Never find any time for yourself? Get some inspiration with our 30-day self-care challenge

Welcome to our 30-day self-care challenge! Now, I know you’ve seen a few before, and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking you don’t need one. I agree. You don’t need one. So I suggest you only go ahead if you WANT to do one. And before you can make this decision, let me tell you what it is and what it isn’t.

take the 30-day self-care challenge with Mind your Mamma, family and lifestyle blog

It’s a way to challenge yourself a little

I never really gave self-care a lot of importance. In my mind, self-care meant taking a bubble bath once in a while, going for ‘treat’ (like a massage or a spa day), or going to the gym for a class. Well, it turns out that for years I wasn’t a big fan of taking bubble baths. Plus, I’m pretty much allergic to the gym, and ONCE I had an unfortunate experience with a bad massage, which somehow triggered my lower-back pain, and I started avoiding ‘beauty treatments’ like the plague!

So it won’t surprise you to know that for many years I did very little in terms of self-care, and especially since becoming a mum.

But self-care is a lot more than just those things. Looking after yourself takes many many shapes, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. So in my 30-day challenge, you have 30 different things that you can try out. Some fall quite naturally under the self-care umbrella. Others might make you wonder what something’s got to do with self-care.

Trust me, they do. Because self-care is about looking after your body, mind, and soul. And that’s where the challenge comes in – try these ideas out. As many as you can. And see how they make you feel.

It’s a way to help you identify changes you want to make

Hopefully, by the time you’ve tried a few, you will have found a few new things that you like doing. Or just things that you hadn’t done in ages and now know you want to do more of. Take the short mindful meditation sessions, for example (based on the book Mindfulness for Mothers from Rebecca Ryan). You may have wanted to introduce more formal mindfulness meditation practice for a while but either never found the time or didn’t know how to get started. Now you hopefully know that you can find that time if you want to. The challenge guides you through 4 different types of meditations you can try. One or two will appeal to you more than the others. So stick to those.

It’s a way to help you create new habits

We know that habits are quite hard to create. If you struggle to make yourself do something (even if it’s something that you want to do for yourself), things like a 30-day challenge can help massively. It’s a short-term commitment that you make to yourself. Or you can share with your friends for more fun and added accountability. The challenge almost has an ‘end date to it’, and it helps you get started because it makes the process seem less overwhelming and daunting.find some inspiration with our 30-day self-care challenge Mind your Mamma

And at the end, you never know – you may have realised that you really really like getting up half an hour earlier and walk to the station/school/work. And you may decide that these are things you want to be doing in the long term.

A few ‘rules’

  • I’ve laid the challenge out this way, so you can ideally print it off and keep it somewhere where you can refer to often. On the fridge maybe? But of course, you don’t have to.
  • Tick off the activities you’ve done (tick box provided), so you can keep track of them. (This is a way to put you on the path for successful habit creation!)
  • You don’t need to try the ideas in that order – do them in any order you like! While some take only a few seconds, others may need some planning and might take a little longer (like going out for dinner, for example), so they may be best left for the weekend, for example.
  • You can start anytime – it doesn’t have to be on the 1st of the month or on a Monday! Literally, any day will do, and if it takes you longer than 30 days to try them all, that will also do!
  • No one will come after you if you haven’t done them, but do spend a couple of minutes asking yourself why you chose NOT to do something. Was it too hard? Is it that it just didn’t appeal to you? Weren’t you in the mood on that day?
  • But also, think about the things that you enjoyed doing. Did anything surprise you there? Is there anything you’d like to do more of?

How to get started?

If you want to get started with the 30-day self-care challenge, all you have to do to grab your beautiful copy is to sign up for my mailing list. You can find the sign-up form right at the bottom of this blog post or any of my previous posts.

When you sign up, you’ll receive the 30-day self-care challenge by email (do check your spam folder if you haven’t received it). You’ll find some links in the pdf that will point you to additional information to support you and assist you through the activities suggested (the meditations, for example).

Oh, and don’t worry about giving me your email address – I don’t share it with anyone, and I don’t spam you either! At the moment, I’m sending one newsletter per month on the first Sunday of every month, packed with useful and exclusive content. 

