Chronic stress is all too common, especially amidst the various seasons of life speeding up. Whether it’s the stress of work, sporting events, family gatherings or travel plans, your individual needs can take a backseat. But, we are here to remind you that self-care, daily personal care, is a must. Without it, you feel drained, fatigued, and burned out, and who wants that? It cannot be served from an empty cup. But, we get it, even if you know you need a little extra TLC, getting started can seem daunting. If you only had a little push… right? Good news, that’s where we come in! Say hello to your 14-day self-care challenge. Two weeks of self-care with easy tips and tricks to help you feel better, inside and out. And once the momentum is set in motion, staying consistent in your self-care practice will be child’s play. No more putting your needs in the background: it’s time to put yourself first!
14 day self care challenge
Day 1: Reflect on your goals
Let’s start the challenge with a little self-reflection. Evaluate where you are and reflect on what you hope to achieve, both in these next two weeks and in the future. What are your short and long term goals? Where do you think you need support? What do you need right now?
Maybe you want to improve your sleeping habits or your relationships. Maybe you want to focus on your diet and make healthy eating a priority. It could be setting limits and learning to say no when it’s not a yes.
Here are some questions to ponder to help you get started. Use them for inspiration or modify them to suit your needs.
- What aspects do I want to improve?
- What are my biggest setbacks?
- Am I holding on to something that I need to let go of?
- What are my top 5 priorities?
- What would make me happier?
- What are my short and long term goals?
Day 2: Do something you don’t usually have “time” for
This challenge consists of prioritizing yourself and your needs. Do you know those little things you want to do, but don’t have time? Well, today is the day to make a hole for yourself! Do you constantly sign up for that 45-minute express yoga class when you really want to kick back for 90 minutes of nonstop heaven? Sign up. Longing to lose yourself in the therapeutic nature of your local plant store but don’t have time?
This is your cue to go – maybe even treat yourself to a plant! While it is true that you can use this space to go to the spa or receive a massage, it does not have to be something expensive or extravagant. If Target calls you, don’t deprive yourself. If that’s what fills your cup, it’s totally self-care.
Day 3: Start a book or podcast
When was the last time you read a book? Or has she listened to a podcast or audiobook? With the age of social media, we are constantly connected to everything but ourselves. For a change, refocus your attention on the inside and take the opportunity to de-stress and escape from the outside world. In fact, a investigation study from Mindlab International at the University of Sussex found that this simple act of self-care could, in fact, help reduce stress.
Wind down the day with a hot herbal tea and a book, or embrace lazy mornings with you, your coffee and a good read. If you’re not sure where to start, Goodreads can give you some recommendations based on books you’ve read in the past.
Day 4: Cook your favorite food
For no other reason than the fact of wanting to give yourself something special. Make it an experience. Go to your favorite market and buy some fresh ingredients. Play music. Diffuse a blend of calming essential oils while you cook. And once the meal is ready, sit back and enjoy every nutritious bite. No phone, no distractions.
Day 5: Close social networks
Close the computer, silence notifications and disconnect from social networks. Your mental and physical health ask for it. Even if you don’t seem to mind the constant connection, taking a short break can be more beneficial than you think. For starters, research shows that even a short break from social media can improve your health. A recent 2022 study found that going offline for just one week significantly improved feelings of depression and anxiety while also benefiting overall well-being. Can’t they be apart for that long? We understand perfectly. Consider reducing your use to 30 minutes per day – similarly, it has been proven reduce stress and anxiety and improve mental health.
Aside from the mood benefits, think about your physical body. Staring at a screen for hours can put a strain on your eyes. And, if you’re slouched, your neck, shoulders, and lower back will pay the price, too.
Give this detox a try, at least for the rest of the challenge, and see how you feel. You can always start small and build up to a longer period of time.
Day 6: Walk without distractions in nature
According to your Apple Watch, you’ve been beating your daily steps. We are very proud of you. But there’s a big difference between lacing up your shoes for a walking meeting and heading outside for a distraction-free walk. They both serve their purpose, and
move during the working day
it’s 100% self-care, but for this challenge, we’re pushing you to go a little further.
