31 days self-care challenge for better mental health
This is a 31-day self-care challenge for better mental health that has the potential to change the way you relate with yourself. This challenge can boost your self-love, self-esteem, and your overall mental and physical wellbeing.
It is very important that as a woman and a nurturer you fill your own cup often.
We all seem to be rushing and hurrying all the time and this adds to stress and anxiety, and it is time we find little pockets of time to practice self-care and for better mental health.
Plus, given the condition of the world right now, stress is pretty high and many people are feeling helpless. That can cause a feeling of despondency and even depression.
Also, a 31-day challenge is a great way to start changing some bad habits and starting new ones. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. So I hope that in 31 days taking time for your, for your own self-care will become second nature.
But in many cases women especially give and give till they are empty, prioritizing everyone except themselves.
Ladies, it is time we took care of ourselves and practiced self-care. And that way we will be even better at caring for those we love.
This is why I have developed this 31-day self-care challenge for better mental health so every day for 31 days you pick one thing to do to focus on you for a change.
And taking care of your mental health is key to improving all the rest of your health.
A 31-day self-care challenge will improve many areas of your life including mental health, personal growth, and even productivity. When you feel great and have more energy, then your focus is better, and you can get to more of your goals.
And those already suffering from mental health problems may find it hard to overcome those feelings of anxiety and helplessness. So protecting our mental health is so very needed right now.
This self-care challenge is a resolution to do one thing every day for 30 days to improve your mood and mental health. Its true things we do often become our habits.
And since it takes 21 days to develop a habit hopefully in 30 days, self-care can be ingrained in your daily activities. That way you continue to do one tiny thing every day to keep your mind happy and calm.
For this challenge, it is okay to pick any item daily and so I will not number them.
And one more thing, make sure to commit by having a talk with yourself as to why you need this challenge and your determination to see it through. Put your mind in the right place before you begin.
Is self-talk done? Okay. Let’s dive in. Here are the activities for your 31-day self-care challenge.
31 days self-care challenge for mental health
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Journaling is a powerful way to get in touch with your thoughts, feeling, and emotions. Journaling lets you explore how you feel and why.
It helps you express yourself privately and therefore freely. That is a great way to really be honest with yourself. You write freely whatever comes to mind. You will be surprised by the epiphany you experience.
Such open honesty with your inner thoughts and feeling helps you gain more insight into your life and allows you to see and think of ways to improve your life.
This is a great place to start with this self-care challenge by gaining the insight to see your why and how you want to finally feel when the challenge is over.
Why do you need to do this challenge, what do you hope to gain from it?
2. Make some smart goals for this month or the next three months.
I think everyone knows what smart goals are but just in case, let us revisit these types of goals. SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
So you want to write goals in as a specific way as possible, Don’t be vague. Let’s say you run a business. You can have a goal to make a certain amount of money by a certain date.
It will be measurable because you can tell if you make this money or not. Now you want to be realistic and not set a goal for the crazy amount to realistically you don’t have a way of making.
3 write down or say positive affirmations
Affirmations help you set your intentions. They send to your brain positive reinforcement so that eventually you start to be that person you want to be.
Most people have had an ingrained negative outlook about themselves for a long time. It is hard to change these subtle powerful negative believes from our environmental conditioning.
We must take steps to change our thinking and those negative thoughts that keep us stuck.
Use affirmations to reframe your negative thoughts.
Did you know that the brain believes whatever we tell it often? So today start the habit of reciting or writing some positive affirmations to start thinking positively about yourself.
It is some of these negative feelings and believes that lead to anxious thoughts and unwarranted fears. Start changing and reframing negative thinking with positive affirmations.
Here are some inspirational affirmations for anxiety to give you a starting point.
4 watch your favorite movie
Today sit down on your favorite spot and enjoy your favorite movie. Movies transport us into different places and experiences and make us experience catharsis- an experience that transports us to a character’s life, and situation and for a while, we live our problems behind. And for that brief time, we float away from our own cares and worries. We relax.
It is as you know a very enjoyable experience.
