One of the reasons we can become depressed is because we get into negative routines and habits. One great way to break these habits is by consciously setting ourselves challenges. These challenges don’t have to be very big ( they can be if you like though! ), they can be small things that you have wanted to do but just haven’t found the inclination to start and needed some reason or motive to get you started. Well…here is your chance, take the 30-day challenge to change your life…
Why a ‘ 30-day ‘ challenge?
30 days is a good amount of time to allow you to build a habit…as you may know, I once trained as a secondary school teacher and remember, quite clearly, that our brains tend to make something into a learned habit/skill or memory at approximately 20 times of practising whatever that thing is (please, if you know the exact number please leave a comment below), so if it is something that could benefit your overall life then maybe it can become a ‘new habit’.
Also, depending upon the challenges you undertake, it may make you look at elements of your life and the world differently. For instance, if you could imagine a life without social media in your life for 30 days what profound effect would this have on your perception of life and of those you know? Could you possibly even get more done with your time than just refreshing your newsfeed ?
I’d like to change but… I don’t know what 30-day challenge I could undertake?
Not everyone knows what elements of their life they would like to improve by just thinknig about it and so I have compiled a short list of 30 suggestions to help you get started. I have included some simple challenges and some more difficult ones so depending upon your disposition and current state of affairs you can see there must be a single challenge you can complete, I may even do a challenge myself and report back to you all on here.
A list of 30 day challenge ideas
- Reduce your sugar intake to a maximum of 2 teaspoons a day – sugar is known to have a negative affect not only on our waistlines but also on our mood. Too much sugar intake has been associated with heart disease, diabetes and increased levels of depression. See this article for more info on sugars link to depression.
- Practice meditation or mindfulness for 30 days when you first wake and before going to sleep – regular meditation can help you to declutter your mind, relax and remove negative feelings. There are meditation centres you can attend if you need guidance or you can buy guided meditations online to make it easy, also, there is a game by Deepak Chopra called Leela which also helps make meditation fun and easy to understand. If you are interested in how meditation can benefit you and ease depression please click this link from Forbes.
- Park 20 minutes away from your workplace – by choosing to actively park a short distance away from your job you are including important 40 minute walking excercises into your daily routine. To see how excercise can benefit you and heal depression please click this link.
- Complete a sketch a day – it can be of anything. An orange, an apple, your bed, your selfportrait, your sink, your livingroom, your back garden or maybe it can be a completely imagined scene. Art can be very beneficial when you feel that you are not able to express yourself, in this previous blog post we explore this.
- Stop using social media – this will be difficult for many people to comprehend, but I, the founder of Battle of Mind, has completed this challenge before and did leave Facebook for 2 weeks. I found myself to be more productive and paying more attention to the world around me. Even if you can’t totally disconnect from social media maybe try just one or two social accounts lke Instagram where it tends to be full of people who take selfies and you can’t help but compare you life with theirs…a cause of depression, feeling your life is less than others.
- Wake up earlier by 30 minutes – by waking up earleir it gives you more time to appreciate the morning and get ready for work.
- Read at least one new book a day – By reading a new book every day you are expanding your knowledge, opening your mind and disconnecting from all electricical devices.
- Take a photograph every day – take a photograph of something that is interesting to you in some way every day. If it is your cup of coffee take a photo, maybe your colleague is acting silly, take a photo! Capture every moment of your life in a photograph. A picture speaks 1000 words.
- Cycle to work – cycle a bike to work every day and reap the reward of improving your physique and your mental fitness. When you exercise regularly you increase the amount of ‘happy hormones’ that are released in your brain as well as make yourself leaner and boost your self-confidence as your appearance improves for the better.
- Eat no meat – become vegetarian for a month. Our diets are known to affect how we feel and not just our taste buds. Literally, ‘we are what we eat’.
- Don’t drink any alcohol – constant consumption of alcohol does not allow you to have a clear mind and also can affect your body negatively. Try going tea total just for 30 days and see if it has any positive benefits to you.
- Spend time in nature every day – It is known amongst scientists that spending time outside in nature has great benefit to mental health. Try spending at least 30 mminutes every day in the great outdoors, even if it
- Give yourself some me time every day – A lot of us tend to work hard…very hard and we forget to make time for ourselves. Likewise, we sometimes spend too much time with our nearest and dearest
- Allocate at least 1 hours fun every day – Similair to above but making sure to have at least 1 hours of fun every day whether dancing, singing, being silly, playing board games, doing something new, playing video games, basically just having fun and allowing yourself to a be a kid more often regardless of how old you may be! Life is better enjoyed when you are able to be, on occassions, childish, and playful.
- Plan to cook ALL your food from scratch for 30 days – Get your recipe books out and start planning some meals. Then make them for 30 days…notice how much you enjoy the process of cooking as well as how good the food tastes once you have made it.
- Do something good for someone else every day – doing something good for other people
- Stop judging or complaining about others – we all do it, we judge others and see the negative side of people when they don’t agree with
- Stop swearing – try your best to stop swearing, swear words are predominantly angry and aggressive in nature and so will likely have an effect on how you perceive the world or at least, how people perceive what you have to say. Try not to swear for a month and see if your perception changes.
- Go to bed earlier – good nights sleep is very important to mental health and so ensure you get to bed to allow you to have 8 hours sleep every day for 30 days.
- Write a blog every day – writing a blog is a little bit like keeping a digital diary. By writing blogs about your interests, life experiences and thoughts you are decluttering your mind but also starting to connect with other people with similar ways of thinking from around the world. Now that can never be a bad thing!
- Start and complete a novel – ever wanted to write a book? Then make a start today. 1000 words written every day about something you are passionate about would give you a 30,000 word novel. There are lots of self publishing tools online too so you also make it available to purchase once it has been proof read and completed! Awesome huh!?
- Travel – You can either try planning a 30 day trip in a new country or if your budget and job doesn’t allow, maybe try visiting places around where you live that you haven’t been before. New places can expand your mind and make your life feel less restricted than it may do currently.
- Do something every day that scares you – we all have apprehensions or fears. Try confronting these things as the time you grow the most is when you face your problems head on. By actively confronting your problems every day it eventually will stop that thing from having any power over you.
- Drink 7 glasses of water every day – We are meant to drink 2 litres of water EVERY day, why not actively go about making sure your body has all the fuel it needs to work at full speed.
- Keep a journal of gratitude – practice writing 10 things you are grateful for at the end of every day. By choosing to be aware of these things you can actively change the way you think about your life. To learn more about this please click this previous blog post about the power of gratittude.
- Learn a new language – there are many apps on our phones now that allow us to learn new languages…actively spend 1 hour a day learning a new language and then maybe book a trip to a country where that language is spoken to practice it. A new language is always a good skill to have.
- Hug someone at least 4 times a day – hugging is believed to benefit mental health and if nothing else everyone likes a bearhug!
30 day challenge to change your life
If you have any more suggestions of challenges that could be undertaken please share and leave a comment below!