Also know as’ forest bath
There are many benefits to enjoying the scenery with distraction-free time in nature. It can lower blood pressure and cortisol levels, boost mood and happiness, and just plain do wonders for your well-being. According to research, the benefits of walking in nature are obtained with 120 minutes a week. If you break it down, that’s about 18 minutes a day. I think we can all do it, don’t you?
Day 7: Preparing meals for the next week
When it comes to pampering, we often think of spa days and vacations. However, nourishing your body with healthy, wholesome foods is one of the greatest acts of self-care. By preparing nutritious meals for the week ahead, you are telling yourself that your health is a priority. It sets the tone for the week and can help promote healthier choices in other areas of your life, like sleep and fitness. And if you’re really busy, this is a great way to feel less overwhelmed.
Try this sample meal prep menu to help you get started:
Breakfast : Blueberry-Almond Overnight Oats
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- ½ cup oatmeal
- ⅔ cup blueberries
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: Mix almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and almond butter.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients, including your sweetener of choice if desired, and stir well to combine. Put in the fridge overnight or at least 4 hours for the oats to soften.
Step 3: Serve it cold straight from the fridge, at room temperature, or heat it up in the microwave. Add a splash more milk if necessary if the mixture is too thick.
Lunch: Jar of pasta salad
- 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 1 cup pasta of your choice, cooked
- 1 grated carrot
- 14 oz chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
- 2 oz small broccoli, diced
Step 1: To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with sea salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste, if using.
Step 2: To assemble the salad jars, divide the salad dressing and pour it into the bottom of 2 mason jars. Next, start putting the salad ingredients into the jars. To keep lettuce and herbs fresh, put them in the jar last.
Step 3: Put a lid on the jars and store them in the fridge until ready to eat. To serve, pour the contents of your jar into a bowl and toss with a fork to coat the ingredients evenly in the dressing. You can also enjoy your salad straight from the jar. Just mix well with the fork first.
Snack: Pack of filled protein snacks
- 2 cups cucumbers, sliced
- ½ cup of sliced almonds
- 4 cups of mixed berries
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup low carb hummus
Step 1: Measure each ingredient. Arrange it on a plate or package it up to enjoy later.
Dinner: Easy Double Bean Veggie Burgers
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup breadcrumbs (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 3 minced garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg white
- 15 oz white beans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon grill seasoning
- 15 ounces canned black beans
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Step 1: Drain and rinse the beans well. Add to a bowl with the garlic, cilantro, onion, breadcrumbs, salt, and steak seasoning. Mash the beans with a fork, masher or food processor.
Step 2: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and Worcestershire sauce. Add to beans and, using your hands, combine. Divide bean mixture among six patties.
Step 3: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Arrange three of the patties in the pan, moving them in a circular motion as you place them (to prevent them from sticking to the pan). Cook for four to five minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another four to five minutes. Remove to a plate. Add the other 1/2 tablespoon of oil and repeat the operation with the other three burgers.
Day 8: Order your favorite drink at your favorite coffee shop
…and really sit back and enjoy it. Let’s face it: we’re always in a hurry to order (and drink) our coffee. Mindlessly gobbling it up doesn’t do your body, or your taste buds, any good. When was the last time you actually sat down in the cafeteria to enjoy it? Invite all your senses and make it a conscious experience. How does it smell and taste? How does it feel to sit and hold a warming mug without the pressure of rushing to the next destination? These simple acts can change your mindset and promote healthier habits.
Day 9: Detox an area of your life
Choose an area of your space to do a deep clean: clean your closet, organize your junk drawer or vacuum your car. Having a clean, uncluttered space can help reduce stress and tension while putting your mind at ease. If you haven’t worn or worn it in the last month or two, are you
Really are you going to do it? Return it and leave a box at Goodwill – you’ll feel better and help others in the process!
