Welcome to my 30 Day Mental Health Cleanse (Challenge)!
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You’ve heard of mental health. You’ve heard of emotional baggage. I’ve created a cleanse that combines the two biggest invisible challenges that we face in our lives.
It seems like more than ever, people are walking around with immense mental baggage that they just can’t shake. How could we? Stress and uncertainty have managed to creep into people’s lives whether they like it or not.
It’s difficult to change your mindset to help alleviate mental baggage. That’s why I created this mental health cleanse.
I wanted to make this cleanse as accessible as possible, so it doesn’t matter your background or where you are in your journey through life.
You can start at the beginning of the month or you can start whenever. What’s most important is that you start!
Maximize Your Efforts
I recommend purchasing a journal or using a notebook that you already have on hand. It doesn’t need to be fancy! No creative skills are required. Its only purpose is to help you organize your thoughts and give you something to look back on.
I also highly recommend downloading the Headspace app. It’s completely free for beginners and only takes a few minutes a day. I’ve found so much clarity and peace through meditation. Meditating will also help you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings, which is essential for this challenge.
Start asking yourself, “How do I feel at the moment?” You’re probably unaware of what goes on around you on a daily basis. Answer honestly. You can keep doing this daily and jotting it down in a journal so you have a record for how you feel.
Eat your meals distraction free. No TV or phone. Focus on how your food tastes. Does it taste worse? Better? Take in your surroundings and how you feel in the moment.
Reflect on what your ideal day looks like. Are you alone? With friends or family? Don’t feel ashamed if it’s unconventional. No one leads the same life and you don’t need to aspire to live someone else’s. Take note of what your happy place looks like. Establishing this foundation will help you stay true to yourself.
When you wake up, look in the mirror and say 10 things out loud that you love about yourself. It can be physical or about your strengths and personality. At the end of the day, before you go to bed, say 10 things that you love about yourself again. They can be the same or they can be different. Was it easier or harder to do? Take note of what changes.
What are you worried about at the moment? What do they all have in common? How are they different? Take note of how many of those things you have control over.
Identify the things that deplete your energy. What exhausts you? How can you reduce or eliminate it?
What lessons have you learned this week? What stood out the most? How did you feel when you acknowledged you were learning a lesson? Were you open to it or guarded?
What are the small things that make you excited? Ex. Flipping through channels and seeing that your favorite show has a marathon running, or the moment the sun finally shines through the clouds. Recognizing these moments helps to realize the many positives that happen throughout the day that you may take for granted.
Ask yourself, “What is the source of my pain?” Nothing is irrational during this challenge. Be honest with yourself. What events have transpired that made you less trusting or less open? Who has hurt you? Do they know that they hurt you?
What do you want to be remembered by? What do you want your legacy to be? You’ve always made an imprint on the world in multiple ways (seriously, you matter and the world wouldn’t be the same if you weren’t in it). Be specific with your goals and make sure that they’re YOUR goals and not anyone else’s. If you find yourself repeating what your friends and family say, stop right there. You can work on what they want from you once you can figure out what you truly want.
This can be done any day these next 10 days, whenever is appropriate. Have a good cry. Seriously, get it all out. Talk through your pain out loud. Try drawing or painting while you do it. When you’re done, do something that you enjoy or makes you laugh. If you drew, realize that your pain has been transferred to a canvas. Your unhappiness and pain live there now. What does it look like? Hold onto this for the end of the challenge.
Smile as much as you can. Put a pencil between your teeth if you need to. It will help to force you to smile. It’s proven that people rate activities and experiences higher when they’re smiling. Even awful experiences. Take note on how you felt. Did your day seem better?
Give 3 genuine compliments today (without expecting any in return). Whether it’s in person or online with friends or strangers. The power of a compliment is ginormous. Your words could have made someone’s entire week. Plus, it just feels good to be nice.
Go exploring, distraction free. Preferably outdoors (or indoors if the weather is bad). Take the road less travelled and notice what you’ve been missing. Ex. Can you identify some of the trees? Which way is the wind blowing? Did you ever notice that building before? Keep your phone on Do Not Disturb while you take pictures of the places and areas that inspire you.
Create a positivity playlist (or several). Add songs that make you feel relaxed, motivated, and happy. Don’t worry about cohesiveness or order. You’re not curating this for other people. Fill it with as many or as little guilty pleasure songs as you need. Here’s mine for reference!
Treat yourself in whatever way that makes sense. It could be a new purchase, a bubble bath, your favorite food, etc. Don’t be hard on yourself today. We all need a break from our routines. Try to fit in something small that you’ve been looking forward to for a while.
