If you're looking for a simple way to keep track of your mental health throughout the month, we've got some ideas for you. Often, just acknowledging that there are things we can do to help our mental health can be empowering.
Wondering where to start? Here are the 30 days of challenges to help you start getting more in touch with your mind. It's simple—all you have to do is engage in healthy mental health practices for 30 days, and document them in your bullet journal!
Day 1: Make a gratitude list.Write down everything you're grateful for and why. Don't just write, "My family." Think about the ways in which your family has helped you become who you are, and how they support you and make you feel loved. You can even include things like, "The sun," or "My dog."
Day 2: Start a journal.If journaling isn't your thing, then skip this day and come back to it later when it sounds like less work. But if it sounds great, use today to pick out your journal and start writing in it! Throughout the next month, keep writing in it every day.
Day 3: Take a walk outside.One of the best ways to take care of your mental health is by getting outside for a walk. Make it part of your daily routine. Get some fresh air, look at whatever is around you (trees, buildings, mountains, birds flying), and smile.
Day 4: Take a social media break.If you can, do your best to avoid checking social media today. It's fine if you get back on for a specific purpose, but try not to spend the entire day on Instagram or Facebook - it's not good for your mental health.
Day 5: Treat yourself.Whether it's watching your favourite movie or getting a bubble bath or treating yourself to ice cream, do something small and special to make yourself feel taken care of.
Day 6: Catch up with a friend or family member.It can be anyone—a sibling you haven't seen in a while, your best friend from middle school, or even your BFF from college. This is helpful to your mental clarity, and it will make you feel more connected to the people that you love.
Day 7: Do something nice for someone else.Just make sure that it's something they appreciate—no matter what it is. A kind word can be just as important as doing something big like donating money, so don't feel guilty if all you have time for is sending a text message. Challenge yourself to do the most thoughtful thing possible.
Day 8: Watch a funny movie.Laughter is scientifically proven to reduce stress hormones and increase endorphins. So go ahead—binge watch your favourite comedy movie!
Day 9: Do a deep breathing exercise.Deep breaths are a great way to calm down when you're anxious or stressed out. One easy way to remember this trick is to breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for four counts, and then breathe out for four counts. Repeat as needed.
Day 10: Plan something to look forward to.Planning can help you feel like you're moving forward. It can give you direction and purpose, and remind you that there are tons of amazing things in store for you down the road. This can be anything that you want—whatever is important to you and makes you happy.
Day 11: Declutter social media followings.So much of how we feel about ourselves is tied to the images we see online. Does this account bring you joy? Does it make you feel good about yourself? Or does it simply add another layer of judgement on top of your day? If it doesn't pass those tests, it might be time to click "unfollow."
Day 12: Sleep an hour earlier than usual.Getting sufficient rest is so important to your mental and physical health. You'll have more energy for the things you need to do, and you'll feel more relaxed and happy.
Day 13: Do some meditation.Meditation is an awesome way to boost your spirits and clear your mind. Try meditating for at least five minutes. You don't have to leave your house or spend any money - just find a quiet place, set a timer, and let yourself relax.
Day 14: Drink enough water.Drinking enough water isn't just good for your health, it's great for your brain, too. Studies have shown that being hydrated helps your body get rid of toxins, which can in turn help you feel more alert and clear-headed.
Day 15: Make something creative.—whether it's drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, or something else entirely. This can help bring out your inner child, allowing yourself to express yourself more freely and give those worries and anxieties a rest for a while.
Day 16: Tell a joke to three different people.This is a really easy way to open up new lines of communication with people in your life, while also practising something that takes a lot of us out of our comfort zone: telling jokes. You might find yourself laughing more and feeling less stressed as you go through your day.
Day 17: Compliment three different people.It doesn't have to be much, just something genuine. Maybe it's a compliment about their hair, or how they handled a situation at work or school, or even how they're doing with their mental health challenges so far—just as long as it's sincere and specific.
