The official day to give love is the perfect day to devote yourself to a self care challenge, and I have created a seven day self care callenge that is just what the doctor ordered! Really, the seven days ahead are just a precurser for how you could spend every day on the regular, but if you are anything like me, you neglect yourself while taking care of everyone else.
The mental boost from caring for yourself is a bonus, and the pampering that comes with self care is always needed to get over the drain from the daily rat race. It is really rejuvinating to the soul and mind to start the day by putting your mental wellbeing on the front burner for a few minutes.
Each day of this challenge features one type of mental wellness self care, and all of them can be applied to a daily routine in any order or time of day. There is a great deal of value in having a daily routine, and it is important for mental health, as well. Chaotic, ever changing schedules that leave no time to give back to you can be detramental to your mental health, but having a routine brings balance to your days and calmness to your mind.
DAY ONE: Use a powerful affirmation that builds you up
With a positive reinforcing affirmation, you can train your thinking towards the positive view of yourself, giving you much more self esteem and confidince, and away from negative self harming thoughts about you that hold you from your full potential. Each thought about yourself, if repeated long enough, becomes a label that you associalte with yourself. To better build your mental health, self affirming and uplifting affirmations can help you to overcome self harm and negative self talk patterns; daily practice is a powerful tool to overcome years of self neglect.
DAY TWO: Try a new exercise
Regular exercise is not only physically beneficial, but it has a tremendous mental health boots, as well. There are so many avenues to choose from when it comes to physical activity, and there does not need to be a stigma associalted with the word exercise. I like to do beginner belly dancing lessons from Youtube, and there is never a dull moment when I exercise! Physical activity produces the body’s feel good chemicals called endorphines that are mood altering, and provide a mental health boost. Exercising regularly can improve overall mood, reduce depression, and improve sleep.
DAY THREE: Try meditation
Meditation has so many mental health benefits, and a regular practice can create an inner calm to help in times of stress. There are many avenues to use for a meditation practice, and there are free meditations available on Youtube. You can find meditation apps or use a timer with meditation music. However you choose to meditate, I highly recomend it, because I have been meditating for more that 20 years, and it has helped me above any other form of self help on my mental healing journey. However, if you are new to meditation, I recomend starting with a guided meditation.
DAY FOUR: Give gratitude a try
Practicing gratitude can increase positivity and cause a shift in your mindset. It opens the door to celebrate the good of evrything and take the focus off of the negative – always looking towards the negative view of things is not very mentally benificial. Gratitude can become a gateway to shifting negative outlooks of life and events towards a positive perspective, and, in turn decrease anxiety and depression.
DAY FIVE: Spend time in nature
Spending time outside in nature is a great way to boost mental health and increase physical health. Nature produces mental energy, and reduces depression, and is shown to produce improve levels related to mental health. Being outside increases ability to breath, gives energy/motivates exercise, improves sleep, and improves emotional wellness. When possible, 10 to 30 minutes of daily contact with nature is benificial.
DAY SIX: Practice mindfulness
Doing things on autopilot seems to be the way to multitask, and that is the way to get so much of the to do list done in one day, but that is not the way to experience life to the fullest. Mindfulness gives you the chance to be present and aware of your actions and take it all in. There are many mental health benefits from mindfulness, such as: pain management, improved sleep, reduced anxiety and dpression, and lowering blood pressure. Mindfulness is a great practice to start, and keep, if you do not already use it.
DAY SEVEN: Give yourself a relaxation body scan
A great way to reduce stress and relieve tension is a relaxing body scan, and it is a favorite pampering tool of mine. To do this, you simply shift your attention to different areas of your body to search for tension. I like to statrt with my feet; I tense them for a few moments then relax them. Next, I tense my calf muscles a few moments, and then relax them. I move up my body from there, thighs, hips and stomach muscles, shoulders and back muscles, arms, neck, and then face and head. When I tense the muscles a few moments and then relax them, there is usually no tension remaining that was present before I started. This is a great practice to do along with meditation or alone.
After the seven days of self care, I hope that you have enjoyed the mental boost that comes with giving yourself the care you deserve, and I hope that this post is beneficial to others!