5 Non-Negotiable Self-Care habits


Do you ever have one of those days that just throws you off your game? And maybe you can’t put your finger on exactly why? Even if you’ve never given it much thought, we’ve all got a handful of things that we do every day that help us function at our best. You know…the things that set the tone for our day?


There are plenty of things I do every day that help me stay on track and happy but I’ve narrowed down my top 5 non-negotiables that I need to thrive. If one or more of these doesn’t get done my whole day seems to go left and fast. you may recognize one or more of the below from your own must-dos…and/or maybe they’ll get you thinking about identifying yours if you’ve never considered them.
Your list will probably look different than mine and that’s okay. It’s all about figuring out what revs your engine and gets you to show up as your best self.
If you’ve never made a definitive list of your non-negotiables to thrive then I strongly encourage you to. If you haven’t identified them, how are you going to be intentional about prioritizing them into your day
No matter what else falls to the wayside, I know that if these five things are done there’s a 95% chance I’m going to perform at the top of my game that day…What more could I want?!

1. Wake Up Before the Kids

And, I’m not just talking 5 minutes. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, some quiet alone time to practice self-care can be the difference between starting your day in a frazzled hurry or with peaceful momentum.

2. Exercise

This one’s a life and game-changer. This is probably the most important life-changing habit you can create if suffering from overwhelm and anxiety. Plus it’s actually a catalyst for the second most important thing, sleep.

Exercise naturally releases dopamine and serotonin, your brain’s “happy hormones”.

I’d recommend doing it early to mid-morning before “life” happens and you’re tempted to skip. The key with exercise is to do it every day so it becomes an ingrained habit. Even just a short 10-15 minute walk will make a difference.
I’m not really a morning person but I get up at 5 am to do a Peleton ride for 30 minutes before the kids get up. There’s something about the combination of high-intensity exercise and music that exhilarates me like nothing else does. Plus it’s been scientifically proven to literally reverse the aging process at the cellular level. What?


It’s not always easy to get up that early but I know if I don’t drag myself out of bed the chances of me fitting it in later are slim. I’m always glad I did it afterward and I feel like I can take on the world. It’s just painful at first. 

3. Shower + Dress For The Day

This also might seem like a no brainer but…being a SAHM and working from home is an amazing luxury but can be a slippery slope of sorts. I can choose to stay in my pajamas all day or wear yoga pants every day if I want.
But, I’ve realized that I feel my best and am more productive if I shower, get dressed, and put on my make-up first thing in the morning before the kids get up. Because once they’re up – it’s game over. The day takes over and the last thing I want to do is interrupt my writing flow mid-morning just to get ready.
I’ve learned that if it doesn’t get done first thing chances are slim to none that it’ll happen later. Don’t get me wrong…I might make a rushed half-ass effort to get ready but I’m definitely not feelin’ myself. And, it’s a domino effect…if I’m not feeling like my best, presentable self, I may put off doing things/running errands where I’d run into people I know. And, it’s not just that…My interactions with people aren’t as enthusiastic because I don’t feel my most confident.

4. Get Enough Sleep

When I was younger I could get away with pulling all-nighters or just a few hours of sleep and be alright. NOT anymore. Middle age lept up and shouted, “I object!”.


Ideally, hitting my magic number of 7 and 1/2 hours every night is the dream (pun intended) but not always realistic. Being sick, stress, social events, and alcohol are just some of the things I can think of that affect my magic sleep number from time to time.


If I don’t get what I need it’s written all over my face, literally. I’ll try to overcompensate for my lack of rest with caffeine but I usually stay in low-vibration mode all day, dipping up and down in energy. No bueno.
Getting the rest I need puts me at this amazing frequency that’s unshakeable, ready to take on the day…and the world. It’s better than any energy drink on the planet!


And if by chance you’re a new mom, have a restless baby, or a toddler that’s throwing a sleep strike…I think it goes without saying that this doesn’t apply to you! 

5. Limit Alcohol

Let’s face it, it’s easy to reach for a glass of wine at the end of a looong and stressful day. Limiting my drinking is the easiest way to make sure I’m able to get the rest I need, have the energy to exercise and be productive the next day. If I have more than one glass of wine I already know that I’m not going to be at my best the next day. And, I may choose to skip exercise and then it’s a domino effect with my productivity levels. 

So, I’ve chosen not to drink on weeknights, allowing a couple drinks max during the weekend. I’ll make exceptions for special events but they’re few and far between. I always regret it the next day…my recovery time is excruciating (definitely not the same as in my 20s!), especially with two kids and everyday stuff to get done. The show must go on! I just can’t afford the time to nurse a hangover. It’s just never worth it.

A Final Note

There you have ’em. My secret weapon(s) for killin’ it every day! The keyword being “my”. It took time and trial and error to hone down my top 5. And, I don’t presume they’ll be the same for you.
Some of your top 5 may not even be on your radar yet. So, don’t limit yourself to your normal routine. Keep trying things ’till you find what energizes, motivates and lifts your spirit up day after day!
What’re some of your top non-negotiables? I’d love to know…Leave me a comment below and share!

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