There’s nobody more important in this world than you. So let that sink in for a minute. And then ask yourself, how have you been treating yourself lately? How do you talk to yourself when nobody else is around? What do those voices in your head say about your accomplishments, body, finances, and life in general? So if you wouldn’t treat a friend (or even an enemy) the way, you treat yourself, a 30 day self love challenge may be just what you need to improve your self love.
30 Day self love challenge to transform your life: Getting started
For the next thirty days, you’ll be prompted with a new challenge to complete every day. All of these are designed to bring about more joy, abundance, acceptance, and love in your life. None of them are obligatory. If you miss a day or a challenge just doesn’t resonate with you, feel free to skip it.
That doesn’t mean that you “failed” the self care challenge because there is no failing here. Just jump back in when you’re ready. We do suggest, though, that you try to do everything, even if it feels out of your comfort zone (Who me, talk to my body nicely? Yes, you!). Who knows, you might just surprise yourself with what brings about the most self love.
Part one of your 30 day self love challenge: Your mind
So much of self love (or lack thereof) is connected to your mental health. So that’s where we’re going to start. For the first five days of this self-care challenge, focus on building up your mental self-care muscles.
Day 1: Positive affirmations
One of the best ways to reinforce positive thoughts about yourself is through the repetition of positive affirmations. Come up with three to five positive self-love affirmations about yourself. For maximum impact, write them down and say them out loud to yourself.
Bonus challenge: While doing this for one day is better than nothing, double down on this challenge by sticking to this habit every day of the challenge. How you talk to yourself is so important that it’s worth it to repeat this habit, which takes less than a minute every day of this month.
Day 2: Start a self love journal
It’s time to show yourself a little more love in words. A self love journal is where you write down only positive things about yourself. What are your best qualities? What are you amazing at?
Do people come to you for advice? Look up to you for? What can you do that nobody else can? Start by answering these questions and let your words of positivity about yourself flow. Journaling is fantastic because it's a judgment-free zone where you can pour out your heart and discover yourself.
Day 3: Create a gratitude list
One of the best ways to show self love is through gratitude. Writing down things you are grateful for, from the mundane (your morning cup of coffee) to the more exceptional (your deep friendship with your college roommate), puts you in a more loving state.
When you write down at least ten things you are grateful for, not only will you feel love for others, but as a result, you’ll feel more love for yourself, too.
Day 4: Meditate
Take some time today to be with yourself and calm your mind. The benefits of a meditation practice include reduced stress and increased happiness. Show yourself a little self love today by sitting down for at least ten minutes, focusing on your breath, and quieting your mind.
Day 5: Find a therapist
If you don’t have one already and think you could benefit from talking to someone, today’s challenge is to reach out to a mental health professional. Scheduling your first session is a huge step on your journey to self love and acceptance.
If you already have a therapist or don’t want to see one, reach out to a trusted friend who always builds you up instead of scheduling a session. Let them know you are working on being kinder to yourself and share this challenge with them.
Part two of your self love challenge: your body
Many women have a less than great relationship with their bodies. That’s why this next part of the challenge is all about showing more love and appreciation for your body. It’s the only one you get, and it’s time to start treating it right.
Day 6: Tell yourself five things you love about body
Every time you look in the mirror today, repeat a list of five things you love about your body. This is hard for some people because they may be used to putting themselves down. If it is for you, take some time to write down the list. Is it the color of your hair? The strength of your legs? Your flexibility? Your eyesight?
Whatever your list is, repeat it to yourself, out loud, every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror. Positive self-talk is the ultimate way to show yourself love because it can transform how you feel and see yourself.
Day 7: Improve your sleep
Not getting enough sleep is one of the most destructive things we can do to our bodies. Tonight, resolve to treat your body better by getting some quality sleep. Prepare for this by not drinking caffeine late in the day, making sure your schedule is clear for this evening, and that you don’t have anything early tomorrow morning that would conflict with getting a good night’s sleep.
Day 8: Try a new healthy recipe
Show your body some love by cooking a healthy meal for dinner tonight. Try out that new vegetarian recipe you’ve been eyeing, even if nobody else in your family wants to eat it. Tonight is about you and your body. If you can't persuade them into trying something new use one of your prepped meals for them instead.
Day 9: Exercise
Today, it’s time to get moving, anyway that you choose. Do something that you love to do, not necessarily that you usually do. So if you absolutely hate running, choose something else to get your heart rate going. Maybe it’s a hike with your neighbor’s dog or renting roller skates at the local rink.
Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment, especially during your 30 days of self love journey! It’s about showing yourself what your body is capable of and thanking it for all that it does for you.
Day 10: Get outside
No matter the weather, get outside today. And not just to commute from your front door to your car. Spend at least fifteen minutes outside, taking in the fresh air, the rain, the sunshine, the snow, or whatever else the sky is offering up today.
Soak it all and treat yourself to some time in nature. Be sure your 30 days of self love includes spending time outside!
Part three of your self love challenge: your relationships
Nobody is an island. So no matter how much love we show ourselves when we’re alone, we also have to surround ourselves with the right kind of people to keep that love flowing. Part three of this 30 day self love challenge is all about your relationships and how you can infuse more love in them (even through doing hard things) to create more love for yourself.
Day 11: Plan a date with your partner or a friend
Show yourself some love by planning a special outing with your partner or a friend. Agree on a date and time and do the rest. Also, try to choose something you’ve always wanted to do.
A trip to the botanical gardens? Happy hour tacos and margaritas? If you want to save money, try an at-home date. Whatever it is, plan this special time for your loved one and for yourself, and let the anticipation for the event build up.
Day 12: Do a social media detox
Do a mini social detox for the day, and don’t look at any of your social media accounts. By the end of the day, you just might find that you had a much more pleasant day and might decide to limit your social media going forward.
Or, you might go right back to it. Either way, taking a break from your phone for the day will give you time to devote to something else and be more present in the moments of today. Taking a break from social media can also have a positive impact on your finances!
Day 13: Have a hard conversation
Is there something you’ve been wanting to tell someone but haven’t gotten around to yet? There’s no better day than today to have this conversation. It might be hard in the moment, but the benefits will be enormous. It will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your chest, and you’ll feel lighter and proud of yourself for taking such a step.
Day 14: Volunteer
Just like listing out all of the things you are grateful for can bring you more love, so too can sharing your time with others. Today, volunteer a few hours with a cause you care deeply about.
If you cannot fit it into your schedule today, put it on the calendar for a date in the future. Volunteering is important for personal development and is an essential part of the 30 day self love challenge!
Day 15: Create a boundary
Not every relationship needs more of you to thrive. Some need less. So that’s where boundaries come in. Is there a relationship where you are constantly giving too much of yourself? Maybe it’s at work with a colleague who takes advantage of you and dumps work on you.
Or your sister who is always calling to complain about her husband. Decide how you are going to put a stop to a behavior that is not serving you. Put the boundary in place so that the next time the same issue comes up, you’ll be prepared to protect yourself.
Part four of your self love challenge: your environment
How you treat your space can be a reflection of how you treat yourself. If your environment is cluttered, disorganized, or in some way doesn’t bring you joy, you might be feeling similarly about yourself. That’s not self love. This part of the self love challenge aims to change up your environment to create a place you feel good about and good in.
Day 16: Buy yourself flowers or a plant
Show yourself and your space some love by brightening it up with flowers. If that’s not your style, a plant (even a fake one) also works magic. Bringing in something bright or green can boost your mood and remind you that you are worth it.
Day 17: Declutter your space
Another important part of the 30 day self love challenge is decluttering your life. A messy space can lead to a messy mind, so why not clean it up. Choose your desk, your whole office, or a small junk drawer and declutter that space today. Making space by clearing out clutter brings peace and gives you room to clear your mind and focus on yourself.
Day 18: Treat yourself
Sometimes self love means buying something nice for yourself. A couple of days ago, you brightened up your living space with flowers or a plant. Today, treat yourself to a new piece of clothing or jewelry.
By brightening up your personal look with something you feel empowered in, you’ll turn your confidence up a few notches. Also, remember there are plenty of ways to treat yourself without blowing your budget!
Day 19: Ditch clothes that no longer serve you
Go through your closet and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit and doesn’t excite you. Even if this ends up being the majority of your clothes, it’s better to have a minimal closet and plan to replace items as you can than to have a closet full of clothes that you hate.
Once you purge your belongings of things that don’t make you feel confident, you’ll start to feel better about yourself. Bonus tip: Donate whatever you plan to discard. Not only will you have gotten rid of things that don’t bring you joy, but you’ll also get the extra loving feeling by donating them to someone who will appreciate them.
Day 20: Create a reading nook or sanctuary for yourself
In the next part of this 30 day self love challenge, we’re going to talk about taking the time out to read. To prepare for this day, make the physical space for it by creating a reading nook or sanctuary. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and you don’t need to buy anything for it.
