30 self care challenge ideas! You can use these ideas to do a 30 day self care challenge, or just start sprinkling them into your life. How to make practicing daily self care a priority!
We all keep hearing about the importance of self care.
But how exactly can we fit taking good care of ourselves into our busy schedule?
A self care challenge! Doing a short 7 or 30 day challenge is a great way to start making self care a priority.
Once you’ve done something for that many days in a row, it really does start becoming a habit.
You’ll love taking those moments for yourself every day. So much so that you will find a way to keep it going even after the challenge is over!
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How do you practice good self care?
Self care can come in many forms, so you have to figure out what’s most important to you.
Identify what activities make you feel your best. Or what self care you feel you’re missing.
Make it a priority by putting it on your calendar or to-do list.
How can I practice self care daily?
Here are some ways to prioritize yourself every day, even without doing a self care challenge:
- Get enough sleep
- Take time to relax in a way that’s meaningful to you
- Move your body
- Drink enough water
- Take a break from social media (even just a few hours)
💡 Pro-tip: I made a self care checklist that you can use to keep track of all your self care activities!
It’s a printable pdf that you can use whether or not you’re doing a self challenge.
Sign up below to grab yours! You’ll also get access to all our other life-organizing printables.
(Note: If you’re already a subscriber, it’s waiting for you in the Freebie Vault!)
As you can see, self care is about more than just taking a bath on Sunday nights.
There are actually 5 key areas of self care.
What are the 5 areas of self care?
Physical self care includes anything that takes care of your body’s well being.
That could include things like getting regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet, or grooming tasks that make you feel your best.
Emotional self care means taking the time to check in with and recognize how you’re feeling.
Taking an honest look at your current emotional state (without judgement) can help you think about making key adjustments to your daily life.
Talking to a supportive friend or writing in a journal about how you’re feeling can help you discover things you might not realize you feel.
You may need to add an emotionally-nourishing activity to your life. Or allow yourself to stop doing an emotionally-draining task. (Or stay away from a negative person.)
Mental self care takes care of exercising your mind.
That could range from reading books, taking a class, or enriching yourself culturally through visiting museums or performance arts.
As adults, there isn’t a lot of emphasis on learning new things. But it’s necessary to keep your mind engaged and functioning well.
Spiritual self care doesn’t have to involve religion, though it certainly can.
It involves knowing what is meaningful and spiritual to you.
Maybe that means praying or meditating, or contributing to a cause you’re passionate about, or even spending time in nature.
Social self care means honoring your specific social needs.
For extroverts, that means getting adequate time with friends.
For (my fellow) introverts, that probably means getting enough time alone, away from socializing.
We all do need some social time though, so it’s important to get enough of what works best for you.
What are some self care ideas?
Here are 30 ideas that you can use to design your own self care challenge.
What I love about these ideas is that you can choose just one, (and do it every day for 30 days), OR do a different thing every day.
How you customize your challenge is totally up to you!
If you’ve never meditated, it can seem weird at first. But it really frees up your mind, lessens anxiety, and is very relaxing.
Following a guided meditation on YouTube can be helpful if you’re not sure where to begin.
2. Go for a walk outside
Even if the weather isn’t ideal, taking a walk outside is such a nice change of pace from being indoors all the time.
You could go first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour, or in the evening after diner.
The fresh air just does a body good!
3. Cook a new recipe
Trying new things is a huge part of keeping your mind sharp and interested in things.
A new recipe is a perfect example! It doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming – just something that sounds tasty.
4. Take a day off social media
While social media can be a fun way to keep in touch, it can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy.
Try not checking social media for an entire day. You’ll be more focused on what makes YOU happy, and what you feel like doing.
Even if the FOMO force is strong with you, it can’t hurt to just try this for a day and see how it feels.
5. Read or listen to a book
Reading fiction is a great way to relax and escape into another world for a bit.
Or maybe you’d prefer to read an inspirational book to make you look at your life differently.
