In August 2017, 7 weeks after my son was born, time for self-care – actually, time for anything, other than looking after Leko – seemed like the biggest luxury in the world.
So I gave myself a challenge: commit to doing something for myself, every day of the coming month.
Let’s do it again!
After the success of that challenge, I’ve decided to run another, this February.
I’ve tweaked a few things, this time around. For those who like a bit of structure, the following are some specific prompts. There are 28 so you could very well choose one for each day of the month:
Go for a walk
Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour – take a walk. Perhaps it’s in your neighbourhood or maybe there’s a destination you enjoy walking in (e.g. Karura Forest). Perhaps it’s a city walk, exploring sights and streets you don’t usually spend time in.
Whether you want to try out a class, go on a night out or just jump around in the privacy of your own home.
Visit an inspiring place
Maybe there’s a gallery or exhibition you want to check out, or a museum you’ve been meaning to visit. What’s inspiring to you?
Try a new form of exercise
Get some new inspiration. Aerial yoga? Pole dancing? Cross-fit? Capoeira? What intrigues you? (This is my list!)
Move in nature
Swimming in a lake or ocean, climbing a hill or mountain, joining a hiking group or simply doing your regular exercises in a garden or park.
Go on an excursion
Distance is relative. The place on the corner of your street is fair game, as is the day trip out of town!
Whatever this looks like for you. If you have little ones, observe them, join them and let them show you how it’s done!
Whether it’s a blog or a book – indulge in some reading, just for pleasure.
Learn something new
What have you been meaning to look into or try out? Is it a craft? A language? Perhaps there’s a class you’ve been eyeing, whether virtual or in real life.
Dreaming in action
Indulge yourself in some planning for that dream holiday, dream house makeover, dream celebration. Pinterest is a great tool for this but you could even create a real-life moodboard that you can hang up somewhere and experience the power of visualisation.
Perhaps this is about consciously creating time and space to journal (in a peaceful/inspiring environment). Maybe it’s writing poetry and fiction for fun (or for sharing!).
Affirmations, mantras, motivational sayings… create your own and create some beautiful hand-lettered (or printed) notes for yourself. Put them up where you’ll be sure to see them regularly, and pause to say them out loud (or in your head), each time.
There are so many games out there designed to enjoy solo, e.g. Sudoku, Solitaire… Find some you enjoy and take a few moments to challenge your brain in a fun way!
Make your own
Natural beauty products, clothing, home decor – there are so many ideas out there. Here are some on my list.
Why not try out a new recipe and add to your repertoire?
Not everybody is a domestic goddess but, I think we all have ideas for improvements we want to make. What things can you do to make your space a little more peaceful and a little more you.
Plants make people happy. So whether or not you’ve got a green thumb, what plant-related activity can you get into? Perhaps it’s gardening, maybe it’s simply walking through a nursery. Could you add a little more plant-love to your home?
There’s doodling, drawing, painting, printing – so many techniques to get your hands dirty with. Again, Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration and instructions too! Simply search for the technique you want to explore. Maybe there’s even a real-life art class you’ve been thinking about.
Make for others
Yes this is the #justformechallenge but, for many of us, giving can be a very rewarding thing, especially when you’re handing over something you’ve made with love.
Grooming and bodywork
Nails, hair, eyebrows; massages, body scrubs, reiki… There are so many things we can do to help feel our best and many of them we can do in the comfort of our own homes!
You don’t need a special reason to make a special effort. Dressing up just because can be a lot of fun with the side effect of boosting your confidence.
Whether it’s an ice-cream or a fancy 3 course dinner – treat yourself to something delicious to eat (or drink), that you don’t have to make yourself.
Take yourself out to do something you love. I personally love going to the cinema solo.
Movies, TV shows, podcasts, magazines – give yourself some guilt-free time to indulge.
Listening, making it, watching it live, singing in the shower (or elsewhere), curating playlists…
What are your favourite simple pleasures? For me, it’s lying on the grass in the sun.
Planning your challenge
You might choose to do these activities in this order or you might mix them around. You might have other activity ideas altogether (here were some of my initial ones, in 2017). This challenge is all about you so you set the rules.
I’ve also shared 9 tips for enjoying more me-time which, you might find useful too.
I’ve created a pretty tracker which, you can download and print – to plan your 28 days, to help you visualise your progress and to keep as a repository of ideas for the future. Sign up here to get your hands on the tracker (as well as other tools and treats from my library of freebies).
I’ll be sharing my entries on the Afri-love Women Facebook group (join us if it this community feels like your thing) and via the #justformechallenge hashtag on Instagram. Please tag your posts too so we can cheer each other on. I look forward to going on this journey with you!