Our 30-Day Self-Care Challenge is based on science and covers all areas of self-care, mind, body, and soul.

In this article, we’ll share the template, day-by-day, and also give you access to our printable self-care challenge PDF.

Let’s get started on our plan to a happier you.

30-Day Self-Care Challenge

30-day self-care challenge

If you put together a list of all the things you did for other people and then put together a list of things you do for yourself, how would they match up?

I’m going out on a limb here that given you’ve found our article, it wouldn’t be balanced. So, there’s nothing better to do than to follow a structured plan to show yourself some self-love this month.

And I get it, it’s hard which is why we created this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge printable plan to keep it as simple, yet productive, as possible.

This is the template we follow as well, and love to do it at least yearly. We have a 2-year-old at home who demands plenty of our attention (which we LOVE to give!) but you can only give so much love and energy as long as you’re in a good place yourself.

We hope you enjoy and get a lot out of this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.

How Experts Define Self-Care

We started researching the topic of self-care, happiness, and health in 2018 when my husband, Ryan, experienced debilitating burnout. It was pretty bad, and we knew that we had to start at square one.

While many think of self-care as reading a book in the bathtub — which is so enjoyable and I highly recommend it — it’s a lot more than that.

There are eight recognized areas of self-care, according to Jane Taylor, a leader in the field and creator of the program, Habits for Wellbeing. They are:

  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Emotional
  • Social
  • Professional
  • Environmental
  • Spiritual
  • Financial

The premise behind these 8 areas is that you need all of them in tip-top shape for optimal health and balance.

We tend to be better at some than others, and that’s completely natural. You’ll always have strengths and weaknesses here, but it’s important to cover these bases to feel grounded, confident, settled, and at peace.

Eight areas may seem a lot to focus on, but with this 30-day self-love challenge, we’ll set the foundation for you to cover them all.

No matter if you’re already excellent in a few areas, we recommend still following the challenge day-by-day, for a fully holistic, and healthy month.

Starting the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge

Each idea listed in this 30-Day Self-Care Challenge brings balance and purpose.

While the aim is to complete one every day in 30 minutes or less, it’s up to you how deep you want to go. Be our guest and spend hours on each if you can!

Throughout the 30-Day self-care challenge routines, you’ll go through each category, one by one. This results in 3-4 days of focus on each specific area.

We share the free calendar and printable PDF download to follow, just enter your email in the form and it will arrive in your mailbox within moments.

Just remember that this is YOUR month of self-care! While we recommend following our calendar and touching upon all 8 areas of self-care, feel free to rearrange the calendar to better suit your schedule and take note of which areas you want to take a deeper dive into after.

What Is the Goal of a Self-Care Challenge?

The goal isn’t just to show yourself some self-care this month, but to create lasting habits to show up for yourself and spend time resetting, rebalancing, and taking care of numero uno, ideally every day.

Self-care shouldn’t feel like a burden, but it can be surprisingly hard to carve out a few minutes to spend on yourself, even when you’re looking forward to it.

Remember, self-care doesn’t mean you’re selfish, unproductive, or wasting time. This is important.

What if I want more self-care?

Our 30-Day Self-Care Challenge PDF only requires 30 minutes a day. If you’re feeling motivated and want to dedicate a full day to self-care, it’s best to follow a plan or agenda.

We recommend following our 1-Day Self Care Retreat plan.

Additionally, we share 120 ideas for self-care with our below Self-Care Checklist!

30-Day Self-Care Challenge Printable PDF Template

Download The Printable 30-Day Self-Care Challenge PDF

This calendar includes actionable, science backed ideas to make you happy. Download and print the PDF template as your guide.

Mark off the days you complete and we are always just an email away for support!

30-Day Self-Care Challenge

1. Physical Self Care

Physical self-care means getting your body in a good place.

This includes everything from exercise, stretching, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, eating well, and addressing any medical issues you’ve put off.

We like to start our monthly self-care challenge with this category because feeling physically refreshed sets the mood for the whole month.

Day 1: Get 8 hours of sleep (or more). Don’t set an alarm if you can avoid it.

Day 2: Drink half of your body weight (in lbs.) in ounces of water. This is the general rule of thumb for proper hydration.

Day 3: Exercise for 30 minutes. We recommend this free one that we’ve put together for you.

Day 4: Pre-bedtime yoga stretch. We love Man Flow Yoga routines for this but BODi also offers excellent stretching routines.

2. Psychological Self Care

Sometimes called ‘intellectual self-care,” psychological self-care is taking care of your mental and cognitive states.

This includes activities that foster continued learning, creativity, and mindfulness. For us, this is the fun phase of the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.

