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Me, Myself, & I: 7 Simple Self-Care Challenges

Self-care has always been an important component to mental health, yet many of us take care of everyone but ourselves. We asked local experts how to implement “me time” into our modern day lives. Here are a few ideas to get inspired—challenge yourself to try one that feels right for you!

“Write a positive statement for something you would like to change and say it 10-20 times a day for one week until it's memorized. The next week, write a new one and repeat the process. What you think is how you feel. Change your thoughts, and you will change [your life].” Therese Sorrentino, LMFT,

“Accept the truth that you will never eliminate the sabotaging part of yourself (I’m too lazy; I don’t have time; I’m not good at this stuff; Other people are more important, etc.). Instead, say to yourself, “Even though I’m stressed and failing at self-care, I can totally love myself for where I am in this moment. I can fill my heart with love right now…presently.” Make more space in your heart by expanding your chest or imagining the feeling of opening. Actively being loving toward yourself automatically becomes easier and more available for you. Start slow, expect small results, and believe you’re building a steady core of self-care reliance you’ll benefit from.” Jenifer Novak Landers, Life Coach,

“Perfectionism is exhausting, not to mention impossible to obtain. When nothing less than perfect is the goal, we end up feeling like a failure every time. If you struggle with perfectionism, try exposing yourself to being perfectly imperfect. Challenge yourself to wear mismatched socks, pick your favorite nail polish color instead of what’s in fashion, or donate something from your closet that doesn’t reflect who you truly are.” Holly Spotts, PsyD,

“When implementing anything, it’s always best to start out small; we have the greatest success when it’s sustainable. What makes you feel like you? When do you feel recharged? Reflecting on what is already working or what might be draining your energy is a good place to start. Finding ways to feel grounded are some of the best ways to care for yourself. Ideas might include a slower morning by waking 30 minutes earlier, sipping your favorite tea, journaling, yoga, stretching, or listening to your favorite playlist or podcast. Choose one and implement it each day.” Ashlee Janzen, LMFT,
“Even 5-10 minutes a day can make a big difference. There are many great meditation apps out there to help. I teach every patient I see to breathe, relax their body, and meditate. It will immediately calm down your nervous system.” Therese Sorrentino, LMFT,

“How many times do you check Instagram, email, or another app out of habit? You catch yourself scrolling and think, ‘Wait. I never consciously chose to do this, yet here I am.’ If we’re not careful, we can go through our lives on autopilot—our body doing one thing, and our mind somewhere else, unsupervised, running amok. Bring yourself back to the present by connecting with yourself as you move from one thing to another: take a moment to check in when you find yourself at the space in between. How do you feel? What do you want to do next? Where are your thoughts? Being present puts us back into the driver’s seat. We can move from one thing to the next because we choose to, not purely out of habit. The more we practice (and it is a practice!) being present and checking in, the more in touch with ourselves, others, and the world around us we become.” Nancy Ryan, LMFT,

“If you’re a person who constantly uses your brain, try giving it a break during your down time by using your hands instead. Working with your hands [texting and typing don’t count!] will give your mind a chance to relax and reset, leading to less stress and an overall better mood. You might try cooking a new recipe, cleaning out a closet or drawer, or tending a garden.” Holly Spotts, PsyD,

by Caitlin McCulloch