Get A Better Experience When You Create Your Own Self-Care Challenge

Do you see all of these self-care challenges on Pinterest, but none of them seem to be what you need entirely? Then this challenge is for you because you create it! This self-care challenge is a step-by-step guide to creating your self-care challenge that fits your needs most.

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I love making challenges, particularly self-care challenges. Still, it occurred to me that the challenges I create use only my ideas and completely neglect the thoughts of those who are completing the challenge! Maybe my ideas work, but the chances are that I am missing something valuable and unique that only you can bring to the table. Without further ado, let’s make you the best self-care challenge you’ve ever taken part in!

tulip, flowers, mug, magazine; create own self-care challenge

Make A Self-Care List

Every good challenge starts with a list, no matter what the topic is. For this challenge, I’d like you to start by making a list of things and activities that you enjoy, that make you happy, or that soothe you. There are NO rules to this list, make it as long or as short as you’d like and include whatever you want! I spoke to a group of my colleagues, and we put together a small but decent list of ideas if you are feeling stuck!

  • Wood-making/widdling
  • Bath/spa session
  • Yoga
  • A new fragrance (maybe a new one each week or month?)
  • Upbeat, love, or empowering music jam (in the car or at home)
  • Painting/drawing
  • Schedule 10 minutes of “me-time” either before bed or in the morning
  • Sculpting
  • Run or walk
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Chocolate! (or your favorite snack)
  • Wear your favorite color or outfit
  • Watch comedy
  • Eat a balanced meal
  • gratitude journal

Timing your Challenge

Now that you have made your list of possible items, you need to pick a time frame. How long will your challenge last? One week? 12 days? A month? Three months? When deciding your length of time, be realistic. If you plan for more than is practical, your challenge will most likely fail! Another thing to keep in mind is that it takes about 21 days to create a habit, so if you wish to build a regular self-care practice, start small and work toward a 30+ day challenge! Another thing to keep in mind is that your self-care does not have to end when the challenge does, keep re-creating challenges, or re-using old challenges to continue further!

Now that you know how long it will last, you can start assigning your list to the days of your challenge. It is not uncommon to assign an activity to a specific day (ex: day 1: take a bath, day 2: light a candle). However, I highly recommend picking the date you will start your challenge and start assigning the activities to the actual date (ex: March 1: take a bath, March 2: light a candle). To make this easier, I created a document to help you plan out your challenge!

When you are assigning these activities, do not shy from using activities multiple times or not using everything on your list! Utilize the activities that you are most able to complete on that day. You could assign the more time-heavy activities to weekends or days you do not work.

Complete Your Self-Care Challenge

Now that you have created and planned out your challenge complete it! This is the most important part of the process! Go through your challenge and learn from it. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have a better idea of how to create future challenges and improve on the one you just made! Don’t be afraid to make changes as you go, sometimes things just don’t work out. Shorten, lengthen, or change up your challenge to make it most productive for you!

Get The Create-Your-Own-Challenge Template When You Sign Up Below!

My Self-Care Challenge

For the purpose of this post, I decided that I needed to create my own self-care challenge too! I am moving, and I plan to start this challenge the first day in my new apartment! I also decided that my challenge would be a 2-week challenge or 14-days. Check out my finished challenge below!

Elizabeth Self-Care 14-Day Challenge
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30 Days of Yoga for Self-Love Challenge

One of my goals for 2018 was to do yoga regularly. Regularly can be defined as almost every day and consistent. I have not been doing a great job at keeping up with this. I chose yoga because I enjoy it, I can do it at home, and it is so good for physical and mental health. For these reasons, I have decided to challenge myself to 30 days of Yoga for Self-Love, and I would like you guys to join me! Yoga isn’t your thing? Try my other 30-Day Self-Care Challenge! -Care Challenge!

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yoga stretch

Why Take Part in The Self-Love Challenge?

The main reason you should take part in this self-care challenge is to feel better. Everyone knows that physical activity and exercise is so good for your general well-being. SO, practicing yoga for 30 days with me is a fantastic way to show yourself some self-love. The yogi who will be leading this group is a wonderful person. She has always brought yoga to a level that works for everyone, and she promotes growth and effort. She is the perfect leader for those of us who wish to practice yoga, but are not very good and tend to fall out of every pose at least twice.

yoga pose

How Do I Take Part in this Self-Care Challenge?

