Adulting can be hard, but achieving wellness as an adult doesn’t have to be. Every day, you can do something that nurtures wellness. Every day, you can do one small thing to diffuse health and happiness into your life. And while you can’t eliminate the stresses and responsibilities of adulthood, greater wellness fosters joy and lightness in their midst.
Remember, too, wellness is about the whole person — your emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, social and intellectual health included.
That’s why you won’t see any low-fat recipes, sleep strategies, or exercise tips in this 30-day wellness challenge. Instead, you’ll find simple daily activities designed to remind you that:
- You’re human.
- It’s okay to be a work-in-progress.
- You’re still a kid at heart.
- Wellness is a journey, not a destination.
- It’s never too late to start something new.
With that in mind, customize this 30-day wellness challenge to fit your own unique preferences and perspective. You don’t have to go in order, and you can adjust activities to better suit your schedule and lifestyle.
Read about each activity and then download your free copy of the 30-day Wellness Challenge. Let’s begin!
Day 1: Detail Your Car
Let’s start the 30-day wellness challenge by first cleaning out the car clutter (Now that you have GPS on your phone, do you still need those maps?). If there are items you always keep in the car, consolidate them into a bag or tote so they’re organized and out of the way. Then, take it through an automatic car wash. Or better yet, get outside on a sunny day and do it yourself. Invite your grandkids to join you and make splashy, soapy bubble memories. Vacuum and clean the interior, or hire a professional to detail it.
If you spend a lot of time in your car — or even if you don’t — keeping this space clean and neat has the potential to kick-start great adventures or ease your frazzled mind when traveling here, there and everywhere.
Day 2: Write a Letter
Is there anything sweeter than opening the mailbox to find a handwritten card or letter? You don’t need fancy stationery, just a piece of paper, a pen and a quiet space to think about things you don’t get to say in a text or email.
Day 3: Make Lunches Ahead of Time
Good nutrition might come easy first thing in the morning, but that midday slump hits hard and fast if you don’t have a plan for lunch. Take away the afternoon guesswork by preparing jarred salads or pre-made sandwiches a week ahead or the night before.
Day 4: Meditate
You don’t need to enter a dark room with lit candles to meditate. Sit outside in the sun for five minutes and think about something that’s been bothering you for a while. Turn it over in your mind, unscramble the tangles and then let it go.
Read our article on the benefits of meditation and how-to tips from experts.
Day 5: Forgive Someone
This one might take all month, and that someone might be yourself, but be intentional about releasing a grudge or healing a past hurt. Do this even if the other person can’t or won’t reciprocate.
Day 6: Write a Personal/Family Mission Statement
If you want to do this as a family, gather everyone together, leveraging video technology if needed. Keep it short and simple, but be creative. Think about the legacy of your family or the legacy you as an individual hope to leave behind.
Day 7: Take Care of Your Feet
They take you everywhere! Get a pedicure or schedule a reflexology session. Do a foot soak at home. Buy new shoes that are both comfortable and supportive. Find out why caring for your feet is important in our article on foot care.
Day 8: Do Some Bird-watching
At home or away from it, take a few minutes to stop and watch the birds. It’s a relaxing, easy way to slow your breathing, pace your racing thoughts and notice the small but glorious things around you.
Day 9: Read a Favorite Children’s Book
Not much of a reader, or don’t have time to read a novel? That’s okay. What was the best book you ever read as a child? Find that book — online, by download or at your local library — and take the afternoon to read it in one sitting.
Day 10: Make a Friend in a Different Age Group
Social connectedness is a huge part of wellness. Diversifying your friendships may teach you something a peer can’t — and its benefits last a lifetime.
Day 11: Say Yes
Think of something you really wanted to do but felt you couldn’t do — an online course that caught your eye, dancing lessons, a restaurant your partner wanted to try, an impromptu trip a friend invited you — and say yes.
Day 12: Say No
There is tremendous power in just saying no — whether it’s an easy one or a hard one. No, I don’t want to go to my neighborhood association meeting tomorrow night. No, we can’t watch the grandkids — we already have plans. Get comfortable saying the small ones first, then work up to saying no to things that drain or disappoint you.
Day 13: Organize Your Finances
Open your file drawer and purge the clutter, or streamline your digital finance apps. Either way, take a day to make sure all your money ducks are in a row.