Here are a few of my favorites:
If you’d rather listen to an audiobook while you commute, exercise, or clean, you can grab a FREE 30 Day Audible subscription trial here! (You’ll also get 2 free audio books to keep!)
6. Say no to something you don’t want to do
If you’re a people pleaser, it can be very hard to say no when someone asks a favor.
And unfortunately, you’ll get people who take advantage of your agreeable nature.
Practice saying “I can’t this time, sorry.” next time someone asks you to do something you don’t have the time or energy for.
If that sounds too scary, make a simple Stop Doing list, where you write down some things you’re not going to do anymore.
Your time and energy is valuable, and you’re trying to make yourself a priority, remember?
7. Write a dream list or bucket list
It’s super important to know what you want in life.
Make a list of your dreams to keep them top of mind.
When you know where you want to go, you can adjust your actions in that direction.
If that sounds too serious, at least make a ‘seasonal bucket list’ of fun things you want to do this season (or next).
I have buckets list ideas for every season that you can use for inspiration:
- 70+ Fun Things to Do in the Spring
- 120 Free and Cheap Summer Activities
- Lots of Ideas for your Fall Bucket List
- Winter Bucket List Ideas to Help You Enjoy the Season More
8. Buy or pick flowers
You could pick up an inexpensive bouquet at the grocery store. Or clip a few flowers from your yard to put in a vase.
Having something fresh and happy to look at in your home can really cheer you up!
9. Do something artistic
You don’t need to have the stereotypical ‘artistic talent’ to do something artistic.
Just choose a creative activity that sounds fun to you.
Here are some ideas:
- Go somewhere pretty or interesting and take pictures with your phone
- Grab an inexpensive canvas, and paint something fun
- Sketch or draw something around your house, or in nature
- Color in any type of coloring books (I still like the kids ones!)
- Write a short story, poem, or letter
10. Switch around a few things in your living space
Rearranging the furniture (or even a few decor pieces) in your home can really freshen things up!
Even small changes can make it feel like a brand new space that you’ll enjoy being in more.
11. Have a pamper night
If face masks and bubble baths aren’t your thing, design whatever kind of pamper night would be enjoyable for you.
Maybe it’s baking cookies and watching your favorite show. Or ordering your favorite takeout and having a movie night.
Whatever is a bit indulgent and comforting to you is the perfect way to pamper yourself.
12. Buy yourself a special treat
Without spending money you can’t spare, buy yourself a special little treat.
It could be a physical item like a new bottle of nail polish or a book.
Or it could be having some type of service done, or going out for ice cream.
13. Spend time with a supportive friend
The key word being supportive, of course!
Choose someone who makes you feel listened to, and good about yourself.
If you aren’t able to meet up in person, have a virtual ‘coffee date’ via Skype with him or her.
14. Adjust your expectations or mindset
Often, the distance between our expectations and reality is the difference between being content and not.
If there are things going on that are completely out of your control, you may need to adjust your mindset to be more accepting of them.
There are seasons of life that just aren’t ideal. But look for ways to make them more tolerable for yourself, so you can feel happier.
15. Listen to an inspiring podcast or TED talk
There are portions of our day where we can sprinkle in mini doses of inspiration.
Maybe it’s while you’re taking a shower and getting ready, or doing the dishes and making dinner.
Take those pockets of time to listen to something inspiring like a podcast or TED talk.
Here are 20 inspiring TED talks to listen to, if you’re looking for where to start.
16. Pack up some items to donate (then drop them off)
Sort through one small area of your living space, and pack up some things you don’t use.
We all have them!
If they’re donation-worthy, drop them off at your local Goodwill or thrift shop.
Those items can have a more useful life, and your home will have a few less things making it feel cluttered.
It’s a win-win!
17. Schedule an appt you’ve been avoiding
We all have that dentist or doctor appointment or car maintenance thing we keep putting off.
Today’s task is to schedule that appointment, or just take care of it if no appointment is required.
18. Take a nap or rest your eyes
Even a 20 minute lay-down can really rejuvenate you.
If you don’t want to sleep, just rest your eyes.
