Looking for a 30 day wellness challenge to help you create good habits? By making one tiny change per day, you can overhaul your life.
What Is Wellness?
Maybe you’ve tried a 30 day fitness challenge or a mental health challenge before, but you’re unfamiliar with wellness. What exactly is “wellness?” It refers to more than just mental health and fitness.
According to the National Wellness Institute, it’s “an active process” that people can use to create a more “successful existence.” Instead of focusing on one area of your life, wellness looks at the big picture, specifically at these dimensions:
So, wellness is a holistic sense of health and well-being. When you focus on wellness, you create a lifestyle that has positive implications for all of the dimensions listed above. Sounds good, right?
What Is The Goal Of A Wellness Challenge?
Many people find that stress and a busy lifestyle make it difficult to focus on self-care. They may say they’re “too lazy,” but really, they just haven’t developed healthy habits.3 A wellness challenge is all about setting short-term goals and creating small, healthy habits.
On their own, these habits are not hard to adopt. But taken all together, they can add up to a healthier lifestyle.4
The 30 Day Wellness Challenge: Day By Day
Day 1: Go To Sleep One Hour Earlier
To kick this challenge off, get into bed one hour earlier than you normally do. Getting enough sleep comes with a long list of potential benefits. It may help support concentration, productivity, and performance.5
See if you can continue with this new sleep schedule for the entire 30 day challenge. You’ll likely love the way you feel.
Day 2: Call Someone You Love
Think you don’t have time for your friends or family? It’s in your best interest to make time. Connecting with a loved one is more than just fun – it’s great for your health and wellness. Studies show that people who have close friends and family members are healthier and live longer than those who don’t.6
Day 3: Take A Break From Social Media
Addicted to social media? Take the entire day off. Studies show that social media may lead to low self-esteem and mood, anxiety, and social isolation. While it can certainly bring you good things too, you don’t need it to rule your life.7
Day 4: Try A New Recipe
Do you cook at home? Today’s your day to try a new, ambitious recipe. If you never cook, aim for something simple, like scrambled eggs. Studies show that people who cook eat fewer calories and a more diverse spectrum of foods.8
Day 5: Drink More Water Than Usual Today
Drinking water is good for you, especially if you’re replacing soda or other sugary drinks.9 I creasing your water intake may have positive effects on:
- Physical performance
- Energy levels
- Your body’s ability to avoid certain ailments
- Your weight loss and fitness goals10
Like so many other items on the list, this one’s a no-brainer. See if you can keep up your water intake for the entire 30 days and beyond.
Day 6: Do Something You’ve Been Putting Off
Close your eyes and think: what’s that one thing you’ve been putting off? Most of us have something. Odds are, the longer we put off that “one thing,” the worse our situation gets. Psychologists call this type of avoidance self-sabotage. It ends today.11
If you can, do the entire task today. If it’s too big of a project, write out all of the components and knock out as many as you can today. Once you get started, it will likely be easier than you’re imagining.
Day 7: Write Out Your Short-Term Goals
Writing down your goals and giving yourself a time limit may help increase the odds that you’ll actually achieve them. Set a specific target and get to work.12
Day 8: Make Something For Someone You Love
Making something, like a delicious meal or a thoughtful poem, for someone else comes with all sorts of benefits. Doing something for others can:
- Make you feel happy and connected to others
- Boost your confidence and self-esteem
- Promote positive growth in relationships13
Day 9: Unsubscribe From Unnecessary Emails
You don’t need any more clutter in your life. Take an hour or two today and unsubscribe from all of those marketing emails that you don’t read anyway.
Day 10: Write Down 10 Things You’re Grateful For
Expressing gratitude may help to supercharge your wellness. Whether you pick up a new dedicated gratitude journal, or you use a notebook you already have, this is an easy habit that has big potential benefits. Cultivating a practice of gratitude may:
- Reduce toxic emotions, like envy, resentment, frustration, and regret
- Support physical health
- Enhance empathy
- Reduce aggression
- Support healthy self-esteem
- Help you sleep better and longer14
Day 11: Talk To Someone You Don’t Know Very Well
Do you have people in your life who you regularly see, but you don’t know anything about? Think about coworkers you don’t know that well, your local barista, or your neighbor you always see outside. Try striking up a conversation beyond, “Hey there.” See where it takes you.
Day 12: Watch Something Motivational
Feeling a little sluggish lately? Try watching a short motivational video. It might help you feel motivated, yes, but it may also give you more energy, inspire you to make positive changes, and help you reflect on your life.15
Day 13: Take A Long Walk Outside
If you don’t live with a dog, it may have been a while since you simply went on a long walk outside. Walking is an excellent form of exercise that could help you reach your fitness and weight loss goals. Walking is also great for getting your creative juices flowing. In addition, walking is an easy activity to do with a loved one, so it’s an easy opportunity to get some quality time in.16
Day 14: Try Some Yoga Poses
All forms of exercise are great for your physical and mental health, but a yoga workout may give you even more benefits. Studies show that yoga may help decrease your secretion of the stress hormone cortisol.17
One of the benefits of yoga is that you can do it anywhere. Look up a few poses, or watch a video on your phone, and follow along from the comfort of your own home.
