#40DaySelfCareChallenge: 40 Acts of Self-Love – How to practice self-care daily for 40 days

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Let’s use Lent to spend 40 days of giving up self-hate and replacing it with self-love in our 40 Day Self-Care challenge… for everyone. I have teamed up with influencers and leaders to create a 40 Day Self-Care calendar to give you some simple tips on practicing self-care. But the main challenge is to do something/anything for yourself each day for 40 days (excluding Sundays when you can give yourself a rest).

You can print this blog out or join our community online if you want some more tips and to discover others taking up the challenge. I’ll also be running giveaways and sharing other self-care ideas as we practice some self love.

So if you want to join the 40 day self-care challenge, you can follow my blog site, Mama Mei facebook page, or if you’re a woman join the free facebook group Women’s Health Club. And / or sign up to my mailing list below:


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40 Days of Self-Care Challenge

Tag @mamameiblog and use hashtag #40DaySelfCareChallenge to share the love for yourself first (and for others)!

Here are 40 ideas for some self-care for our 40 day challenge… but the main thing is to do whatever self-care means for you! It might be something big and ambitious or something as simple as to have a wash. Whatever self-care means to you let’s try start a self-care revolution to cut out the negative self-talk. You can join in at any point, the main idea is to install some self-care into your daily routine… because YOU ARE WORTH IT!


Day 1: Wednesday 26th February Set yourself goals @mamameiblog @coached_by_katy

  • Set yourself goals of what you want to achieve over the next 40 days and visualise how you will feel when you achieve them. e.g. perhaps to cut out negative self-talk or to swap negative words we use about ourselves for positive ones.
  • @coached_by_Katy recommends journalling to help you achieve your goals but also to be grateful for what you have done and do have. Personal Trainer, Tribe Fitness Coach and Make Up Artist Katy Padam says: “I Journal everyday to help me appreciate what I have done and also to visualise my goals. I really recommend trying it over the next 40 days, especially on a morning if possible.”
  • Feel free to share your goals so you’re accountable either with me in the Women’s Health Club on facebook or tag me on social media @mamameiblog. I will be posting daily on my facebook page, blogging here and vlogging on my mental health Youtube Channel.

Day 2: Thursday 27th February – Have a Laugh @WeGreatLadies

  • Performing Artists Becky Newbould and Gemma Whelan recommend laughing! And we couldn’t agree more.
  • Whether it be on your own watching something funny or thinking of something funny. Or laugh with a friend.
  • As the Chinese Proverb says: “One Laugh Banishes a Thousand Worries.”
  • Check out this video from @WeGreatLadies if you’re struggling to laugh… laughter is certainly infectious!

Day 3: Friday 28th February – Draw or doodle how you’re feeling @PanniLoh

  • Artist Panni Poh Yoke Loh recommends drawing something, anything and it helps to show how you’re feeling.
  • Art can be a great form of therapy. It may be a doodle with a pen on a piece of paper or perhaps a digital sketch like this one from illustrator Rachel Pesterfield.
What Anxiety Looks Like

Day 4: Saturday 29th February – Be true to yourself @loftlashesbyjojo

Eyelash technician and business owner Jojo gives these great tips for today:

  • Stop letting negativity penetrate your brain. People’s opinions are not factual. 
  • You can’t be everything to everyone so give yourself a break from trying to be! 
  • Realize your way & decision is the right way for you in that moment, trust your judgment. 
Loft Lashes By Jo Jo speaks to Mama Mei

Sunday 1st March – REST DAY!

Day 5: Monday 2nd March – Let go of the guilt @momoftwolittlegirls

Whether it be mum guilt or whatever guilt you feel, you need to “put on your own Oxygen mask first.”

@MomofTwolittleGirls explains: “Self care shouldn’t be seen as an indulgence. It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask before you can take care of everyone else.”

So today prioritise something that is important to you and to put that first.

Day 6: Tuesday 3rd March – Meditate @Beyondhealinguk 

Beyond Healing recommends trying a spiritual practice like Reiki or to meditate. So take time out of your day, even just one minute and meditate or go to a meditation class or book a Reiki session.

Day 7: Wednesday 4th March – Be Mindful @Recoveryyourself.fit 

“It’s about a complete package for me, not just one element so my self care tip is to always put yourself first by asking is what I’m doing, eating or thinking serving me or sacrificing my goals?” Says @Recoveryyourself.fit 

Day 8: Thursday 5th March – Take time out @racheltoal

Journalist Rachel Toal says: “I can’t remember the last time I had a bath! Or meet a friend for a cuppa.

