Self-care is an ongoing practice I advocate for and personally exercise every day. It’s a self-care non-negotiable; a holistic way of prioritizing myself by nourishing my body, mind and soul. Self-care is more than a luxury, but rather a necessity for my survival.
We owe it to ourselves to support and serve others. And we cannot give what we do not have, which is why it is vital to give to ourselves first.
What is a non-negotiable in self-care?
A self-care non-negotiable is an intentional choice of firmly deciding (without debate) to do what you need to ensure you are completely taken care of.
Giving to yourself first requires your commitment to making yourself a priority and intentionally choosing what’s important to you by knowing your well-being should be what’s important to you.
Like your supervisor holds you to an expectation, or your parent or child holds you to a certain regard, you should uphold yourself to the same standard as your self-care is not up for negotiation.
30 Self-Care Non-Negotiables to Nourish Your Body, Mind and Soul:
For ease, convenience, and because your well-being is very important to me, I have taken the liberty of listing thirty self-care non-negotiables you can incorporate into your daily life to create healthy habits and boundaries that are sustainable and satisfying.
Your challenge: Review these self-care non-negotiables and choose at least two you can commit to now and progress on later.
Start right now, right where you are, repeat tomorrow and the day after. Take ownership (or have a friend hold you accountable) of implementing these self-care non-negotiables into your practice, not leaving any of them up for negotiation.
Non-Negotiable Self-Care for Your Body
1. Hydrate by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water when you wake up
2. Move your body with dance or Yoga (Yin, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Kemetic, etc.)
3. Walk, run, climb, bike, hike or swim for one mile
4. Snack on fruits and vegetables instead of chips and candy
5. Have a hearty salad or superfood smoothie bowl
6. Finish dinner three hours before bedtime
7. Stretch for 5-10 minutes after waking, before sleeping and with every workout
8. Treat yourself to a massage, acupuncture or salt bath
9. Get seven to nine hours of sleep
10. Fast from alcohol or caffeine
Non-Negotiable Self-Care for Your Mind
11. Meditate for 20 minutes
12. Take five-minute work breaks throughout your day
13. Read at least one chapter every night
14. Sing along to your favorite song
15. Tune into a podcast episode or a TED talk
16. Journal or free-write for ten minutes
17. Take several deep breaths or do breathwork for several minutes
18. Detox from social media for one day
19. Clear the clutter from your desk or closet
20. Organize your planner or calendar for the week or month ahead
Non-Negotiable Self-Care for Your Soul
21. Recite your affirmations or mantras in the mirror three times
22. Spend time outside in nature by gardening
23. Sun-bathe or moon-gaze
24. Share what or who you are grateful for
25. Sit in on a sound healing session
26. Cuddle with your significant other or furry friend
27. Visualize your ideal day
28. Heal through therapy or talk to someone you trust
29. Make meaningful connections virtually or in-person
30. Give a genuine compliment or do an act of kindness
My self-care non-negotiables include:
- Reading for an hour
- Connecting with a loved one every week
- Drinking as much lemon or key lime water as possible (my goal is 64 ounces a day)
- Taking short breaks throughout the day to breathe and give thanks
Whenever I (try to) exercise, it’s for at least thirty minutes or three miles, and I nap. I will never turn down the chance to take a good old-fashioned nap!
Can you think of any other self-care non-negotiables? Take your pick from the list, master them, then add a few for a calmer, freer you.
Embrace Setting Boundaries as Your #1 Self-Care Non-Negotiable
While hydration, movement and a skincare routine are all wonderful ways to practice self-care, it’s pertinent to practice them every day. A daily ritual of any self-care practice will turn them into a habit, forming your lifestyle and shaping a more calm and cared for you.
Boundaries are the extremely crucial self-care non-negotiable that allow you to reset yourself.
The only detriment to you practicing self-care are crossed boundaries. Distractions and disturbances entering the space you’ve designated for your self-care are caused mainly by boundaries (or lack thereof) not in place to protect your personal peace.
Past the pedicures and face masks aside, clearing, recovering and requiring more of what I need is how I make sure my whole self is cared for. Boundaries are the extremely crucial self-care non-negotiable that, when enforced, will allow you all the rest you need to reset yourself.
Call-To-Action: An Affirmation for Self-Care
Self-care penetrates deeper than the surface of simply taking a bubble bath. It’s the prioritization of your health, plus the realization you are worthy of being cared for completely.
Affirm this for yourself: I am important to me. So, today I intend to ______________________ no matter what because feeling calm, carefree and cared for is important to me.
Fill in the blank with a self-care non-negotiable practice you intend to do today and every day.