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2020's Weekly Self-Care Challenges for 52 Small Things

52 Small Things is a self-care program created just for you! While the weekly challenges started at the beginning of this year, you can join in at any time. Read all about the program and make sure you follow our 52 Small Things Accountability Buddy for daily prompts to help you achieve each task.

There are no rules for joining. You can come up with your own goals for the year or you can follow along with our weekly themes. If you are unable to participate in a specific week, no worries! You can jump back in the following week or even skip around if you prefer. We want you to do what’s best for you. After all, that’s why they call it self-care.

If you would like a regular update of our weekly challenges, you can sign up to receive our Monday newsletter by pressing the “join us” button on the #52SmallThings page. Or you can come back to this page every week to stay up-to-date.

Here are the challenges so far:

Week 1: Goals

Goals - Pick and easy, moderate and ambitious goal for 2020 - cartoon of mountains with flag on top

The Ask

Outline three goals you have for 2020. You should pick an easy, moderate and ambitious goal. For example:

  • Easy: Clean out the closet
  • Moderate: Read a new book per month
  • Ambitious: Pay off the credit card

How to Do It

If you take small steps toward your large goal over the year, you’re more likely to achieve it. In the meantime, while you’re working on your one big goal, you can feel a greater sense of accomplishment by tackling some of your smaller or moderate goals — goals you can reasonably accomplish in a day or over a shorter period of time.

Why You Should Do It

Because you’re worth it! And you can achieve your goals in 2020. We have faith in you.

Level up: Make this challenge extra Mighty by…

Creating an action plan outlining how you can reasonably achieve your three goals this year.

Week 2: Gratitude

Gratitude - Share three things every day that you are grateful for - cartoon of hand holding a heart shaped balloon

The Ask

Jot down three things you are grateful for every day.

How to Do It

You can record your gratitude list anywhere. Put it in a note on your phone, scribble it on a piece of paper or share it with the Mighty community by posting it as a Thought or Question with the hashtag #52SmallThings. You don’t have to spend a lot of time making your list but to make it a self-care/mindfulness practice, you should put some thought into it — hence writing it down!

Why You Should Do It

When you’re feeling down it can be hard to think of anything positive. That’s why practicing gratitude can be so powerful — it forces you to remember that even in the darkness, there is still light. Studies show there are physical and mental health benefits to practicing gratitude including decreased anxiety, improved sleep, reduced depression, stress relief and help fighting illness.

Level up: Make this challenge extra Mighty by…

Making a list of five things you are grateful for instead of just three.

Week 3: Take a Break

Take a break - Do one relaxing thing for yourself every day - cartoon of grey pause button

The Ask

Do one relaxing thing for yourself every day.

How to Do It

When life gets busy, it’s easy to put your needs on the backburner. Prioritize your needs by taking some time for yourself. Take a two-minute break or a two-day break! Do whatever is best for you. Maybe you can go on a walk with your dog, binge-watch a TV show or spend some time every day focusing on your breathing. There’s no wrong way to take a break, as long as it rejuvenates you.

Why You Should Do It

With so much going on between work, doctor’s appointments and everything in between, it can be difficult to take time for yourself. We want you to remember that relaxing, resting and recharging is a productive use of time too. If you feel guilty for taking a break, this is your reminder that it’s OK to take time for yourself. You are worth it!

Level up: Make this challenge extra Mighty by…

Taking one whole day to do something just for you.

Week 4: Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene - Prioratize a personal hygiene task this week - cartoon of a toothbrush and toothpaste

The Ask

Take care of yourself and prioritize a personal hygiene task.

How to Do It

Keeping up with your personal hygiene can be exhausting, especially when you live with a health condition. When dealing with pain or other life-disrupting symptoms, it’s easy to deprioritize things like brushing your teeth. That’s why we want to focus on hygiene. Whether that’s flossing more often, finding a dry shampoo that works for you or anything else you might want to try.

Why You Should Do It

Doing things like washing your hands or brushing your teeth might seem insignificant compared to your more urgent health needs. However, not doing these things can negatively affect your health, increasing your risk of infections or the likelihood of gum disease. Use this as a reminder that, although it can be tedious, taking care of your hygiene is a way to show yourself the love and care you deserve.

Level up: Make this challenge extra Mighty by…

Creating a hygiene routine.

Week 5: Reading

Reading - dedicate some time to reading this week - cartoon of a book with bookmark

The Ask

Pick up a book and dedicate some time to reading.

How to Do It

Focus on the joy of reading. Whether you want to get back into the swing of a routine or need some inspiration to start your reading journey, take time to make books a priority.

Why You Should Do It

Not only is reading a fun activity, but it’s been known to help reduce stress and improve memory as well as empathy. Let this be the nudge you might need to pick out a book and get reading!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Finishing a book from start to finish in seven days.

Week 6: Sleep

Sleep - Work on your sleep hygiene this week - cartoon of a person sleeping in bed

The Ask

Make better sleep habits a priority.

