you’ve already accomplished them. It is good to have goals and make a plan to achieve them! Write the affirmations and save them in a special place so you can remind yourself of what you are working towards!
Day 7: Self Love Activity
Schedule 2-4 hours this week to focus on Self Care/ Self Love. Take a relaxing bath, get your hair or nails done, schedule a massage, or use a scented body lotion! This time is for you to be kind to your body and nourish or groom it to make you feel cherished.
Day 8: Laugh!
"Laughter is the best medicine!" Watch a funny video, your favorite comedy movie, or check out funny GIFs/memes! Laughing and sharing that with friends releases the "feel good" hormones in your brain and can take a gloomy day or mood and turn it into something fun! Allow yourself to laugh today!
Day 9: Forgive Yourself
Forgive yourself for a mistake made in the past that you haven’t yet come to terms with. Often times we make ourselves feel so guilty for a mistake that it eats us up and affects our future decisions. Write down your mistake. Own it. Write 3 ways to do things better next time around.
Then write "I made a mistake but I am a good person. I will do better next time." Then tear up that paper and throw it away. Allowing forgiveness is part of Self Care and Self love.
Day 10: Mid-day Reset
Take 5 minutes in the middle of your day to breathe deeply, relax your shoulders/muscles, and recenter yourself. With each exhale, blow away stress. Tasks will still be there and other demands on your time will continue and that's ok. But you don't want to put so much pressure and stress on yourself that your blood pressure is elevated and your shoulders or neck is full of knots. Be mindful of the activity of your day and how it is affecting you, then refresh and tackle the afternoon.
Day 11: Self Love List
Make a list of 5 things you love about yourself. We are often so hard on ourselves and dwell on our imperfections. But you have so much good inside of you as well! Celebrate that today. You have a strength and resilience that should be highlighted as part of your Self Love challenge.
Day 12: Involve others in the Home
Involve others in household and family chores. You work hard during the week and so does everyone else in the house. So why is it ok for everyone to relax while you catch up on the chores? Cooking, cleaning, laundry................... Instead, involve the family. The laundry is washed?
Everyone can sit in the living room and fold together! Bathroom needs to be cleaned? Everyone pile in and do ONE thing: clean the toilet while another wipes down the shower and the kids tackle the sink! The details can vary but if everyone pitches in, it doesn't take long. Put on some music to make this time fun and relaxing. And things get done much more quickly! This is a way to show Self love but caring for the home together rather than making yourself the "slave" of the family.
Day 13: Read a Book
Read a new book or listen to a motivational podcast. Part of Self Care and Self love is strengthening your mind and learning new things. And what better way to learn than from the words of someone else who has learned the hard way and made mistakes that you don't want to repeat! You can even put this on in the background while you are driving or doing tasks around the house.
Day 14: Flowers
Give yourself flowers or a candle today! Decorate your desk with a beautiful bouquet or light a scented candle that makes you feel calm and cared for! It is a great way of showing Self love!
Day 15: Get the blood flowing!
Try a new exercise or activity today! There are so many great videos on YouTube so this is something you can easily do from your home without spending money! Try a Zumba session, an easy beginning Yoga video, or even Krav maga! There are many ways to get your blood flowing and invigorate your mind with something new! (see my post about Exercise for more tips and tricks!)
Day 16: Vegetables
Plan your meals for tomorrow and incorporate at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables! It's just one day and can provide much needed nutrients and fiber naturally! There are easy ways to incorporate more vegetables into you diet so if you are interested in focusing on your health and "Tricking your Taste buds" then check out my previous post! But part of Self love is nourishing your body and mind with natural vitamins and nutrients that it needs to function at its best! (You can also check out my posts on Hydration and Constipation for more tips!)
Day 17: Pay it forward
Give. Let today be the day that you identify an act of kindness towards someone else. It can be as small as a handwritten note to a coworker or paying the toll for a stranger behind you. This is a large part of Self love and self care because of the effects it has on YOU personally! Read my post on Giving for more science and psychology behind giving to others and how it affects your own well being!
Day 18: Social Media Detox
Disconnect from social media for an entire day. If you need to check emails, do it in batches and only twice today. But allow yourself to unplug and be mindful of how much extra time you have or if you are more relaxed. Media detox is an important part of Self care and Self love.
Day 19: New Activity
Identify one hobby or activity that you always wanted to try and make a plan to do so! It can be as simple as a local wine tasting, or a "paint night event" in your area. Groupon (or other online savings website) is a great way to try something new without spending much money because they have fantastic local deals! Try paintball, an escape room, glass blowing............................................................. anything that you have always wanted to try! Grab a friend to be adventurous with you!
