Money challenges, gallon water challenges, and other strange social media challenges the youngsters are doing nowadays are all well-known, but the most important challenge is truly about you. Pinterest recently reported that the search for 30-day mental health challenges has increased by 668 per cent in the last year. Can these month-long fixes work? They could, but you must sensibly tackle them.
Small, practical, and achievable steps are proven to help us maintain good health habits. So, if we assume we’re going to lose 50 pounds this week, we’re unlikely to do so; however, if we say, “I’m will not eat that cookie today,” we’re off to a successful start. In mental health, it’s the same. We’ve put together a 30-day mental health challenge to make you feel relaxed and happy at the end of the month.
Even better, you don’t have to invest a ton of money or have a lot of spare time to actively engage.
Day 1 – Schedule something to look forward to.
If you sign up for a cooking class, schedule a mother-daughter movie marathon, or use the weekend to go on a mini road trip, plan a fun day later this month.
Day 2 – Catch up with a good friend.
According to Mayo Clinic, having a good social support group is related to a lower risk of depression and high blood pressure. You’ll also get a decent recommendation on what to watch next on Netflix with your buddy.
Day 3 – Do a deep breathing exercise.
Count backwards from ten and breathe slowly and deeply. Try it before a meeting, in the car, or when you get home from a long day with your kids or partner.
Day 4 – Donate or recycle.
Find something you never or rarely use. Donate it to someone who is in need online or directly.
Day 5 – Do 30 minutes of Yoga.
According to a 2016 study published in the journal Cogent Psychology, women who attended twice-weekly yoga classes experienced a greater reduction in chronic stress than women who were put on a waitlist. Try this eight-part flow from Women’s Health if you can’t get to the gym.
Day 6 – Ask someone for help.
Nobody can do it all by themselves. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, call on your support team for help. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
Day 7- Plan a healthy meal.
It’s no secret that eating healthy makes you feel better. Are you stumped as to what to cook? What do you think of Grilled Chicken with Herbed Corn Salsa? It’s healthy and tasty at the same time.
Day 8- Take 10 minutes to read.
From your whole day take out 10 minutes of your time and read an article or story, good or junk.
Day 9 – Listen to your favourite happy music.
Bonus points if you sing along in the car, at home, or in the shower.
Day 10 – Go for a walk at lunch.
It makes no difference where you are. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, walking for 30 minutes in a natural or urban setting is related to lowering stress hormone levels and improving mood.
Day 11 – 20 minutes of spa time.
Do anything that makes you feel better if it’s a manicure, blowout or full-body spa, whatever. Not just because of the simplistic essence of it, but we prefer to feel better about ourselves when we look nice.
Day 12 – Practice a favourite hobby.
As per a 2017 study by George Washington University, painting, sketching, and drawing, all improve blood circulation to the reward circuit in the brain, so do whichever creative exercise gives you pleasure: knitting, jewellery making, baking, and so on.
Day 13 – Let yourself get distracted by a movie.
Make reservations at a movie theatre or make a set-up at home for a movie night with yourself. In case you didn’t know, Netflix has a section dedicated to movies based on true events. So, grab some snacks and escape from real life into a frictional world (or not).
Day 14 – Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
As per the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine, having an adequate amount of sleep will boost your mood, cognition, and immunity system, all the more incentive to put on your comfiest pyjamas a little sooner every day.
Day 15 – Drink water instead of alcohol or soda today.
Keep unnecessary calories (or hangovers) at bay by saying no to alcohol or soda today. Whenever you feel like having a drink, drink water instead. You can also infuse lemon, cucumber, and mint leaf in it to make an instant detox drink.
Day 16 – Schedule a game night.
Plan a night with your friends or family and play Monopoly, Ludo, or truth or dare, whichever game everybody is interested in.
Day 17 – Set a mini-goal.
You can set a goal of eating breakfast at a fixed time every day.
Day 18 – Cross a lingering item off your to-do list.
Today you will have to tick off a long lying task from your to-do list.
Day 19 – Have a phone-free night.
Since the blue light produced by your phone screen will disrupt your sleep hormones, keeping it away slightly earlier will not only allow you to catch up on a new book, but it will also make you fall asleep faster.
Day 20 – Plan a night in with friends.
Friends are the biggest comforters so, plan a night with your closest ones at either of your houses or book a hotel room for a night.
Day 21 – Try a 10-minutes meditation.
Download a meditation app like Petit BamBou and meditate anywhere and anytime you have a few minutes to spare.
Day 22 – FaceTime with a family member.
Talk to a family member over the video, perhaps your grandparents. Having conversations with them may make you feel lighter.
Day 23 – Do something outside.
Take the dog for a walk or look for a bench to soak in some sunshine. Similarly, before going to bed, gaze at the moon and stars.
Day 24 – Book a date night with your partner.
Ring up a friend if you’re single and do something fun instead.
Day 25 – Write a journal.
Look back at the past 25 days and write down the memorable moments in a journal.
Day 26 – Listen to an inspiring podcast.
Podcasts have become one of our greatest findings this year, and we appreciate how there is something for everybody, regardless of their interests.
Day 27 – Read or write daily affirmations.
Positive affirmations will raise your spirit, and the more you repeat affirmations to yourself, the more self-love and motivation you will develop.
Day 28 – Unfollow negative people on social media.
Those blogger profiles that make you feel like you’re not good enough? Bid them adieu.
Day 29 – Compliment someone.
Have you ever realized how seeing someone else happy brings you joy too? Try giving some thoughtful compliments that go beyond someone’s beauty and see how their face lights up.
Day 30 – Adopt a new habit.
Consider making a shift based on the reflection of the past 30 days. Should game night be a regular tradition from now on? Did going for a walk at lunch make you feel more prepared to face the rest of the day? Even though the month is now over, you can make your new favourite tasks a routine, lifelong habit.