Self Care is anything you do that helps you to be intentional with yourself, love yourself and be more in tune with who you really are. It is more than just putting on a face mask on a Sunday night or going out for a spa every once in a while.
It is not doing something for one day, and then forgetting about it for the rest of the month.
Self Care is showing up for yourself every single day even if it is in a tiniest possible way
And as much as simple self care sounds, it is actually hard, because, I bet even you must have had the experience that- to complicate is easy, but to simplify takes time and deliberate effort.
That is why if you don’t know where to start with self care, a basic Self care challenge for 7 days is perfect to start with.
what is a self care challenge?
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A self care challenge might sound appealing, but hardly do we do even little things just for ourselves.
Even though we might wish to, when it comes to taking action, the resistance is real.
But that is where a challenge comes in.
A self care challenge is the challenge you take on just for yourself, so that you give undivided time to yourself and commit to not just your physical or mental wellbeing but for your overall wellness.
You start a challenge because you know you will face a resistance, but you resolve to do it anyway.
If there were no resistance, and no feelings of not wishing to doing it, it wouldn’t be called a challenge.
A challenge is a challenge because there is obstructions and resistance. So expect resistance from your mind.
Expect laziness and expect feelings of ‘not feeling like doing it’, but at the same time, observe the resistance. Simply notice your resistance, but pay no heed to it, and move past it.
When you take on this self care challenge, and you complete it, no matter how small, there is a sense of accomplishment and that itself is self care too.
So with this, let us start the basic self care with the 7 day self care challenge.
7 day Self Care Challenge
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Self Care Challege #1. Make your bed immediately
The first self care challenge I want you to do for yourself is to make your bed immediately once you wake up, and tidy the room where you spend your most time.
Clean up your bed and your side table. This is also self care, because doing this little thing, boosts up our mood and makes our mind feel up and light instantly, as if we’re now ready to take on and slay the day!
Self Care Challenge #2. Move your body
As a child we loved to move around and run, no wonder we would be so happy as a child. I now feel that we din’t run because we were happy, but we used to be happy because we used to run and play.
So for day 2, the self care challenge for you is to move your body and stretch away your stress, and exercise.
Exercising and moving our body is basic self care, and you must do it not just with the intention of losing weight, but firstly, do so, with the intention that you love your body because your body deserves to stay fit and healthy.
I’m thin and earlier I used to be a super skinny girl, still I would exercise everyday. People used to ask me, why I exercised almost mocking me, because I’m already thin and I had no weight to lose, but I would tell them that I exercise to ‘feel healthy’.
How to start with exercise as a form of self care
When you take on this challenge, I want you to make the challenge really easy.
Don’t start with hard exercises right away. You won’t be able to sustain it.
When you’re starting, just make it really easy to start with. Maybe 5 minutes of stretching daily until 5 minutes stretching becomes a part of your daily self care ritual.
Make it really easy to show up, so that your mind just cannot resist it by coming up with excuses.
For me I do 5 minutes warm up and then 10 minutes workout twice. That is 25 minutes of total workout. I love Pamela Reif’s workouts and I use her workout app which is free.
I really recommend you to start with her 5 minutes stretch exercise or 10 minutes full body stretching.
Self Care Challenge #3. Give 1 hour in the morning to yourself
For this self care challenge, I want you to first read this post, ‘How to make your morning routine stick’.
How many of you upon waking up, scroll your phone for almost an hour, then rush to make coffee or get ready before it gets late for work?
If you do this, I want you to give up this early morning scene immediately, and instead create a different morning scenario.
A self care morning scenario looks something like this:
- Wake up and make your bed
- Slowly brush your teeth, feel fresh
- wear cream on your face and body gently, comb your hair, tidy yourself and feel good.
- Drink warm water/ lemon honey water/ or any soothing drink
- No phone, but reading for 20 minutes
- Stretch and exercise
- Meditate for 10 minutes
Even if you do nothing else but just few of these things for 1 hour after you wake up, you give yourself more slow me-time than you have ever given for your own self and personal growth.
This is the biggest self care habit you can form for yourself- giving 1 hour solely to yourself.
You deserve this 1 hour chunk of time solely for you and your growth.
For me this is my morning routine: 8 things I do before 8 am.
Self Care Challenge #4. Schedule Downtime
For your 4th day of basic 7 Day self care challenge, I want you to schedule downtime.
I want you to set up an event in your calendar or in your to-do list where you specifically schedule downtime for yourself at least one hour.
And here are 3 rules to follow when you schedule your downtime
- Logout/ uninstall social media
- Don’t use your phone in your downtime
- Set up a work hour limit.
For example, if you set up your work hour limit till 6pm in the evening, then you must not do anything related to work after 6pm, whether it is replying to emails, chats or anything.
Try to finish all things related to your work before 6pm (or whatever time you set).
If anything lefts unfinished, simply put it away and add it in your to-do list for the next day, and do it the first thing next morning.
Now that the rules are done, the next question is what can you do in your downtime if you’re not using your phone?
Well here are some ideas which I love to do
- Take a warm water bath
- Nourish and moisturise your body slowly (it feels wonderful to not rush with your body. Here is my experience with it in this post- my new ritual~ not hurrying with my body)
- Read for 10 minutes
- Write in a journal ( Here are 21 Journal Prompts for self discovery by Yung Pueblo)
- Sit in silence
- Colour in a colouring book
- Simply listen to music
- Write down your intentions and goals
- Write your own prayers
- Simply enjoy doing nothing
There are really so many things you can do offline
Self Care Challenge #5 Create a night routine
If you’ve created a basic short morning routine for yourself from your self care challenge day 3, then for today, I want you to give some thought to creating a night routine too.
What time do you sleep at night currently? Try to sleep 15-20 minutes before.
Create a night ritual, something that you do before going to bed without being constantly on your phone.
Be intentional with how you prepare yourself to bed at night. This helps in waking up intentionally the next day too.
Here is a post on how to create a relaxing night routine.
Self Care Challenge #6. Treat yourself
For today’s challenge- you decide for yourself how would you want to treat yourself?
There is no hard and fast rule for how you would want to treat yourself.
Maybe it’s going for a spa, putting on your face mask, doing a pedicure, getting a pizza, or simply enjoying a quiet time reading or having a nice coffee with your friend.
But there is one rule I would want you to follow- whatever way you choose to treat yourself, when you do it, do it with enjoyment and love for yourself. Do it with awareness that you are doing it just for yourself.
That is the true way to treat yourself- fully aware that you are actually treating yourself, and enjoying your little indulging moments.
I simply love them.
Here is a post about one- not hurrying with my body
Self Care Challenge #7. Call your friends and loved ones
Talking with loved ones is actually a form of self care. This age of easy connectivity, yet we are distanced from our loved ones.
We don’t call or talk to our friends often, but let’s not forget that more of human connection is what thrives our heart.
Call, rather than text. And if you can, whenever possible, meet rather than call.
This year on New Year’s when I was about to text my friends ‘Happy New Year’, my mum who was near me, said she would call everyone instead of just sending a mere ‘Happy New Year’ text.
This prompted me to do the same. And to whomever I was going to text, I instead called them. This simple effort genuinely felt good.
We all love human connection. So for the last day of self care challenge, call up your friends and loved ones, whomever you had been meaning to call since a long time, but just hadn’t taken the time.
You know it already that it will make you feel good.
So these were my 7 day self care challenge. I hope you enjoy doing them.
Related posts on Self Care
- How to practice self care on tough days
- How to let go of anxiety and heal yourself
- Sleeping better with Anxiety-my real tips
- A self Care Prescription
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