How to Do It

What are some things you can work on to better your sleep hygiene? First, identify any sleep-related challenges you are facing. Then devise a solution. If you aren’t sure what might help, you can pick from our list below:

  • Stick to the same bedtime every day
  • Set an alarm and wake up at the same time every day
  • Limit or cut out caffeine
  • Ditch your screens (TV, phone, etc) at least two hours before bed
  • Try some guided meditation before bed
  • Sleep in complete darkness

Why You Should Do It

Getting a good night’s sleep can help improve your mood as well as your energy. Yes, changing your sleep pattern is hard work. But your body will thank you for it, and you might wake up feeling better than you did the night before!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Choosing two ways (not just one) to improve your sleep.

Week 7: Self-Love

Self-Love - Practice small acts of self-love this week - cartoon of a heart shaped flower in a pot

The Ask

Practice small acts of self-love this week.

How to Do It

Practicing self-love is sometimes easier said than done. Thinking about yourself in a positive light can be difficult, but the more you focus on it, the easier it becomes. Share how you’re focusing on self-love or support your fellow Mighties as they work on appreciating themselves!

Why You Should Do It

Showing yourself self-love can help build your confidence as well as boost your mood. With so much going on in life, sometimes we forget to appreciate ourselves. This is a reminder that it’s OK to recognize your positives and appreciate your accomplishments — both big and small.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Helping someone else recognize the self-love they deserve.

Week 8: Kindness

Kindness - show others kindness this week. Cartoon of figure holding blue umbrella for another figure.

The Ask

Show others kindness.

How to Do It

Kindness comes in many different forms — from holding the door open for strangers to providing a shoulder to lean on for a friend. When you have so much going on in life, being kind to others might be something that slips through the cracks. Even if you realize the importance of compassion, actually acting on it might not happen as often as you would like. In order to focus on being nice to one another, this theme is all about showing others kindness.

Why You Should Do It

Being compassionate can help you make friends. (Plus, being nice simply makes you feel good.) While kindness might not seem like a big deal, everyone has their own set of struggles and a small act of kindness can make an incredible impact.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Doing something kind for yourself.

Week 9: Journaling

The Ask

Take some time to journal this week.

How to Do It

There is no right or wrong way to journal, and all you need is some paper (or a computer) and a few minutes. There are plenty of ways you can go about it, such as writing about your day, setting up goals for your future or using prompts to spark your doodling instead of writing. If you want to try journaling, but aren’t sure where to start, follow along with our daily prompts!

Why You Should Do It

Journaling can be a way for you to stay organized, be creative and remember aspects of your life. Plus, taking the time to journal gets you to focus on your feelings and self-reflect.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Spending 15-20 minutes journaling.

Week 10: Prepare

The Ask

Do one thing every day that makes you feel more ready for tomorrow.

How to Do It

Have you ever found yourself rushing around trying to get everything you need to get done accomplished for the day? This week is all about ways you can prepare to make your day a little less stressful. There are plenty of ways you can go about it, such as making a to-do list and organizing it by order of importance, marking upcoming events on your calendar or saving your leftovers for the next day.

Why You Should Do It

Preparing for the future is often easier said than done. As you practice planning ahead and managing your time, you may find that it reduces your long-term stress levels and actually allows for more flexibility when you need it the most.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Check something off your to-do list that you’ve been procrastinating about.

Week 11: Track Your Health

The Ask

Jot down how you’re feeling once each day.

How to Do It

When you live with a health condition or disability, it can be challenging to remember exactly every symptom you experienced or emotion you felt off the top of your head. This week’s challenge is tracking your health, and you can start by posting a Thought on The Mighty or jotting down your symptoms in a notebook. Documenting your day-to-day health experience is often a trial and error process to find out what works best for you.

Why You Should Do It

Keeping track of your health can not only give your doctors a more detailed picture of what you experience, but it can also help you notice patterns in your daily life. By keeping a log of your health, you’ll be able to adjust your self-care as needed and advocate for the treatment you need.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Recording your health multiple times per day.

Week 12: Hobbies

The Ask

Schedule time to indulge in one of your hobbies.

How to Do It

Whether you’re a hardcore hobbyist or haven’t been able to set aside a chunk of “me time” in a while, now is as good of a time as any to crack that wondrous window wide open. Here are some ideas of potential hobbies you can try or revisit if you want to take your mind off things:

  • Knitting
  • Playing multiplayer video games online
  • Reading a new book series

Start small and try to fit in 30 minutes or so, maybe even an hour — morning, afternoon or evening, your choice!

Why You Should Do It

Making time for the things we enjoy can help alleviate some of the unavoidable stress you may be experiencing (and there’s a lot of that right now). When we say “yes” to a hobby, we’re prioritizing creative outlets and consciously taking a break from the world around us.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Trying a new hobby!

Week 13: Cleaning

The Ask

Clean something this week. It can be a drawer, a room or even your car.

How to Do It

You don’t have to “deep clean” your entire house  — just cleaning off your desk or organizing your closet can make you feel a little less stressed if “messy” areas leave you feeling frazzled. Cleaning doesn’t have to be an all-day activity, either. Blocking out 15 minutes or so each day to do a little tidying can make a huge difference in the long run!

