The 21-Day Self-Care Challenge: DAY 21!

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LIVING Self-Care

You are still here—and it’s the last day of the 21 day self-care challenge. What an incredible accomplishment!

Hopefully, these 21 days invested in yourself have provided the evidence that you needed about the value of self-care in your life. Hopefully, you saw that taking time for you works. Hopefully, you felt better. Your mood improved. You were less cranky and irritable.

Today: put yourself on your list. Pick one tip you loved from the first twenty days, or maybe a favorite activity from the past. Write it–then DO IT. One quarter hour for yourself, continuing all your life, more days than not, from now on. No need to chastise yourself if you only manage 80%. Though 100% is the goal.

Practice this mantra, and memorize it for days to come: “I can put myself on the list, every day.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dunnewold and Diane Sanford, authors of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.

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The 21-Day Self-Care Challenge: Day 20

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LIVING Self-Care

The finish line is in sight for the 21-day self-care challenge!

Everyone from the Dalai Lama to Oprah recommends that we count our daily blessings as a way to enrich our lives. Even on the worst days, stop, breathe, and connect with the ways in which life is valuable and good. But no need to have a special gratitude journal, which implies that you spend hours picking out the perfect beautifully bound book.

Simplify. Before you crawl into bed today, you only need a crayon and the tiniest scrap of paper or back of an envelope. What are you thankful for? Health, sleep, a hug, a smile, a roof over your head, the sunshine. Write it down. Breathe it in. Let it guide you to sweet dreams.

Practice today’s mantra: “My life has gifts galore to savor.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dunnewold and Diane Sanford, authors of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.

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The 21-Day Self-Care Challenge: Day 19

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LIVING Self-Care

We’re glad you’re here for the 21-day self-care challenge!

With the rising availability of electronic entertainment in our homes, we are spending less and less time outdoors. Yet numerous studies have established that time spent in nature does fuel well-being. Outdoor time reduces stress, improves mood, enhances immune function, and increases our connection with a sense of purpose in life.

Immerse yourself in nature for fifteen minutes today. Soak up sunshine– or the wind. Go for a hike. Watch the sun rise—or set. Listen to the birds. Gaze at a tree. Breathe it all in! If you can’t get outside, find stunning views of nature on your computer, the TV, or in a book. Change your screen saver or wallpaper, or the template on your browser. Research shows that pictures of nature stimulate brain activity much like being outdoors.

Here’s today’s mantra: “The healing power of nature is here for me to claim.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dunnewold and Diane Sanford, authors of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.

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The 21-Day Self-Care Challenge: Day 18

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LIVING Self-Care

You’ve persisted so admirably on this 21 day self-care challenge. Time for some fun!

Children have an innate ability to have fun, taking pleasure in all kinds of silly delights. As we grow, the increasing responsibilities in our lives cause us to slowly drift away from this natural tendency to enjoy ourselves. Or maybe it feels like you’re being drastically yanked away, into the world of adult cares, rather than a gentle drift

What activities truly added pleasure to your childhood? Did you like to hang upside down from the monkey bars? Curl up with your stuffed bears? Blow bubbles? Pick one childhood favorite to do today. Set the timer if you have to, and pretend to be a child again. No judgment, that “grown-ups don’t do X.”

Remember this mantra: “It’s okay to indulge the child in me—every day.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Dunnewold and Diane Sanford, authors of Life Will Never Be The Same: The Real Mom's Postpartum Survival Guide.

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