Day 10: Treat yourself
You’ve worked a lot in the last 10 days, it’s time to treat yourself! It can be something as simple as a coffee or as extravagant as a stay, whatever your heart desires.
Here are some ideas:
- Book a massage. Book a deep tissue massage to release tension or a lymphatic drainage massage to help remove toxins and inflammation from the body.
- Sweat with a sauna session.
- Treat yourself to a green juice and add your favorite ingredients (even if it’s a little more).
- Buy a new facial product (toxin-free) facial product based on your skin needs and skin type.
- Spend the day alone to get some much-needed rest and rejuvenation.
Day 11: Make a DIY hair mask
Between the salt water and the summer heat, summer can take its toll on your hair. The main hair concern during the hottest season? dehydration Your hair is thirsty for nutrients that provide moisture and nourishment at a deep level, and we have the perfect remedy for self-care: a DIY moisturizing hair mask! Made with avocado, honey, and olive oil, this restorative blend will nourish your hair from root to tip. Bring the spa into your home, you can even turn it into a self-care night and invite some friends to join you.
This is what you will need:
- Avocado – Packed with omega 3s, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B6, D, and E to boost hair shine and lock in moisture.
- Honey : Its rich antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties act to soothe scalp irritation and promote growth.
- Olive Oil : Rich in fatty acids and antioxidants to soften, strengthen, nourish and release the inner shine of your hair.
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 tablespoon olive (or coconut) oil
Step 1 : In a medium bowl, mash the avocado and mix with the honey and olive oil. Stir until well combined, forming a paste.
Step 2 : Clean and lighten your hair as usual before starting. Then, starting at the bottom, apply the mask to damp or wet hair until you reach the roots. When it reaches the scalp, spend a little more time massaging the mixture and working it through all areas of the hair.
Step 3 : Roll your hair up into a bun. If possible, cover yourself with a shower cap or light towel. Let stand for 10-30 minutes.
Step #4 – Rinse your hair, following up with the shampoo or conditioner as you normally would.
PS – Try as much as possible to stick to the haircutting routine! It will help remove damaged strands to promote new growth.
Day 12: Visit a farmers market
Benefit your health, support your community and find new recipe ideas – visit your local farmers market! Load up on seasonal produce rich in flavor and nutrients.
Day 13: Sleep late
It’s okay to wake up before the world (or maybe your kids) and enjoy some uninterrupted peace and quiet, but sometimes sleeping in is what our bodies really need. Turn off the alarm, silence notifications and let your body wake up on its own. If you can’t adjust your schedule on weekdays, try doing it on a weekend, when time isn’t an issue, so you can completely shut down your brain.
Day 14: Make a vision board
You’ve just spent two beautiful weeks making yourself a priority with simple (yet effective) acts of self-care. Just as you’ve started the challenge, top it off with some self-reflection. Control your emotions and your mental health. What has worked better? What has inspired you the most? Was there something missing or a realization that came to mind? Reflect on anything and everything.
And, to keep the momentum going, your latest challenge is to make a vision board. Now that you are clear about your goals, it is time to put them into practice. Let it serve as a constant reminder (and a dose of aesthetic inspiration) to continue reaching your goals. You can always update your board by adding or removing things that no longer serve you. And there’s no right or wrong way to do one: If you’re tech-savvy, create your vision board online. If you’re more kinesthetic, grab some magazines and make a nice blackboard. What seems best to you.
Customize, repeat and maintain self-care!
Congratulations! Take a moment to congratulate yourself: you just did something amazing for your mind, body, and emotions. Check how you feel now compared to the beginning of the challenge. Don’t you want to keep this energy of well-being? Well, you can do it! Incorporate these practical self-care tips into your daily life, customizing them however you like. Maybe you change or modify some tips, or repeat the whole challenge again. The conclusion? Daily self-care (even if it’s just 5 minutes) goes a long way to improving your health. keep it up 🙂