28-Day Relax and Release Challenge
Every year I begin with the intention to take better care of myself. In fact, I created this blog as a way of reminding myself to invest in my own well-being. I figured, if I wrote it down and opened it up for the world to see, I’d be obligated to do it. Not so! The truth is that loving myself as I deserve to be loved has been less of a priority than it should. So, once again, I’m recommitting myself to practicing the art of replenishing my mental, physical and spiritual reserves.
To encourage myself to find and practice ways to love Me, I thought about activities that bring joy and happiness to my life or, at the very least, lower my stress. The goal is to complete one soul-soothing activity each day and I invite you to join me. Enjoy your bliss!
Day 1: WALK - Take a 30 minute walk in nature. Turn your cell phone on airplane mode so you can devote all of your attention to enjoying the simple things.
Day 2: SHOW GRATITUDE - Write down 7 things for which you are truly grateful and why. Appreciating what we have makes room for more of life’s blessings.
Day 3: GO OFFLINE - Take a day-long social media break. Turn off notifications and, if necessary, disable your apps. Use this time to make authentic connections with those you care for most.
Day 4: AFFIRM - Read 3 of your most inspiring affirmations and post them where you’ll see and read them often. Make sure that your affirmations are always stated in the present tense (I am), include only positive words (not don’t, can’t, won’t) and are statements of fact and truth (no should, would, could, might or will).
Day 5: PRAY - Begin and end your day with prayer. Connecting with Spirit is incredibly personal and your chance to be completely vulnerable. Communicate your needs, your desires, and your gratitude for what you have and the blessings to come. Whatever is on your heart, give it to God and relax in the comfort of knowing you are heard and held.
Day 6: MAKE - Make a pillow or meditation spray using your favorite essential oils - 1 oz Vodka or Rubbing Alcohol, 1 oz Distilled Water, 20 drops of essential oil(s) in a spray bottle. Try combining 4 drops of lavender and 4 drops of rosemary for a relaxing blend. To increase your meditative energy use 8 drops of sandalwood, 12 drops of lemon and 7 drops of lavender oils.
Day 7: BATHE - Take a long, hot aromatherapy bath with Epsom and Himalayan or Dead Sea salts. I like to add my essential oils directly to the bath water.
Day 8: DECLUTTER - Organize a room, desk, closet or drawer. Free yourself of unwanted items and energy. I find myself doing this all year long. It can become overwhelming. Baby steps!
Day 9: GIVE - Donate things you haven’t used in 2 years.
Day 10: Enjoy the Outdoors - Eat lunch outside.
Day 11: IMAGINE - Listen to an audiobook with your eyes closed. Try this with a sci-fi book, mystery or romance. You’d be surprised at how relaxing this is. It’s like the adult version of a read aloud.
Day 12: CENTER and STRETCH - Do yoga in your living room or take a class. If you’re going the living room route, don’t overthink it. Clear a space, find a YouTube video and get started.
Day 13: DRINK - Fill your body with the natural goodness of water. Take your weight, divide by 2. Use that number and drink that amount is ounces. For example, I weigh 140 lbs, so, I would drink 70 oz. of water each day. Your skin will thank you for it.
Day 14: WRITE - List 10 things you love about yourself.
Day 15: LISTEN - Create a playlist of calming songs (or use Pandora), listen and relax. Try listening while getting dressed in the morning, while at work or before bed.
Day 16: CRAFT - Start, continue or finish a craft project. Whether it’s painting, knitting or scrapbooking, get hands-on with something you enjoy. Note to specific readers: In this blog post, sex is NOT a craft!
Day 17: MEDITATE - Relax with a guided meditation or use mala beads and repeat an inspiring affirmation.
Day 18: BE KIND - Perform a random act of kindness. Nothing compares to the joy of adding to someone else's happiness.
Day 19: VEG OUT - Watch that movie or TV show episode you’ve been meaning to see. The Netflix production Travelers and OWN’s Greenleaf and Queen Sugar are good ones.
Day 20: COMPLIMENT: Give 5 people a compliment or words of encouragement.
Day 21: SLEEP - Go to bed an hour earlier than normal.
Day 22: SPLURGE - Get your favorite $5 morning beverage and a pastry.
DAY 23: CONNECT - Call, not text, someone you love that you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Day 24: DAYDREAM - Imagine the life you want and sit with it for at least an hour. Break out your vision board for inspiration.
Day 25: COLOR - Spend an hour coloring a mandala.
Day 26: WALK and TALK - Have a walking meeting. Studies show that walking increases creative thinking and productivity when compared to traditional sit-down meetings. My guess is that the effects on personal relationships would be just as positive.
Day 27: RELEASE - Unfollow/Unfriend people on social media who don’t inspire you and/or have a negative impact on your spirit. It’s ok! Your soul will thank you.
Day 28: CELEBRATE - Treat yourself to something nice for completing this challenge!