It’s probably fair to say that most of us know there are things we should do to improve our lives and our general well-being.
But knowing them doesn’t always mean we end up doing them!
Time and money constraints, work and family commitments and plain laziness are all common reasons for neglecting self-care.
However, looking after yourself should not be something you should avoid. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
If you have read other posts in our Happiness category, you will know that we are big fans of the concept of the aggregation of marginal gains.
In other words, making small, regular efforts that lead to larger gains over time.
Often we may look at a situation – it could be our weight, our fitness, our mental health or our relationships – and decide that too much work is required to improve it, so we ultimately let the idea slip down the list of immediate priorities and indefinite procrastination sets in.
However, with the right plan and just a little bit of discipline, we can all make some huge improvements in our lives.
And that’s where the Wellness Challenge comes in!
Using a structured schedule of relatively small tasks and activities to complete each day for a month, you might just see some improvements in your overall well-being.
Now, doing each these tasks just once is not necessarily going to lead to meaningful changes in your health and well-being – you need to form habits to do that.
So, look at this like a kind of variety pack of well-being activities to experience and at the end, you can then select your favourites and try them out on a more committed basis.
To help you get organized, we’ve made you a nice printable schedule for your pin board, wall or fridge, so go ahead and subscribe to download. It’s free!
DAY 1: Go to bed 1 hour earlier than usual
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is beneficial to us and numerous studies have demonstrated a link between insufficient sleep with an increased risk of some serious health problems, like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
But how many of us really get enough sleep?
Yes, busy life and all that, but I know myself that there are many occasions when I probably could get to bed earlier than normal, but end up wasting that precious time on the smart phone or watching some meaningless crap on tv instead of treating my body to some well-deserved extra Zs.
So this is your first task in the 30-Day Wellness Challenge. Treat your body to an extra hour of well-deserved sleep and look forward to feeling the benefit in the morning. Yeah!
DAY 2: Take a walk outdoors
Take a brisk walk outside for 30 minutes or so. Stretch your legs, take in some fresh air, change your scenery.
That’s all for this one.
DAY 3: Call someone you love
Family or friend – it doesn’t matter. Just engage with someone you care about and let them know you care.
And we do mean call and physically speak to them. And more importantly, listen to them. Don’t just send a text.
DAY 4: Make a list of short-term goals
Write down a few goals AND the steps you need to take to achieve them. A goal without a plans just a wish. And the best place to start is to write them down.
Checkout this useful article on Goal Setting from Forbes for some tips.
DAY 5: Write down 10 things you are grateful for
I know, I know – some people find this kind of thing a bit lame, but feeling and expressing thankfulness and appreciation for the things that we have can be extremely powerful and up-lifting.
Some people go as far to say that gratitude is the key to attracting more abundance in your life.
Whether or not there is anything in that, at worst, it can help you to focus on all of the positive things in your life and lift your mood, which can’t be a bad thing.
Write them down!
DAY 6: De-clutter your room/desk/laptop
I’m sure everyone is guilty of accumulating a back-log of ‘stuff’ – be it physical or digital.
Take some time to de-clutter your environment and organize your surroundings. Neat surroundings can really help you to simplify your life – who the heck likes complicated?
Related ~7 Simple Ways To Simplify Your Life
DAY 7: Take a social media sabbatical
There are many benefits that come with social media, but it is not an exaggeration to say that excessive use can lead to dependence on notification messages for a dopamine hit. There are loads of articles and studies on this.
A feeling of dependency on anything is rarely a good thing, so give yourself a little break for a day.
You’ll be fine. I promise.
If you cannot handle life without social media for just one day, this could be a sign of a serious problem and you’re gonna want to address that sooner, rather than later.
DAY 8: Get rid of 5 things you don’t use
An extension of the Declutter Day. There is probably stuff all over your house or apartment that you just never, ever use. Unless it is a family heirloom or has some kind of sentimental value, what is the point of keeping it?
Make some space for something else! Give it away to someone who will use it or just throw it away.
DAY 9: Enjoy the sun
For those of us that live and work in cities, getting some exposure to the sun can be difficult. Despite the fact that so many people get paranoid about the harmful effects of the sun, sunlight brings a whole load of benefits, so make some time to catch some rays when you can.
DAY 10: Bake or cook something you’ve never done before
When you stop to think about it, we actually spend the majority of our time every day doing things we have done hundreds, if not thousands, of times before.
Learning new skills and doing new things is great for mental health and can inspire all kinds of new insights and creativity.
Start in the kitchen with a recipe you can enjoy at the end. Cookies, a cake, smoothie, full hog roast – whatever takes your fancy.
DAY 11: Unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails
You might have done this already as part of your digital de-clutter, but if not, check your inbox for those emails you get frequently from services, websites and blogs that you signed up for ages ago, but never read.
Unless it is from us at All Sussed, of course!
And if you don’t yet subscribe, you can do so at the bottom of this post. 😉
DAY 12: Send words of encouragement to 5 people by text
Give a few people you know a boost with some kinds words today, just because it’s a nice thing to do. And then give yourself permission to feel good that you did it!
DAY 13: Coffee date with a friend
Catch up with a friend over coffee and maybe even a cake. The crucial part is to put away your phones and engage with each other, face to face.
DAY 14: Whole day without complaining or negative talk
It is really easy to slip into a negative way of thinking when you’re faced with the ass hat who cuts you up at the lights, the ignorant butthead who let the door close in your face and the colleague who always ends up creating extra work for you because of their incompetence.
Just for today and in the words of Elsa – let it go.
No gossip. No complaining. No negative stuff!
DAY 15: Random act of kindness to a stranger
Love this one.
Doing something selfless for a stranger is actually quite rare these days. And contrary to what we are often led to believe, most strangers are actually ok people, just like you and me.
