As I’ve gotten older, and especially as I balance being a mom, working and feeling like a human, there are a few things that are non-negotiables in my day. I thought about this topic while I was on a run a couple of days ago. I used to be the mom who felt called to “do it all.” I felt like taking on all of the parenting tasks, keeping up with work and maintaining the household defined how good I was doing in life. Only to feel run down, resentful, unable to perform at my best abilities, depleted, emotional and creatively numb. It took me awhile to realize how important it is to maintain a sense of self outside of life’s tasks. I’ve learned that there are certain things I can do that can sort of set the reset button for me, things I tell Dave are my “non-negotiables.”
Exercising every day. It doesn’t have to be much, it can be as simple as a 30 minute walk, but this is essential for my mental space. I went to a lunch a couple years ago where we talked about Enneagram’s. We reviewed self care rituals for each Enneagram (I am a 3wing2) and exercise is one of those self care/reward rituals for me. When I feel like I am giving myself in all areas of life, exercise brings me back to my body/my self.
Starting my morning in quiet. This doesn’t always happen but it is ideal. My mind operates best right when I wake up. Learning those patterns in your day is something that I have realized is really important. I ideally love to wake up before my kids (which is hard because they wake up so early) and get an hour of quiet time. Whether that means writing down thoughts, listening to peaceful music, catching up on emails – just giving myself a moment before the day starts is sort of like rest for me.
Outdoor time. There is something very cathartic for me when I go outside and take some deep breaths. I think it is really easy to feel like whatever we have going on is heavy, big, overwhelming and being outside, breathing in fresh air makes whatever is going on feel smaller. It sort of immediately brings me back to an “it’s okay” state of mind.
Some sort of brain dump or releasing thoughts from my head. We are sometimes our own worst enemies, right? I can swirl thoughts, comparisons, negative self talk, fears around in my head and notice my breathing getting more shallow, questioning what I’m doing and beyond. Just releasing those thoughts from your mind is so freeing. Journaling is definitely not something I can do everyday but even just writing a blog post, a newsletter, saying it to Dave knowing he won’t judge me, etc. Get them out!
These are things that I have the ability to do every day. I can make the time, whether my kids are involved or not, to fill my own cup with these non-negotiables. And in case you needed a reminder, it’s important to do this for yourself. I operate at a much higher, happier level when I prioritize these things, just as I do my motherhood, business role, spouse, friend, etc.
What are your non-negotiables?
PS: My Lake Pajamas set is sold out but hoping it is restocked!