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30 Day Self Care Challenge For Cycle Breakers

Looking for a new challenge? Try this 30 day self care challenge to take care of yourself. 

30 day self care challenge

Part of the reparenting process includes engaging in a healthy self-care practice. Self-care is EVERYWHERE right now, and if you come from a dysfunctional background, prioritizing your needs may need to be clarified. A 30 day self care challenge is an easy way to begin with, small acts of self-love.

I have curated a list of 30 easy self-care ideas you can practice over the next 30 days. I also added a list of additional ideas you can utilize after completing the 30 day self care challenge. So let's get into this list of 30 day self care challenge.

30 Day Self Care Challenge For Cycle Breakers

What Is Self Care & Why Is It Important?

Self-care means engaging in activities that helps your body, mind and soul. It can look different for every person and is a way of maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself.

Self-care is a lot more than bubble baths and happy hours. You deliberately choose activities that benefit your overall emotional and physical well-being. Self-care is not self-indulgent but rather a way of taking responsibility for yourself.

There are many forms of self-care, and the goal is to find a balance between these different forms that best fit your needs. The most common forms of self-care include physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, professional, personal, social, and environmental self-care. This list will cover all eight types of self-care and help you become a better version of yourself.

Self Care & Trauma

Trauma can hinder self-care as there are challenges with the understanding you have unmet needs. How can you know you had unmet needs when you were never taught that everyone has basic needs that must be met? However, when you continue to ignore your needs (because you had to) for so long, you remain stuck in the cycle, engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors. 

It is okay to start small simply by noticing a shift in your emotions, pausing, and asking yourself, "What do I need right now?" Look at this Needs Inventory to help you identify a need. Your overall well-being is where you can thrive, not just survive, and when it feels like you have been surviving more than thriving, it might be time to look at a self-care routine.

How Can I Improve Myself In 30 days?

It takes time to build healthy habits and an effective self-care routine. This 30 day self care challenge can help strengthen your habits  and provide you the boost you need to make positive changes in you life. 

As you go through each day of the 30 day self care challenge, the small success add up giving you a sense of accomplishment. This 30 day self-care challenge mind, body soul is a perfect way to work on improving yourself and your self-care routine.

30 Day Self Care Challenge Ideas

Day 1: Goals, Goals, Goals

Congratulations on being willing to go on a self-care journey. If this is the first time you engage in self-care, start your 30 days by identifying and clarifying your goals.

Ask yourself, what does self-care mean to you, and why is it essential for you to engage in a self-care practice? What barriers may interfere with your efforts to engage in the 30 day self care challenge and how can you overcome them?

You can also choose to write down any other life goals you want to achieve. Whatever the focus, writing down your goals is a great way to clarify what you wish to do, feel less overwhelmed, and take the steps you need to succeed.

Day 2: Name your emotions

Identifying and naming your emotion is the first step toward emotion regulation. It helps connect your thoughts and feelings, reminding you that you are not your emotion.

Naming your emotion is also a great way to remind yourself that your emotions are temporary and it will pass, allowing you to engage in a healthier coping skill. So the next time you experience a challenging emotion, start by naming it.

Day 3: Take a 30 minute walk

Walking is one of the most underestimated exercises that can help boost your physical and mental health. However, this self-care activity takes little time, as research shows that only 20 minutes of walking can help improve your brain.

So play your favorite music or podcast and add this endorphin-producing activity to your self-care routine.

Day 4: Create an affirmation

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, you might be used to ignoring, minimizing, or discounting how you feel. You may even struggle with putting your needs before others, making self-care challenging.

When you start paying attention to how you feel, you can make space for your inner child's needs and wants. Affirmations are a great way to help you remind yourself of your strengths and goals. It enables you to redirect your attention to the reality of who you are vs. the family messages you may have received.

Day 5: Practice journaling

Journaling is a powerful exercise for self-growth. If you are new to journaling, it can appear intimating at first; however, it does becomes more manageable with practice.

Journaling is a great way to help you write down your thoughts and not be judgemental about your mental experiences. Whether you choose to write about your mental experiences or your experience with this 30 day challenge, journaling is a great self care activity to add to your coping tool box.

