14 Days of Self-Love Challenge!

Amid the Valentine's Day festivities, let's prioritize self-love.

6 min read

Health & Wellness

14 Days of Self-Love Challenge!

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you have likely seen an abundance of t-shirts, cards, teddy bears, and chocolates with “love” plastered across them. While it is undoubtedly a fun holiday to celebrate with your loved ones, this Valentine's Day season let’s flip the script and take some time to focus on self-love!

Here is your 14-day Self-Love Challenge bingo card – you can do these sequentially, or choose which task is best suited for your schedule each day! You might find some of these to be more challenging than others, but I urge you to give them all a shot, even if some are new to you or a bit outside your comfort zone. These are meant to be bite-sized wellness activities to give you a daily boost. Try each one out and who knows – maybe you will find something you will want to continue as a permanent wellness practice.

Dedicate these next 14 days to you and notice the positive effect these daily action items create for your physical and mental health!

 

Self-Love Challenge Details

 

1. Stay off your phone for the first 30 minutes of your morning 2. Eat 3 cups of vegetables
3. Get 10 minutes of morning sunlight 4. Get in a 20+ minute workout
5. Journal 6. Take 15 minutes to clean and organize your space
7. Set aside a few hours solely for FUN 8. Stay off your phone for 30 minutes before bed
9. Schedule your routine/annual health appointments 10. Drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water
11. Spend 15-30 minutes in nature 12. Get 7-9 hours of sleep
13. Stop caffeine consumption 8 hours before sleep 14. Try out a new healthy recipe

 

 

1. Stay off your phone for the first 30 minutes of your morning.

This is a great way to keep your mind clear and enter your day intentionally. Resist the urge to feed your brain notification after notification first thing in the morning, and instead opt for journaling, reading a book, taking a walk, exercising, or meditation.

 

2. Eat 3 cups of vegetables.

USDA MyPlate recommends women consume 2-3 cups of vegetables for a healthy diet and 3-4 cups for men. (1) Sadly, the majority of Americans do not meet this guideline on a regular basis. (2) Below are some tasty recipes for air-frying your veggies!

 

 

 

3. Get 10 minutes of morning sunlight.

There are several benefits to getting morning sunlight in your eyes, as Stanford professor Dr. Andrew Huberman attests. Some of these include regulating your circadian rhythm, improved mood, increased energy, and increased dopamine release. Even if you live somewhere cold at this time of year, bundle up and get outside for 10-15 minutes (15+ minutes if it is overcast) within your first couple hours of waking and reap the benefits of morning sunlight! (3)

 

4. Get in a 20+ minute workout.

Whichever modality you prefer, find something to get you moving for 20+ minutes! If you are looking for a place to start, check out these workouts on the Sunny Health & Fitness YouTube channel or download the FREE SunnyFit app:

 

 

 

 

 

5. Journal.

Journaling is a great way to connect with your thoughts, feelings, and desires. You can decide whichever structure is best for you.

If you would prefer to do a stream-of-consciousness journal, I would recommend checking out the “Morning Pages” practice from Julia Cameron, linked here: https://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/
Or, if you thrive with more structure, you can check out the “Five Minute Journal” exercise by Kevin Evans, linked here: https://www.intelligentchange.com/blogs/read/the-five-minute-journal-questions

 

6. Take 15 minutes to clean and organize your space!

It’s easy to let clutter pile up in the hustle of day-to-day life, so set aside 15 minutes to tidy up your space. Clean spaces can have a positive impact on mood, improve focus, release endorphins, and regulate emotions. (4)

 

7. Set aside a few hours solely for FUN.

You choose the time of day. Is it a brunch with your best friends? A guilt-free movie night, or seeing a show? Maybe a beach or ski day? Whether you opt for some solo time or get together with friends, choose an activity that will allow you to experience pure, uninterrupted, joy!

 

8. Stay off your phone for 30 minutes before bed.

Getting off your phone leading up to bedtime will allow your body and brain time to wind down and relax without the stimulation of blue light rays and doom scrolling. Try reading a book, stretching, journaling, doing a screen-less hobby (knitting/crocheting, puzzles, etc.), or meditation.

 

9. Schedule your routine/annual health appointments.

Am I the only one who got way off track with this due to Covid? If there are appointments you have been putting off, take a moment to sit down and schedule your annual physical, and any other appointments you might be due (or overdue) for.

 

10. Drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water.

A good rule of thumb to make sure you are adequately hydrated is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150lb person should aim for at least 75 ounces of water throughout the day. (5)

 

11. Spend 15-30 minutes in nature.

Take time to center yourself and get outside for 15-30 minutes! Whether it’s going on a walk/hike, sitting on a bench and reflecting or reading, or having a picnic with friends, find some way to get fresh oxygen into your system and reconnect with the earth.

 

12. Get 7-9 hours of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night; periods much shorter or longer than this window result in an increased risk of mortality. While this might not happen perfectly every night, aim for that 7-9 hour window at least one night during this challenge. (6)

 

13. Cut off caffeine 8 hours before sleep.

The effect of caffeine can last for hours after the time of consumption, disrupting your ability to wind down and get enough quality sleep. Research suggests that a good time to stop caffeine consumption is 8 hours before going to sleep. (7)

 

14. Try out a new healthy recipe.

Get creative in the kitchen, and try out a new healthy, tasty, recipe that excites you! If you are looking for ideas, we have lots of healthy recipes here on the Sunny website. Here are a couple of great places to get started:

 

Wrapping it all up:

If you made it through all 14 days, leave a comment sharing how it went for you! Which task was the most challenging? Which one surprised you? Which, if any, will you aim to implement regularly? If nothing else, I hope you found some time to pour back into yourself and that you will continue to find ways to practice self-love all year round.

 

1. USDA MyPlate Vegetables Group – one of the five food groups. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables Accessed 2 February 2024.
2. Lee SH, Moore LV, Park S, Harris DM, Blanck HM. (2022). Adults Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Intake Recommendations — United States, 2019. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 71, 1–9.
3. Huberman, A. (2023, October 8). Using light for health. Huberman Lab. https://www.hubermanlab.com/newsletter/using-light-for-health Accessed 2 February 2024.
4. The mental health benefits of a clean home. (2023, January 26). Newport Healthcare. https://www.newporthealthcare.com/resources/press/clean-home-benefits/ Accessed 2 February 2024.
5. How to calculate how much water you should drink | University of Missouri System. https://www.umsystem.edu/totalrewards/wellness/how-to-calculate-how-much-water-you-should-drink Accessed 2 February 2024.
6. Effect of short sleep duration on daily activities--United States, 2005-2008. (2011). [Dataset]. In PsycEXTRA Dataset. https://doi.org/10.1037/e595142011-003
7. When to stop drinking alcohol, water or caffeine before bed for better sleep. (2020, December 16). Psychiatry. https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/news/archive/202012/when-stop-drinking-alcohol-water-or-caffeine-bed-better-sleep Accessed 2 February 2024.

 

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