I love using this heated eye mask. It’s so soothing for dry, tired eyes. (Of if you have a headache!)
19. Watch or listen to something funny
Sometimes life just feels way too serious.
Watch a funny sitcom or movie, or listen to some standup comedy.
Laughing is very good for you!
20. Try some aromatherapy
Scent is one of our most powerful senses, and yet it’s so often overlooked.
Light your favorite candle, or put some essential oils in your diffuser.
You’ll love when your home fills up with your favorite scent.
- How to Make Your Home Smell Like a Spa
- 10 Pretty Essential Oil Diffusers (to make your home look AND smell fabulous)
21. Take a class
Remember how learning something new is a form of mental self care?
Try taking a new fitness class, or something at your local community center.
A cooking or craft class will help inspire your creativity as well.
If you’d prefer to take a class online at home, check out Udemy. They have TONS of classes (for cheap) on just about everything you can imagine!
22. Drink extra water
We all know we’re supposed to drink water every day. And maybe you already do a decent job of that.
Today try adding an extra glass or bottle of water, and see if you feel less fatigued.
23. Spend time with an animal
Spending some time with a sweet animal just does a person good.
If you have a pet, try playing extra with them today. You could also visit a pet store or shelter, or hang out with the pet of a friend or family member.
If none of that is possible, at least watch cute animal videos on YouTube, or an episode of Too Cute.
Journaling is a great way to explore what’s on your mind.
You could just start doing a brain dump, so you can organize your thoughts.
Or use journaling prompts like things you’re thankful for, or 5 things you like about yourself.
25. Talk to someone new
It’s easy to get in the habit of sticking with the familiar.
Today try striking up a conversation with someone you’ve never spoken to before.
Ask the cashier or waitress a question about herself. Or ask a new coworker how his morning is going.
You never know when you might make a new friend or good connection.
26. Try a new morning routine
Do your mornings feel pretty frantic?
Think about creating a routine that would streamline the process a bit.
Maybe there are things you could do the night before (like pack your lunch or choose your outfit) to make the morning easier.
I really like this Makeover Your Mornings mini-course. If your day starts off right, that helps set the stage for a more productive, happier day!
27. Listen to your favorite album or playlist
There are certain albums and playlists that just soothe me, or put me in a better mood.
Even if (or especially if) it’s something you loved 15 years ago, give it a listen during your commute.
It’ll help you get back in touch with yourself.
28. Take yourself on a date
You don’t always need another person around to enjoy things.
Take yourself out to a movie, stroll around your favorite store, or sit down for coffee or a meal out somewhere.
You deserve to be treated well, even if it’s just by yourself!
29. Plan your meals
Since eating is vital to your existence, it helps your sanity to think ahead of time about what you’re going to have.
If you ever find yourself stuck for what to eat (and then waste money on something last minute), try making a simple meal plan.
Just jot down at least 5 dinners, and get the groceries you’ll need to make them.
30. Make a game plan (or goals) for your finances
Taking proper care of your financial health is absolutely crucial to your self care.
You want to set yourself up for the best financial future possible.
Take an honest look at your debt, your weekly spending, and whether or not you have adequate savings.
If some of that looks bleak, work on a game plan for how to turn things around.
I guarantee that you can!
Ready to try a self care challenge?
I hope these self care ideas have given you lots of inspiration for designing your own challenge.
There’s no time like the present to start taking proper care of your body, mind, and soul!
P.S. Interested in doing other 30 day challenges? Organize yourself for a fresh start with the (newly redesigned!) 30 Day Challenge Planner!
It now includes 100+ 30 day challenge ideas – that actually work!
Just choose what type of monthly challenge you’d like to try, and plan out or track your daily progress with this planner.
It’s 14 pages of cute goodness, to help you achieve your goals – in a fun way!
Be sure to also check out:
- 12 Ways to Enjoy Your Life More
- Self Care Checklist (+10 ideas that will actually nourish your soul!)
- How to Get Out of a Rut in Life: 21 Tips for Breaking Out of Your Funk