What are your non-negotiables?
With so many of us in isolation, working from home or taking care of our kids who are no longer going to school – thanks, Covid19 – it is easy to let the days become a bit of a blur. Quickly, it seems, that time is swept away and lost in the day. With no “strict” schedules dictating when we leave the house or places we have to be, it can suddenly become mid afternoon with us still in our pajamas. Where did the day go? What have I done with the time?
Sticking to a regular schedule will help make these days stuck at home more manageable. It is easy to sleep in but instead, get up at your regular time. It may seem like, you “have all day” but keep your normal routine and walk the dog at the regular time. Staying up late may be tempting but choose to keep a regular bedtime.
And what about all that time in between? How do we use it wisely so that we don’t feel so stuck, tired or blah?
I mean, most of us love our homes and our families, but would we choose to spend every minute of everyday with them, with no breaks? Probably not. A fresh change of scenery and either time alone or out with friends is good for our mental wellbeing. However, both aren’t available at this time. Covid-19 is causing a crisis across the country (and world) and because of this, we need to flatten the curve by staying out of public all that we can.
I think it is wise that at night before bed, we write (yes, physically write) and plan out our non-negotiables for the next day.
Our non-negotiables are things that we must do for our own self-care and sanity. These aren’t necessarily things like, brushing your teeth or washing your face. While those tasks are important, your non-negotiables are things that you need, to stay sane during this time stuck at home. Things that are going to make you feel satisfied and full, mentally, spiritually or emotionally.
What might these non-negotiables look like?
Well, today this is what my non-negotiables were:
1) Take Hobbes for a long walk, first thing in the morning as the sun rises.
2) Work on my children’s book, and complete one drawing.
3) Read a minimum of 30 minutes.
4.) Food prep some of my sons meals.
5.) Take a long, unrushed hot shower.
Non-negotiables are things individual to you and your day that you must do for your self care; things that you are not willing to sacrifice for anything else that needs to get done. Come hell or high water, you do these things for yourself.
Maybe your non-negotiables include journaling, working out, sitting in meditation, doing some visualization, calling your best friend on facetime, playing with your kids or having a screen-free family day. Whatever your non-negotiables are, they are things that are important for your mental health and will be differ day to day, depending on what your needs are.
It can be tough being stuck at home, if you are use to being out and about. It can be tough being stuck at home, if you feel like all of a sudden you have no alone time or space. It can be tough being stuck at home, when you feel like you just need to go and do something else for a change of scenery. But having things for yourself, that you can do, will help make the days feel not as long and not as stifling.
Take some time tonight and ask yourself, what do I need tomorrow, for myself. What will fill my cup up? Then make it your priority during the day to carve out the time to make those things happen.
Stay safe, my friends. Listen to the guidelines requiring you to stay home and isolate. And of course, while you are home, take care of yourself in all the ways you need.