This year for Lent, I am inviting my readers to join me on a 40-day self-care challenge. It’s not the typical Lenten journey, I know. We’re supposed to be all sackcloth and ashes, long-faced, and suffering. That does seem to be the sentiment behind having over ten percent of the liturgical year dedicated to the memory of Christ’s suffering. I’ve never quite bought that though, and I’ve definitely not bought into the idea that giving up chocolate and wine is going to draw me closer to Christ’s suffering.
Instead, I tend to approach Lent as a time to develop and strengthen practices that enhance the depth of my discipleship and ministry. Sometimes that means giving up habits that have become addictive or counterproductive. One year that meant giving up selflessness; another year I gave up church. But most of the time, it actually means taking on practices that nourish and enrichment me. So this year I am approaching Lent with this question in mind: What can I do to deepen my self-care disciplines? And I realized that maybe other people would like to go on this journey with me.
Beginning on Wednesday, I’ll start a 40-day Resurrecting Self-Care challenge. And you are welcome to join me! Here’s how it will work. Every week there will be a different theme: Re-Imagining Self-Care, Self-Care Basics, Self-Compassion, Balance & Boundaries, Finding Your Joy, Prioritizing Self-Care, and Solace in Silence. Each weekday morning there will be a new post (here and on Instagram) featuring a self-care practice related to that theme. Some are about trying on new ideas; others require action. All require time, but not huge chunks. But none require money or special trips. The practices will be challenging but realistic and time-limited enough to incorporate into a workday. And all have a lot of flexibility built into them, because self-care is personal.
On Saturdays, there will be an invitation to engage in a deeper reflective practice. These will require setting aside a little more time (30 minutes to an hour). But again – no money, no special equipment or materials are needed. Self-care is ultimately about time. So the entire challenge is about learning how to gift yourself with your time.
There’s no pressure to do all 40 days. Challenge yourself, but make it work for you. Change the practices whenever you feel the need. Just try to do something for your own benefit each day of the challenge. Remember, the only day that the body has is today. But also this: everyday is a new opportunity to practice self-care.
I will be practicing alongside you. I’d love to hear from you about how it’s working. So feel free to drop a comment here or on my Instagram page to let me know how it’s going.