Give yourself the lovely time to be somewhere else vicariously. It is good for your mental health
5 Go to the bookstore and buy a fun book
I love buying books. I think the hunt for a good book is just as fun as reading it. Yes, you can order from Amazon, but an excursion to the book store, and perusing through actual books you can touch and read the covers is just fun. If you are a book worm I know you understand. It’s like they say. If you know you know.
6 Have a spa day at home
Give yourself a day to just relax as you do your nails, a facial, and the works while relaxing with your favorite drink. Don’t overdo the drink part. You may want to drink a nonalcoholic drink as well.
The idea is just to have a calm relaxed day and beautify. Those little things like doing your nails or having them done professionally are simple fun ways to boost your mood. So indulge today.
Would you like a pdf of this challenge? Put your details below and download the pdf.
7 Call a friend
We are supposed to live in society and be social. Our mental health is impacted by loneliness. Have you ever noticed how great you feel when you have spent time in the company of a good friend or friend?
The laughter, the giggles, the heart-to-heart talk, all do great things for our mental health.
You don’t need so many friends. Just one or two good ones are all you need. Of course, if you have many that’s great. So take time today and call one of your really good friends.
But keep in mind in this day and age, you may want to text them a couple of days earlier and let them you would like to catch up. Talking with real friends is very rejuvenating. So go on and call and have a good girly talk today. It will do you good.
Today practice centering yourself with mindful meditation. Many people find sitting still to meditate difficult. If you do, try guided meditation and follow along.
Mindful meditation vastly improves your focus, it is a great way to calm your mind, and decrease anxiety and depression.
Give meditation a try and you will find you may want to incorporate it into your morning and nighttime routines as well.
9 Create a playlist, of favorite music, Ted talks, or podcasts
This is something that will bring you joy for many more days to come. When you create a playlist of your favorite songs, podcasts, or TED talks, you have your very own feel-good music right there whenever you want to, and can play one song after the other of your favorite music, commercial-free.
How good is that? No listening to some radio person’s dribble you don’t care about. Plig and play your music any time. It is the same with the podcasts and TED talks.
You get a handy list and can access it any time. The whole process of creating the playlists is also fun.
So enjoy a playlist creation day today. This will feel so good and it is so very calming. Enjoy every minute of it.
10 Sleep in
It is okay to occasionally sleep in. Stay in bed a little more or a lot if you can today. Read in bed, and just relax. This is something to do just to indulge yourself and spoil yourself.
If you want you can also give yourself permission to go to sleep early.
Sleep is a powerful healer and renews energy and focus as well as a soothing antidote to frayed nerves.
11 Make a bucket list of things you want to do and places you want to visit
Do you have dreams of someday visiting certain places and doing certain things that would mean a lot to you in your lifetime? Make a buck list of places you hope to visit someday.
Having dreams is good for your soul. It gives your life energy. So what would love to do in life if money was no object? Write it all down. In fact, write in the present tense to make it even more realistic. Dream. Visualize yourself there.
12 Have a yoga session.
Yoga is absolutely amazing for mental health. I would recommend yoga every day. If you are not into the practice of yoga on a regular basis, on this day, give yoga a try.
Go yon Youtube and find a yoga teacher you like and follow along with the movements. This is such a fantastic way to practice self-care.,
Yoga is meditative in nature. It’s mindful so it helps with anxiety. And the stretching moves your body giving it perfect exercise so that at the end of the session you feel light, happy, and just really calm. I highly recommend Yoga with Adrienne. Here is a session you may like.
13 Blast your favorite music on and dance
Do you love to dance? Who doesn’t? Put your favorite music on and dance. Go on and turn up the volume. Dancing to great music floods your body with happiness chemicals, leaving feeling lighter, happier calmer.
14 Declutter a room or rooms in your house
Cleaning and decluttering is a form of self-care and self-love. It boosts your sense of accomplishment and when you are done the room is nice and tidy and it makes you feel calmer and happier.
Clutter is stressful.
So give yourself some peace of mind by decluttering even if you can only declutter one room.
15 Cook your favorite meal
There is a great satisfaction that comes from cooking for yourself. And even more, when you make your favorite meal or try out a new recipe it is very satisfying and a boost in self-confidence.