Day 15: Meditate For 10 Minutes
Give your mind a workout today. Meditation may help your mind focus, and it could help increase awareness of your surroundings. Most of the benefits come when you make meditation a habit, so start today and continue for 10 minutes every day if you like it.18
Day 16: Go Outside And Soak Up Some Sun
When’s the last time you spent time outdoors? Many modern office workers get in a rhythm of work-car-gym-home that rarely has them see nature. If you can go outside and do some squats or some type of physical workout, great. But even just sitting outside has potential benefits.
Spending time outside underneath the sun can help give you a dose of Vitamin D, boost your energy, make you feel more creative, and more.19
Day 17: Lift Some Weights Today
Go to the gym, see a personal trainer, use your dumbbells that have been collecting dust in your garage, or just lift something heavy today (carefully, of course). Lifting weights may be the best type of exercise to improve your body composition.20
Day 18: Try A New Hobby
Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, like playing the guitar or taking an art class? Today’s your day. Having a hobby may help reduce stress. It might also help foster social ties, and it may make you more efficient at managing your time.21
Day 19: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you stay inside your comfort zone, nothing in your life changes. It’s hard to learn and grow. To make sure you’re living your life in full color, do one thing outside of your comfort zone today.22
Day 20: Start Reading A Book Today
When’s the last time you read a book? Reading helps improve focus, concentration, vocabulary, and memory. This is not to mention that reading is fun. If it’s been awhile, pick up a fast-paced thriller or mystery that will draw you in right away. You just may have trouble putting your book down.23
Day 21: Volunteer
You may know that volunteering is good for your community, but did you know that it can be great for your health too? Studies show that volunteering may help promote healthy blood pressure, reduce stress, and support longevity.24
And who knows, your volunteering stint just may introduce you to a new friend or romantic partner. These increased social ties also have benefits all of their own.25
Day 22: Declutter Your Office Or Workspace
Take a look around you right now. Is there a lot of… junk? It may be time to Marie Kondo your office or workspace. Decluttering may help make you feel confident and competent.26
Day 23: Create A Playlist That You Love And Listen On Repeat
When’s the last time you sat down and just listened to great music that you love? If you do this regularly, good for you. Many people don’t. Today, create a playlist full of jams that you love (guilty pleasures encouraged). Listening to music is a major mood booster. It has a whole host of other potential mental wellness benefits too.27
Day 24: Focus On Your Posture
Pay attention to how you’re sitting right now. Are you sitting up straight and tall? Are you a little bit hunched over? Good posture can have a positive impact on your health, confidence, and energy levels.28 Improving it may just be a matter of paying attention.
To improve your posture while you’re sitting, make sure your feet rest flat on the floor with your weight balanced between both hips. Your back should be straight. Your shoulders should be back, but relaxed. Your ears should line up with your clavicle.29
Day 25: Eat A Fruit Or Vegetable That Is Every Color Of The Rainbow
Here’s a fun challenge: today, try to eat every color of the rainbow through fruits and veggies. “Eating the rainbow” helps you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that do your body good.30
Day 26: Go A Whole Day Without Saying Anything Negative
You might spend more time being negative than you realize. And negativity can actually affect your health – not to mention your social standing. Today, try to catch yourself if you find yourself saying or thinking anything negative. If you can, focus on the positive instead.31
Day 27: Send An Encouraging Text To Five People
Encouraging others can help give you a sense of purpose and satisfaction. Sending a quick text is an easy way to connect with loved ones and improve their days.32
Day 28: Write Down Everything You Eat Today
Studies show that people who track their food intake are more likely to hit their weight loss goals.33
Day 29: Do A Random Act Of Kindness For A Stranger
Try doing something nice for a stranger with no strings attached. Here are some ideas: put money in an expired parking meter, let someone go before you in line, or pay someone a genuine compliment. These random acts may help make you feel stronger, more calm, and more confident.34
Day 30: Remember A Story From Your Childhood
Take the time to walk down memory lane today. Nostalgia might help boost your mood, improve relationships, and give your life a greater sense of meaning.35
Create New Habits After The 30 Day Period Is Done
At the end of the 30-day challenge, look back on everything you did. What did you enjoy? What made you feel good? What would you like to continue doing?
Doing these tasks just once is unlikely to form a lasting habit.36 The key is to reflect, pick a few activities, and commit to doing them daily. On their own, these activities are tiny, easy lifestyle changes. But if you string a few together and turn them into habits, they can change your life.
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