7 Days of Self Care Challenge
In a world of expectation, chaos, and struggle, it is vital that we find time to center ourselves and create a body that allows for inner and outer resilience. Self-care is one of the best ways to allow for this and to learn practices that allow you to connect with who you are now, and who you desire to become.
To assist you on this journey, I have designed for you, what I call the 7 Day Self Care Challenge, or as I often refer to it as, the Love Yourself Challenge. In this challenge we are going to start with small daily practices, to leave you with a new set of tools that will help you to improve the quality of your life. These are things we can all do, even if you are incredibly busy with a career, raising a family, or both. Over these next 7 days, you will try a new technique aimed at improving your overall well-being so that by the end of this challenge you can determine what best suits your individual needs.
Day 1: Take 10 Minutes to Breathe
Science has come along way with what it can tell us about how quieting our mind and breathing can impact our health. This simple activity of breathing intentionally and being still can help to quiet the nervous system and rewire our brain. Some call this act of quietly breathing with intention, mediation. I prefer to call it “surrendering to your breath”. Many people see the act of surrender as giving up, however, I have learned as both a clinician and coach that just like vulnerability is key for creating positive changes, so is surrendering those thoughts and actions that keep you stuck on a path in which you feel lost.
Day 2: Drink Half Your Bodyweight (in ounces) of Water
So why do I want you to drink water on this self-care journey? Well, because water is an incredibly simple and powerful way to nourish both our bodies and minds. We need water to survive, and many of us are running around drinking everything but water these days! To be mindfully aware of how much water you drink in a day, creates the habit of being aware of how you do other things. I often find clients believe they need to change 100 things before progress can be made, however, this is not the truth. All change comes about with choice, making at least once choice. to do something differently.
Day 3: Start Your Morning with a Nourishing Breakfast Smoothie
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason, and although I feel all meals are important. I find that starting your day out with a nutrient-rich meal sets the stage for you to make better choices throughout your day. I encourage my clients to start out with making breakfast both simple and nutritious, which is why I am a big fan of smoothies. When I am working with clients I will often state that their smoothies should consist of healthy fats, protein, and low sugar fruit, such as berries. My personal go-to shake in the morning is a combination of avocado, strawberries, unsweetened almond milk, water, and a plant-based protein powder. This meal keeps my blood sugar balanced, cravings for junk low, and allows me to begin my day feeling fueled, rather than temporarily satisfied.
Day 4: Find Movement You Enjoy and do it for a Minimum of 10 Minutes
As someone who has been on her own health journey for over 3 + years, and has supported many other individuals along the way. I can tell you that finding movement you enjoy is key to consistency in your workouts and improvement in your overall well-being. I also want to emphasize that the type of movement you enjoy may change as you age, and as you enter different seasons of life. I know this has been true for me. I used to be someone who enjoyed very intense workouts because I thought they would make me “skinny” or “get me to my ideal weight”. I have learned through much trial and error, however, that my body truly thrives with more gentle movement, such as yoga. I have also reached a healthy and ideal weight by surrendering to the type of movement that my body truly needed, rather than forcing it to do others.
Day 5: Go to bed by 9 p.m.
As someone who is without a doubt a “night owl”. I have always found myself going to bed later in the evening and sleeping in as late as I could, maybe even hitting snooze a few too many times. I had always decided this was just “who I was” and that I could not change it. I have learned, however, that for many of us, going to bed earlier can create a powerful shift in our energy, productivity, and well-being. While I know we cannot always go to bed early or even on time. I do think it is something to aspire to, at least a few times a week, in order to refuel and reset our bodies. Sleep is where our body naturally repairs itself, so it is vital for your overall health, no matter what your age. So for day 5 of this challenge, I am asking that you power down early and pay attention to how you feel the following day.
Day 6: Give Back — Participate in an Act of Service
Now before you look at this and think “I don’t have time to volunteer”. I want to be clear this is not about a grand gesture, or devoting hours to a volunteer position. An act of service can be anything. It can be making a delicious meal for a family member, offering to babysit a friend’s children for an hour or two, picking up the groceries for your spouse, etc. When we help others, we feel more connected. It is this connection that allows for better psychological, emotional, and physical well-being.
Day 7: Take an Epsom Salt Bath
The last task within this challenge is simple, yet so many people struggle to take the time to do it. The act of taking a warm relaxing bath has many health benefits. So adding in another element such as epsom salt or essential oils can help boost an already beneficial act of self-care. Why do I specifically suggest epsom salt baths? I suggest these because they promote many benefits to the body, including soothing sore muscles, boosting levels of magnesium in your body, and decreasing swelling, to name a few. So if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, this may end up being your favorite day of the challenge!
Lastly, whether you choose to participate in this challenge or not, it is important for you to know, that you are worth taking the time to care for. You are worth setting aside a few minutes or hours a day, to give back to YOU. We live in a society where self-care can be seen as selfish. It is NOT selfish to have a desire to want to feel balanced and well cared for. People who care for themselves can better care for others. You are worth it.