“Working from home, it can get lonely and I often go from school drop off to school pick up without seeing anyone in person.”

So today take some time out, meet a friend or have a nice relaxing bath, whatever feels right for you today.


Day 9: Friday 6th March – Be more childish @luizacalini

“My idea of self care would be return to your basics, remember what made you happy when you were a child and do it again, this could be something as simple as painting, crochet, playing board games or even watching your favourite cartoons. Believe me, this will bring you joy,” says Make-up Artist Luiza Calini.

Day 10: Saturday 7th March – Protect yourself @themummycircle 

Corinna from The Mummy Circle says: “Research ways to protect your emotional energy and make sure you do something every day to top up your reserves.”

Sunday 8th March – REST DAY! (Also, today is International Women’s Day so if you want to celebrate fabulous females, today’s the day… and always!).

Day 11: Monday 9th March – Breathing App @LittlelottieCakes 

Beauty instagrammer @LittleLottieCakes says: “Do a calm, or relaxing app breathing session.”

Headspace is a great app and there’s lots of free breathing apps or youtube videos to follow.

Day 12: Tuesday 10th March – Listen or play Music @bossjaimeuk

Music can be great therapy either by listening to it, playing an instrument or singing to release your emotions.

@bossjaimeuk says: “I have started my 10 day drink Ketones challenge and I’m feeling so much better!

“I thought this morning that I need something that’s missing and that was my music back. I’m currently looking at a piano to purchase & for me that would be my self care. Music releases so much negativity or any sort of stress I am feeling. It sets my mind free.”

rose bud self care
By Sammy Butterfly Photography

Day 13: Wednesday 11th March – Aromatherapy @sammybutterflyphotographer

Want to get more self care but don’t know where to start? Why not try a genuine aromatherapy massage? Or buy yourself some essential oils to burn?

As Sam Justice Wheeler explains:   

“Did you know ‘aroma’ means scent and ‘therapy’ means treatment?
Have you ever noticed certain smells make us nostalgic while others can remind us of not so happy times? Well, this is one of the ways aromatherapy works. Smells which we love can have a positive effect on well-being, health and soothe the soul.

“Why Choose an Aromatherapy Massage?
A lot of salons offer aromatherapy massage but its worth checking if your therapist is actually a qualified aromatherapist.
This means they will have done a specific course relating to aromatherapy and are not just using a pre-blended oil.
The oil should be blended specifically for your needs!
It is important if you go for an aromatherapy massage that your therapist goes through an in-depth consultation with you in the beginning.
You can even smell the oils and say which you prefer the smell of. Your Aromatherapist will then pick the ones you like the smell of and the ones closest to what you need as well.

Essential Oils are great for your wellbeing!

“Did you know no two aromatherapy blends can never be the same?

“It is your unique and special massage oil!
The actual massage itself is a rhythmical treatment is actually more slow and soothing than a regular massage as it concentrates on calming the nervous system.The nervous system provides the intricate connection between mind and body. As a result of mental or emotional responses, a problem in one area of the body may affect another.
The whole massage works on repetitions of 3 for each movement.

“After care
After treatment aftercare should be discussed- EG leaving the oils on for 24 hours where possible means the oils have more time to enter your system.
Also take time to relax and even sleep if need be to get maximum benefit from your treatment.
Upon returning home this is the time to eat a healthy meal and relax as much as possible.Ideally without the wine ha ha.
“It is your time carved out just for you before returning to the daily grind.

Make the most of it, as we all know these precious moments can be rare.”


Some of the benefits of aromatherapy are –
•pain relief,
•relaxation of tired and stressed muscles,
•improvement of blood and lymph circulation,
•control of blood pressure,
•relief of painful menstruation,
•toxin removal,
•cellulite prevention and/or removal and improvement of skin texture,
•relief of intestinal and digestive problems,
•strengthening the immune system,
•stress and anxiety control,
•strengthening the nervous system,
•combating negative feelings and
•general physical and mental revitalisation

Photo by Sam Justice Wheeler

Day 14: Thursday 12th March – Give In @elacreationsphotography

Photographer and Director of ELA Creations, Ronel Martin, says:

“I believe everyone has the inherent need to feel valued and be seen – and I mean REALLY seen. We want to be cherished as a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter and a friend.  I would love to help you along the way as part of my “Be Seen” campaing. I want woman to honour themselves  through my lens and my eyes, translating into you feeling loved and valued.