Why You Should Do It

Taking the time to clean a little bit each day can help make “messy” rooms feel more manageable.  Cleaning up has amazing health benefits too — from feeling less stressed to reducing your indoor allergies (especially if dust is something that sets them off).

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Cleaning a second thing you’ve been meaning to tackle.

 Week 14: Hydration

 

 

The Ask

Take some time to stop and hydrate this week.

How to Do It

It can be easy to forget to consume water until you’re really feeling thirsty (or, in some cases, you’ve developed a dehydration headache). To make sure you remember to hydrate regularly, here are a couple of things you can do:

  • Keep a reusable water bottle (or a regular glass or mug!) next to you to serve as a visual reminder to drink more.
  • Set alarms on your phone to remind you to take a drink break.

While the standard recommendation is eight glasses of water per day, how much you need to drink depends on a number of factors.

Why You Should Do It

Hydrating —especially with water — is beneficial to many organs in your body, including your skin. Staying hydrated is one small way you can optimize feeling good.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Swapping a sugary drink for water.

Week 15: Grounding

The Ask

Focus on the present this week.

How to Do It

Grounding yourself is a coping strategy that focuses on what’s happening to you — either in your body or around you — instead of feeling “stuck” in your thoughts. Here are some grounding techniques you can use to get you started:

  • Use an anchoring phrase like “My name is [name]. I am [age]. I live in [location. Today is [date].”
  • Visualize your favorite place
  • Hold a piece of ice

…and there’s more where that came from. Follow along with our daily prompts for grounding exercises you can try this week.

Why You Should Do It

When you’re not grounded, you might feel easily distracted, anxious, unsafe or unable to focus, or all of the above. Although the relief that grounding exercises provide is temporary, being able to cope with distressing thoughts at the moment is key to feeling more connected with the present moment.

Week 16: Routine

The Ask

Build more routine around one specific area of your life.

How to Do It

Cultivating a whole new routine might not be easy, but if you pick one area of your life where you could benefit from more structure, it might feel less daunting. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

  • Prioritize your daily to-do list
  • Block out times each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Establish a bedtime routine

Once you’ve identified the area you want to focus on and how you’re going to tackle it, make sure to write down your new routine and keep it somewhere you’ll see it.

Why You Should Do It

Going with the flow is something that works best for some, while other people thrive with more concrete, planned structure. Even just a little bit of structure — such as making your bed or taking your meds each day — can help you cope with unpredictable moments where everything else feels out of your control.

Week 17: Going Green

The Ask

Show the planet a little love this week.

How to Do It

This week’s self-care challenge is about taking care of the planet we live on. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • Swap your disposable water bottle for a reusable one
  • Turn off the light when you’re leaving a room
  • Shut off the water while you’re brushing your teeth

If one of the suggestions above feels like too much right now, you could also just look out your window or take a short walk if that is possible.

Why You Should Do It

Going green not only can do wonderful things for the Earth, but it can improve your overall health. Air pollution can be really harmful both physically and mentally. In fact, there have been recent studies linking air pollution to depression and other mental illnesses.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Picking two things you can do to go green.

Week 18: Strength

The Ask

Do one thing that makes you feel empowered.

How to Do It

Sometimes our brains revert to negative self-talk instead of lifting ourselves up, especially when you’re already not feeling great due to your health condition or disability. That’s why this week’s challenge is all about empowerment and strength. Some easy ways to get started include using affirmations and keeping a gratitude list.

Why You Should Do It

By believing in yourself and building a stronger self-confidence, it’s easier to change your perception of situations. The more empowered you become, the easier it will be to challenge when your health condition or disability tries to tell you you’re not strong.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Reminding others of their strength.

Week 19: Physical Space

Physical space: Make one part of your environment more comfortable

The Ask

Make one part of your environment more comfortable.

How to Do It

Many of us are spending more time at home than we were before. That’s why this week, we want to make our physical spaces comfortable to be in! While you don’t have to makeover your entire house or apartment, small things like creating a little nook or changing up one room to be more reflective of your personality can make a big difference.

Why You Should Do It

It’s easy to feel isolated, which is why we could all benefit from adding little touches to our space that help us relax and recharge. Having comforting items such as stuffed animals or photos of friends and family can boost your overall mood and make you feel good about spending time in your personal environment.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Tackling multiple spaces!

Week 20: Humor

The Ask

Make room for laughter!

How to Do It

Whether you’re watching a comedy special on Netflix or scrolling through the Mental Health Memes group on The Mighty, joking around can make you feel lighter when the world weighs you down.

The best part about humor is that it comes in all different forms. Here are some ideas of where to look for a laugh:

– Telling some “dad jokes” (Bonus points if you’re a parent telling them!)
– Searching the Internet for hilarious memes to share
– Tuning in to your favorite comedy show, movie or late-night TV show

Feel free to share your own memes or funny stories with #52SmallThings.

Why You Should Do It

Laughing can help relieve stress by reducing cortisol (a stress hormone) levels, and it also increases the number of endorphins (feel-good hormones) your body releases. The less stressed you are, the less likely you are to get sick due to low resistance in your immune system. And that’s no joke.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Spreading the LOLs with others.