To take part in the challenge, all you will need is access to YouTube. My absolute favorite YouTube yoga channel is Yoga with Adriene, and she puts out a new challenge every year. We will be using her videos for the challenge. Access her playlist here. Now, Adriene started her challenge January 1st, but you and I will be starting whenever we want (I recommend right away for all procrastinators out there ;).

If you want to keep track of your mental and physical progress throughout these 30 days, I recommend you get access to my resource library where you can download a 30-Days of Yoga for Self-Care printable to help you track your progress.

yoga pose

But I Do Not Have a Yoga Mat…

So what? Do you have a floor? PERFECT! That is all you need to join me for some self-love! However, if you are on carpet, I recommend taking your socks off, so you do not slip—I’ve made that mistake before! Adriene is excellent at recommending household items that can be used during your practice to help you.

So what are you waiting for? Do you want to practice some bomb self-love or self-care? Grab your laptop or phone and join me in 30 days of yoga for self-care!

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A Bullet Journal for Bujo Beginners | 10-Day Challenge

I was sitting at my desk the other day, looking at my list of bullet journal post ideas, trying to figure out what to post today. It occurred to me that I had not done a challenge in a while, nor had I addressed bullet journaling beginners. So today I will be challenging both beginners and pros (though this will be particularly helpful for beginners) to a 30-day bullet journaling challenge! Let’s get started!

Getting Prepared for the Challenge

Before you can begin this challenge you need a few things: a journaling notebook, colored pens or markers, other tools (stickers, washi tape, stamps, etc.). There are no specific tools that will work for everyone, some people might use a blank notebook and still others might use lined, gridlines, or dotted and that is okay! Below are my bullet journal tools of choice. You can also click here to read about the best bullet journal beginner’s notebook!


Now that we have everything we need, let’s start with day one.

Day One | Create A Plan Of Action

What is a plan of action you might ask? Well, you plan out your first few pages. For me, this means planning out the order of my started pages. My starter pages always include a title page, key, index, and year at a glance. Planning them does not necessarily mean finalizing them, but you can if you’d like. I like to at this point simply choose which pages are which (aka the order they will go in).

If you are not interested in using some of the starter pages I use, then do your own thing! Maybe add some list pages. Today is just for planning, so if all you do is pick some page types and order them, that is fine.

A Bullet Journal for Bujo Beginners | 10-Day Challenge

Day Two | Pick Your Symbols and Colors

Now we will tackle the key page. For some people, they choose to stick to the generic bullet journal key. Others, like me, like to go a little crazier and include additional symbols, rules, and colors. For some inspiration check out these bullet journal keys:

Day Three | Design Your Title Page

Today we will be designing your title page! Before you start designing your page, get inspired here. Next, be sure to start in pencil just in case you don’t end up liking it or in case of a spelling or positioning error. After the design is drafted completely in pencil you can finish it in black pen or color (or whatever else you want!).

Day Four | Design Your Key Page

For some people, this day will be easy, while for other’s it’s more complicated. It’s very important to draw this one out in pencil first and to have completed day two first. Once you know what you want on your key page, draw it up! Here is some inspiration

Day Five | To Index or Not to Index

Did you decide to include an index? If no, then today, design any other of your starter pages that you’ve planned. If yes, you need to design it. Do you need to manually number your page? Do you want to set aside several pages for the index or make it a broad index? I chose a two column, color-coded, multipage index.

Day Six | Take a Break

Designing your bullet journal pages is tedious and can easily burn you out if you don’t take some time off. So today, set aside your journal and spend some time taking care of yourself.

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Day Seven | Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Let’s Plan!

Today we are starting our regular planning pages. To do this you have to decide what pages will be included in your monthly, weekly, or daily planning. Head over to Pinterest for some inspiration. Today is a planning day so you don’t need to start a design, just have a general idea of what you want that layout to include (monthly title page, monthly calendar, goals, weekly spreads, daily spreads, mind dumps, financial planning, etc.) and how many pages it will require.