A”s a woman who has lived with passion, loved whole heartedly, known devastating loss and stood by friends with terminal illness through many, many decades, yes when I was a little girl someone my age was ancient… I feel it is my life’s work to show woman their true selves.

“So… as part of my self care challenge I don’t want you to give up anything. I want you to GIVE IN. Give in to acceptance, give in to loving that beautiful face in the mirror and give in to being kind to YOU. You are the most important asset you will ever invest in.

“I will give away a free makeover and photo session to a woman brave enough to BE SEEN.  #beseen”

Make sure you follow the #40DaySelfCareChallenge for all the giveaways and follow Ronel below:




Catch ELA Creations in action as she worked her magic on me during a Bridal Boudoir shoot!

Day 15: Friday 13th March – Drink hot lemon water @yogakulaLeeds

Yoga Kula’s Angela, shares her self-care tip:

“Even if you don’t drink alcohol and you eat a healthy diet it is still really important to support your liver. One way to keep your liver pepped you is to start your day with a hot lemon water. Feel free to add a an extra health kick by adding a little honey once it has cooled a little (honey turns toxic when added to really hot water).”

Day 16: Saturday 14th March – Say No @ourtransitionallife

“For me, a big self-care element is learning to say no. Figuring out what doesn’t work for me, for my mental health, and giving it a wide berth is essential.” @our_trans_life ourtransitionallife.com

Sunday 15th March – REST DAY!

Day 17: Monday 16th March – Read @CrazyTotsandMe

“I really need to get into the habit of self care. I take a quick bath every morning but it’s quickly in, wash body, rinse and out the bath I get. I’m hoping to start taking a bubble once a week for myself, light up a candle and read a book. I used to love chick flick books but it’s been a long time since I’ve read one.

I think I deserve some me time.”


Day 18: Tuesday 17th March – Skincare routine @mentalhealthevents

“I literally just bought some face cleanser and moisturiser yesterday to start an evening self care routine (products from Lush). @lmbbnamings

Self-Care can be as simple as having a shower

“Self care is sexy!
I’ve never been one for using products on my face. In fact, they’ve always made my skin worse! But since turning 35 I am noticing a change in my skin. I’m also noticing that I don’t want to flop into bed exhausted anymore; I want to purposely carve time out in my day to check in with myself.

“I visited Lush in the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds where the fabulous sales assistant Elle spoke to me about things that would work best for my skin and why. I haven’t ventured into Lush for a while for reasons I won’t go into here but I knew they were the best place to head to – cruelty free, natural products? Yes please! From hormonal spot breakouts to mental health, we covered it.

“I headed home with these dreamy products to work into an evening routine of self care. Yes they’re pricey, and I would usually feel guilty for spending money on these types of things, but that’s all part of the self care thing too! To say to myself “I deserve these!”.

“So now my evening routine is WiFi off, skincare, positive affirmations, a good book! It’s a working progress, forging new habits is hard, but I’m already feeling the benefits.”

Lisa’s Lush skincare routine ritual

Day 19: Wednesday 18th March – Zumba @Zumba

Zumba and Strong by Zumba teacher/coach Cat Thompson encourages people to try something new like Zumba! And if you’re in Yorkshire, why don’t you book on to one of her Zumba classes?!

Day 20: Thursday 19th March – Positive Affirmations @Simplyladiesinc 

Carron Cummings from Simply Ladies and All Woman Casting shares her top self-care tips:

“To take time out when needed.

“To say positive affirmations no matter how silly it may feel

“To say I love you to yourself

“Buy yourself something rewarding

“As a way of saying thank you to yourself.”

Day 21: Friday 20th March – Yoga @SanctuaryWakefield

Natalie from The Sanctuary Yoga and Pilates studio, says: “My idea of self care would be Aerial Yoga, to help strengthen the mind, to empower the self, to gain self confidence, to liberate oneself from the comfort zone we often put ourselves in to, to destress and to have fun!”

Aerial Yoga at The Sanctuary in Wakefield

Day 22: Saturday 21st March – Quit the word “Should” @thewritinghall

How often do you punish yourself for what you “should” be doing?

Book publisher Diane Hall says: “Self care is not feeling guilty about what you’re not doing.