And finally…

Massive thanks to my friend Carin Thakrar, who is the amazing graphic designer behind the 30-day self-care challenge. She’s also a super-talented family photographer and takes amazing unscripted shots that capture your everyday life with your children and family. So if you’re in the West London area (or need some professional graphic design work) check Carin out! You can find her on her website or connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

2 Comments

    • Sara
      Author
      25th July 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words Ani! Let us know what you find useful! 🙂

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30-day self-care challenge

Hi there. Welcome to the supporting page for the mindfulness meditations sessions on your 30-day self-care challenge! If you meditate regularly, feel free to use your own resources or scripts. If you’re looking for an app to get you started, I’d recommend Calm or Welzen.

But if you would like some help to get you started, you can check out these short meditations. The breath awareness, the body scan, and the listening meditation have been adapted from the fantastic book Mindfulness for Mothers by Rebecca Ryan (available on Kindle only in the UK). With Rebecca’s permission, I have published a detailed review of the book as well as compiled a short list of mindfulness meditations that you can do in 5 minutes or less. I’d definitely recommend you get yourself a copy of this book if you’re a mum and want some practical tips to introduce more mindfulness meditation into your life!

Breath awareness meditation

Time: 2-3 minutes

  • Sit on a chair or on the floor.
  • Place your hands, palm down, on your thighs.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax your muscles.
  • Breathe in and out through your nose with awareness at your nostrils.
  • Observe your breathing by noticing how your breath flows in and out – don’t try and change the way you breathe. Just observe it.
  • When your attention wanders,  just focus back on your breathing.
  • Notice the slight breaks between each breath.
  • Inhale to the count of 3.
  • Exhale to the count of 4.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Visualisation meditation

If you’re a visual person, visualisations can work really well for you. The Welzen app has a fantastic visualisation meditation, which helps you visualise yourself on a calm river. You can visualise pretty much anything you find calming and relaxing – being in a tranquil forest, a beach, on a bench in the park etc.

  • Begin by finding a comfortable position.mindfulness heal physical injury
  • Allow your body to relax as you start to create the visualisation.
  • Imagine yourself walking on a path through a forest/on a river raft/sitting on a bench in the park at lunch time.
  • Wherever you are, the environment around you is calm and blissful.
  • Breathe in the fresh air and then exhale.
  • Let your body relax and continue to breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Listen to the sounds around you.
  • Relax your body. If you’re walking, as you continue with your visualisations, synchronise your steps with your breathing. 1, 2, 3 etc.
  • Try and focus on the sensations – how does walking feel? How does the air or breeze feel? How is the temperature? Experience the calm of the environment you picked, and focus on how you feel afterwards.

Body scan

  • Lie on your back, with your spine straight. Keep your palms up and your leg relaxed.
  • Rotate your awareness around your body, starting with your right hand. Take your awareness up your arm, to your shoulders, down your torso and leg to your right foot. Repeat on your left side. Awareness for you may feel like warmth, tingling, or visualising that area of your body.
  • After you have rotated your awareness through your body parts, take your awareness to your whole body. Feel your body and the space taken up by your body.
  • To finish, bring your awareness to the room. Bring movement into your body by wriggling your fingers and toes.

Listening meditation 

find time meditateThis meditation is called ‘Stop and hear the roses’, and it only takes 5 minutes.

  • Find a focal spot in the distance or with your eyes downcast, sit comfortably. Adjust your spine so it is naturally straight. Take a moment to get really comfortable. Close your eyes. Come to your breath, inhaling and exhaling at your nostrils, not changing your breath, just noticing the flow.
  • Take your awareness to your ears. Feel any coolness or warmth. Notice how your ears feel.
  • Take your awareness to your sense of hearing.
  • Allow your hearing to roam as far as it can, taking in faraway sounds, moving freely from one sound to the next. No need to label the sounds. Allow the sounds to travel to you, and wait to hear the next sound. Sit with this, listening to faraway sounds, for about a minute.
  • Move your hearing closer to you, allowing nearer sounds to come to you. Sit with this nearer listening for about a minute.
  • Finally, bring your hearing really close to your body. Hear the sounds of your own breath. Linger with this close listening for about 2 minutes/
  • Let go of listening. Return your awareness to your breathing. Notice the natural flow of your breath. Open your eyes, and pause before continuing with your day.