A Simple Practice to Make You Feel Good All Day
When it comes to food, fitness, and self-care, so many of us have unrealistic expectations.
I mean, sure. It would be amazing if you manage to meditate for twenty minutes today, and go to spin class, and take the dogs for a long walk, and savor three nourishing meals in a serene environment, and blow-dry your hair, and write down a gratitude list, and take a long relaxing bath, and stretch before bedtime.
Maybe you will miraculously accomplish all those things today—while working full-time and raising kids and battling traffic—and if so, congratulations! You’re incredible!
But let’s be realistic. You only have 24 hours in a day. It’s gonna be tough to do everything on your dream wellness list every single day.
This is why I love the concept of creating a list of daily non-negotiables. Even though this isn’t a new practice for me, I’ve simplified my approach since I first shared this with you a few years back. And now it is even more doable!
Your daily non-negotiables are small things that you pledge to do every day—even if you’re insanely busy, even if it’s cold outside, even if you’re not feeling fantastic, even if [insert-scenario-here].
These self-care items are mandatory and happen semi-automatically—just like brushing your teeth. Kind of like basic maintenance for your body and mind.
Daily non-negotiables serve two purposes: they make you feel good by doing them, and they make you feel good by committing to them. Promising yourself a few grounding practices each day is not only revitalizing, but it also nurtures the notion that you’re worth the time it takes to be your best.
My daily list includes:
- Physical movement, first thing in the morning. Even if it’s only 20 minutes—that’s fine! I just need to move and clear the cobwebs out of my brain.
- A few moments of quiet time with a latte, tea, or some other healing beverage.
- Giving my pups some snuggles and love. (Dog-time makes everything better!)
- Eating some plants. Fresh. Roasted. Pureed. Any style.
- One minute of deep, mindful breathing.
That’s it. Not a very big list. And that’s the whole point! A daily non-negotiable list is comprised of small, realistic things that you can do—and will do—every day.
Some days, I do my non-negotiable list—and that’s it. I don’t have time or energy to do anything more. And that’s fine! As long as I get my non-negotiables done, then I feel pretty good.
Other days, I do my non-negotiable list—plus more! I might take a full 90 minute yoga class. Go for a long walk in the woods with my pups. Meal prep for the entire week. Get a massage. Or something else. All of that stuff feels like “extra credit”— above and beyond my usual list.
As we step farther into 2020, what do you want your daily non-negotiables to be?
What is your body asking for these days?
What would feel good?
Most importantly: what is achievable and realistic on a daily basis?
Your non-negotiable list might include:
- 10 minutes of stretching
- Texting a friend to say hi and connect
- Drinking a big glass of water right after waking up
- Writing in your journal
- Listening to an uplifting song
- Hugging your kids tightly
- Reading a book before bed
- Savoring your coffee in your favorite chair
- Lighting a candle in your bedroom
Or anything else that feels essential and nourishing for you.
Daily non-negotiables mean different things to different people.
What’s on your list?