Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | October 21, 2010

Living The 21 Day Self-Care Challenge

I came across a challenge from a woman on Twitter (via @unxpctdblessing) for self care. I think if you follow me on Twitter you know I often talk about self care. I find this a challenge I fight with on a daily basis. I am constantly trying to get daily self care in, for sanity, pain management, mood, balance, etc. I have different challenges, and for sanity/mood, I struggle the least with this. I definitely make my emotional self a priority, probably because I am in recovery, and constantly vigilant to be aware of the state of my mood, feelings, thoughts, etc. I posted the Chakra picture, because I believe self care needs to happen in ALL areas of our being, and love reading about Chakras, balance, and how to feel more centered, healthy, mindful.

I read a great post on Psych Central today on Family Mental Health Quick Tip – Tracking Your Mood, which gave a few tip/thoughts such as:

  • Tracking Your Mood – What Happens Each Day? One simple way to track your mood throughout the day is to make a simple chart or take notes in a journal.
  • Your Mood Affects You And Your Family Each Day: If your mood is distracting you to the point that it disrupts your family life, it’s time to figure out what’s going on.
  • Mood Observations Add Up: You can learn how and where to make adjustments so your mood doesn’t get the better of you.

For me, mood is a priority. Thoughts and catching self defeating, negative, stinky thinking is really important to be aware of. It is a skill I learned in all the IP’s, IOP’s, and residential treatment places I have had “vacations” at. Where I struggle with self care most is with pain. As many of you know, I struggle with migraines, have had them since I was 11, and it is the most difficult challenge right now in my life. I have ignored migraines and the messages they send to me. Migraines are telling me a few things: My neck is out of whack, the weather has changed, your body is tired, your body needs rest, food, naps, etc. I HEAR those messages but have only recently started to pay attention and respond.

When I came across the article on the self care challenge, I have to say I automatically wanted to join. I realize I am late to the challenge, that was supposed to run October 6 – October 26. I have decided I am going to start my own 21 self care challenge. Anyone who wants to join me?? As the challenge website has stated: “Most experts agree that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit.” So I intend to start today with this 21 day self care challenge. The website gives tips and strategies, so I recommend looking at what has been going on there for the last few weeks! In general, all it is asking is for us to spend up to 15 minutes following a self care tip. They also have a Facebook page.

Today’s mantra on the website is: “I deserve to talk as kindly to myself as I would to a friend.”

How important is self talk? Well it means a LOT when it comes to mood and even body image. Most of you probably know it is Fat Talk Free Week, and I think in general, monitoring the words to ourselves is key on a daily basis! I remember when I was young I would listen over and over to Paula Cole’s song:

It’s me who is my enemy

Me who beats me up

Me who makes the monsters

Me who strips my confidence.

~Paula Cole, “Me,” This Fire

I think we need to be kind, practice patience, and love ourselves on a daily basis. This mantra is fantastic, because I know I have had thoughts in the past I would NEVER use towards others, because they were so mean. So for today, I hope you all can practice a little self love, and monitor your words. Here is a little video on Fat Talk Free Week:

For the next 21 Days I will recognize the different areas of my life, and the different ways I can practice self care.

Mood states, including cranky, sad, mad, frustrated, happy, jubilant, joyous:

  • Need more sleep, go to bed no later than 11
  • Shower the night before work to be able to sleep in later
  • Breathe before I speak
  • Reach out to my guy, family or support and share how I am feeling
  • Sit in the fire: When angry I will sit with it for 10 minutes before I lash out at another person, it will most likely change, evolve, or I will see the real reason for my anger

Physical Communication: Pain

  • Take a pill right when the pain starts
  • When I get home from work, immediately take an hour nap
  • Make regular appointments with a chiropractor to adjust my neck and see if it prevents some of the causes
  • Find a neurologist to discuss preventative meds, better pain management, biofeedback, etc.
  • Walk away from the computer, put the phone down, the book down
  • Take a bath

Physical Communication – Hunger, Fullness, or Just Right

  • Continue to do what you do: Eat when hungry, stop when full, and practice intuitive eating on a daily basis
  • Progress not perfection

Mixed States of Physical/Mental: Balance of Life, Work, Advocacy, Relationship

  • When I feel “off” stop overanalyzing, keep things simple.
  • Find a pilates class
  • Take more breaks at work
  • Ride the wave of emotions, do not cling, and be present/mindful of where I am
  • Communicate with my guy in a respectful, open, and honest way (if I can’t do that, then I will call my Mom)
  • Go for a walk
  • Plan on mini out of town vacations to San Diego to see parents, friends
  • Make sex a priority, fun and intimate

Bad Body Image Day

  • Go to this self care list & do ANY of them
  • Practice patience towards myself
  • Wear clothing I am comfortable in
  • Stick to a schedule of eating times
  • Throw away clothing I do not wear because they don’t fit
  • Reach out on Twitter, to my #RecoveryWarriors and say it sucks, but does NOT define me

I am challenging myself to this 21 Day Self Care Challenge, and I challenge you to join me as well! I will be blogging about the experience, and if you would like to share your individual self care experience, let me know!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kerry Beake and Laura Smith, VoiceinRecovery. VoiceinRecovery said: New Blog! Living The 21 Day Self-Care Challenge #RecoveryWarriors #mhsm #selfcare #fitblog […]

  2. This is fabulous! I will be brainstorming how I will practice self care in the next 21 days based upon emotions I am feeling and let you know what I decide.

  3. […] head over to this blog and read about a 21 day challenge for […]

  4. You can still join the 21-Day Self-Care Challenge at We plan to start repeating each tip one week at a time so there’s plenty of opportunity to participate. We’d love to hear your comments on how you practice self-care and what you think about our tips. Also, you can join as a Self-Care Champion with a few simple steps. Hope to hear from you. Namaste. Diane Sanford, co-creator 21-Day Self-Care Challenge.

  5. this is awesome!
    i should probs join…but i don’t know if i take TOO good care of myself? hmph.

  6. […] am starting Living the 21 Day Self-Care Challenge. Yesterday I wrote a post explaining this challenge and it’s importance to me, and hopefully it inspires many to take […]

  7. This is great! Just remember to take it one day at a time. And you can only do your best (not perfect).

    Message me on Twitter is you need a little inspiration to keep you going and on track.

    I’m here to support you!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and support! I love this so much and for now it is a bit forced, but in time it WILL become a habit 🙂

  8. […] seeing a post on Voice In Recovery, about LIVING the Self-Care Challenge, I decided to look into it a bit further. I liked what I saw. […]

  9. […] Voice in Recovery, Living the 21 Day Self-Care Challenge […]

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