Week 21: Set Boundaries

The Ask

Practice saying “no” to things that don’t serve you.

How to Do It

Setting boundaries are part of building and maintaining healthy relationships with people around you. Not all boundaries have to start with “no” or “do not.” Some boundaries start with “yes,” and they might look like: “I will take on that extra project a friend needs help with.”

Why You Should Do It

When you set boundaries for yourself you are not only showing the other person that you care about your relationship with them, but you are showing that you respect yourself. Following through and respecting your own boundaries or the boundaries of others can be an act of self- respect — setting the standards for how we want to be treated.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Saying “yes” to the things that feel good!

Week 22: Finances

52 Small Things week 22: Finances. Take time to do one of the following: budget, save or pay something off

The Ask

Take time to do one of the following: budget, save or pay something off.

How to Do It

Taking a look at your attitude toward money is a great stepping stone to creating a budget, setting a savings goal or paying something off. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • During what times do I tend to spend more? How am I feeling when I spend?
  • Where am I at in my money journey? (Starting with a blank slate, already have a budget, have at least one savings goal, etc.)
  • What are my current debt balances? How much money can I put toward them each month?

The next step is to choose which one you want to work on based on where you are in your money journey.

Why You Should Do It

Having an idea of what your finances are like can help ensure that you don’t have any surprises. If you have a strained relationship with money, this might be the perfect opportunity to fix that and create a healthier, more manageable one.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Tackling two finance-related goals.

Week 23: Out with the Old

Week 23: Out with the Old

The Ask

Let go of one thing — tangible or intangible — that no longer serves you.

How to Do It

Shedding the things that bring you down or no longer are beneficial is more than OK, and doing this can help make room for new things (or people) in your life. Getting the courage to let something go is more than just “ripping off a bandaid.” If you’re finding it a bit difficult to get rid of the old, you can make a list of the reasons why you no longer need what you’re getting rid of.

Why You Should Do It

Not only will you have room for something new by letting go of the things that no longer serve you, but you might also feel better mentally and physically. Stress levels can go down, and you might not feel as much dread.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Making space for something new.

Week 24: Prioritization 

Prioritization: Identify the most important thing you need to do each day

The Ask

Identify the most important thing you need to do each day.

How to Do It

Before you can begin to prioritize what you need to do, it’s helpful to have a general idea of what exactly you plan on accomplishing each day. Having a to-do list — whether it’s in a notebook or planner, in the Notes app on your phone or on a post-it by your computer — is a great place to start.  To gain more insight into how you can organize your tasks, follow along with our daily prompts.

Why You Should Do It

Understanding your priorities — whether that’s your day-to-day responsibilities or something more long-term — can reduce your stress levels. You don’t have to have everything planned down and prioritized to the minute or second, but having a sense of what tasks are more pressing or timely than others might help you feel less overwhelmed.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Ranking your entire to-do list every day.

Week 25: Connection

This week's 52 Small Thing is connection

The Ask

Reach out to someone new each day.

How to Do It

It can be as simple as sending a “good morning” or “hope you have a good day” message to someone on your social media “friends” list. Or maybe you’re part of a group with people who have a similar health condition as you and you see someone having a tough symptom day so you send them some virtual strength. Whatever method you use to contact someone, it might put a smile on their face to read a note from you or to hear your voice.

Why You Should Do It

Chronic loneliness can lead to higher stress, increased depression and even changes in your brain. Taking the time to cultivate friendships can help to reduce those negative health consequences.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Reconnecting with someone you’ve lost contact with.

Week 26: Identify Your Emotions

Identify your emotions: Jot down how you feel every day

The Ask

Jot down how you feel every day.

How to Do It

If you struggle to identify your emotion, here are few tips to get you started:

– Take a moment each day to “hit pause” and think about how you’re feeling
– Keep a small notebook with you or utilize a note-taking app on your phone to jot down your current emotions as they happen
– Use a bullet journal (or a regular journal) to plot your emotions each day on a chart

For more guidance on identifying your emotions, follow along with our daily prompts.

Why You Should Do It

You might find that being able to feel and process your emotions while they’re happening allows you to let them go once you’ve experienced them. This can improve your mental health because you’re not letting the emotion (especially if it’s a negative one) drag on past its “expiration date.”

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Noticing how your mood changes throughout the day.

Week 27: Creativity 

A banner for this week's 52 small things challenge: creativity.

The Ask

Do one thing that allows you to flex your creative muscles this week.

How to Do It

Getting creative can be as simple as picking up a pen and paper and writing or doodling for an hour, as complex as building something from scratch or something in between. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be “perfect” at what you do. There is beauty in imperfection and as long as you are having fun while creating, that’s all that matters.

Why You Should Do It

There are plenty of reasons to have a creative outlet, with one reason being it’s a great stress reliever.  Want to become a better problem solver? Add a dash of creativity to your life.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Getting creative every day.

Week 28: Habits

Habits: Take the steps to build a new habit this week

The Ask

Take the steps to build a new habit this week.