A Bullet Journal for Bujo Beginners | 10-Day Challenge

Day Eight | First Month Designing

Now that you’ve planned your monthly layout, design it. Just like before, start with pencil and get inspired! Check out these simple layout designs!

Day Nine | Catch-Up Design Day

Get caught behind the schedule? That’s understandable, I did too. Use today to catch up!

Day Ten | Use Your Journal!

Your journal is ready for use, so start using it!! At this point what you do with your journal is 100% up to you, no need for guidance. When it comes to using your journal from here on out, I suggest you take a few things into consideration.

What did you think of the challenge? Was it helpful? Let me know in the comments!

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12-Day Gratitude Challenge

This week on ElizabethJournals I have been planning an Instagram challenge and I want to share it with you amazing people! The goal of this challenge is to express gratefulness publicly with the hope that it inspires gratitude in those around us.

Being grateful is so so so important and wonderful, which I have talked about before for my Gratitude Artwork post. So if you want to learn more about my journey with gratitude click here.

Otherwise, let’s get to the challenge!

#GratefulWithElizabeth Gratitude Challenge

The #GratefulwithElizabeth Instagram challenge is all about expressing gratefulness publicly to spread that therapeutic grateful feeling. This challenge is 12 days long and can happen at any time! There is no specific date for this challenge, but if you want to participate in the challenge with me, I will be starting Monday, September 11th!

12 Day Instagram Gratitude Challenge | #GratefulwithJihiElephant

One | Something I am grateful for

Two | Someone I am grateful for

Three | A life-changing event I am grateful for (positive or negative)

Four | A memory I am grateful for – #TBT

Five | A state of mind that I am grateful for

Six | A part of my daily routine that I am grateful for

Seven | Something I am grateful for today

Eight | A positive experience I am grateful for

Nine | Someone I am grateful for

Ten | A struggle I am grateful for

Eleven | A memory I am grateful for – #TBT

Twelve | Something I am grateful for

Don’t love a prompt? Alter it to fit you better! The images are completely up to you, what picture really shows what you are grateful for? I will be doing a rundown of my own Instagram posts, after all is said in done, so stay tuned to this #gratefulwithelizabeth Instagram gratitude challenge!

Love participating in #GratefulwithElizabeth? Try practicing weekly Instagram gratitude with me!

You can use the hashtag #GratefulwithElizabeth no matter when you’re practicing gratitude or if you’re participating in the challenge! Let’s spread gratitude!!

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12 Day Instagram Gratitude Challenge | #GratefulwithJihiElephant

10 Happiness-Promoting Practices and Quotes

What is happiness? Happiness is a phenomenon, emotion, or state of being we all strive to achieve. Here are 10 ways to promote happiness in your life.

What is Happiness?

There are a million ways to define happiness.

“Be happy. Be bright. Be you.”

The dictionaries define happiness as

Delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing; OR Characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy (Dictionary.com).

OR

A state of well-being and contentment; OR A pleasurable or satisfying experience (Merriam-Webster).

Being happy is the greatest form of success

Others define happiness as fully enjoying all that you are and that is around you.

Despite the definitions, everyone experiences happiness differently. Some might become giddy or feel bubbly inside. Others might experience overwhelming emotions or even tear up. Others simply smile or feel joyfully content. There is nothing wrong with experiencing and expressing happiness your own way!

But, you’ve come here looking for ways to be happier. So, without further ado…

“Being happy never goes out of style.” – Unknown

How to be Happy

Happiness is as much a choice as it is an involuntary emotion. Let me explain.

You might often feel happiness without choosing to. For example, if a friend surprises you with something you love, you would most likely feel happiness automatically. You probably don’t have to remind yourself to be happy about the surprise.

There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy

However, you can also choose happiness. During trials and difficult times where you would automatically become sad or frustrated, you can instead choose to feel happy. I am, by no means, saying that you should feel happy instead of these other emotions (because it’s healthy to let yourself feel these emotions too), but it’s an option.

“Don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness.” -Unknown

Take Breaks

Taking breaks is so important. These days we are so busy that we completely neglect to allow ourselves some good old-fashioned downtime. Feeling depressed, overwhelmed, sad, stressed? Take a break, treat yourself! You deserve it.