Just make sure you have a comfy chair, a pillow, a throw, a candle, and earbuds. This space will be perfect not only for quiet reading but also for meditation and many of the other challenges on this list.
Part five of your self love challenge: your activities
How you spend your days has a lot of influence on how you feel about yourself. For more self love, during this part of the challenge, focus your activities on things that bring you joy and build your confidence.
Day 21: Treat yourself to a spa treatment
Pamper yourself with a haircut, blowout, manicure, or other spa treatment you’ve meant to put on the calendar for ages. An at-home treatment like a pedicure after a long shower is a great substitute. Just make sure you aren’t trying to multi-task and answer emails or get your kids ready for bed while you try this!
Self love is also about making the time, even if it’s just a couple of minutes, for yourself and showing yourself over and over again that you deserve it.
Day 22: Try something new you’ve always wanted to do
The next part of this self care challenge is to try something new! What have you wanted to do for a long time but have put off for one reason or another? If it’s something you can’t do today (maybe it’s closed or too far away to get to), make sure to schedule it.
Put it on your calendar and figure out all of the logistics so that when the day comes to do it, you’ll really do it. Trying new things reminds you of just how much you are capable of and empowers you to try more new things going forward. It opens up possibilities and grows your confidence along the way.
Day 23: Listen to your favorite music
Music really does soothe the soul. Create a playlist of the most empowering songs you can’t help but belt out when you hear them. Once you’ve curated your list, blast it on your ride to work, in your headphones while you walk your dog or during the shower. You won’t be able to help but sing along and soak in the positive messages from your favorite singers.
Day 24: Read a good book
So remember that reading nook you created for yourself a few days ago? If you haven’t already, now is the time to test it out! Grab a book, cozy up in your space, and tune out the rest of the world. You’re worthy of spending the time alone, immersed in another world, so you can recharge and come back stronger.
Day 25: Have a dance party
Host a dance party at home. This can be a spur-of-the-moment solo dance party or one with your kids, your partner, roommates, or whoever else you choose to invite. Let loose without caring what other people think about your moves, and thank your body while you’re at it for moving like it does.
Part six of your self love challenge: your finances
We’re wrapping up the self care challenge with something near and dear to our hearts, personal finance! Money and how we feel about it impacts every single aspect of our lives, including self love. These challenges are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you can care for your personal finances, but they sure are a great start.
Day 26: Set a big financial goal
We all have goals in mind, even if we haven’t articulated them yet. What are your financial goals? Brainstorm all that you want to accomplish and figure out what your most important financial goal is. Then, come up with a plan to reach that goal.
Taking that first step can be the hardest, so make today the day you set your plans in motion! Remember to take your big goals and break them down into smaller goals to make them easier to achieve.
Day 27: Open an emergency savings fund
Show some love to your future self by opening up an emergency savings fund. An emergency savings fund is there in case of just that – an emergency. By creating one, you’re sending yourself the message that you are important and that you will be taken care of if (when) anything happens.
If you already have one (good for you!), evaluate how you are doing. Are you reaching your goals? Can you add a little bit more to increase your savings? Last but not least, try your best to save up to 3-6 months of living expenses for emergencies.
Day 28: Review your budget
Show yourself some love by giving your budget the attention that it deserves. Check in on how you are doing. Do you need to adjust any of your spending?
Creating and sticking to a budget might not feel like self care, but it truly is one of the most fundamental ways you can show yourself love. The peace of mind alone that budgeting brings is enough to change your outlook on life.
Day 29: Donate to your favorite cause
Earlier during these 30 days of self love, you donated your time to a project you believe in. Today, it’s about your wallet. No matter the amount, donate what you can to your favorite non-profit organization or cause you care deeply about.
Giving to others and showering them with love is one of the most powerful ways to bring that love right back to you. However, remember to include donations as part of your monthly budget.
Day 30: Create a financial vision board
Lastly, it’s time to wrap up the 30 day self love challenge by dreaming about the future. A financial vision board is a tangible way you can bring your financial goals and dreams to life. Create one today and review it daily going forward, visualizing your success and inspiring you to take action toward achieving your goals.
This 30 day self love challenge is just the beginning
Congratulations on finishing up the 30 day self love challenge! It can be difficult for many of us to take the time we need for ourselves. Hopefully, after these 30 days of self love, you’re well on your way to carving out more time and love for yourself.
Going forward, you don’t have to participate in a 30 day self love challenge all of the time, but you should make sure you have a self love practice in place. So choose a couple of your favorite activities from this challenge and incorporate them into your daily life. That’s the way to create lasting change and a life with more self compassion, acceptance, and love.