Finally, I can make a big announcement (at least for me it is big). I did a self-love challenge and now I will be tagging other people to do the same. My exact concept will be explained later, but first of all, I would like to give you an idea of what the actual challenge was. I started it on the first of July when I found a post on Pinterest called “14 days of self-love”. I got the idea from “It’s a beautiful crazy blog”. You can find the link to the pin here. The whole post on the self-love challenge can be found here.
The challenge includes 14 small tasks of which one has to be done every day. You can find the tasks listed below:
- Set an achievable small goal for every one of the next 14 days
- Write a love letter to yourself, put it in an envelope and seal it
- Call a loved one you haven’t talked to in a while and catch up
- Shut off all screens 30 minutes earlier than usual and take time to unwind and reflect
- Forgive yourself for a regret you have been holding onto and let it go
- Write and send a snail mail note to someone you are thankful for
- Think of something in your life that needs to go away and come up with a way to get rid of it
- Take a nice hot bath and add a bath bomb or bubble bath
- Write down three things you love about yourself
- Make plans to do something fun in the next few weeks that you can look forward to
- Journal about a decision you made in the past week that you are proud of
- Organize something at home/the office
- Go to bed 15-20 minutes earlier than usual
- Open the letter you wrote on day two and read it
So far, so good. For me simply doing this challenge was not enough, so I came up with a little twist. Now here comes the interesting part. I will upload this post when I have done the challenge and completed it. I will give a comparison of how I felt before and how I felt after going through with it. After having given this summary, I will tag three people to also do this challenge. It is important that this is just a small number, because a) otherwise it will be hard to keep track of what is happening and b) these challenges and nominations tend to become kind of impersonal very quickly, because people just start nominating for the sake of it and not because they really mean it.
As with every challenge, when the people that were nominated have completed the tasks (or not completed, explanation further down), they can in turn nominate three new people and so on. However, I will add another twist to this. You need to state in a few sentences why you are nominating each person and why you think this challenge might help them/be good for them. I would like this to be a challenge that brings people closer together (especially the mental health community), so I hope that everyone is willing to participate.
This is not about “completing” the challenge or “winning”. It does not matter whether you make it until the end or if you skip a few of the tasks. The important thing is that you start taking care of yourself. You can also change the order of the tasks, depending on what suits you best. At the bottom of this post I even added other alternative ideas (and of course you can come up with your own), in case you would feel more comfortable with replacing a few ideas, but still want to complete all 14 days. So, regardless how you decide to approach this challenge, share your experience and how you felt. Encourage the people you nominate to give it a try.
- Going for a 30-minute walk in nature
- Watch a movie with your comfort food
- Pick up a good book/something you have wanted to read for ages
- Have a quiet and cozy morning
- Turn up the music and dance (if that’s your thing)
- Read three blog posts about self-care and self-love
Before the challenge (I wrote this 14 days ago):
Today was a pretty normal day. There was nothing really special going on, except for the self-love challenge I just found. I usually do not think to much about self-care and I know that many people out there are burning themselves out for others and their job, so I thought that this was something nice to start. This challenge is meant for those who are struggling to love and care for themselves and those who have a hard time putting themselves first once in a while. Today, I did not really do something for myself. At least not consciously. I did some fitness exercises, but I was rather forcing myself to do them instead of enjoying them. The shower I took was necessary and not for my well-being. My self-esteem is not particularly low at the moment, but to be honest, it could be better. So, let’s see whether the next 14 days do anything for me. I will go now and write down my 14 small goals. See you in two weeks.
After the challenge:
After 14 days of consequently doing something that was just for myself and for my own well-being, I can say that I feel better about myself. I do think that my confidence might have risen a little bit, but apart from that I had something every day that I was looking forward to and that I knew was something I would enjoy. I did not do everything exactly after the list (for example, I could not organize something at the office/Uni or at home, because I am on holiday), but I replaced every point by something else I enjoyed. On some days I did several of the things that were suggested in the challenge, so in addition to was planned already, I read a book for half an hour every day or went for a small walk. I did have a few not so great days when I was really grumpy and not feeling like doing a “challenge”, because then it felt like work. On those days I just listened to my stomach and when it demanded a hot bath, that’s what I did. And when it wanted something sweet, I ate chocolate. The most important thing about this “challenge” was that I felt good and enjoyed whatever it was I wanted to do, so it does not make any sense to force any particular task or exercise on yourself when you are not in the mood for organizing something. So, all these listed ideas should be seen just as that, ideas. You should pick things that might work for you. I would advise you on making some kind of plan or list of what you are planning to include, but it really does not matter if you don’t stick to it precisely. This is meant for you to feel good. For me it really did something. It lifted me from my bad mood and the things I did that I don’t do often actually made me the happiest (e.g. writing the letter to myself or catching up with an old friend).
From now on I will try to keep this habit for myself. Every day I will try to do one small thing that makes me happy. And I hope you will do so too. Here go the people I would like to do this challenge first:
Lozza from Girly Gabble, since she seems to take “better care of her sims than herself.” Lozza, you will also be a mom soon, it occurs to me that it might be a really good idea to take care of yourself. There will most likely lay a lot of exhausting years ahead and it might be necessary to develop some kind of healthy habit for self-care 😉. I wish you the best for the following months and I hope you will enjoy doing this.
Charlotte from Time to Talk, since she is extremely supportive to everyone on Twitter and in the mental health community, even though she is struggling with mental health issues herself. Charlotte, you are doing an amazing job and your blog is truly remarkable. Please take care of yourself, too. We want you to be well, so it is okay to take time off.
Jordyn from The Chronically Unimaginable, because she has to fight so many conditions that influence her and make it hard to lead a normal life. She needs every nice moment she can get and deserves so much better. Jordyn, I hope you are doing okay at the moment, but however you feel, maybe taking care of yourself will help things. And if you are doing okay already, it might make everything even better.
If you decide to embark on this journey, I would be very happy, since it is one of the first big things I have started on here (apart from the series “My Mental Illness and Me” of course). I hope This can do as much good for you as it did for me. And apart from that, thank you all so much for being here.