How to Do It

When you build a new habit, you’re essentially automating a new behavior. For example, someone who goes the same way to work for a few weeks is forming a habit as opposed to someone who takes different routes each day. Post your tips and tricks, as well as your habit-forming progress by using #52SmallThings.

Why You Should Do It

While new habits can take a while to form and stick, changing your “old ways” can have a positive impact on your overall health.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Working to shed a habit that no longer works for you.

Week 29: Play

52 small things week 29 play: do one fun activity this week

The Ask

Do one fun activity this week.

How to Do It

As we get older, we might find that it becomes a bit more challenging to incorporate fun into our schedules. Still, it’s important to make some time for leisure. It doesn’t have to be an all-day activity each time — even 30 minutes can fulfill your mind’s need for play.

Why You Should Do It

If you have felt yourself feeling really overwhelmed or burnt out, you might benefit from taking the time to incorporate play into your schedule. Taking time to do something fun and relax reduces lower-level cortisol levels and frees up mental energy so you’re able to think more clearly overall.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Doing something enjoyable with others.

Week 30: Honor Your Needs

Honor your needs

The Ask

Identify your mental, emotional and physical needs each day.

How to Do It

Identifying your needs can be a daunting process at first, especially if you’re new to it, but once you get into the groove of doing it, it will become second nature. Identify your needs this week by dividing them into three easy-to-manage categories: mental, emotional and physical needs.

Why You Should Do It

It’s often easier to have a better outlook on the world around you and within you when your needs are met. By practicing honoring your needs, you are telling yourself that you are important and that you matter.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Meeting one or more of the needs you identified.

Week 31: Unplug

Week 31: Unplug

The Ask

Unplug from technology for a few minutes every day.

How to Do It

Here are a few tricks to getting started if going screen-free feels daunting to you:

– Figure out your “why.” If you know why you want less “screen time,” the more likely you are to follow through with it.
– Start small. Unplug for just five minutes at a time, and then add on another few minutes as you feel comfortable.

Consider using the time that you are unplugging to your advantage, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Why You Should Do It

Taking a little break every now and then can be good for your overall well-being. The constant scrolling you might do actually has a name: “doomscrolling” — and it can fuel anxiety.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Unplugging for an entire day.

Week 32: Music
52 Small Things Week 32 Challenge: Music. Listen to some music this week

The Ask

Listen to some music this week.

How to Do It

One of the best things about listening to music is that you can usually do it while you’re doing something else.  There are a number of ways to get your music fix. You can turn on the radio while driving in your car, or pop in a brand new CD. Or maybe you have the perfect playlist on your preferred music app.

Why You Should Do It

Listening to music has great health benefits including reducing anxiety, blood pressure and pain. Music can also help improve overall sleep quality, mood, alertness and memory, according to a number of studies conducted on the subject.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Exploring a new genre of music.

Week 33: Acceptance

Make an effort to practice acceptance every day

The Ask

Make an effort to practice acceptance every day.

How to Do It

Accepting what has happened is one of the most important and difficult parts of your healing journey — whether it’s being diagnosed with a health condition, a traumatic event, the loss of an important relationship or any other unexpected, unpleasant event. That being said, it can be exercised in all parts of your life: your current experience, your past experiences, your emotions, your health, your thoughts or your relationships with others.

Why You Should Do It

It may seem easier to fight reality for what it is, whether that’s because you want to avoid difficult and painful emotions or you want to change the situation. The sooner you are able to accept that, the sooner you can decrease your pain and hurt and begin to move forward.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Learning to accept something you cannot change.

Week 34: Nature

Week 34: Nature

The Ask

Take time to appreciate the great outdoors this week.

How to Do It

Whether you live somewhere with a backyard or in a city, there are plenty of creative ways to get outside. You can go for a stroll in your neighborhood, read a book outside, hang around your patio or backyard, drink your morning beverage on your porch or open the windows and let the breeze/ambient outdoor sounds come in (especially great if you can’t leave your home). Once you start thinking of a few ways to appreciate nature, the easier it will be to multiply them and switch it up on occasion.

Why You Should Do It

Soaking up the sun can be a great way to increase your vitamin D levels, which might aid in overall mood and fatigue. And did you know that spending time in nature, according to numerous studies compiled by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, does things like boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, increase your ability to focus, increase your energy level, reduce stress and improve sleep? It’s true!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Getting outside every day, even if just for a few minutes.

Week 35: Decision-Making

Week 35: Decision-Making

The Ask

Make one or two small choices this week.

How to Do It

Whether you realize it or not, you make decisions all the time. No matter how important it is, it’s useful to know how to make the best decision for you. Some ways to make get unstuck and make well-informed choices include going for a walk or otherwise changing your scenery to clear your mind, identifying your goals, trying not to rush into a decision if you can avoid it and talking it out with someone you trust.

Why You Should Do It

Being able to make your own decisions can do two things — it can serve as a confidence boost or a lesson learned. If your choice ends up not working out in the end, you hopefully learn from it. If things do work out, you might feel good about yourself. You got this!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Making a bigger decision, like opening a new bank account.

Week 36: Movement

Move in a way that works for you each day.

The Ask

Move in a way that works for you each day.