Taking breaks is so much more important than you realize. Taking some time out allows both your body and your mind a reset or reboot. If you are constantly going and jam-packing your body with caffeine, your body, and your mind will eventually give out.

If I do not take time off of both work and blogging each week, I burn out mentally and end up sick. This is no fun. But if I take some time to myself and practice some self-love while I’m at it, I feel refreshed and energetic!

You just can’t go wrong taking a break.

image credit: Ivory Mix

Not sure how to fit downtime or self-love into your busy schedule? Check out my 30-day self-love challenge that incorporates quick and simple self-love practices into every day for 30 days straight!

“There is sunshine in my soul today.”

Give More

Helping others has always and will always be a huge influencer of happiness. When you help others, you feel better about yourself. You feel happier. Even if what you are able to give is only your time or services. Maybe you share a sandwich with someone who forgot their lunch or help a neighbor carry their heavy groceries into their house. Trust me, you’ll feel great!

“Always Smile.”

Exercise More

I don’t really need to explain this one. We hear it all the time, exercise, exercise, exercise. It’ll make you healthier and this is why it’ll make you happier. Yes, it’s exhausting, and yes, it’s difficult. But at the end, you’ll have accomplished so much, and you’ll feel happy about yourself.

“Happiness is made, not found.”

Meditate

Meditation is so beneficial, but it a little bit of a taboo for some. Let me clear the air. You do not have to be religious to meditate. There is actually no one way to practice meditation.

Some people enjoy taking quiet walks to clear their mind by focusing on sights and sounds. Others practice yoga meditation where there is a focus on clearing the mind through breathing and stretching. Or maybe you’ll simply sit quietly for a few moments focusing on your breathing.

Meditation

Meditation simply allows you to clear your mind of everything that is overwhelming your or stressing you out. It’s not for everyone, but I practice this each night before bed and it allows me to get to bed quicker and start each day new. It doesn’t remove stress, but it allows me to look at my stress more logically, instead of panicking.

“There are two ways to be happy: change the situation, or change your mindset towards it.”

Eat Better

I do not believe that I need to go into detail on this one, same as exercise. We hear all about how eating healthier is so great for your body and happiness. Those people are right. In all honesty, I do not eat right, and I can feel it making me groggier and more miserable. When I do eat healthy though, I feel amazing. I sleep better, I make better decisions, I feel better–I am happier.

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Drink A Lot of Water

With eating healthier, you ought to drink more water. Not only is it great for your skin, but it’s great for your attitude. Again, I won’t go into details, because we all know this is true. I’m here to simply remind you to drink water because it’ll make you happier.

“I choose to be happy today.”

Socialize

No, when I say socialize, I don’t mean you must constantly be around people. I’m an introvert, so I know that for some people, spending a lot of time around people is exhausting.

However, it is not healthy to hermit all the time (however tempting it might be). If you’re constantly hiding out on your own without human interaction you are going to get depressed.

So, to combat this, just get some socialization regularly. This could be anything from going out to the bar with some co-workers, to a night in with your family. Socializing doesn’t have to be complicated.

Socialize

Here are some ways for the introvert to socialize!

  • Go into the bank instead of using the ATM
  • Strike up conversation at the grocery store check out
  • Go visit or call some family and just catch up
  • Happy a close friend over for the evening
  • Go out in public – anywhere (sometimes being in the presence of people is enough)
  • Go get coffee with a friend or co-worker
  • Spend some time at the water cooler at work
  • Attend a study group or tutoring session

“Surround yourself with those who make you happy.”

Be Positive

For some people, this is easy or natural, but for others, it’s incredibly difficult. I’m a naturally positive person; however, when I am stressed, I am a massive negative-Nelly. Being negative (especially when I am already stressed) does me absolutely no good.

If I am in a bad mood, or even if I’m not in any kind of mood, forcing myself to think about the positive eventually turns my mood around.

Fake it till you believe it.

“Think positive and positive things will happen.”

Practice Gratefulness Regularly

Gratefulness is healing. I can’t think of a better way to explain it, except to share a blurb from my own personal gratefulness story.

I was in a low point in my life, by ‘low’ I don’t mean living on the streets or anything the phrase implies. I mean that I was struggling with a huge transition and a lot of anxiety. It was at this point I decided to start a gratefulness art project. Each day I would write down several reasons that I was grateful. Anything counted, everything I thought was written down.