“I battle to rid the word ‘should’ from my self-talk.”

Diane says that we can only use the word “should” when it comes to putting your wellbeing first.


Sunday 24th March – REST DAY!

Day 23: Monday 23rd March – Family time @YorkshireFamilies

Spend time with your family (sometimes our friends are our family too) whether it be a phone call, doing something together, FaceTime or maybe even plan to go on adventure together in the near future (we’re planning the Yorkshire Three Peaks).

Day 24: Tuesday 24th March Learn @BellydancerSophie

One of the Five Ways to Wellbeing is to learn! So I am not saying learn a language in one day! But perhaps watch a Youtube tutorial, learn a dance, enquire about something you want to learn or speak to someone you know and learn something knew.

Five Ways to Wellbeing ideas
Daily self-care tips

Day 25: Wednesday 25th March – Digital Detox @BlogUpNorth

“Before you break out in a cold sweat you don’t have to totally go offline today (unless you want to). But as so much of our life and work is online… it is hard to take a break. So try go online today only when it is essential. Scroll less and be more focused today.”

Day 26: Thursday 26th March Be Creative @CoActive_Arts

Do something creative today!

Day 27: Friday 27th March – Ban the word ‘Can’t’ @YorkshireFamilies

Language is powerful, so replace the word ‘can’t’ with something positive.

Day 28: Saturday 28th March – Random Acts of Kindness @MamaMeiBlog

Surprise someone, say something nice, treat someone and also do that same thing for you too. E.g. if you buy friends flowers today, buy yourself some too. Or maybe as simple as sending a nice message or telling a friend what you love about them… and tell yourself what you love about YOU!

Sunday 29th March – REST DAY

Day 29: Monday 30th March – Declutter @mamameiblog

Often we organise other people’s ‘mess.’ But today declutter something for you… from your jewellery box to your bedroom. It will help free your mind… and you deserve it.


Day 30: Tuesday 31st March – Eat Well @EatWakefield

“Make yourself a nice meal or nutritious snack… a feel good dish!”

Day 31: Wednesday 1st April – FUN @YorkshireFamilies

Life is too short… just have some fun! As it’s April Fool’s Day today let’s have some fun. Prank, be childish or do something random and fun!

“We love trying a new experience… from ice skating to play acting or playing games.”

Day 32: Thursday 2nd April – Watch a feel-good video @EvokeMediaGroup

“Video can release so many emotions. So watch something that will help boost your mood today.”

Day 33: Friday 3rd April – Celebrate a success @mamameiblog

As it’s my birthday today, I thought I would theme today as a day to celebrate… so what are you proud of yourself about? And celebrate it either by buying yourself a gift or writing down your achievement and sticking it up on the wall.

Day 34: Saturday 4th April – Pamper @BellydancerSophie

Whether it be to paint your nails or do your hair or book a hair cut… pamper yourself!

Sunday 5th April – REST DAY!

Day 35: Monday 6th April – Sleep @MamaMeiBlog

Try give yourself an early night or as much sleep as possible today/tonight

Day 36: Tuesday 7th April Bake @YorkshireFamilies

Bake yourself something nice (or buy something) and indulge in a nice treat!

Day 37: Wednesday 8th April – Walk @mamameiblog

Today go on a walk or walk somewhere. Some fresh air, or taking the stairs or even parking further away from your destination… walking is free and can really help!

Day 38: Thursday 9th April – Dress Up @WakeBespoke

Wear something that makes you feel-good, smile and boosts your morale. It could be dressy, sporty, fancy dress… whatever makes YOU feel great!

Day 39: Friday 10th April – Stretch @MamaMeiBlog

Do some yoga at home or just have a little stretch and breathing session.

Day 40: Saturday 11th April – DANCE @bellydancersophie

WELL DONE! Let’s celebrate the end if 40 days and dance! So do some crazy dancing at home or go to a dance class. And dance yourself happy!

Sunday 12th April Easter Sunday!

Why are we doing 40 days of Self-Care?

We often use Lent and other times in the calendar to restrict or beat ourselves up more for doing something… but let’s look at the power of loving ourselves that bit more… it also means we have the energy and resource to help others but we need to help ourselves first (there’s reason they ask adults to inflate their own life jackets in an emergency first).

And as someone who has been in recovery from an Eating Disorder for many years, I find these particular times of years really triggering. You can read more about my story and why I am passionate about this here.

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