Plus if you cook a healthy meal, you improve your health. This is great for your mental health. Do you need ideas? Check Pinterest for recipes and great healthy meal plans. Here is a great 43 healthy meal prep recipes that will make your life easier from Smile Sandwich you can try.
16 Do a social media purge
Are you following a whole lot of people that don’t bring you joy? Marie Kondo these people. Unfollow them. Leave on your social media feed only those who add value to your life and bring you joy, or knowledge, or inspiration.
I know it sounds selfish, but this is the day you define the vibes you want on your social media.
Social media can really suck the joy out of you so trim it down. No need to have people who irritate or even annoy you.
17 Take a walk in nature
What is your favorite place to walk? Go to a park and walk around. I love it, especially if the park has lots of trees and trails. A little bit of incline makes me work a little harder and is a great exercise.
Plus communing with nature is so very therapeutic. You will benefit both your physical health and mental health with a walk-in nature.
18 Create a Vision board
Alright, it is the day for dreams. A vision board is a tangible way of seeing the things you want and dream about. It helps you better visualize how you want to live your life and helps you to eventually make these things a reality.
A vision board is a concrete way of sending your brain those messages of the changes you want in your life until the brain starts believing it and squashes that resistance that comes from lizard brain whenever we want to do the hard things that will fulfill us and make life more meaningful for us.
All you need is a whiteboard and some magazines and glue. Cut out the photos that represent your dreams and the things you want to do or how you envision your life.
Arrange these in a pleasing way on the whiteboard. You may also write down the things you want to do and so you have visuals and written reminders and goals. This will keep these goals and dreams top of mind and you are more likely to achieve and do what matters most to you.
19 Enjoy Coloring
Coloring is not just for kids. Adults love to color too, and there are some amazing lovely coloring books that help you create a masterpiece when you are done.
Plus the process is very calming and soothing. I would advise listening to your favorite music while you color and to really be in a zen place. Try this beautiful adult coloring bundle for hours and hours of blissful zen coloring self-care for now and many more days.
And these colorful pens will make your pages come alive right before your eyes. There is so much joy in creating art. Yes, you are an artist when you color.
20 Go dine at your favorite restaurant
Eating at a restaurant is so much fun. Treat yourself today and go to a restaurant of your choice. What is your favorite restaurant?
Enjoy the service and a great meal. A meal you didn’t have to cook can be so enjoyable plus you have the soothing ambiance or even an exciting ambiance depending on the restaurant you go to.
21 Read your favorite inspirational quotes
There is a reason people love quotes and quotes have been around for years. They inspire us. They comfort us. They validate how we feel or act or how we want to feel, act, believe, and how we wish we can be or what we wish we can do. They motivate and comfort.
So today find the best quotes and read them out aloud. You can find plenty of inspirational quotes on Pinterest. Print out the ones you like the most and frame them.
Or simply write one or two down and post them to a wall or a board so you can have that comfort, inspiration, courage, hope, and faith whenever you look at the quote. Here is a post with some comfort-giving quotes to read when you feel discouraged.
Related: Quotes to Inspire Success
22 Read a good book
I love to read. In fact, if there wasn’t work to be done I would read all the time. What genres do you like? Go to the book store and buy a great book, one you have always wanted to read.
Or simply check out a new author. Spend an hour or 2 reading your book. I know, if it is too good you may not want to put it down. But if you can take this as your day of self-care, then do and read as much as you want.
You may choose to read a novel or even inspirational self-development books such as these. These are the all-time best self-development books and I would encourage you to check them out.
23 Indulge in a creative hobby
You have a hobby or hobbies right? When is the last time you indulged in a calming hobby? Today is the day. Go one and get that yarn out. or those painting brushes. Create or start creating your masterpiece today. Be carefree and create and really get in your zone here.
Enjoy the freedom and the calm and joy that comes from working on your hobby. There are so many hobbies that are great for mental health. Do you want to check out some new hobbies?
Read this post on 14 hobbies for anxiety and depression.
