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Start your Journey to Self-love in 28 Days

Updated: Feb 26

When I first decided to engage in a self-love challenge, it was born out of a desire to switch the focus of Valentine's Day from the other back to the self.

Over the years, I've learned that an individual's self-love is essential to having a healthy relationship with yourself and others. With this in mind, I put together a 28-day calendar of activities focused on spending quality time with me, myself, and I. 

During this time, I learned a few things about self-love, self-respect, and self-care, which have inspired me to incorporate many of the activities into a regular habit, not just a one-time challenge. I'd like to share these below.

Make space for your overall well-being a priority.
Often self-care can end up at the bottom of our to-do list. Our friends, co-workers, family, and all the other people in our lives come first. We wait until we're sick, burnt out, overworked, or depressed to take time out or wait for a professional to tell us we need to slow down. The truth is it doesn't have to get to that. We are "masters of our agenda," and it's up to us to decide how our day goes and set boundaries for self-care.

What you can do
  • Bedtime Ritual: Pick a day to go to bed early. Create a calming bedtime routine, perhaps with soothing music, a warm bath, or a good book.

  • Pamper Yourself: Treat yourself to activities that make you feel pampered. Whether it's a DIY facial, a massage, wearing something that makes you feel good, or a day of relaxation, fill your cup in whatever way makes you feel relaxed and boosts your self-esteem and mood.

Make a habit of appreciating and valuing yourself for being you and what you've accomplished.
Receiving thanks and positive feedback can feel a bit like Dr. Seuss's "the waiting place" if you're one of those people who feel undervalued or under appreciated. We might wait and hope for recognition of our good deeds or achievements and then get disappointed or upset if they go unnoticed. But why wait for someone else to pat you on the back when you are the writer of your life story? You hold the memories and the experiences of everything you've done. So instead of being your biggest critic, be your biggest fan!

What you can do
  • Accomplishment Celebration: Make a list of your accomplishments, both big and small. Celebrate your journey by acknowledging how far you've come. Give yourself a high five or dance to your favorite tune to truly revel in your achievements and the skills you've developed.

  • Self-Kindness Practice: Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself, embrace your physical appearance, and express gratitude for your body's daily miracles. Try incorporating positive affirmations into your daily routine, like the ones found here.

Indulging and playing are part of life; lighten up.
Often as adults, that inner child who likes to giggle and doesn't have a care in the world doesn't get to come out and play. We say we're busy, we have no time, and life is hard. And while many of these things can be true for us, we also hold the key to changing the narrative. It is up to us to bring a smile to our day, to make playing and indulging in life a part of our routine--even if only for five minutes a day.

What you can do
Spending time alone is part of your personal growth.
Alone time can be scary, lonely, and isolating, but it can be nurturing and re-energizing if done intentionally. Time with yourself allows you to tune in to your senses and to pay attention to your wants and desires instead of being distracted by the thoughts and words of others.

What you can do
  • Solo Adventures: Take yourself out on a date to a place you've always wanted to visit--perhaps a museum, a restaurant, a local gallery, you name it. Give yourself the luxury of going at your own speed, being spontaneous, and having "you" time at your destination of choice.

  • Mindful Practices: Incorporate mindfulness into your routine. Pick a regular time in your day (either in the morning, mid-day, or before bed) to close your eyes and take three deep breaths, finding stillness and presence in the moment. To take this a step further, give yourself ten minutes or more to journal about your day, write down what you are grateful, or sink into a deeper meditation.

Connecting with others nourishes your soul.
Making time to connect with those who bring you joy, push you out of your comfort zone, and teach you something new is so needed for soul growth. Sometimes in life, we feel we have to go at it alone, or we're embarrassed to tell others when we're suffering, or we don't want to bother those we care about--whatever the reason, we can deny ourselves the help when we need it most. However, most of us want to help our friends and family, and there's always professional help for areas needing specialized expertise.

What you can do
  • Reconnect with Loved Ones: Grab your cell phone and pick five people (friends or family members) you haven't spoken to in a while and send them a short and simple text or voice message. You'll be surprised at how this small interaction can open the door to a greater connection and possible in-person or virtual meetup.

  • Professional Guidance: Consider connecting with a therapist or coach for guidance in areas of your life where you seek support and growth. Getting help from an unbiased third-party is a valuable step towards self-discovery and personal development.

These are just a few things I learned through my "me" time. If you want to take the self-love challenge, click the link below to download the calendar.

Once you've completed the challenge, leave a comment below to share what self-love has taught you.

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