Join the 5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge

Self Care Challenge 2015

I want to show you how good it feels when you make self-care a priority. I want you to see that it’s not selfish. That it doesn’t require too much time.

Self-care is not as much about what I do, as it is how I think. It’s about taking a moment to put myself in the equation, consider how things will affect me, and make choices based on that. It doesn’t mean that I always put my needs first, just that sometimes, I do.

You Are Amazing

I’m not advocating selfish, self-indulgece, like missing your child’s dance performance to get a pedicure, or skipping out on a friend in need so you can go to yoga. I’m advocating for you to give consideration to yourself and your own needs too.

[bctt tweet=”Self-care is not about being selfish, it’s about being mindful and realistic about your needs. -Mindful Art Studio #5for5selfcare”]

Self-care is tuning into your body, and when you notice the tightness in your back, taking three deep breaths to release it instead of pushing on to the next work task. Self-care is talking honestly with your sister about how she hurt your feelings so deeply, instead of trying to let it go.

Or perhaps you have a job that just “pays the bills,” and you notice that when you let your volunteer work at the homeless shelter slip, you tend to question your purpose and feel down. Self-care is re-prioritizing the activities that give your life joy and meaning, and making sure you have the energy to do them.

Self-care is about engaging authentically with yourself and others about who you are, what you need, and what you have to give. Some of the most giving people I’ve ever met have the most strict self-care practices.

Treat Yourself Kindly


How One Selfless Person Does Self-Care

One of my new favorite ways to “fill my inner well” is listening to On Being, a fabulous podcast on “the big questions of meaning…what it means to be human… and…how we want to live.” An interview with a social activitist, Zen meditation practitioner, and Catholic nun, Sister Simone Campbell , of Nuns on the Bus, got me thinking about the importance of service to others in our self-care practices.

Simone Campbell is sharp, witty, compassionate and will completely change your image of the stuffy, old, habited nun rapping your knuckles with a ruler. She lives her life in service to others. I was moved by her commentary on being open to what comes in the moment, and her ability to embrace the positive.

But one thing Simone Campbell said really troubled me.

She said people often ask whether her many commitments and constant travel are exhausting. She noted that her reply is always the same: she only gets depleted when she focuses on herself.

Uh oh.

This is exactly what I ask you to do.

Was I missing something? I couldn’t understand how could she give so much of herself if she didn’t engage in self-care. But as I thought about it more, I understood that in fact, she has a very robust and rich self-care practice, she just frames it differently.

Sister Simone meditates every morning. She prays. She attends religious services. She lives in a community where she is deeply connected. She believes in a larger power and feels connected to it. She is clear about her life’s purpose, her place, and the things she needs to do to maintain them.

A life of service brings her joy and energy because she has a lot to give, so giving feels good.

I don’t think it’s a mistake that when we do something good for someone it makes us feel good too. I believe we are hard-wired to want to help each other. I also believe that without self-care, there’s very little to give.

For Sister Simone, self-care is her spiritual life. What is it for you?


For more ideas on how to incorporate self-care in your life, check out this post.

Give to Yourself


What is the 5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge?

I want to show you that self-care can be really simple and fun. So here’s my challenge to you:

Next week, on Monday, August 3rd – Friday, August 7th I challenge you to spend a minimum of 5 minutes each day on self-care, and then comment about it here. That’s it.

I will share ideas  and inspiration each day to help you get started, but if the prompt is painting and you prefer to watch the sun set, mindfully walk the dog, or carry out a random act of kindness, go for it! All you need to do to enter is comment on your experience.

We will be doing lots of creative self-care together, including writing, making art, and enjoying nature.


Who doesn’t love the chance to win a prize? I do! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of my upcoming e-book, Starting Your Art Journal,

E Book Preview

One winner find a portable art kit, worth $40 in their mailbox.

Portable Art Kit Prize


Please share this post via social media to build this community.

[bctt tweet=”The #5for5selfcare challenge starts Monday August 3rd. Are you ready?”]

Official Rules

No purchase is necessary to win. Each day you comment on that day’s blog post by 12 PM EST is one chance to win. Limit one chance per day per person regardless of the number of comments you make. You must be at least 18 to enter. You can live anywhere in the world, be male or female, and be any shape, size, gender, color, religion, etc. Void where prohibited. The challenge starts on 7 am Monday, August 3rd, and ends at 12 PM EST on Friday August 7th.

Two winners will be randomly chosen from all the commenters and receive a copy of the upcoming e-book Starting Your Art Journal, which retails for $3+. One randomly chosen winner will receive a portable art kit worth approximately $40. Winners will be contacted individually via e-mail and their name will be shared on the blog. Winners must sign a release and affidavit of eligibility. 



What are your “self-care challenges?” Where do you find yourself getting stuck? Does service fit into your self-care practice?


  1. Tayla

    This sounds exciting! Even though I work from home, I often don’t take time to relax, meditate, or just be present. I just move from task to task and it is so draining.

    I’m looking forward to participating!

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Tayla:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! I totally know what you mean! Sometimes working for yourself (or for someone else from home) makes prioritizing self-care even more challenging. I hope the challenge will be a great reminder of the huge difference 5 minutes can make in the way you feel. I’m psyched to get started too!