Day 14. Declutter One Drawer
Last year we sponsored a 30-day declutter challenge. Check out the daily activities here and choose one area — a drawer, a closet, a shelf — to downsize.
Day 15: Play Board Games
Engage your brain and foster social connections by hosting a game night with friends and family. Or, challenge a spouse to an old classic from our list of favorite childhood board games.
You’re halfway there. Keep going; you’ve got this!
Day 16: Exercise Like a Kid Again
Fitness isn’t limited to a gym or a yoga studio. Grab a jump rope, hula hoop, or hacky sack. Organize a game of kickball, stickball, or handball. Whatever you loved spending your younger days doing, relive it now!
Day 17: Do a Daily Brain Teaser
Crosswords, riddles, Sudoku puzzles, mazes — Reintroduce yourself to the brain teasers you enjoyed as a kid. Or try something new: we’ve compiled a huge list of brain teasers here.
Day 18: Incorporate Music
Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Sirius — however you listen, lighten your mood or brighten a dreary day with tunes. Music is so accessible these days, and you can take it with you anywhere, even on your next drive. Change the emotional atmosphere by bringing in music.
Day 19: Watch Something in a Different Language
Subtitles are a beautiful thing! Find a show or movie in a language you love and enjoy the sound of something other than your native tongue.
Day 20: Take An Impromptu Road Trip
Put your toes in the sand, breathe the fresh mountain air, see a bustling city at night, or just walk along the lake at your local park. You don’t have to go far as long as you get out and change up your scenery.
Get planning tips or ideas here in The Ultimate Road Trip Planning Guide.
Day 21: Expand Your Spiritual Horizons
Go to a Catholic mass, visit a Buddhist temple or join a friend at an interfaith service. Attend a concert at a nondenominational church. Stretch yourself to get out of a spiritual comfort zone and explore what’s out there — even if you’re not religious.
Day 22: Make a Donation to a Favorite Charity or Cause
Invest in something you’re passionate about or a current event/cause that’s grabbing your attention. It can be a one-time thing, or you can set up a small, recurring donation. You could even spend some time volunteering with the organization.
Want more? Try our new 30-day Challenge: Random Acts of Kindness
Day 23: Have an International Meal Night
Pick a destination and cook or order in food from that country or region. Play music local to that area. Dress up or decorate like you’re in that part of the world.
Day 24: Research Your Family History
You don’t always have to use Ancestry.com to learn more about your family. Ask relatives for stories about family members and compare heirloom family recipes with cousins or siblings. Create a basic family tree. Do something to connect with your heritage.
Day 25: Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
Go antique shopping. Have a picnic lunch at a local park. See a matinee movie. Find a nearby drive-in theater, or just browse at some downtown shops and restaurants.
Day 26: Discuss the Divine with a Group of Close Friends
Don’t have a debate, but rather some open-ended friendly conversation about spiritual things, thoughts on life and faith, and traditions you’ve cultivated or critiqued over the years. Keep it to a small group and a limited amount of time. Respect all opinions shared, even if you disagree.
Day 27: Turn Off Your Phone for the Whole Day
Could you do it? We did it for years before the cell phone came into our lives. Pick a day to unplug and disconnect. If you’re really concerned about being unreachable, give your closest loved ones an alternative way of getting in touch for the day.
Day 28: Take a Nap
Never underestimate the rejuvenating, restorative feeling of a good power nap or a spontaneous snooze on the couch on a lazy afternoon.
Day 29: Schedule an Overdue Appointment
Hair, nails, doctor, accountant — if there’s something you’ve been dragging your feet about putting on the calendar, face up to it. Then, pick up the phone or send an email to schedule that “something just for you” appointment.
Day 30: Do Something with Your Hands
Calligraphy, crafting, throwing clay, cross-stitch, carpentry — whatever your hands found joy in before, find it again. Or find a new hobby that keeps your brain and body busy in a creative way. Ideas here!
30-Day Wellness Challenge
Get a free copy for yourself and share with friends and family.
Congratulations! You did it!
Whether you do something every day or every other week, you’re making wellness a priority and taking care of your whole self. Repeat these activities on a regular basis and come up with new ones. Challenge a friend or relative to go through the 30-day wellness challenge activities with you. And remember: small starts equal big gains.
What aspect of the wellness challenge do you feel most confident about? Which one would you like to improve? Let us know in the comments below.
Download our 30-day wellness challenge list, then print and post it in a high-traffic area of your home — save it to your phone for easy access and sharing.