Day 18: Snap a photo of something that makes you smile.You don't have to post it publicly, and you don't even have to send it to anyone. This is just a quick and easy way to remind yourself that there are things in your life that make you happy. If you want to go the extra mile, you can print out the photo, glue it down in your bullet journal, and leave it there for a few days. You'll be surprised how quickly it brightens your mood when you look at it.
Day 19: Listen to your favourite music.Music is one of the most powerful ways to soothe our minds and change our moods. For some, it's a form of therapy, and we all know how much listening to that one song can take us back to a memory or an experience. So sit back, relax, and turn on that song you can't get out of your head.
Day 20: List six things you like about yourself.This one may be easier said than done, so don't be discouraged if it feels uncomfortable—you're not used to thinking about yourself this way. But just like your body, your mind needs fuel to go on. You can do this as simply or as elaborately as you want. The point isn't to put forth the most beautiful or poetic thing ever written—it's to get in touch with what you think and feel about yourself.
Day 21: Wear something that makes you feel good.This could be anything from a comfy t-shirt to a dress fit for a queen. It could be a pair of shoes you feel confident in, or it could be a pen in your favourite colour. Whatever it is, wear it, put it on, or carry it with you to remind you how great you are!
Day 22: Try something new.Learning is a process, and it’s one that doesn’t always feel good along the way. Especially when it comes to your mental health, the process of unlearning bad habits and learning better ones can be a long, winding path. Today, try something new—no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Every step along the way is important, because each one brings you closer to your goal.
Day 23: Post a picture of yourself on social media.The truth is that posting a picture of yourself can actually be really good for your mental health. I know it's not always easy to post pictures of yourself—we live in an age where everyone seems to be scrutinising everyone else's appearance. Some people don't like posting pictures of themselves on social media. And that's OK. But here's the thing: YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL.
Day 24: Buy yourself flowers.It doesn't matter if they're cheap or expensive; it doesn't matter if you buy them from the grocery store on the corner or if you find them growing in the wilds of your backyard. What matters is that you do something nice for yourself today.
Day 25: Thank someone who helped or supported you.It takes time and energy to be there for someone else, so it's always good to let people know that their efforts haven't gone unnoticed. We could all use a little more kindness in our lives, so if someone has been kind to you lately, tell them. You don't have to be super formal about it either—just shoot them a text or drop by their place. A small gesture goes a long way.
Day 26: Clean something!Cleaning can be incredibly therapeutic. It can be a distraction from stressful thoughts, a way for you to control something when you feel powerless, or an act of service for yourself—almost self-care. Whatever it is that you want to clean, just focus on one thing and see how much better that makes you feel.
Day 27: Hangout with your friends.We all feel better when we spend time with people who care about us, but often it feels impossible to make space for it in our lives. But that needs to change—our mental health depends on it. If you can't do it in person, do it over Skype or the phone. Talk about anything that comes to mind and stay as long as you like.
Day 28: Tell someone how much they mean to you.There are a lot of ways to do this—you can choose to give a gift, write a note, or even just say thank you in person. But no matter what you decide, remember: when you show gratitude, you’re not only honouring someone else—you’re also honouring yourself. By showing that you value others, you show that you value yourself. And when you value yourself, it’s easier for others to value and appreciate you as well.
Day 29: Try yoga.Yoga is a great way to boost your mental health and overall well-being. Maybe you have a routine you already do regularly, or maybe you've never tried it before. There are tons of free videos on YouTube for beginners, so we recommend getting started there.
Day 30: Go on a date with yourself.So, this is it—the last day of the challenge! We've come a long way, and we hope you feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever life throws at you. You can do whatever you want for your date—it's all about self-care, so whatever makes you feel the most taken care of is exactly what you should do.
These challenges are meant to make you think actively about your mental health. Whether you just find the concept interesting or decide it works for you, anyone would benefit from doing some of these in their bullet journal.
Remember that this is an ongoing process, and there's no perfect way to do it—you should just strive to make it what's best for you. Know that everyone deals with their mental health differently—and that you're no different. Your practice will be as individual as you are, so take care of yourself. 💫
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