Showers Are Not Self-Care: My Month-Long Challenge

medium blue background with a radiant teal blue design and stemmed flower and

When I was young, single, and child-free, I went to the spa monthly.

I had my nails done every two weeks and my hair done at least every other month. I thought that was the minimal maintenance for me to live my life. I worked out 3 to 4 times a week and regularly stretched because my muscles needed recovery time. To top all of this, I had a regular quiet time daily to pray and quiet my mind.

Was I better before kids? Yes, but I don’t think this is my kid’s fault. It all boils down to this.

person holdng up a heart-shaped pink sponge with soapThe other morning, my mama asked me what I did for myself that day. I replied “I took a shower. Oh, and I shaved my legs!”


Then she said, “I’m sure everyone appreciates that.”

What she didn’t say was the obvious truth: that showers (and shaving your legs) are not a form of self-care.

Where did you go 20-year-old me that prioritized myself too much? I have swung to the other end of the pendulum, falling on the altar of motherhood, and it is too much. After some health scares in my family and my lack of coping mechanisms, I realized something must change.

Somewhere between being broke at the SPA and begging to take a five-minute shower alone is a perfect balance that I need to achieve.

I’m not great at holding myself accountable, so I decided to make a calendar of self-care activities. Some days, I get to choose a random one that speaks to my soul. Since lists are my love language, it also speaks to my soul to check off the activities daily.

Without further ado, the Self-Care Month Challenge!

  1. Take a 20 minute walk, preferable outside. But if inside, no devices allowed.
  2. Journal 5 things that you are grateful for and set a reminder on your phone for throughout the day to remind you of those things.
  3. Choose a cardio workout of your choice and complete it for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Turn on some music and stretch for 20 minutes. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
  5. Free choice!
  6. Pick up a book and read for fun today.
  7. Journal again. This time, write down 3 things you would like to improve about yourself and how to make those improvements. Be kind to yourself.
  8. Go on a hike, walk around a lake, or find another way to enjoy nature for 30 minutes.
  9. Tackle one step in your journal for improvements, and then stretch for 10 minutes.
  10. Listen to music. Choose 3 songs that make you happy and listen to them. Start a happy playlist while you’re at it!
  11. Ride your bike for 30 minutes, inside or outside (but outside is better).
  12. Go get your nails done or have a facial. Pick something that involves someone pampering you.
  13. Do something YOU want to do that you don’t because your family hates it (I’m looking at you, castles and museums that my family usually complains their way through).
  14. Take a walk and look for flowers because they bring joy.
  15. Do another step in your improvement list. I know it’s hard, but you’re doing great. And stretch for 10 minutes.
  16. Write down something that scares you. Then write down why and how to overcome that fear. Set a daily reminder for the rest of the month about overcoming that fear and listen to one happy song because you’re probably sad.
  17. Watch your favorite movie.
  18. Try a new activity (reminder to self: this activity should be fencing!).
  19. Journal today and list something that you’re grateful for. Then, write about how you’re doing with your self-improvements.
  20. Take a nap or read a book for 30 minutes.
  21. Go on a bike ride for 30 minutes.
  22. Grab food or coffee with a friend (reminder to self: you are still off coffee, this does not change with this challenge).
  23. Work on another step from your self-improvement entry. You’re really doing an amazing job!
  24. Take a bubble bath or a hot shower separate from the one to just clean your body. There are 24 hours in a day; using 30 minutes of them for yourself will not kill you.
  25. Go on a walk or row for 30 minutes.
  26. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for and set reminders on your phone to make sure you remember them throughout the day.
  27. Free choice (might I suggest a dance party with that happy playlist?).
  28. Stretch for 20 minutes with relaxing music.
  29. Review your improvement journal entry. Do something toward completing those improvements today and play a happy song.
  30. Go for a victory run like Rocky because you have accomplished 30 days of prioritizing at least 30 minutes a day for yourself. Okay, a run is asking a lot so maybe a brisk walk. Well done!

Rocky at the top of the stairs in Philadelphia holding his arms up in success

Please note that none of my self-care activities involve my children. At some point, I have to stop using motherhood as my excuse for not taking care of myself. And like day 24 says: there are 24 hours in a day, and using 30 minutes of them for yourself will not kill you. It also does not make you a bad mother.

Cheers to self-care and showing our children the balance that we all need in life!