Part 1/3: Introduction to The 30 Day Self-Love Mental Health Challenge
So when I found out that May is Mental Health Month, I had a calling from the mysterious forces of the universe. They urged me to contribute and I, of course, obliged with no hesitation (this was all after asking them approximately four times if 42 was really the meaning of life).
And after a month of lots of brainstorming, checking off to-dos, drawing, and re-drawing, I am super excited to announce a social media campaign that I created with a friend, Lauren of @laurenwtaylor. It’s called The 30-Day Self-Love Mental Health Challenge.
More explanation to come below — I wanted to do this blog post to supplement the social media campaign so that I could explain a bit more in-depth about the creation, the importance of each challenge, and even a bit of science.
This will be Part 1 of 3: An introduction to the 30-Day Self-Love Mental Health Challenge.
The Creation of the Challenge
At the beginning of April, I received a sweet message from Lauren asking if we could collaborate on something mental-health related since we’re both advocates in this niche.
I immediately suggested we do something for Mental Health Month — since you know, the universe had contacted me already and all that. And this, my friends, was the manifestation of The 30-Day Self-Love Mental Health Challenge. We even have a cute hashtag: #SelfLoveMentality.
Lauren and I are passionate about squashing the stigma around mental health. And this stems from both of us struggling through our own journeys. I personally suffered from an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Having a mental disorder is awfully crippling and isolating, which is why I’ve made it my mission to speak up and hopefully inspire anyone suffering to seek help, not be ashamed of what they’re going through, and know that they’re not alone.
So, What's This Challenge All About?
Lauren and I decided to create daily challenges that people could do every day in May. These are challenges that I’ve practiced during recovery and in my intensive-outpatient-therapy sessions, and Lauren’s practiced during her own mental health journey.
A whole month of challenges would really open up the opportunity to spread the word about Mental Health Month.
We hope that through engaging in these challenges, we can ignite meaningful conversations about mental health together.
The 5 Categories of Mental Well-Being
Each challenge focuses on five important aspects that we believe makes up mental well-being — self-love, clarity, clarity, gratitude, and community, and discovery.
The term “self-love” has actually been used so much recently — which is great! Because people are realizing that we need to prioritize the love we have for ourselves before we can give that love to others.
But at the same time, I think we’ve kinda lost what self-love truly means. So, let’s take a look — the Oxford Dictionary defines self-love as,
A regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).
It’s important to note that it’s not narcissistic. I used to think practicing self-love meant that I was being selfish. But it’s actually just having respect for yourself.
The challenges we created around self-love are meant to help you find relief during stressful times, become in-tune with your true self in moments where you feel lost, and rediscover confidence when you just feel bleh.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so caught up in my routine, that I don’t realize life is flying by. And then when I have a chance to breathe, I have a little existential crisis because I start questioning everything that I’ve been doing!
Tell me I’m not the only one.
But after I started incorporating challenges that focus on mental clarity, I became a little less anxious because I was constantly reminded of my goals and priorities in life.
The challenges we have for this category are meant to save you from spiraling down that deep philosophical hole. And I’ve actually practiced these in the past — now I’m just trying to be more consistent. Hopefully you’ll find the same benefits that I’ve found.
A strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you.
Challenges in the gratitude section are centered around 3reflecting on the people, events, or things that have made significant positive impacts on your life.
As life moves on, we start to take things and relationships for granted. But this month, we’re going to step back and remember how precious these people and things are to us.
While practicing self-care is important to our own mental well-being, caring for the community is also valuable.
My therapist used to always say that we can think of love as water in a cup. When we have enough water (aka love) for ourselves in our own cup, we can pour that out to other people’s empty cups. When someone else is low or ours is low again, we can create a rippling effect of love, kindness, and care.
These challenges will focus on giving back to the community that is important to you — the community that’s filled your cup.
Discovery is a path towards progress. For the purpose of this challenge, we’re going to focus on discovering things about your goals, hobbies and interests, and anxieties.
Wait! Before you hit that X button — because I totally understand how overwhelming this can be — let me explain the benefits.
Discovery doesn’t happen overnight, so these are going to be challenges to help you get started on thinking about the bigger questions. As you go through your mental health journey, hopefully you can keep these discoveries in mind and build off of what you learn during this month.
See You on Friday!
This concludes Part One of the two-part series for The 30-Day Self-Love Mental Health Month Challenge. On Friday, I’ll post the calendar of challenges, along with explanations for each challenge so you can understand the impact and “the why” of each one.
As I mentioned, everything we put on the calendar are tested-and-approved challenges that I’ve used in therapy and Lauren’s used in her mental health journey.
We’re so excited to launch May 1st and we hope you’re just as excited to come along in this journey with us and others!