There are two non-negotiables within my day-to-day: moving my body in some way, normally through practicing yoga and getting my daily dose of vitamin sea – spending time by the ocean and normally jumping in the sea.
These are activities, self-care rituals, that I prioritize in my daily routine. No matter what is happening at work, in my life, or in my relationships, I know that these rituals bring the much-needed breath of fresh air to my mental and physical health, and provide me with a better state of mind to properly address conflicts and challenges that may arise.
El Camino Women’s Medical Group lays this idea out best, “rituals are a reminder that life is more than a never-ending to-do list. It is something to be celebrated and enjoyed to the fullest.” There are countless demands made of us every single day – at work, at home, by social media, and even by the government – it seems we have a laundry list of items to check off of our list at any given time of the day.
I would argue that although these laundry lists of items are important, stressful, and necessary, most of the things that we “have” to get done are not necessarily urgent, an emergency, or so vital that they will cure cancer.
For example, I have some friends who work at marketing agencies, trying to come up with campaigns and sell products to consumers. I, myself, have interned and worked at several of the same sort of companies in my career. These jobs are important and can be very fun. However, the moment one of my roommates begins having a nervous breakdown about all of the work they have to get done and how their life and the entire jeopardy of the client’s success will be ruined if X, Y, and Z do not happen, that is when they need to take a step back. Marketing is not an emergency. Marketing will not cure cancer. At the end of the day, if they accidentally go $100 over on an ad spend, it will not matter.
And that is what we are talking about here.
Are you casting your own needs and wants aside because you are putting every little thing before your own well-being?
If this sounds like you, maybe it is time to take a step back and think about something that is important to you and make it a non-negotiable in your life.
Self-Care and Productivity
In an article on Gardenuity’s blog, The Sage, I talk about the burnout crisis. This article goes deep into what burnout is, how it can be avoided, and what steps both leaders and employees should make to ensure that they are having a proper balance of life and work.
The part that I want to touch on here is that of “The Let my People Go Surfing philosophy”.
This is the way that Patagonia, a highly successful, highly reputable, and extremely well-known outdoors brand, runs their company. The whole idea behind the policy is giving employees the freedom to go partake in their non-negotiables. This is a way to not only encourage, but low-key force employees to take care of their minds and bodies with the freedom to “catch a good swell, go bouldering for an afternoon, pursue an education, or get home in time to greet the kids when they come down from the school bus.”
What has this resulted in for Patagonia? A genius business method to retain valuable employees, create a better culture of wellness, and provide incentives for employees to come back refreshed, ready and wanting to work.
So, to those of you who are workaholics and have the tendency to put work above everything else, we are here to assure you that the work will get done. Furthermore, taking the time to step away and take care of yourself may even result in work getting done quicker, more creatively, and in better condition than if you chained yourself to your desk for forty hours a week.
What is your Non-Negotiable?
I know many of the examples I gave above as my and others everyday necessities probably sound really hippie and holistic.
To be fair, you are reading an article off a blog that is literally called “The Sage” for wellness and gardening tips, but not every self-care ritual has to be a life-altering, outdoor extravaganza.
To prove it, I am going to make a list of other things that I can think of that could potentially be your self-care ritual.
Ideas for Self-Care
- Bake cookies
- Take your car, scooter, or bike on a joy ride
- Plant a container garden of fresh herbs
- Go get an afternoon lemonade
- Drink some tea in the morning or evening
- Watch your favorite 30-minute show
- Take a nap
- Make a pitcher of herb and citrus water
- FaceTime a loved one
- Spray your desktop garden
- Go for a swim
- Write a letter
- Harvest some sage and make a cup of sage tea
- Get a post-work dessert
- Read a few pages of a book
- Sketch something that you saw in your day
- Make yourself an elaborate breakfast
- Take a Bath
- Cuddle with your dog
- Listen to your favorite Spotify Playlist
These are all things that you could do every single day. Some are very basic, some are a little bit more elaborate, but depending on who you are, they can all be considered self-care practices.
You are amazing, beautiful, and do a lot for the world. You deserve to be cared for and cherished, but the first person that starts with is you. Start thinking about your non-negotiables and implementing them into your life. You will be surprised by what might come from it.