Day 6: Take a tea or coffee break

This is one of my favorite self care activities. Taking a break is important when you live in a fast-paced environment. Pause from your stressful routine and enjoy a warm cup of tea or coffee. 

Keep this activity technology free if you can and soak in all that the present moment has to offer. 

Day 7: Reward yourself

You did it!  

Congratulations on completing one week of the 30 day self care challenge. As you complete weekly activities, it is important to consider how to reward yourself for reaching your mini-goals. This reward will serve as a reminder to keep going and a sense of accomplishment. 


As cycle breakers, it can be hard to think about rest and recovery without considering whether you deserve it. Let me be a reminder that you deserve to take time to simply be. That is a reward in itself. 

Day 8: Spend time in nature

According to a study in the April 4, 2019, Frontiers in Psychology, spending as little as 20 minutes in nature can help relieve stress.

Think about the many different ways you can connect with nature. Can you drink your tea on the porch? Is there a new hiking spot you can check out? Would you be open to walking to work? Take your dog out for a long walk this week. You can also bring home plants to incorporate nature into your daily self-care routine. 

Regardless of the setting, there are plenty of ways to connect with nature that requires minimal effort. So take the 20-minute nature pill.

Day 9: Mindful Eating

Like most of us, you probably have engaged in mindless eating where there is a lack of awareness of your food. Whether it is finding that perfect tv show before you start eating or eating on the go, you are not connected with the present moment, the sensations of eating, or the people you are eating with.

Mindful eating means pausing to appreciate your food, being attentive to your sensations, and eating without distractions. It lets you pay attention to your food and how it makes you feel. Notice the urges to rush; notice your thoughts, feelings, and physical body sensations. Challenge yourself to slow down and make eating an intentional act.

Day 10: List out your strengths 

Listing out your strengths is a great way to know what you are good at and achieve goals that you can contribute your best.

Choose to focus on self-care strengths by listing out what you are currently doing well and appreciating your growth. 

Day 11: Watch a funny movie

Who doesn't love a great movie that leaves them feeling happy and inspired? Find a funny film if you are looking for ways to destress after a long day or relieve some stress. You will experience a better mood and feel more relaxed as you spend more time with yourself.

So, watch a feel-good movie as a part of your self-care challenge and find a reason to laugh.

Day 12: Get Restful Sleep 

Sleep care is the new self-care. Getting restful sleep is incredibly important for your mental health.

Trauma impacts your body and the nervous system affecting your ability to regulate itself. Therefore, learning ways to activate your parasympathetic nervous system to feel calm is essential. A tense body can lead to poor quality of sleep, and as the name suggests- 'rest and digest,' being in a parasympathetic state are essential to getting a good night's sleep allowing your body to recover at night.

Getting restful sleep is one of the main pillars of our health and well-being, so pay extra attention and notice how it leaves you feeling healthier and happier.

Day 13: Make your favorite food

A big part of self-care is finding balance. It is okay to indulge occasionally because what fun would life be if you can't enjoy delicious foods now and then? It is empowering to create something from scratch and enjoy the process of autonomy of being able to create.

Most Saturdays, I like to create a cheesy omelet and enjoy it with my warm coffee, which I look forward to every week. This lets me stay on track the rest of the week and brings me so much joy.

Eating your favorite food brings you joy and lets you pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues to make mindful choices. So treat yourself by making your favorite food, do yourself a favor, and enjoy it.

Day 14: Take yourself out 

You did it!  

Congratulations on completing two weeks of the 30 day self care challenge. As you complete weekly activities, it is important to consider how to continue rewarding yourself for reaching your mini-goals.

Rewarding yourself is an excellent way to remind yourself of all you accomplished this past week and how you can continue to build on it. To reward yourself this week, take yourself out to celebrate yourself. Whether you go out for a movie or a walk in the park under the sun, remember how hard you have worked to show up for yourself these past 14 days.

Day 15: Human Connection

Connecting with others is essential for your mental health; human connection is becoming more challenging in virtual interactions. Connecting with others will look different for everyone, so it is important to find ways to connect that are most authentic to you.

