Whether you want to get strong and hit the gym, lose weight, eat right, or get some more downtime in 2018, it all comes down to giving yourself a little extra self-care. And this year, instead of setting one giant goal that you try (and possibly fail) to keep all year long, we're giving you smaller challenges each month so you can switch it up, stay on course, and focus on all aspects of self-care for your emotional, mental, and physical health.
January: Feed Your Soul
With new beginnings in the new year, it's a great time to look at your diet and maybe even food journal to see how you feel after each meal! Take time to meal prep and plan, and cook nourishing meals for yourself — after all, eating right is excellent self-care.
February: Set (Digital) Limits
Is technology stressing you out? Let's set boundaries. You don't always have to respond to texts immediately or say yes to everything. You don't always have to be "on" — whether it's Instagram or email. Give yourself a no-phone zone in your house or a "bedtime" for your phone and computer. Create these habits early in the year so you can carry them with you through the following months.
March: Meditation Challenge
We know asking you to meditate every single day in March is a little aggressive (in the most zen way, of course), so we'll give you a goal of meditating at least 10 times, for at least two minutes each time. Put a few reminders in your calendar this month, pick a cozy spot in your house, and find an app like Calm or Headspace to learn how to meditate if you need some guidance.
April: Make Time For Tea Time
Tea can do marvelous things for your mind, body, and soul. This month, we want you to try all different kinds of tea and unwind with a new one either nightly or weekly until you find what you like. It'll be a lovely nightcap to get some restful sleep.
May: Find Your (B)LISS
If you've been all over the HIIT train, this one is going to feel great. This month, aim to find a low-impact workout like walking, yoga, Pilates, swimming, or cycling, and add it to your routine twice a week. Tip: try doing any of this outside and in a nature-packed area like a park, forest, beach, or meadow if it's accessible. Earthing, grounding, and forest bathing can be excellent forms of self-care while you get your LISS on!
June: Foam Roll and Release
We're obsessed with foam rolling and myofascial release right now, and you should be, too! This Summer, we urge you to get to know both the foam roller and the massage therapy ball — learn which muscle groups you need to roll most, find tension points in your body, and give yourself a little TLC and self-massaging from head to toe. Not only will you help yourself to have better workouts, but it'll also help your body feel great every day.
July: Create a Morning Routine
Want to wake up on the right side of the bed? Start your day with some self-care? Great, same. It all starts with a morning routine. Give yourself a few extra minutes every morning. Can you challenge yourself to getting up 30 minutes earlier each day? You'd have time for meditation, breakfast, or maybe even a quick morning workout.
August: Try Aromatherapy and Essential Oils
We hope you try this all year long, but in August we want you to try creating your very own aromatherapy routine at home or in your office. Find the oils that are best for your health needs. Are you craving some relaxing lavender or seeking energizing citrus? Perhaps you want to breath a little deeper with eucalyptus or kick those tension headaches with peppermint. Get yourself a diffuser and some oils, and find what works for you. Diffuse daily, and make note of how you feel.
September: Sleep Challenge
The time is nigh to create a bedtime routine that'll help you get more restful sleep, but here's your goal: at least eight full hours each night for the entire month. Set an early bedtime to be sure you'll get to sleep soundly. Sleep will not only help with your energy levels, but it'll also help with your immune system and ability to lose weight, if that's a goal of yours. And it'll help cut down on stress levels. Win! PSA: skip the melatonin (but try CBD instead).
October: Focus on Journaling
Take time at least a few minutes each night or each morning to journal. Start with what you're grateful for — that always helps set things off on a nice note — and continue to write anything you want about goals, hopes, dreams, plans, struggles, and ideas. Even food and fitness! Self-reflection and a little me time with some peace and quiet will help add balance to your day to day.
November: Do Some Body Care
Get a massage, try acupuncture, start taking CBD, go for a reiki treatment, hire a nutritionist or dietitian for an evaluation session, treat yourself to personal training, or visit a spa. You only have to do one of these just once, but if you're feeling up for the challenge, we think you should check all of these boxes in November. Amp up your indulgent self-care before the holiday madness kicks in!
December: Give Back
You know what makes you feel good? Helping others. Plus, you make them feel good, too. The holidays are an ideal time to take a day for volunteering, whether it's at an animal shelter, a homeless shelter, a meal kitchen, a toy drive, or wherever else sparks your soul. Because even though it's "work," it'll help you feel like you made a difference — all the while helping those in need get a little extra love during the holidays. It's the perfect way to wrap up the year and pay forward all that good energy you've been building up.