How to make the most of 21 Day JumpStart Self-care

Your success is based on your willingness to take time each day to do one thing that calms you down and makes you feel good, whether it’s for 1, 5, 15 minutes, or more.

And, here’s the thing. Your chosen activity needs to be something you want to do, not “should” do. Many people equate self-care simply with exercise and a healthy diet. And yes, those are important. However, this program is about getting in touch with what brings you calm and makes you smile. So, if exercising makes you smile, go for it. If not, pick something else. If you want to be active yet don’t necessarily want to exercise in the traditional sense, perhaps gardening, dancing, baking, or organizing is your thing. Or, helping someone in need. Alternatively, some days you may be low energy, so your activity might be reading, stretching, or napping–something that restores you

The goal is to take at least 15 minutes to complete your daily lesson and engage with a calming or playful activity. Why 15 minutes? Neuroscience research shows that’s how long it takes to change your brain chemistry to increase serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphin levels – “the happy hormones.” However, there are important benefits to spending even a few minutes a day engaging in a calming activity, so if some days it’s just 5 minutes, that’s okay, too.

The key to establishing a successful practice is to be committed and, at the same time, somewhat flexible with the duration and type of activity you engage in, depending on life’s demands and your energy level. Miss a day? Don’t beat yourself up, tomorrow is a new day. Just pick up where you left off, with compassion for yourself.

Additionally, we recommend the buddy system, if possible, to have someone who will support and encourage you to stay on track. Be sure to pair up with a person who will also participate, and will be motivating–not berating or competing. Check-in with your partner on a regular basis to share successes, challenges, and “aha” moments. Having a partner who has a shared interest in self-care and stress reduction is a powerful way to stay engaged throughout the 21-day program, and beyond.

Finally, be sure to JOIN the private JumpStart Self-care Facebook group and introduce yourself. Then, each day after completing your activities, check into the group to share experiences, insights, build support, and community. Use #jumpstartselfcare when posting.