I mean, I am not talking about approaching some dude in an alleyway in the bad part of town at midnight, but buying a coffee for the person in front of you in the queue at Starbucks or helping an elderly lady carry her bags should be safe enough.
And you’ll feel good about it.
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~ John Bunyan
DAY 16: Do one thing you have been putting off
Procrastination is, indeed, the thief of time.
And the older you get, the quicker time flies by.
So seize the day and whatever it is that you have been meaning to do lately, get it done today. It doesn’t matter what it is – getting the leaky tap in the bathroom fixed or that marriage proposal – just do it.
Please let us know if you actually squeeze in a marriage proposal for this challenge.
DAY 17: Mindfulness day
I must admit that I was a little skeptical about the whole mindfulness thing when I first encountered it, so I TOTALLY understand if you feel the same. But give it a try.
It can be so powerful.
These days, I think we are bombarded with so much that requires or captures our attention that we never really get the opportunity to immerse ourselves in any one thing and truly experience it.
So today, take the time to be as mindful as possible in everything you do. You can find out how to do the mindfulness thing in the related post below.
DAY 18: Create a music playlist you love
We used to do this as kids back in the days of cassettes and then CDs, but you can create a playlist with Spotify, Amazon, Pandora or whatever you’re into these days. Pick tunes that remind you of good times and put you in a good frame of mind. Or choose a theme and work with that.
Your challenge, your rules.
DAY 19: Make something for someone
Most of us don’t ‘make stuff’ with our bare hands these days. And that’s ok – times have changed and so have pastimes. But there can be so much satisfaction to be had from creating something with your own hands.
It could be a card, a toy, a decoration or something for the home – the options are limitless and depend on what you like and how adventurous you are. It could be for your children, a family member, a friend or a stranger.
And there is something very special about receiving a gift from someone when it has been made by hand, just for you.
Make it happen!
DAY 20: Download apps that help de-stress
Stress is a common theme in modern society. If you don’t have the time or inclination to take time out for yourself, you can always try an app. There are many options out there. We recently reviewed 20 of them, so check out the post.
Related ~ The Best 20 Apps For Stress Relief
DAY 21: Read or watch something motivational
One thing I love about the internet is that you can call up anything you want instantly.
And sometimes that ‘anything’ might be a little motivational boost to get you through a tough point in your day. Go to YouTube and you’ll find loads of really inspirational videos that will make you feel like taking on the world right away.
DAY 22: Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know very well
How often do you see the same person on a regular basis, but never get past a polite nod of acknowledgment or perhaps a half-hearted “Hello” or “How ya doin’?”
I know it has happened and still does happen to me quite a lot. How about today you try to strike up a conversation and engage for a change?
You never know – it might be interesting and it could be the start of a wonderful relationship.
Or that person could turn out to be a complete asshole, but at least you will know!
DAY 23: Volunteer to help an organisation you care about
Helping other people can get easily pushed down your agenda and most of the time, that is not your fault. Sometimes, I think society has been deliberately made to keep people more focused on keeping their own heads above water, rather than looking out for other. But why not break that tendency today and go volunteer for something you care about?
Don’t put it off – do it now!
DAY 24: Notice 3 new things about your partner or friend
This is related to mindfulness in that we rarely pay true attention to what we experiencing at the time. Look, listen, notice, enjoy, appreciate the person closest to you.
DAY 25: Do something that takes you out of your comfort zone
Some of the challenges listed here may have already done that, but that doesn’t excuse you from this one!
Whatever it is, keep it clean and keep it legal.
DAY 26: Drink more water
Most of us need to drink more water, so try drinking a glass of water when you wake up, then 3 times during the day and one more before you go to bed.
If you have never tried drinking hot water, give that a try too. It’s a staple for me!
Related ~ Health Benefits Of Drinking Hot Water
DAY 27: Try some yoga
Which health and wellness blog doesn’t go on about how great yoga is?
Maybe because there is something in it, so don’t knock it until you have tried it.
One of the many benefits of yoga is that you can do it anywhere and for most people, it beats the option of going for a run in the cold and wet or braving the gym at ungodly-o’clock in the morning.
Try some yoga first thing in the morning and get your exercise for the day out of the way before the madness begins.
This post will guide you on what to do and as session can be done in less than 15 minutes.
Related ~ 7 Great Reasons To Do Yoga Every Morning
DAY 28: Eat fresh fruit for breakfast
Actually it doesn’t have to be for breakfast – fresh fruit at any time of day will do. If you’re someone who eats fruit on a daily basis, that’s great, but if you’re not, then this challenge is for you. Everyone benefits from having more fruit in their lives!
DAY 29: Focus on your posture
As a species, our posture is getting wrecked by increased sitting, extended periods of hunching over laptops and smart phones, declining overall levels of physical activity and generally using much smaller movements and ranges of motion than previous generations.
And bad posture is known to have a number of negative effects on our health.
Today, think about your posture when you are walking, sitting, working on your computer and using your smart phone. Learn some exercises that will help your posture.
This daily exercise routine from Jeremy Ethier is one of my favourites for fixing “hunchback” posture and my own posture has improved massively since following the recommendations regularly. The Wall Slides are particularly awesome.
DAY 30: Play an album you haven’t listened to in a long time
Often, music is attached to personal experiences. Why not find an album you haven’t listened to in a long time and spend a bit of time in self-indulgent reminiscing?
Think about what you were doing and if it was a great time in your life, you can feel grateful for it. If it reflects a darker time, then you can be grateful that you are now in a better place.
Or you can just listen and rock out, chill, dance or do whatever you do.
At the end of the 30-day period, go back and pick out a few of the challenges you enjoyed. Hopefully, there is at least one.
Maybe you can continue these practices and build them into your daily routine?