You’re a caring mother, a loyal friend, a valuable employee and a loving partner. You live and lead passionately, devoting most of your time to those around you. It’s what everyone loves and admires about you.
Yet your caring nature and constant giving can leave you feeling drained and overloaded if you don’t save a little bit of that compassion for a certain VIP…
Self-care is one of our most basic human needs yet it can (and often does!) get bumped of the to-do list in place of more urgent and important tasks. But what can possibly be a higher priority than your own wellbeing? Without it, you’ll be struggling or surviving – not thriving – and supporting others becomes much harder too.
Spending even a little time on you is essential if you want to feel less stress and be there for those who need you most. The best way to boost your wellbeing is to practice simple acts of self-care: small, regular investments into your mental/ physical/ spiritual needs that will pay dividends in the long run.
Looking after yourself leaves you feeling more calm, joyful, energised, confident and resilient. Not only are you in a better place to rise to any challenge, being at your best also impacts those around you for the better. Notice how much calmer, present, supportive and caring you are towards others when your own cup is filled?
Self-care doesn’t need to be challenging, a chore, a stress, or something else you don’t have enough hours in the day to do. It can involve quick and simple strategies that are fun, ft easily into your life and effortlessly support you so that you flourish.
Take some time to take care of you. It’s worth it. You’re worth it.
Join in with our self care challenge in January on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #ITM30daychallenge to share your pictures with us and see how others are getting on!
The 30 day self care challenge
Day 1 – Plan to succeed
Decide on a time and place to spend 5-10 minutes a day on your self-care over the next 30 days. Schedule the time in now and honour it. Pop it in the diary, set a reminder and make it a date!
Day 2 – Be positive
Write down three positive words affirming who you are. For instance: “I am generous, brave and smart.” Choose words that describe you and your unique awesomeness.
Day 3 – Eat well
Give your body exactly what it needs to function well. Find a new healthy recipe and make a delicious dinner tonight.
Day 4 – Get outside
Get outside and enjoy the green. Jennifer Cuttriss from Geoje, South Korea, suggests turning off your tech as you reconnect to nature: “I like to switch off, get out of the monotony of everyday life and do something for myself. Hiking allows me to appreciate nature, the small things, and refocus on what’s most important in my life.”
Day 5 – Feel proud
What have you accomplished recently? Today is the day to celebrate your achievement!
Day 6 – Try something new
Step out of your comfort zone and have fun trying something new. Look for opportunities to say ‘yes’, stay curious and give it a go.
Day 7 – Play that funky music!
Listen to your favourite song. Turn it up loud! Sing it and shake it!
Day 8 – Do something you love
Take some time out to do something you love, such as a crafty hobby, a yoga class or going out for coffee. Pick something that brings you joy knowing you’ll look forward to it all day.
Day 9 – Notice your skills
What lights you up? What are you naturally good at? Try using these skills and strengths at work today and notice the difference it makes.
Day 10 – Nurture your body
Boost your nutrient levels and heal your body by drinking a delicious juice or smoothie. So. Much. Goodness!
Day 11 – Get active
Run. Walk. Cycle. Stretch. Dance. Move your body and get active in your very own way for at least 30 minutes today.
Day 12 – Say No
It’s a significant act of self-care to know your limits and set healthy boundaries. Say ‘no’ (or at least ’not now’) if ‘yes’ means saying no to your own needs.
Day 13 – Get some girl time
Grab your girls and get socialising! Whether it’s a night in or a night out, enjoy some good fun and great company.
Day 14 – Tune in
Use an app to guide you through a meditation and replace your stress with bliss in a matter of moments. Check out our list of meditation apps.
Day 15 – Reflect
What have you learned this year? Reflect on an important life lesson you’ve discovered and how this wisdom has guided your journey.
Day 16 – Sort out stress
Identify what’s stressing you out and work towards reducing or removing it. Sophie Halfpenny from Perth, Western Australia believes the small things can make a big difference: “My partner works away, so I had to find a solution to make life easier with three kids. I now pay someone to do our weekly laundry and I get healthy meal boxes delivered too. It means I can look after my own wellbeing and be there more for my children.”
Day 17 – Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself – all day. Constantly choose to practice self-compassion no matter what situation you find yourself in.
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Day 18 – Have an early night
Sleep helps your mind to rest, your body to repair, your memory to sharpen and it even boosts your immunity. Get to bed early tonight and catch up on your zzz’s.
Day 19 – Write a love letter
Grab a pen and paper, and write a love letter to you. Describe the things you love about yourself, what makes you unique, a time you achieved something great, what makes you happiest. Write freely, this is for your eyes only.
Day 20 – Be creative
Pick up a crafty project and tap into your creativity today.
Day 21 – See your true beauty
Take a look in the mirror and focus on your true beauty – no ‘flaws’ allowed. You are unique and perfect as you are; so accept it, respect it and show love to the incredible person looking back at you.
Day 22 – Be thankful
List 30 things you’re grateful for in your life and count your blessings, big or small.
Day 23 – Reach out
It can be hard to reach out and ask for help when you’re the one who always gives. Try reaching out today and take comfort in those around you showing you how much they care.
Day 24 – Visit a place you love
Reflect on what makes it a happy place for you and why you love coming back here.
Day 25 – Pamper yourself
Book yourself a pamper, in a spa or at home. Suzi Lovatt from Mold, Wales says: “After a hard day at work, it can be difficult to relax and unwind. I make a conscious effort to take time to treat myself to a relaxing bath and listen to music or a meditation. I always feel better afterwards!”
Day 26 – Practice forgiveness
Practice forgiveness towards yourself. Let go of what’s happened already and make a choice about how to respond to yourself in a kind and loving way, starting from today.
Day 27 – Choose to be happy
Do three small acts of happiness: such as smiling at a stranger, singing in the shower, wearing your favourite top, walking to work the scenic way, eating a cookie, treating yourself to a good coffee – be generous.
Day 28 – Seize this day!
Look for an opportunity that feels right for you today and when you find it, seize it! Choose something you might usually say no to, such as meeting a friend for lunch when you are busy at work. You’ll feel better for it.
Day 29 – Write a journal
Write your feelings down in a journal. Don’t think about it too much, simply let the pen glide and your thoughts flow onto the paper.
Day 30 – See your bestie
Spend time with your favourite person today. Strengthen your relationship with them by sharing moments and making memories. Take a few selfies together – just for fun!
Illustration by Yelena Bryksenkova. Photography by Jennifer Cuttriss, Kristopher Allison, Bench Accounting, Curtis MacNewton, Myles Tan, Vladislav Muslakov, Malvestida Magazine, Daiga Ellaby, Estée Janssens and Brooke Lark on Unsplash.