How to Do It

It can be very tempting to stay in bed all day or curl up on the couch (and some days, that’s all you might be able to manage and that’s OK). But eventually, your body will want to move. These activities don’t have to be strenuous or intensive — they could be as quick and easy as running some errands or doing some morning and evening stretches to get the blood flowing.

Why You Should Do It

Moving around, however you’re able, can benefit your body in many ways. Your muscles will be happy from it and so will your brain. Did you know several studies have shown that increased physical movement can do things like boost your memory, increase concentration and improve mental health? It’s true!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Increasing the amount of time you spend doing physical movement every day.

Week 37: Pay It Forward

Week 37: Pay it Forward

The Ask

Do one kind thing for someone else this week.

How to Do It

What does “pay it forward” mean, exactly? It means instead of paying someone back for what they did for you, you pass on that kindness to another person (and so on and so forth). There are plenty of ways to make someone’s day without spending a single penny, like checking in on someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while or teaching someone a skill you know a lot about.

Why You Should Do It

Being kind is a mood-boosting activity. You’re likely to feel good about yourself if you do something good for someone else, especially if you see that it makes that other person feel good too.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Doing something nice for multiple people.

Week 38: Self-Confidence

Week 38: self-confidence

The Ask

Write down one thing you like about yourself every day.

How to Do It

Self-confidence is all about trusting yourself as well as your abilities, talents and capabilities. A big part of building self-confidence is simply not letting other people’s opinions affect you — which is often easier said than done. By doing things like writing down a few confidence quotes and keeping them where you’ll see them, focusing on your strengths and reframing negative self-talk, you can learn how to build up your self-confidence.

Why You Should Do It

Outside of quieting your inner critic and increasing your motivation, building self-confidence can give you the necessary coping skills to deal with any future setbacks. Instead of ruminating over failure and “beating yourself up,” you will be better equipped to handle what life throws at you — including being more present in your relationships. You’ll also be able to accept your weaknesses while celebrating your strengths (and you’ll have a better understanding of who you are and what you stand for).

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Reframing a negative belief you have about yourself.

Week 39: Breathwork

Week 39: Breathwork

The Ask

Take three deep breaths every day.

How to Do It

Breathing exercises — believe it or not — are actually a pretty common grounding technique that can be used anywhere and at any time without having to carry around or buy anything. Breathwork means you are changing your breathing pattern on purpose, whether it’s to relax or to energize yourself. Some exercises you can do include belly breathing, square breathing and breathing deeply through your nose and holding for five seconds before exhaling.

Why You Should Do It

People have practiced breathwork for many reasons: processing emotions, reducing stress and anxiety levels and releasing negative thoughts. Breathwork is also used in conjunction with other remedies — including therapies and medication — in improving a variety of conditions and issues including, but not limited to, anger issues, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, grief, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Breathing deeply when you start to feel agitated, uncomfortable or stressed.

Week 40: Forgiveness

Week 40: Forgiveness

The Ask

Practice being kind to yourself when you make a mistake.

How to Do It

Forgiveness, at its core, is a conscious release of resentment toward a person or group of people who have caused you pain. What forgiveness actually looks like in practice will differ from person-to-person, but typically, when you forgive someone, that doesn’t mean you forget or condone what has happened. Some steps you can take to practice forgiveness include feeling your pain and labeling the emotion(s) you’re experiencing, talking to someone in your support network about it and writing about your decision to forgive in your journal.

Why You Should Do It

Forgiveness allows you to move forward. When you practice forgiveness you’re more able to focus on the good that’s around you and work on your own happiness. Practicing forgiveness can also help you strengthen your emotional health in order to remain strong during stressful situations.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Letting go of something that’s been weighing heavy on you.

Week 41: Celebrate

Week 41: Celebrate

The Ask

Take the time to acknowledge one small win you had each day.

How to Do It

There are plenty of great ways to celebrate your wins. From “star charts” where you earn a star for every “small thing” you accomplish to sharing your achievements with loved ones, the possibilities are endless. In addition to celebrating your achievements, make sure to take some time to highlight others’ accomplishments and cheer them on while you’re at it.

Why You Should Do It

Celebrating your wins is an excellent way to track your achievements and work toward your larger goals. Plus, it’s a great way to make you feel good about yourself in your day-to-day. There’s science that backs this up, too. When you do something rewarding, it activates that little “reward center” in our brains that allows us to feel pride.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Making it a habit to track your wins for the rest of the month.

Week 42: Nourishment

Week 42: Nourishment

The Ask

Honor your needs in one of these areas: mind, body, soul.

How to Do It

Now that we have a better understanding of what our needs are, it’s time we try to focus on nourishing them. Although the word “nourishment” is commonly used to describe food, it also refers to more abstract nourishing necessary for health and growth. This could look like getting enough sleep, keeping a handwritten journal in addition to a blog or spending time practicing a faith if you have one. Things you could to do nourish your mind, body and soul include learning a new language, playing word puzzles or brain teasers, doing something creative with your hands or stretching your muscles each morning.