24 Write a gratitude list
Oh, the power of gratitude! You will be amazed at what can happen when you start to appreciate what you already have. Gratitude gets you out of negative self-talk, and into feeling happy without having all the things. Write in your journal a list of the things and people you are grateful for today.
Don’t limit yourself to 3 or five. Write as many as you can come up with and feel the joy of a grateful heart. It helps to have a beautiful gratitude journal I say. It has just does. I love journals. Do you? Get a pretty gratitude journal and boost your joy. I love this lovely Good Days Start With Gratitude journal, a 52 weeks guided gratitude journal.
Related: How to Practice Gratitude and Transform Your Life
25 Drink water-stay hydrated
Hydration is so important for your health and really you should focus on drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day not just today.
When you hydrate appropriately you improve all your health including heart health, brain health, kidney health, skin, and every cell in your body.
Now sometimes depending on the health of your heart your doctor may put you on a fluid restriction. In that case, then drink the amount ordered by your doctor.
Many people just don’t hydrate enough. They load up on coffee, and sugary drinks which only serve to make you feel sluggish and dehydrated, irritable, mood, and fatigued.
Those are symptoms of dehydration. Listen to your body today after proper hydration and you will notice a difference. A positive difference.
26 Create a morning routine
A morning routine is so important in curbing stress and anxiety, plus increasing productivity. If you don’t already have one this is the perfect time to c create one, or improve the one you have. Get your notebook out and write what you hope to achieve by having a morning routine.
What do you need to change? What is not working for you currently and why.
Consider the changes you want to create in your morning and your day. Then list the items you want to include.
How much time will it take? Consider when you need to wake up to start your morning routine. Is it practical? List the most important things you want to do. See this morning routine for ideas on how to structure your routine.
27 Create a calming nighttime routine
Just as much as you need a morning routine, you need a nighttime routine too. It is your nights that make your mornings. What you do the night before determines how you feel in the morning.
It determines if you can wake up on time to do the things that matter and in a calm unhurried or stressed way.
So fashion your nighttime routine by listing the things you need to do before to make the mornings easier. You may include, selecting and laying out your clothes for the next day.
Making lunches. Skincare. Haircare. Taking a bath to relax for a good night’s sleep.
Meditating, planning your day. You get the gist of it. So now have all the things on the list and when the night comes start implementing them.
28 Make a meal plan
Eating healthy is one of the greatest things you can do as a form of self-care. When dinner comes around are you having to scrabble and you are scratching your head wondering what to cook, or are you going to order take-out?
Change all that by taking time today to make a meal plan.
This will save you time and energy when you know what to cook every day.
Do you need ideas for good healthy meal plans?
29 Go for a picnic
Now of course it goes without saying that this activity requires a gorgeous day, sunny, and not too hot is perfect. Pack a wonderful basket. You may invite a friend or your spouse.
No stress allowed though. And if you want to enjoy a few hours with just yourself, do it.
Have fun. You can listen to music or favorite podcast while you munch on your favorite food or snacks. You can read. Just enjoy relaxing in nature. It is so wonderful and healing.
20 Write 5 things about yourself you really like
For some reason, we spend too much time focusing on our negative traits. How about appreciating the things we excel in, the things we like about ourselves.
It may be your eyes, your generosity, your kindness, your hair, your ability to write, your strength. What do you like about yourself? Praise yourself. It is the little things such as these that eventually change how you feel about yourself.
It is amazing how much time we spend on our phones and other electronics. This is detrimental to our overall health. That’s because we sit too much, we get sucked in into a vortex of negativity that social media can sink us into and we lose our joy in comparison and feeling like we a lacking something, s if the grass is greener on the other side.
Today find other things to focus on. Just stay off social media or getting glued to your phone. Unplug and find the joy of real life. Do other things with the time you have. You can read, go for a walk, draw, write, garden, paint, and the list goes on.
And there you have it. 31 awesome days of self-care. Which of these activities are you looking forward to? Let me know also how you are getting on with the challenge. I will be cheering you on.
What an inspiring and helpful post! 31-day self-care challenge sounds a great idea for better mental health.
Thank you Yonca! I hope you are inspired to take self-care seriously and do the challenge.