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April 12, 2021  |  Health & Wellness

Need to challenge yourself? Here are the best projects to do at home over the next 30 days

With social distancing in effect for another 30 days, you might be wondering how to pass the time after finishing work, chores, or home instruction with the kids. 

By now, you might be fully caught up on your shows, and all your closets have been organized — twice. While the next month will be trying, we’re taking the opportunity to embark on new 30-day challenges. 

Our team pulled together this round-up of our favorites that we’re going to try while we remain at home. 

Whether you jump on board with one of them or challenge yourself to juggle multiple, we think you’ll enjoy introducing them into your daily routine this month.

Affirmation challenge

Keep in touch with loved ones by sending an affirmation message to someone in your contact list every day, whether via text, call, or even video chat. Not only will it brighten their day, it will lift your spirits, too. It’s a good opportunity to strengthen relationships with loved ones by sparking conversation and staying connected.

Baking challenge

Work your way through a cookbook, try your hand at home-baked bread, or take your time preparing a roast dinner with all the fixings. You can also learn about other cultures by baking some of their signature dishes. Why not try something new?

Sleep challenge

There’s no time like now to begin a healthier sleep schedule. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night, going to bed and rising at the same time every day. Consider boosting your room’s comfort level by adding blackout curtains, a white noise machine, or by minimizing blue-light distractions from devices. 

Well-being challenge

It seems like everyone is talking about Yale’s online course, The Science of Well-Being, so we thought we might as well enroll. After all — when else would we be able to take a free class at an Ivy League institution? This four-week course is designed to increase your happiness and help you build positive habits.

Meditation challenge

Set time aside every day to meditate, either to begin with the day with a clear mind, or end the night with a thoughtful reset. Dim the lights and find a comfortable sitting position or lay in savasana while you unwind and relax. Play soothing music or hop on YouTube to find guided meditation tracks.

Journaling challenge

Keep a journal for the next month and commit to writing an entry every day. Trust us, you’ll want to read it this time next year and most definitely a decade from now. Write your thoughts freely, or if you need a little inspiration, look for writing prompts to help you tap into your creativity. 

NaNoWriMo challenge

NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month,” which occurs every November. But why wait for November? We say this month is the perfect opportunity for you to begin writing that bestseller you’ve always thought about.

Plank challenge

Thirty days is plenty of time to build up your core. There are tons of 30-plank apps whose programs help you progress daily toward dramatic results at month’s end. You might start holding your plank for only ten seconds, but by the end of the month, you can muscle through a solid two minutes or more. 

Reading challenge

If you’ve fallen behind on reading, dedicate yourself to a new routine. Read each day for a set amount of time or set a daily page goal. Even if you don’t have access to physical copies, you can download e-books (check your local library’s website to see if they offer this for free) or try out listening to audiobooks through Audible

Gardening challenge

Flex your green thumb this month by finally starting a garden. Start small with a seed starter kit, or if you’re ambitious, put together a raised garden bed. Plant flowers to bloom this summer, or start your very own herb and vegetable garden for home-grown goodies (ideal for homemade recipes).

Whole30 challenge

If you’d like to jumpstart a new healthy eating plan, try the Whole30 challenge. For 30 days, you’ll refrain from eating soy, dairy, grains, legumes, added sugars, and yes — alcohol. Even if it’s not your cup of tea, you’ll have a blast cooking and eating popular recipes from Whole30 cookbooks or influencers.

Give back challenge

Every day this month, choose something you’d like to donate. Sift through your closet for garments or accessories you haven’t worn in ages, or start rounding up items you don’t use often enough to keep. Not only will it help you declutter, but you’ll also feel better knowing your items will be re-homed. 

Digital disconnect challenge

It’s hard not to hop on social media all day when you crave interaction, but once every day, take time to disconnect — even if it’s only for 30 minutes. It gives your eyes a break from the screen, plus you’ll be able to decompress by distancing yourself temporarily. This challenge even aligns with others, such as those geared toward mindfulness, meditation, or reading.

New language challenge

Download a language learning app or use an online learning course to finally learn Mandarin, Italian, or American Sign Language. While it’s unlikely you’ll be fluent in 30 days, you’ll acquire conversational basics at the very least.

Fabric craft challenge

This is a pretty big category, so we’re highlighting knitting, crocheting, and quilting. Take time to learn the basics of these fabric crafts to end the month with a new creation — or several. There are also programs where you can even donate your pieces, especially knitted hats and quilts, to hospitals, shelters, or veterans. 

Mindfulness challenge

With more private time on hand, take time to reflect on priorities by conducting a personal inventory. Re-establish goals, adjust your mindset, and find new meaning in your immediate surroundings. When normal life resumes, you’ll have a renewed, refreshed outlook on both your personal and professional life.