Why You Should Do It

There are plenty of reasons why you should nourish yourself. By giving your body the nourishment it needs, you might be able to better rest and recover from busy days. You also are more likely to experience a boost of energy. Keeping your brain active can help with memory function, so it’s OK if you spend an afternoon playing sudoku or fall down the Wikipedia article rabbit hole.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Carving out specific times to meet your needs.

Week 43: Act On It

Week 43: Act On It

The Ask

Do one thing you’ve been putting off.

How to Do It

Have you ever waited until the last minute to do something? The key to curbing procrastination seems obvious but can be hard to put into practice: don’t try and do everything all at once. Some strategies you can try to do to act on your to-do list and help kick procrastination to the curb include breaking down large projects into smaller, manageable ones, incentivizing yourself to get going with small rewards, jotting down your wins in a “done” list, as well as being kind to yourself and understanding your limits.

Why You Should Do It

Procrastination is not about laziness or poor time management. It’s actually a way of coping with challenging emotions brought on by certain tasks. However, if you continue to allow yourself to habitually procrastinate, you can get stuck in a cycle. Chronic procrastination can have effects on your mental and physical health including stress, depression and anxiety, as well as hypertension and cardiovascular disease. But with a little intentional habit building and taking things one task at a time, you can break the cycle.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Doing something the future you will thank you for.

Week 44: Trick O’ Treat Yo’Self

Week 44: Trick O' Treat Yo'Self

The Ask

Do one small thing for yourself every day.

How to Do It

When we talk about “treating,” we’re not talking about spending beyond your means— you don’t even have to spend a penny at all if you don’t want to — but if you have your eye on something and you’re financially able to make that purchase now, then maybe this week is the nudge you need. Some ways you can “treat yo’self” without breaking the bank include hosting a virtual movie night, jamming out to some new music, carving out some “me” time and making time for your favorite hobbies.

Why You Should Do It

Treating yourself every now and then is better than completely cutting out the things you crave because it can have the opposite effect that you’re looking for, and make it even harder to form healthy habits. Another reason to do something nice for yourself is that it’s a great way to “reset” yourself to keep up with all the things life throws at you (and there’s a lot of that in 2020).

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Encouraging others to indulge in their favorite things!

Week 45: Exploration

Week 45: Exploration

The Ask

Try out a new activity this week.

How to Do It

Do you ever find yourself doing the same things over and over? (Hello, pandemic.) While it’s not a bad thing to have a routine, it can be good to change things up every now and then if you feel stuck. Some ideas to get you started include learning a new skill from an online tutorial in just a single afternoon, researching your family tree or making a care package for a friend.

Why You Should Do It

In many cases, fear is what keeps us from trying something new. Once you make intentional exploration and seeking out new things a priority, you will learn to overcome that fear. Another reason to try new things is self-discovery. We are constantly growing and changing. As a result, there are always new things to learn about ourselves and what better way to learn than by trying new things? With time, you’ll better recognize who you are and the person you want to become.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Encouraging a friend (or two) to try something new!

Week 46: Face Your Fears

Week 46: Face Your Fears - Identify one thing you're afraid of

The Ask

Identify one thing you’re afraid of.

How to Do It

It’s normal — sometimes even healthy — to be afraid of things. When we are afraid of getting physically hurt or falling, that is our self-preservation instinct kicking in. Yet in some extreme cases they can be debilitating and make us feel “stuck.” It’s all about finding the balance between healthy aversions and ones that might hold us back from being our best selves. Some ways you can send the dread packing include making a list of your fears and evaluating the risks, creating an action plan, reframing your thoughts from worst-case to best-case scenarios and sharing your fears with someone you trust.

Why You Should Do It

When we experience fear, our amygdala (the brain’s fear center) lights up. Avoiding the things that make us afraid might seem like a good idea at first because we’re not subjecting ourselves to anxiety. However, avoidance isn’t always the best strategy because our amygdala doesn’t get the chance to acclimate to what we’re afraid of. The more you face your fears — especially in small, manageable doses — the more your amygdala learns that the perceived threat isn’t actually a threat. This will help your brain (and the rest of your body) feel more at ease.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Trying to challenge the fear you identified.

Week 47: Comfort

Week 47: Comfort, Do something that makes you feel warm and cozy inside

The Ask

Do something that makes you feel warm and cozy inside.

How to Do It

Comfort can be a warm beverage or a hefty blanket. It can also be stopping to listen to another person or sharing a laugh with a friend. How beautiful it is that comfort can look like so many things to different people, yet evoke a similar feeling? If you’re not sure where to start, some ways to bring some warm, cozy feelings into your life include cooking your favorite meal, savoring the first sip of your warm beverage in the morning, reaching out to someone by remembering a special occasion or expressing gratitude, looking through old photos that make you smile and cuddling underneath a weighted blanket.

Why You Should Do It

It’s important to seek comfort — even in tough situations — because that warm, cozy feeling can lead to you feeling happier overall. Studies have shown that people who are merry live longer and are about half as likely to catch colds. Evidence has also found that happiness is contagious (the good kind), so bring on the hot cocoa and fluffy pillows.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Cultivating comfort for someone else who might need it.

Week 48: Community

Week 48: Community - Make time for others this week

The Ask

Make time for others this week.

