First of all, Happy 2017, y’all! Who’s ready for a fresh start? I’m raising my hand, that’s for sure.
A new year is always full of resolutions and promises to be a better you. “New Year, new you” mantras are everywhere. I make resolutions or set goals every year, and sometimes I’m good about making them happen or sticking to them. Other times, not so much.
Last year, I kicked off 2016 with the Be Bold blogging challenge and linkup. Our first week’s post was about choosing a word of the year and how we were going to focus on that throughout the year. I chose “care” for my word, specifically focusing on self care.
This year, I’m not picking a new word for 2017. I’m sticking with self care as my focus, because I learned just how important it is to take care of yourself first. If you don’t make self care a priority, then you can’t take care of other areas of your life, and grow and succeed as you’d like. It’s all a circle.
It’s easy to say “new year, new me” in January, with the buzz and excitement of a new year and opportunity for a fresh start. But you have to commit to that mindset and keep it going past the first few days of the year.
That’s why I’m doing the 30-Day Self Care Challenge to kick off 2017.
Self care doesn’t have to be a huge effort or big task each day. Just one little thing each day can make a huge difference in taking better care of yourself. Plus, it takes 21 days to develop a habit. So here it is…
The 30-Day Self Care Challenge
- Wake up 5 minutes earlier than yesterday.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and smile.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat or drink anything else.
- Stretch for 10 minutes in the morning.
- Eat fruit for breakfast.
- Listen to your favorite music while getting dressed.
- Pause and take 10 deep breaths, at any time during your day.
- Use a standing desk for an hour at work. It’s good for your metabolism.
- Take a walk during your lunch break.
- Drink green tea when the afternoon slump hits. (I personally don’t drink coffee after noon.)
- Set up a meeting with a coworker you usually don’t work or talk with.
- Take an actual bath instead of a shower.
- Do a face mask treatment.
- Buy yourself a new book (or something else small to improve your daily routine).
- Call a friend.
- Call your parent(s).
- Call your grandparent(s).
- Unfollow or unfriend people who are overly negative and discouraging.
- Clean out one drawer in your dresser or nightstand.
- Clean out your closet.
- Drink a cup of tea at night. Chamomile is great for bedtime.
- Write yourself a positive, encouraging note to read first thing the following morning.
- Read, watch or listen to something that makes you smile or laugh before you go to bed. Never end your day on a sour note.
- Write in a journal at the end of the day. Record at least 5 positive things that happened that day.
- Write a letter to someone. An actual letter.
- Put away your phone, tablet and/or computer at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. (I should be better about this myself.)
- Stretch before you go to bed. Bedtime yoga is a blessing.
- Lay out your clothes for the next day. (It saves you a few minutes in the morning.)
- Go to bed 5 minutes earlier than yesterday.
- Take 10 deep breaths before going to sleep.
This doesn’t have to be a “30 days and done” type of challenge. And you don’t even have to cross off each item in order. Do it in whatever sequence works for you. Don’t be afraid to go back to it if you need another fresh start, or feel like you need a reminder to take care of yourself. I called it the “self care challenge” so it isn’t limited to the New Year season or any specific time. Self care is 24/7.
I challenge you to practice self care this year. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in all areas of your life.
What are some ways you practice self care in your life?