30 Day Self-Care Challenge
A few months ago I said I needed to make self-care a priority. Like I often do, I started with the best of intentions, but very quickly fell back into my old (not-so-healthy) habits.
It reached a boiling point a few weeks ago. Around the same time, Tresa at The Mom Blog WI tagged me in her 30 Day Self-Care Challenge. She had no idea of knowing how badly I needed it at the time.
A 30 Day Challenge appeals to me. 30 days is do-able. Challenging myself to complete it works well with my competitive nature. Taking the time to write down the 30 self-care activities I plan to complete over the next 30 days gives me some concrete activities to complete, and – perhaps more importantly – assures that those activities will make it onto my to-do list and become a priority on my schedule!
I would love for you to join me in this! Fall is often a busy time for many of us, between back to school and back to the routine, and gearing up for the holiday season. This 30 Day Self-Care Challenge will help make sure that you don’t get lost in the craziness of this time of year.
I’ve shared my 30 self-care activities below, which I’m going to be completing over the next 30 days. I would encourage you to make your own list of self-care ideas. I found the process of making my list to be very helpful. I took a step back from the self-care ideas lists that you can find all over the internet, and actually considered what would be the most beneficial for my physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
I also made sure to keep my self-care activities realistic. I tend to start with lofty goals, inevitably fail, and then give up completely. This time, I’m starting with baby steps, hoping that I generate some momentum that I can continue to build on.
Here’s my list:
- Use my lunch hour to go for a walk. I’m in an interior office (blah!), and it’s getting to the time of year where I could very easily go all day without seeing the sun. Getting outside for some fresh air, sunshine, and activity in the middle of the work day makes all the difference in my state of mind.
- Go to the gym. This is a big one for me. I’ve only been to the gym a handful of times since my daughter was born – and she’s 18 months old! I feel so much better when I go, and I actually enjoy it, but getting back there is a daunting prospect. This will be a significant one for me to check off my list.
- Read a book before bed. I love reading, but since I’ve started blogging I rarely read novels. It’s time to change that.
- Take a nap. No explanation necessary – who doesn’t love a nap?
- Go for or give myself a pedicure. I have a tendency to neglect my toes once sandal season is over, but I always feel self-conscious about it when we go to the pool (which is fairly often). My toes are a mess right now, so this is needed.
- Blow dry my hair. I have a bad habit of hitting snooze too many times, then going to work with damp hair or throwing my hair up in a mom bun instead of taking the time to blow dry it. I feel a lot better about myself when I’m more put-together, so this one is a confidence booster.
- Wake up before my kids. I do this on work days, but tend to squeeze in every minute of sleep that I can on my days off. A few weeks ago I got up before the rest of the family on the weekend, and enjoyed some calm, quiet, and hot coffee before the craziness of the day. It was amazing, and a relatively easy way to start the day off on the right foot.
- Play a game with my 6-year-old. Some of my kids demand attention louder than others, but my 6-year-old is not one of them. This one is for both of us – we both struggle to find quiet time amidst the chaos of our family.
- Go for a family walk after dinner. We’ve started doing this to take advantage of the gorgeous fall evenings, and the daylight while we still have it. It puts all of us in a better mood.
- Watch a movie with my husband. I’m talking actually watching one together – not he watches something while I sit beside him on my phone or computer!
- Go to bed at 9:00 (or earlier!). I keep pushing my bedtime later and later, since evenings are the only “me” time I get – not a good habit!
- Take vegetables for my snack at work. My kids’ diets are better than mine – baby steps here!
- Buy new boots. My beloved brown riding boots are damaged beyond repair (sob!). I’m always reluctant to spend significant money on myself, but these are a staple for me during fall and winter.
- Meet friends for a night out. It’s been WAY too long. It’s always so nice to get to talk to them without being interrupted by kids every 30 seconds.
- Go on a date night…or at least a lunch date. Every time my husband and I go out, we’re reminded how much we really like each other! If we can’t find childcare, a lunch date will do.
- Change up the after-work routine and do something FUN. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be a trip to the park, or pool, or even a trip to Costco (my kids love having dinner there!). The point is to break us out of our normal routine.
(Related: How to Make Time for Quality Time with your Kids)
- Have a relaxing bath. I’m talking candles, bubbles…the whole nine yards!
- Treat myself to Starbucks. I will very gladly check this one off the list 🙂
- Unplug by 8:00. This one will be hard for me. Evenings are my only time to blog and catch up on social media. I’m sure it will be good for me to take a break from that harmful blue light.
- Keep up with my journal. I keep a Line a Day journal, and I love it, but I tend to procrastinate and then it becomes a daunting task to catch back up. I’d like to break that habit so I can go back to enjoying it.
- Do yoga. It’s been a LONG time, but I used to enjoy yoga.
- Declutter my closet. Does this count as self-care? I’m including it, because decluttering is an excellent way for me to de-stress. I’ve been back at work long enough now that I know which work clothes I’m going to wear and which ones I can get rid of.
(Related: How to Declutter Your Home in 5 Easy Steps)
- Make green smoothies for me and the kids. Another baby step to get more green into my diet! I used to make these all the time, and the kids loved them, but we’ve fallen out of the habit.
- Get a massage. I feel like I should asterisk this one, because it may not happen in the next 30 days, but I will certainly schedule it by then!
- Go apple picking. I’m surrounded by apple orchards, but haven’t gone apple picking in years.
- Say no. I’ve been doing more of this lately, and it’s really, really hard for me. I’m at my personal capacity right now, so I need to say no to any extra obligations.
- Colour with my kids. Colouring is therapeutic, right? Even if it isn’t, it’s a fun way for me to spend time with them, and they’re always thrilled when I join in their activity.
- Walk the kids to school. I work 4 days a week, so I try to walk my oldest to school on my day off. It always puts me in such a good mood. In order to make this a self-care activity, I’m going to make sure we leave a little bit earlier, so I’m not hurrying them along the whole time!
- Send the kids to daycare on my day off. We have full-time childcare, but I only work 4 days a week. It gives me a terrible case of mom guilt whenever I do it, but I’m going to send the kids to daycare and take a day just for me. Not for cooking or cleaning or checking a million things off my to-do list, but just to do things for me.
- Start the “favourite part of my day” routine. My oldest and I used to have a routine where we’d share the best part of our day. It was such a positive habit for both of us, and forced me to find the good in every day. I’d like to start it up again.
I’m printing this, putting it in my planner, and treating it like a to-do list! Whether or not you want to join me in the self-care challenge, I encourage you to take the time to fit some self-care into your day. Your well-being is important too!