So whether you extend your conversation beyond hello with the barista at your favorite coffee shop or make time for your friends, find a way to connect with someone today.

Day 16: Go to therapy

Growing up in a dysfunctional family, prioritizing your needs may not have been at the top of your list. However, going to therapy can help you work through reasons for not being able to care for yourself and how to start meeting your needs.

Therapy is not self-indulgent; cycle breakers often feel like they are not suffering enough to seek therapy. There are many reasons to see a mental health professional that does not involve a diagnosis.

Part of the self-care process is to help you cope with everyday stressors effectively by acknowledging and meeting your needs.

Day 17: Buy a plant 

Besides the many health benefits of having a house plant, they can also boost your mental health. Caring for a plant helps you become grounded in the present moment and increases feelings of calmness.

So whether you start your garden or get a plant for your work desk, when you take a moment to care for your plants, you take a moment for yourself too.

Day 18: Social Media free day

Did you know the average American checks their phone 159 times daily and an average of 2 hours on social media daily? Yet, as technology has made our lives more accessible than any generation before us, we are constantly stimulated and fear missing out. 

Social media should be utilized as a tool; like everything else, it is vital to have boundaries with yourself. As mentioned before, self-love is self-care in action, and taking a break from social media is self-love. 

So, could you survive an entire day without social media? Try it today, and your mental health will thank you.

Day 19: Write a letter to your future self

Writing a letter to your future self is like having a time machine. You get to go back in time and reflect on your growth, reminding yourself of how far you have come and what is important to you. 

Write a letter to your future self on paper or use Futureme.

Day 20: Experience childlike play/allow yourself some fun

Part of the reparenting process includes allowing yourself to experience joy, spontaneity, and playfulness. You must pursue things that do not provide external rewards but do it for the simple pleasure of doing it.

So whether you go out on the swing or play with the waves, use this day to have fun.

Day 21: Sunday Reset

You did it!  

Wohoo! You did it! Congratulations on finishing three weeks of this 30 day self care challenge. As a way to reward yourself, let's do a Sunday reset to get you ready for the new week. 


Whether you choose to focus on doing your laundry or tidying up your home/space, use the day to do something that feels right for YOU! 

Day 22: Meditate for 10 minutes

Most people live hectic lives- as I imagine you do. Therefore, finding the time to practice mindfulness every day might be challenging. However, finding 10 minutes out of your busy day to practice meditating can be incredibly beneficial.

Meditation helps you focus on the present moment shifting your attention from your worries. It can help you feel calmer and think more clearly. If you do not like the idea of just sitting and focusing on your breath, try guided meditation.

Day 23: Unfollow accounts

How many times have you gone on social media only to leave feeling bad about yourself or your life? While social media is an incredibly powerful platform with its benefits, it can also harm your mental well-being.

Let's do a social media cleanse today to unfollow any account that does not make you feel good.

Day 24: Declutter

Your space is a reflection of your state of mind. An organized and clean space can help you feel calm and clear. Get rid of clothes you no longer wear and items you no longer use.

Make your space light and airy, which helps your mental health. Start small if you have to.

Day 25: Pursue a hobby

If you were raised in a dysfunctional family, you might have experienced pushback for pursuing or having hobbies. Part of the journey as a cycle breaker is learning about fostering hobbies and what brings you joy. 

Self-care is about doing what brings you happiness and allows you to fill your cup. Use the day to try something new or enjoy something you love doing.

Day 26: Move your body

One of the best self-care tips includes moving your body to ease your mind. As the saying goes, motion brings emotion, and moving your body is a great way to support your mental health. If moving your body feels like 'exercise,' figure out a great way for YOU.

Some ideas include dancing, outdoor walks, stretching, taking a fun class with your friend, or gardening. The options are endless.

Day 27: Eat your favorite dessert

You did it!  

WAY TO GO! You finished three weeks of the 30 day self care challenge. I am so proud of you and hope you are too. Reward yourself with your favorite dessert to celebrate and prepare for the last week of this challenge.