How to Do It

By definition, a community is a group of people who live in the same place or have a common interest. But for many people (like us Mighties!), a community can foster a sense of togetherness that they may not have previously felt. Some ways to build connections in your own life include contacting your local library to see if they are hosting any upcoming virtual events, reaching out to a loved one who is spending the holidays alone this year, joining a virtual event hosted by The Mighty or supporting local businesses and organizations.

Why You Should Do It

Fostering community and building connections is so important (especially right now) because it can have a positive impact on your mental health by raising your self-worth and lowering your stress. You also are more likely to live longer and be healthier than those who aren’t as connected to friends, family or their community. It’s also important to note the quality of the relationship matters, with warm relationships being the most ideal for your health.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Doing something nice for a community you belong to.

Week 49: Reframe Your Thoughts

Week 49. Reframe your thoughts. Challenge your negative self-talk this week.

The Ask

Challenge your negative self-talk this week.

How to Do It

Do you blame yourself when things go wrong or say things like “I will never figure this out” or “I can’t do anything right”? Negative thoughts can be our own worst enemy, living rent-free in our minds. If you’re ready to kick your negative thoughts to the curb, some things you can do are jot down your recent wins (no matter how big or small), keep a written log of your thoughts and the situations that trigger them and treat yourself with kindness — after all, you’re only human.

Why You Should Do It

Negative thoughts can lead to chronic stress. Chronic stress can lead to hormone imbalances which can damage the body’s immune system and cause you to age more quickly. As you may know by now, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders and infections can occur if you live with chronic stress. All the more reason to send our inner critic packing!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Jotting down any limiting beliefs you may have.

Week 50: Distraction

Week 50: Distraction. Do an activity that takes your mind off things for a little while.

The Ask

Do an activity that takes your mind off things for a little while.

How to Do It

Sometimes life can be a bit overwhelming (hello, almost all of 2020). Maybe you live with a health condition or disability that takes a lot of energy to manage. Or maybe you’re caring for someone who struggles with their health while also managing your own. Whatever the case may be, sometimes you need a little distraction from what’s going on in your life. If you’re drawing a blank, some better-for-you ways to distract yourself are singing and dancing along to your favorite songs,  reading books, journaling or learning a new skill.

Why You Should Do It

When you’re consciously distracting yourself in healthy ways, you’re making a point to interrupt negative and habitual patterns that can get in the way of experiencing happiness and peace. If what is going on around you is impacting your ability to complete your tasks, for example, you may want to take a few minutes to distract yourself with something else. This can help you return to the task at hand feeling rejuvenated and able to think more clearly. Or, at the very least, you’re able to get through the day with a little less stress on your plate.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Indulging in a “guilty pleasure.”

Week 51: DIY

Week 51: DIY, Make One thing for yourself

The Ask

Make one thing for yourself.

How to Do It

A fun and often inexpensive way to customize existing products (or come up with your own!) is to “DIY” them — do it yourself. This could be creating something that helps ease chronic pain or anxiety. Or maybe it’s something that helps keep the recipient warm during the colder months. With DIY, the possibilities are truly endless and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to make something.

Why You Should Do It

When you make something yourself, there can be a sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project. You’re also tailoring whatever the item is to your specific needs or wants, ensuring that it is going to get used. Making something is a wonderful way to unwind, and many DIY projects can make relaxing rainy day or snow day activities!

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Making something for others.

Week 52: Make A Change

Week 52: Make A Change. Decide on one small thing you'd like to change in your life.

The Ask

Decide on one small thing you’d like to change in your life.

How to Do It

Sometimes change can feel scary or daunting, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and become who you want to be. Change doesn’t have to be “huge” either — it can come in all different shapes and sizes. Some things you can do to make a change include learning something new through an online tutorial and reconnecting with someone in your life who you haven’t talked to in a while.

Why You Should Do It

Whether you resist change or embrace it, the chances of it happening are about the same. When you bring the change on yourself, it’s a lot easier to adapt to it because it’s wanted change. Some benefits of making changes include: growing and learning new things, being able to adapt to new situations and environments with more ease and being able to look at things from a different perspective.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Tackling a bigger change you’d like to make.

Bonus: Reflect

Bonus Week: Reflect. Write down three highs and lows you had this year

The Ask

Write down three highs and lows you had this year.

How to Do It

We didn’t want to end the year without some good old-fashioned reflection. Although this year may have been a bit topsy turvy for many of us, it’s still good to reflect on the highs and lows we experienced. Some ways to reflect can be writing down your accomplishments from the year, jotting down what habits and routines you started that have helped you and asking yourself who has supported you (and thanking them!).

Why You Should Do It

It’s often easy to overlook even the tiniest ways you’ve made improvements to your life, especially if you’re self-critical and tend to most easily see what you’re “doing wrong.” You may think about things you wish you’d accomplished in 2020 but didn’t. By reflecting on the things you have done, hopefully you’re better able to see personal achievements you might’ve overlooked.

Level up: Make this week extra Mighty by…

Creating a 2020 gratitude list.

Stay tuned for next year’s challenges…

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