Take your Day 10 reflections and turn them into a game plan. Limit your plan to a year. Anything beyond that is just a guess. Everyone claims that they’re a completely different person than they were a year ago, so don’t assume you need to be the same a year from now. If your goals shift, don’t feel bad. Adjust your plan as you go.
Declutter the nonphysical. Unsubscribe from old email lists. Unfollow or unfriend toxic people. Delete old contacts, messages, and pictures that you don’t want anymore.
Forgive someone. You don’t need to purge all of your sources of pain at the same time. Take it one step at a time. Try to muster up the courage to start with your biggest source of pain. If the source is from your past, forgive them internally and turn that pain into motivation. If the source is recent, try to talk to them and walk through it together. Forgiving the rest will be easier after this.
Declutter the physical. There’s a “____ Cleaning” for every season, right? Research a good cause that you believe in and donate what you end up removing from your life. Ex. Women’s clothing and sanitary products for women’s shelters, or your children’s old toys to a children’s cancer center.
Repeat to yourself throughout the day, “I am unique and that is my gift to the world.” No one does it like you. All of the people that have stuck around in your life are there because they adore you. Think of it as your own little fan club. When you shift to being more true to yourself, you will still have people that adore you, and possible even new ones.
Repeat to yourself, “I am my greatest source of motivation.” No one should be forcing you to achieve your goals. You are the only person that can truly motivate yourself. Try to take pictures, screenshot, or jot down your inspirations and compile them all together. Ex. A simple picture album or a mood board.
Plan your week with you as a priority. As RuPaul would say, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love anybody else?” This will always hold true no matter what. Whatever you want in the moment is what you want. If you’ve made plans and want to cancel them, be honest with your reasoning.
Repeat all day, “It’s okay to not be okay all the time.” Do you aspire to have a picture-perfect life like a celebrity or influencer? Don’t. You have no idea what’s going on in their life other than what they purposefully show you. No one’s life is actually that flawless and curated. What you see on social media isn’t realistic and it’s very damaging to our expectations. There are so many examples of high profile celebrities and influencers who have broken down from never being allowed to express emotions or be true to themselves, because they’re human. Not every day is going to be good and that’s okay.
Repeat to yourself, “I am becoming a better person one day at a time.” Even after this challenge you will still need to put in work. As long as you can learn something every you are growing. If you are applying what you learn you are growing even more. Never stop learning and never stop looking for ways to incorporate good, positive ideas.
Repeat to yourself, “I will lift up others.” Share the wealth! Empowered people empower other people. Tell your friends and family that you love them. Let your boss or teacher know that you appreciate their guidance. Show your favorite creators and artists that you appreciate their talents. Show new creators and artists some love. Again, it feels good to be nice and you never know what impact your kind words will have on someone.
Repeat to yourself, “I am doing my best.” Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. If you’ve been actively participating in this challenge, then you have been making small changes to become a better person. Sometimes, that’s all that you can do, and that’s okay.
Repeat to yourself, “I am in control of what I can control.” Remember that drawing you created a couple of weeks ago? Take a good look at it. How do you feel looking at it? What is everything that is going through your mind? Do you want to crumple it up and throw it away? What about burning it? Do you want to frame it and hang it up and let it serve as inspiration? There’s no wrong answer here. Your pain lives in that canvas. In that moment you have complete control over what you’re doing.
Repeat to yourself, “My past doesn’t define me.” We’ve all made mistakes. There isn’t a single person who hasn’t. Big or small, you don’t need to let mistakes define you. People growing and changing is a natural part of life. Turn your mistakes into lessons and grow from them.
This is it! Use today to write down how you feel compared to Day 1. If you’ve been keeping track of everything in a journal, skim through and see what has changed. You’ll undoubtedly still have problem areas, but note the areas you’ve improved in. What are the 5 things that you want to continue doing? What are 5 things you need to continue doing more of? Reflect on everything.
You Did It!
Congratulations! You’ve completed the 30 Day Mental Health Cleanse (Challenge)!
I put “challenge” in parentheses because I don’t want you to view this as a competition or something you’ll win or lose. This is solely for you to benefit from. If you fall off for a little bit, just pick up where you left off.
You can repeat this cleanse whenever you feel like you need it. Come do it again when you have something stressful coming up, or if you need some motivation.
Want to take your mental health cleanse further? Consider seeing a therapist, counselor, or confide in someone that you trust. Be open and honest with them. They can only assist with what you provide them.
Remember that regaining control of your mental health is a journey and not a sprint.I'm participating in a 30 Day Mental Health Cleanse. Come join me! #mentalhealth http://bit.ly/2FJTXcD via @lazygirl_usClick To Tweet
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Are you planning on cleansing this month? If so, sound off in the comments below!