  2. Greer

    This couldn’t come at a more (perfect; important; desperate) time in my life. With 2 school aged kids and a 10 month old, a fiance who works nonstop to support us all, and a home in beautiful seclusion, I have been ignoring myself while selfishly letting my emotions get in front of my ability to function at times. I know it is time for a change!

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      Hi Greer!

      Wow, I hear you loud and clear, and I am so touched that you shared this here. It is courageous and speaks to the changes that you are already putting in place. Your comment gives my work meaning. Having the ability to reach such a larger audience through this blog about creativity and self-care, and knowing that it makes even a small difference in your life really warms my heart. Thank you for the gift of your words. I so look forward to connecting more next week and ongoing. Look around and see what other resources Mindful Art Studio might have to offer you. There’s this post on creating a functional self-care plan, ideas for 5 minute self-care techniques, and ideas for self-care when you don’t even have 5 minutes. 🙂

      I also offer lots of free art tutorials to get the creative juices flowing – you can find those on the Art Tutorials page or right here on the right side bar. Many of these are great to do together with your kids too.



  3. Paulette gill

    I am excited to start your self-care challenge. As a therapist I do self-care. I think this challenge will just help me be more mindful of that practice. And I just might find a way to fit it in between clients.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Paulette:

      I’m so excited to have you here and to start the challenge next week. You TOTALLY get the idea – using those precious 10 minutes between clients is so important. I sometimes am able to do my note in 5 minutes and if I don’t need to run to the ladies, do 5 minutes of drawing, breathing, or yoga. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!



  4. Lanie

    Love this blog and the Rumi quote too! It is amazing how fueling giving can be when it is done from the heart rather than part of a to-do list. Really excited about your contest and upcoming Finding Creative Freedom:)

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Lanie:

      First of all, I keep forgetting to tell you that I love your name. I had a super cool camp counselor named Lanie. We exchanged a few letters after camp and she had the most beautiful handwriting – I would trace it over and try to emulate it! I’m sure you have beautiful handwriting too. 😉

      Sister Simone is pretty amazing, isn’t she? When I tagged her in the post on Twitter, she was gracious enough to read the post and tweet back. She noted that all the things I outline in her spiritual practice – being connected to others and a higher power – are things she takes “for granted.” I get the sense that most things she does come “from the heart.” Thanks for your comment. Can’t wait to hear about your experience in the Self-Care Challenge and the creativity webinar.
      Creatively Yours,

  5. Tessa Wyatt

    as I walked to work this morning the sun was shining and I took the time to take in the light and shadow on the buildings rather than walk purposefully wishing it was last week when I was inFrance

  6. Marina Strauss

    Going for a walk, breathing mindfully, being present as I eat, chanting are some of my self care practices. I am enjoying the invitation to slow down and take pictures. I challenged myself to find beauty right in my house, where I am to remind myself that that’s where happiness lies: in the present, within ourselves.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Marina:

      I always love it when you drop by! Such a great reminder about finding beauty right where we are. Thank you for that.



  7. Dale

    Looking for beauty everyday. What a wonderful idea and it really got my day going in an uplifting way. I looked out my window and could see the wind dancing wildly with the trees. I listened and heard the to and fro. I thought that was beautiful and that really had me in the moment and feeling connected.
    From my windy perch I hear
    The scrubbing swish of lofty leaves
    Roiling waves of tiny veined hands
    Picking up the sunlight now
    Shadow then
    Sashaying wildly one moment
    Still the next
    I let my heart feel this wildness before me
    My ears open to its cues
    My eyes taking it in
    My mind resting in wonder
    I join the dance

  8. Mary Ellen

    I just discovered your challenge and I am thrilled with the writing prompts! I’ve been stuck, unable to move forward and dragged down by long and complicated schemes. Your five minute prompts feel like fresh air.

    • Amy Johnson Maricle

      HI Mary Ellen:

      Welcome to Mindful Art Studio! It warms my heart to read your comments. Fresh air sounds amazing. I belonged to a creative writing group years ago that met weekly. Some folks were working on a novel, while others, like me, were just looking to explore another creative outlet. I was always amazed by what came out of these little prompts – so much more authentic feeling than when I sat down and tried to write something “important.” For the woman writing a novel, and had no problem tackling that huge “important” task, I was amazed at how much those short exercises helped her too.

      So I’m curious, what are you working on?

      I hope you hang around for the rest of the week and more. There’s lots of different creativity exercises on the blog, and I’d love to hear about what else you’d like to see here.
      Creatively Yours,

  9. Tanny

    I love this challenge. I have been struggling, especially recently, with self care. I haven’t been able to comment on days one and two because I was doing those things without access to the internet, or much any technology. I was on a 4 1/2 day hike into the Sawtooth Wilderness. I definitely got my exercise in and was in awe of all the natural beauty that surrounded me. I try to do yoga every morning or some sort of little workout to get me going and I know even just a little bit of exercise is good for my body. I used to journal regularly, but haven’t for awhile, so I will start again with so many things changing in my life right now. Thanks for the inspiration!



  1. 5 Ways To Make Self Care A Priority - The Art of Better - […] Join the 5 for 5 Self-Care Challenge […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.