They say that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit — that’s why most programs for diets, lifestyle changes and exercise regimens are at least 30 days long. One habit everyone should be practicing is self-love, but many people neglect it. Learning how to become your own best friend can be challenging because we tend to take care of others before we take care of ourselves.
With that in mind, here is a 30-day self-love challenge to help get you started on becoming your own hero.
Day 1: Buy Yourself a Journal
This step helps to bring the whole challenge together, but it can also be a great way to love yourself. Go to Barnes and Noble or your local bookstore and browse their journals. Find one that really calls to you — hard or soft cover, leather bound or printed, whatever catches your eye. This will be your challenge journal. Write an entry every day about what you did to love yourself that day.
Day 2: Buy Yourself Flowers
Everyone likes getting flowers, but you don’t need to wait until someone buys them for you. Flowers are beautiful, so buy yourself some! Pick your favorite blossoms and have the florist build you a dream bouquet. If flowers aren’t necessarily your thing, why not try making one of those trendy DIY herb gardens for your kitchen or windowsill?
Day 3: Go for a Walk
We don’t spend enough time in nature — most of us are always working indoors or behind our computers. Get outside and spend some time enjoying the wonders of nature. In addition to being relaxing, it’s also good for your mental health!
Day 4: Drop a Bad Habit
It takes just as long to get rid of a bad habit as it does to learn a good one, so why not start now? Pick one of your bad habits and make a commitment to get rid of it during your challenge. It doesn’t have to be a big habit, either. Choose a small one like biting your nails or picking at your cuticles that you can work toward eliminating during these 30 days.
Day 5: Make a New Good Habit
Sometimes, the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Now that you’ve decided on the bad habit you want to get rid of, it’s time to choose a good habit to replace it. For example, if your bad habit is drinking soda, replace it with drinking enough water every day, etc. Try to make your good and bad habits complement each other.
Day 6: Disconnect
We’re always on our phones or our computers. Why not take a day to disconnect from all of your electronics? Shut off the phone, shut down the computer and turn off the TV. Find something else to occupy your time — you might be surprised at the results.
Day 7: Pick Up a New Book
When was the last time you just sat down and read something new that wasn’t for work or school? Pick up a new book and take some time to read it!
Day 8: Rearrange a Room
Has your furniture been in the same place for so long that it’s left permanent indents in the floor beneath it? Take some time to rearrange one of your rooms to give it a fresh new look.
Day 9: Buy New Undies
Even if no one else sees them, there’s something fantastic about strutting around in new matching undergarments. Treat yourself!
Day 10: Get Your Haircut
You don’t need to spend hundreds on a cut and color — just a simple wash, trim, and blow dry can be enough to turn your day around.
Day 11: Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being in the moment, rather than worrying about the past or the future. Try a five-minute mindfulness meditation to help get you started — YouTube has a ton of them, so keep searching until you find one you like!
Day 12: Laugh, Then Share the Laughter
Laughter is the best medicine. Find something that makes you laugh and share it with a few friends so they can join in on the fun.
Day 13: Dance!
Put on your favorite music and dance like no one is watching — even if someone is. Who knows, you might inspire someone else to join you on the dance floor, wherever that happens to be.
Day 14: Write Some Affirmations
Pick your favorite affirmations and write them on sticky notes. Put those sticky notes where you’ll see them every day — on your bathroom mirror or the cabinet above your coffee maker. Whatever works for you!
Day 15: Send Someone Else Flowers
On day 2, you bought flowers for yourself. Now, send someone else flowers. There doesn’t have to be an occasion, just pick a friend or coworker and send them some flowers to say “I appreciate you.”
Day 16: Pay It Forward
The next time you go to the drive-through, offer to pay for the tab of the person behind you, too. You might be surprised how far your gesture goes — there have been news articles about pay-it-forwards in fast food drive-throughs where hundreds of people have paid for the person behind them.
Day 17: Take a Selfie Just for You
By their very nature, selfies are designed to be shared, but you don’t have to share them all. Take a selfie that’s just for you — make yourself look awesome — and keep the picture for yourself. It can serve as a reminder that you are awesome, no matter what.
Day 18: Learn to Say No
This can be a hard one but learning to put yourself first is one of the most important forms of self-love. Saying no isn’t selfish — it’s good for you. Learn to say no to things you don’t want to do but might feel obligated to.
Day 19: Get Some Sun
If you spend all day indoors, chances are, you’re not getting enough sun. Sunlight is essential to the production of Vitamin D in the body, so get out there and soak up a few rays.
Day 20: Take a Nap
Sometimes, everyone needs a nap regardless of their age. Embrace the 20-minute power nap and see how much extra energy you have afterward.
Day 21: Help Someone
This challenge doesn’t have to cost anything — simply open a door for someone or offer to carry their bag. Find any way you can to help someone.
Day 22: Compliment a Stranger
Find a random person on the bus or on your way to work and offer them a compliment. It will make them feel good, it will make you feel good and you might even make a new friend.
Day 23: Pet an Animal
If you don’t have a pet yourself, find one! Volunteer at an animal shelter, head to a pet store or offer to pet-sit for a friend — whatever it takes. Pets are thought to improve mental health, and the animal will love the attention!
Day 24: Get Your Adrenaline Pumping
Do something that scares you — drive a race car, go bungee jumping or skydiving or just step outside your comfort to get that adrenaline going.
Day 25: Be Artistic
Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, try something new anyway. Find one of those painting with a twist events, where you can paint and drink wine or beer at the same time, and they’ll talk you through the painting part!
Day 26: Take A Bath
No, we’re not saying you smell. Take some time to pamper yourself. Pick up a bath bomb, crack open a bottle of wine and relax in the hot water.
Day 27: Hygge It Up
Hygge is a Danish concept that revolves around the cozy and comfortable feeling you get when you’re with friends or family. Light some candles, break out a comfy blanket or two and hygge it up!
Day 28: Cut the Clutter
Clutter can make you less productive during the day, so show some self-love by cutting as much as you can. Get rid of anything you don’t need or no longer want and take some time to organize what’s left.
Day 29: Do Nothing
This might sound difficult but take 10 or 20 minutes out of your day and do absolutely nothing. It can be a great way to recharge in today’s busy world.
Day 30: Celebrate — You Did It!
By the end of the month, you will have made it through 30 days of self-love — congratulations! Treat yourself and take some time to celebrate.
Learning to love yourself isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it isn’t impossible. Start with this 30-day challenge and see where you end up!