Sophie Gray is a person whom I have been following for a few years now on her account Way of Gray I always enjoyed her positivity. Originally was interested in her workout programs which I still use to this day. The way she encourages you to keep going just make you laugh because she is so real and honest about it which is something I truly admire in a person.
About a month ago, she was looking for people to join her in a 28 day Self Love Challenge. I was at a rough place with my mental health and I figured anything would help. This is what the 28 days consisted of:
1. Why are you doing this challenge?
2. List three things you are grateful for.
3. Go outside and breathe
4. 'The Mirror Challenge'.
6. List three things you love about yourself.
7. Eat a meal without your phone.
8. Hug Someone
9. Drink lemon water.
11. Write a love letter to yourself.
12. Do something kind for someone.
13. Compliment a stranger.
14. Eat something healthy.
15. Write a list of things that you do well.
16. Tell someone how much they mean to you.
17. Tidy your space.
18. How are you?
19. Read your favourite book.
20. Indulge in healthy foods.
21. 'Phone Free Morning'
22. Forgive yourself
23. Have a bubble bath.
24. Connect with your younger self.
26. Stand in front of the mirror, naked.
27. Accept yourself- your whole self.
28. Congratualte yourself.
When I started posting, I couldn’t really feel a difference in myself. All the challenges just seemed kind of simple and not very challenging. The bonus to their simplicity was that some of the things such as stretching, sweating & drinking lemon water were things I used to love and
I’m not sure where along the way I lost them as a part of my routine. It was a wonderful excuse to bring them back.
Although, I have to say, the mirror challenge was what made me want to see this through. The mirror challenge is to stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself “I love you. I love you and I mean it”. The chill that ran through my body after doing that was unlike anything I have ever felt before. I felt ridiculous standing there talking to myself but it was a physical affirmation that my body liked what I was saying. I had never felt that kind of connection to myself before.
The next ten days, I felt a little bit more of a difference. It felt like it made me appreciate the things around me like the complimenting a stranger and tidying my space. The compliment a stranger was one I really held dear to me. I work at a bridal shop in town and my motivation to go to work as of late has been next to null lately. I had forgotten one of my favourite parts of being a consultant, the smile on a girls’ face when she is told by someone who is passing by that she looks beautiful as she is glowing in the dress of her dreams and imagining the start to the new chapter of her life. It’s absolutely precious. I had grown almost jaded to it. I didn’t appreciate it. I spent that day at work making sure that the women that I saw that day felt beautiful and they knew it.
Tidying the space was also kind of fun because I made a time lapse video for it which was something I had never done before. It was kind of hilarious to look back at the video now because I know I stuck a selfie stick in a purse to make it happen. To be honest, it makes me so irritable and I feel like I can’t do anything if my space is too messy. I felt as though I had just been keeping it at bay until this point. It was such a sigh of relief to finally set aside the time to tie up so many loose ends that were just hanging around my bedroom. I felt a sense of accomplishment and completion which was so rewarding.
In the final 8 days of the challenge, I noticed that my posts were getting more and more wordy. I had so much more to say. It was like I was more in touch with what was going on within my head for once and I was able to verbalize it in a way that would resonate well with others which felt like a huge accomplishment. They were all harder challenges and more emotional challenges. I realized at this point that all the small challenges at the beginning were preparation for the bigger challenges at the end so you could get the most out of them.
They were all emotional but the hardest was number 26, standing in front of the mirror, naked. That was forcing me to face an area of myself I wasn’t at all comfortable with. I don’t like the feelings that comes along with being nude such as vunerable or "sexy". My next thought was to start pointing out my flaws until I stopped, then I thought “but I’m working on it”. That’s the point when I realized how far I had come in just 26 days. I had come to a point that instead of cutting myself down, I stopped mid mental sentence and changed it to positive encouragement without conscious decision.
Looking back at the start now, is kind of funny. I feel like I was making small progress without even realizing it. Instead of taking 30 selfies and hoping one would work out, I would take maybe three, and call it a day and post one. I cared more about the words I was saying than the picture I was posting. I have added old positive habits back into my life that make everyday a little easier.
The most important thing that I learned from these 28 days was that it’s not one big change all at once, but many little changes over a long amount of time. I know this may sound like something your mother may say but until you experience it, it’s kind of hard to believe. Yes, I still have my bad days and I’m getting there, but this was a step in the right direction. So even though at the time it may not feel like much at the time, you will thank yourself in the long run.
Written by Campus Rep Jill Martin
Edited by Executive Assistant Addie Van Rijn