Day 28: Create a playlist 

Create your mood playlist, whether you are angry or happy, with a song to help regulate your mood.

If you are feeling sad, listening to sad music might not be the best choice, so consider how to alter your playlist to uplift your mood.

Day 29: Connect with the present

Distractions constantly surround us. How often have you been lost in your thoughts, missing out on meaningful conversations, or not focused on the task?

Connecting with the present allows you to experience the NOW and be aware of your surroundings. Whether you engage in a mindfulness activity or do one action at a time, connecting with the present can be challenging, so start small and feel grounded in the present moment.

Day 30: Buy yourself something special

You did it!  

YOU DID IT! Congratulations on finishing this 30 day self care challenge. To celebrate this journey, go ahead and buy yourself something special. Whether you get an ice cream or a new journal, celebrate yourself. 

Additional 30 Minute Self Care Ideas

  1. Light a candle
  2. Try yoga
  3. Take a bath
  4. Call a friend
  5. Watch a TedTalk
  6. Read 5 pages 
  7. Play with a pet
  8. Write a thank you letter to someone
  9. Spend time with your friends/family
  10. Write down 3 things you are grateful for
  11. Listen to a podcast
  12. Buy yourself flowers
  13. Watch the sunrise or sunset
  14. Complete a puzzle
  15. Choose 30 minutes to do nothing 
  16. 30 day healthy meal challenge
  17. Dress up
  18. Take a power nap
  19. Sleep in 30 minutes extra 
  20. No doom scrolling

What To Do After The 30 Day Self Care Challenge?

You can always choose to repeat this 30 day challenge if you wanted. But once you complete the 30 days, write down all the things that helped you feel centered and brought you joy. The idea is to go through many different activities and choose some appealing enough for you to do regularly.

When you decide what self-care activities you would like to add to your life, write about your goals of how often and when you will continue engaging in them. You want your goals to be realistic and measurable.

Also, your needs will change over time, so adjusting your approach as you go is okay. What might work for you right now might not work a year later. So, whether you choose to do a 7-day self-care challenge or 21 day self-care challenge, finding the proper self-care practice is all about trial and error.

Tips for the 30 Day Self Care Challenge

1. Plan Ahead

Creating the best self care challenges & routines requires some planning. It is important to reflect on where you would like to be at the end of this challenge. Next, write down potential challenges and how you can problem-solve them. Finally, think about when you will engage in these challenges.

For example, "I will clean my room for an hour right after breakfast." (Day 24 Declutter). Setting intentional time aside to engage in these self-care activities will make it more likely for you to follow through.

2. Track your progress

It is important to find ways to track, measure and feel good about your daily progress. We can get so fixated on the overall goal that we forget about the small wins. These small wins are a reminder that you are closer to your big goal. 

There are a few ways you can track your small wins:

  • Journaling
  • Seinfeld Strategy- put a big red X over the day you just completed; after a few days, you will have a chain. Your goal is to keep the chain from breaking
  • Check-in with your accountability partner
  • Reward yourself

3. Avoid black-and-white thinking

Black-and-white thinking can make you think in extremes without understanding that there is a grey area. When it comes to this 30 day self care challenge, if you miss a few days, THAT IS OKAY. Extend some self-compassion to yourself and remind yourself that you are allowed to hit reset at any time.

So, whether you start at the start of the month or choose random consecutive 30 days, remind yourself that you are not striving for perfection but progress.

4. Find an accountability partner

Need an extra push to stay motivated? Consider finding a partner that would go through this 30 day self love challenge with you. Social support can help increase your chances of completing the challenge and provide helpful feedback regarding self-reflection.

You can also brainstorm self care challenge ideas together to come up with your own version of this 30 day self care challenge. Another me 30 day challenge self care, basically.

30 day self-care challenge template

30 day self-care challenge printable

Let's Recap....

So there you have it. I hope this post on 30 day self care challenge pdf and was is helpful for you to get started on your self care practice. Remember that self-care is not selfish, and you deserve to prioritize your needs before others.

It is okay to take time for yourself. You deserve it, cycle breaker.

What's your favorite activity for the 30 day self care challenge?

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