My Gratitude Journey | Meaningful Artwork

When you sit around thinking about all that is going wrong, all that is awful, or all that you wish was different, naturally, you will feel sad or angry. But, if you spend your time thinking about all that is going well and all that you enjoy about your life, naturally you will begin to feel happy!

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” -Dodinsky

How Planning Ahead Can Make You Happier

Nothing is worse than the moment you realize that you’ve forgotten to plan for something, causing you to rush around like a chicken with its head chopped off. These scenarios are immensely stressful and can reduce happiness. The only way to reduce this stress, ultimately increasing your happiness, is to plan for it.

Plan Ahead
image credit: Ivory Mix

Planning ahead does wonders for stress. I highly recommend, and will always recommend, getting or making a planner. Personally, I use bullet journals because they are far more customizable. If you’d like to read more about different ways to get organized check out A Practical Guide to Time Management + Productivity, a guest post I wrote.

“HOW TO BE HAPPY: decide every morning that you are in a good mood.”

It’s not always easiest to be happy, but by following these guidelines, it should be a little easier to do. I hope you enjoyed these guidelines! What do you do that makes you happy??

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How to Be Happier | 10 Happiness-Promoting Practices

How to Love Yourself Better | A 30-Day Challenge

Need to take better care of yourself? I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself with this challenge!

Are you up for a challenge!? Awesome! I challenge you to 30 days of self-love! For the next 30 days, pamper yourself! Self-love is so important; I cannot stress it enough! This challenge calls you to spend 30 days indulging and taking care of yourself, working on loving yourself. Self-love is more than just loving your life. It is loving who you are and taking care of yourself. So many people spend their time taking care of others (their spouse, children, clients, friends, etc.). This is great, but we forget to take care of ourselves! Take part in the 30-days of self-love challenge!

So what is self-love? Well, according to Deborah Khoshaba over at Psychology Today, “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our shortcomings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our efforts.”

This challenge incorporates a ton of ways you can implement daily self-love in a small not-so-time-consuming way.

Without further ado…

lady in towel

More On Self-Love & Loving Yourself

Self-love could be re-phrased as self-acceptance. When you accept yourself as you are right now, and love yourself just for being you (despite your flaws, despite your failures, and despite your past poor decisions) your life truly begins to open up. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a mid-life crisis or traumatic divorce to break us down. A bit like Humpty Dumpty, to allow us to build ourselves back together, we need glue (aka self-love).

Excerpt from A Lesson on Self-Love | The Importance of Loving Yourself

30 Days of Self-Love Challenge

This self-love challenge includes some of my favorite relaxation and self-care activities. But, please, by all means, love yourself the way that is best for you. If you don’t like puzzles but you like story-writing, then write a story on the days I challenge you to complete a puzzle. It’s completely customizable! Let’s get started!

  1. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  2. Lit a candle when you get home
  3. Read 10 minutes before bed
  4. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  5. Stretch for 5 minutes
  6. Spend 15 minutes electronic-free
  7. Drink 60 ounces of water
  8. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  9. Drink a cup of tea
  10. Clean or organize something
  11. List 5 things you are good at
  12. Take a 20-minute bath
  13. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  14. Drink 60 ounces of water
  15. Spend 20 minutes electronic-free
  16. Meditate for 5 minutes
  17. Drink a cup of tea
  18. Stretch for 5 minutes
  19. Clean or organize something
  20. Avoid sugary foods
  21. Do a puzzle or creative activity
  22. Light a candle when you get home
  23. Get 7 hours of consecutive sleep
  24. Journal about your day
  25. Take a 20-minute bath
  26. Read for 10 minutes before bed
  27. List 5 reasons why you are grateful for today
  28. Meditate for 5 minutes
  29. Clean or organize something
  30. Journal about something that you love and why you love it
lady in red and white dress off white background

For this challenge, you will need…

  • An open mind
  • Willingness to love yourself
  • 30 days of commitment
  • A candle or multiple candles
  • A journal or notebook
  • Water
  • Tea, any kind will work
  • Bathtub
  • A leisure book of your choice

And if you don’t have all of this, don’t worry because you can change the challenge to fit you!

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