Day 20: Journal/ Brain Dump
Write your thoughts in a journal. I use this "brain dump" technique to get my thoughts, concerns, worries, or even "to-do" items out of my head and onto paper. This helps to clear your mind and allow it to rest. You don't have to remember every little thing because it is written down. This is very helpful to do in the evening to prepare yourself for the next day and allow for a restful night sleep.
Day 21: Intentional time with Loved ones
Be intentional about time with your family, significant other, or close friends today. Catch up with them, tell them you care about their life, and thank them for what they have done for you over the years. This can be a conversation, a small gift with a note, or even a text or email. But appreciating others in your life makes you feel good and realize that you are in fact loved.
Day 22: Drop bad Habit
Drop a bad habit! Do you bite your nails? Google tips to help you stop! Do you eat late at night? Try to go just one night without a bedtime snack! There are many resources to help break a bad habit so just do a little research and make a plan! Use BABY STEPS and be kind to yourself, but small changes over time can help you break a habit that has been there even for years! I'm happy to help you develop a plan if you need professional guidance!
Day 23: Develop a New Good habit
Identify a new GOOD habit! What better way to break a bad habit than by substituting it with a new GOOD habit! Instead of eating late at night while watching TV, grab a book or a journal and decompress with a cup of hot tea or warm milk. Or identify a time of day or week to go for a nice walk outside instead of being stressed when you get home from work. You can even do something as simple as incorporating more water into your daily routine or even develop a healthier sleep habit! You can read my posts about Beauty, Sleep, Hydration, Meditation, Developing routines and Keeping routines that stick!
Day 24: Learn to Say "No"
Learn to say "No." Look at your calendar and identify one thing this month that you don't want to have in your schedule! If it isn't absolutely necessary for home, work, or health, then cancel it.
Say no. Role play with a friend and say "no" to every task or request that they can think of. And when someone asks to you commit to something, say "I will look at my calendar and get back to you tomorrow." Then take time to evaluate if it is something you can actually commit to without making yourself more stressed or anxious! Protecting yourself and the way you spend your time and energy is a huge part of Self Love and Self Care. You have 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely! They are your own valuable commodity that you cannot get back once they have passed!
Day 25: Celebrate your achievements
Make a list of the biggest things you’ve achieved in the last year and celebrate your victories! For me, this sparks energy to start a new project or encouragement during a tedious task! Often times we go day to day without realizing our long-term gains! So take some time to think of the things that you have already accomplished and use this list next time you are frustrated or feel STUCK! This is also helpful if you have yearly reviews at work and need to highlight your accomplishments! You can keep a running list and make it known that you are a stellar employee!
Day 26: Try a new dish
Go to a great restaurant and try and a new dish! Have you been wanting to try a vegan entree? Check out the new restaurant that just opened! Is there a favorite place you go for lunch?
Branch out and try something on the menu that you have never had! Be intentional about tasting the food and trying new flavors!
Day 27: Adult Coloring
Take a mental break and color an Adult coloring page. This uses a separate part of your brain and allows you to decompress. I have free coloring pages that you can use, and for more information about the benefits of Adult Coloring, read my post! (coming soon)
Day 28: Forgiveness
Forgive someone today. They may have done something as annoying as cutting you off on the road or bumping into you and not apologizing. They may have deeply wronged you and it has taken years for you to recover. But today is the day to make a plan and take necessary steps to forgive them. If you are harboring hurt and resentment, it wears on you and causes additional stress on your body which is unhealthy. Work with a professional if this is something that you cannot do on your own, but at least identify the area and make a plan to tackle forgiveness.
Day 29: Declutter at home
Clean out and organize a drawer or a closet. Clutter in the house can create clutter and stress in the mind! I love the KonMarie method of purging, so today, thank the items that have entered your house and have served their purpose. Then let them go! Keep only those items that bring you joy and are useful. And allow yourself to get rid of unwanted and unused items in your home.
Day 30: Confidence today
Put on something that makes you feel beautiful. Do your hair, apply some makeup, and a flattering outfit that makes you feel confident! Part of Self love is feeling confident and loving who you are! You are not perfect but you are perfectly unique and bring something to this world that no one else can bring! So today we all want to see you looking and feeling your best and loving the Self that you have become! Today we all celebrate YOU.
Take time to love the person in the mirror. She has been through so much and is still standing strong!
~Sarah, Self Care Pursuit