What I Learned from Practicing Self-Care for 31 Days

February was a hard month for me, so I decided to make the month of March one where I made my well-being a priority. I did this by starting my very first With Cheryl Challenge and practiced at least one small act of self-care every single day for 31 days.

The challenge was exactly that—a challenge, but it was one that taught me so much about myself and the importance of making daily acts of kindness towards myself a priority and as I learned, more importantly, a habit. Today I’d like to share some of those lessons and pass along a few examples so you can start this yourself.

 

Make it a Daily Habit

If there’s nothing else you take away from this article, make it this: self-care should be a daily habit. Doing at least one small thing for yourself each day should be a priority, but it won’t be something you do easily unless you make it a habit. Once you begin to make this a priority for yourself, you’ll see how important it is to maintain.

Determine Your Act of Self-Care Before the Day Starts

I found that if I chose what I was doing for myself before each day got started, it would be something I looked forward to all day. This became a motivator for me to keep working hard for the reward that I knew was coming and sometimes even was the highlight of my day.

While Planning is Great, It’s OK to Go With the Flow Too

While I loved planning my self-care ahead of time, I also learned that going with the flow could also result in an unexpected act of self-care. For example, one night I had a networking event and my original plan was to get in bed early and read before I went to sleep. Well, plans changed and my friends and I decided to grab dinner after the event and it wound up being exactly the self-care I needed for the day.

Start Now Before Getting Started Seems Impossible

While making self-care a habit can be a challenge, it’s also important to acknowledge that daily self-care can be much easier in certain times of your life than others. Right now, I don’t have children or pets that I’m responsible for, so it’s easier for me to practice this. HOWEVER, I know that won’t always be the case and if I want to be my best self and also promote self-care to those around me and my future children, building that habit RIGHT NOW should be a priority before it gets even harder.

_ _ _

I always knew deep down that self-care was important, but I didn’t really see the difference it can make each day until this challenge. On the days where I didn’t do something for myself until very late at night, I felt it.

You are worth the extra time and attention self-care calls for and you need to make this a priority each and every day—even if it’s something as small as a 10-minute walk at lunch time. You can see all of the different ways I’ve practiced self-care since I began With Cheryl on this featured story, but here are some ways you can start putting yourself first too:

  • Buy yourself flowers or a plant
  • Put on a face mask
  • Wake up without an alarm
  • Have a weekend of no plans
  • Meditate
  • Take a bath
  • Read in bed
  • Get a massage or facial
  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Have a glass of wine
  • Practice yoga
  • Go for a run
  • Make yourself your favorite meal

 

So, are you going to start making self-care a habit? Tell me some of your favorite ways to practice self-care in the comments below!

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