28 Days of Self-love and Care
If you have feelings of being frenzied, stressed, bored or overwhelmed, it’s time to check in on how you’ve been treating yourself. We often attribute these feelings to work, family and other external sources. However, by assessing the inner situation, there’s a chance you might find that you're somewhat responsible for these feelings because you’ve been neglecting yourself.
There’s no perfect form or secret formula of self-care. It’s about finding a consistent routine that works for you. One that is within your budget and that creates a positive impact.
Making thoughtful considerations about self-care helps pave the way to you becoming accountable to a routine and creating habits that help form a lifestyle. To create consistency or incorporate self-care into your life, spend the next 28 days on a mini self-care journey with these 28 daily practices and activities.
If something on the list doesn’t resonate or apply to you, you can select another day’s activity that you feel offers a solution more applicable to you. It’s all about trying things and finding things that work for you. The list progressively becomes more concentrated with activities that you might feel a little barrier to completing or require some deeper self-examination so if you’re switching out, try to stay within a few days of your actual day.
Day 1: Disconnect
Let’s start with an easy one.
Today stop checking your work emails after 5pm or another cut off time if 5pm doesn’t make sense for your work schedule.
Working from home has become work from home anytime for most of us. Give yourself an evening that’s completely disconnected from your professional obligations.
Day 2: Swap out Netflix for a book.
Instead of winding down by switching on the TV, complete your night with a couple chapters from a book. If you don’t have anything handy, the Toronto Public Library has lots of ebooks ready to lend.
Day 3: Connect with someone
Catch up with a friend or loved one you’ve been meaning to call or text (no exes). Set-up a Zoom or call and re-connect.
Day 4: Bath time!
Light a candle, play yourself some music and run yourself a nice relaxing bath.
Day 5: Exfoliate your lips
The dry cold can do a number on your skin. While most of us stay on top of exfoliating our faces, we forget our lips need love too!
With a balm or sugar scrub, gently brush your lips in a circular motion with a sterilized or clean toothbrush to get rid of dead skin. As a bonus, you'll notice a little extra plump as well.
Day 6: Nail check
Your hands and feet work hard! Give them a quick clean up with an at-home mani-pedi.
Day 7: Get some sun.
Unfortunately for many of us, it’s still dark when we wake-up in the morning and then almost already dark again when we’re done work at 5pm or 6pm. Take your lunch break and get out in the sun for some vitamin D.
Day 8: Volunteer, donate or giveback!
Finding a way to give back can help you feel more grateful about your own situation. Lots of community organizations are looking for volunteers right now. Special COVID needs include shopping for those who cannot safely go run their own errands right now.
Lots of people are experiencing financial hardship as well. If you have any extra non-perishable items or if you have a full closet full of stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of, consider donating anything you might be discarding anyway.
Day 10: Pay it forward
On the theme of giving, paying it forward can also create a little more positivity in the world. If your budget allows you to, pay for the coffee of the person behind you or leave a couple dollars with the cashier in case someone in need comes in.
Day 11: Try something new
Whether it’s a recipe, a workout or something you’ve been wanting to try but have been putting off, try something new. Even if it’s a little thing, your brain, body and taste buds crave new things.
Day 12: Declutter
We’re all doing a lot more from home right now so our spaces can seem smaller. Pick a space within your home - a desk, closest, drawer and declutter and organize it. Studies have shown numerous times that clutter has a relationship with stress.
Day 13: Buy locally
It feels good to buy local. However, on a bigger level, recognizing your power as a consumer and making thoughtful consumption choices is more important than ever and allows you to empower your community. If your budget allows, consider making a purchase from a local store from the community. The city of Toronto has created a directory for local grocery stores and farmers markets.
Day 14: Wake up an hour early
Wake up an hour early and just enjoy it. It’s your hour. You don’t have to commit to anything or rush anything. Just live.
Day 15: Meditate
Meditation should already be part of your wellness practice but if it’s not yet, take 30 minutes and put on a mediation session. It’s truly one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Day 16: Write a letter to your future self
Writing a letter to yourself is an amazing reflective exercise. You can even actually send it to your future self.
Day 17: Consider the benefits of finding a mentor
Mentorship is great for career building or sorting out the next step in your career at any stage. Consider the benefits of a career mentorship.
Day 18: Start the day with a stretch
Start your day with a stretching routine with special focus on any part of your body with tension. You’ll feel better the rest of the day and more inclined to live a healthy day.
Day 19: Compliment yourself
When you wake up and look in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. Pick out something you like about yourself. When you’re ready for bed, do the same.
Day 20: Date night
Being in super close quarters with your significant other or spending too much time together can really put a downer on the romance in a relationship. Have a date night to focus on enjoying your relationship rather than just coexisting.
If you’re not in a relationship, have a date night with yourself and truly enjoy your own company. Or consider an online Zoom date.
Day 21: Plan your dream trip
It’s important to have something to look forward to. Take an evening and plan out your dream trip. Go on Trip Advisor or Instagram your location, find your hotels, restaurants, excursions, even plan airport transportation and a budget. Activities like this make these thoughts more real, and therefore, more likely to find a way of happening naturally in the future.
Day 22: Write down positive affirmations
Write down a list of positive affirmations that resonate with you and repeat them to yourself at least five times throughout the day.
If you can’t think of any, sign up for my newsletter and get affirmations delivered to your email every month.
Day 23: Find an online motivational guru
Do some internet research and find and follow someone producing positive and motivational content. We all consume content on a daily basis so including motivational content in your feed can really give you a daily boost.
Day 24: Learn more about the art of goal setting
Most of us have big picture goals. However, it’s important to drink the CoolAid and really buy into the art and science of goal setting to make the practice work for you. This TedTalk is a great starting point.
Day 25: At home spa day
Exfoliate, tone, mask, moisturize and scrum your face and body. If you’re feeling creative, there are lots of online resources to make your own products with everyday household items.
Day 26: Pick your own self-care activity
It’s important to find self-care activities you like. By now, you’ve had some experience with the mass variety of practices and activities, come up with your own!
Day 27: Manifest something you want
A home, a partner, a job, let's work on manifesting it. Write a list or letter with extreme details about the desired object. For example: if it’s a person, include things like what this person’s laugh sounds like, how they treat you, what kind of relationship they have with their family, everything you want, write it down.
Day 28: Paint a mental picture of your life with the inclusion of self-care
It takes 21 days to create a habit so at this point, you’ve set yourself up for success. It’s important to create intentions to continue to include self-care in your life. Today, decide what you’re going to do for you moving forward!