Day 5: Replace TV with a 30-minute MasterClass session (join me in Michael Pollan’s course on Intentional Eating now!) or a TedTalk

Day 6: When you wake up in the morning, spend 30 minutes writing. Write about what you want to do that day, that month, or even that year.

Day 7: Start a thought-provoking documentary (maybe one on minimalism or healthy eating?)

Day 8: Spend 30-minutes decluttering one space in your house

3. Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care means getting in touch and recognizing your feelings, without judgment.

You can also work on your emotional intelligence and empathy for others, just make sure to extend that empathy and compassion towards yourself as well.

Day 9: Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile

Day 10: Spend 30 minutes outside on a walk. Leave your phone at home.

Day 11: Clean out your pantry of unused cans and donate them to a food shelter

Day 12: Meditate for 30-minutes before bed. Here is a nice free meditation to get your started.

4. Social Self-Care

Social self-care means surrounding yourself with good people and good energy.

While we look most often to our partner and immediate family for our social life, it’s important that your social life extends beyond your front door.

Strong social connections increase longevity, but we know it’s easier said than done.

Here are a few activities to start new relationships and strengthen old ones. You never know how your life could change when meeting someone new.

Day 13: Invite a loved one to cook a family recipe with you this week

Day 14: Make small talk with a stranger today in line at the store

Day 15: Research and sign up for a club you’ve always been interested in (like a local running club, knitting club, etc.) Then go to the next meet-up!

5. Professional Self-Care

Sometimes your job is out of hands.

You might not be wrong about that, but there may still be aspects that you can control to practice professional self-care and avoid burn out or being taken advantage of.

This includes setting professional boundaries, taking reasonable breaks when needed, creating a safe and productive environment, and working on career development and creative products that excite you.

Work is a major aspect of our lives, so don’t cut corners in this phase of the 30-Day Self-Care Challenge.

Day 16: Schedule a 30-minute meeting with your boss to ask for a raise, or clarify what you need to do to get one

Day 17: Reach out to someone who inspires you to be your mentor

Day 18: Tackle the day’s toughest problem first before even opening your email

Day 19: Order a personal development book, ideally related to your field (here’s our favorite)

6. Environmental Self-Care

With environmental self-care, we’re talking more than helping out Mother Earth — although that absolutely counts too.

Environmental self-care means creating a nurturing environment, including your immediate surroundings like your home, kitchen, and bedroom.

Make sure that these spaces promote, instead of inhibit, your goals by keeping them decluttered and clean.

Day 20: Toss out all of the junk food from your pantry

Day 21: No screen time after 8 p.m.

Day 22: Choose one item to repurpose instead of throwing it out (like modifying it with a tailor, or be like Ryan who uses old socks as his Kindle case!)

Day 23: Pick up a new plant for your bedroom or make a bouquet from your garden, or just some wildflowers on the side of the road

7. Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care, by definition, is personal and different for everyone. For some, they may find spirituality in a house of worship, while for others, it may be found out on a nature walk.

Whichever type of spirituality you subscribe to, the point of spirituality self-care is to nourish your soul by reinforcing your purpose and belief system.

Day 24: Practice deep breathing or pray — whichever better suits you — before bed

Day 25: In a journal, reflect on the day and list 3 things you were grateful for today

Day 26: Reconnect with your spirituality on a nature hike

8. Financial Self-Care

Let’s talk money: it’s consistently listed as a top stressor on marriages and is, undoubtedly, a major source of stress in our lives. This is why financial self-care is so important.

No matter if you have a cushy nest egg or are struggling to make ends meet, financial self-care means taking control of your money to feel more confident and secure while creating healthy money habits that further your goals.

These are our best 30-day self-care challenge ideas to boost your financial health. 

Day 27: Create a budget or sign up for a free app like Mint that tracks where your money goes

Day 28: Subscribe and listen to a money podcast (we love Money Rehab with Nicole Lapin)

Day 29: Invest in an ETF or index fund

Day 30: Designate one day a week not to spend money. At all.

Closing THoughts on The Self-Care Challenge

There’s more than simply 30 ways to show yourself self-love.

However, we hope that this 30-Day Self-Care PDF has set in motion a series of healthy habits that will help you continue self-care in all areas of your life.

After finishing this month, don’t stop! If you’re looking for more ideas, you can always download our Self-Care Checklist and continue working on numero uno.

30-Day Self-Care Challenge Printable PDF Template

Download The Printable 30-Day Self-Care Challenge PDF

This calendar includes actionable, science backed ideas to make you happy. Download and print the PDF template as your guide.

Mark off the days you complete and we are always just an email away for support!

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

A husband-wife duo, two engineers, and the creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. 

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our to tackle our true passion:

Helping highly motivated couples optimize their relationship and health by cutting through the muck and sharing what the research says works.

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