39: Setting Boundaries and Creating Space to RestNov 13, 2023
A huge determining factor when it comes to productivity is whether or not your non-negotiables are met beforehand. Making sure you’re getting rest, sleep, nutrition, alone-time, or whatever combination of things speaks to you can change how your day goes and how you feel. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to nail down your non-negotiables, and if you already know what yours are, it might be a good idea to reevaluate them. Are they still serving you, or do you need to adjust?
My three big non-negotiables right now are:
I’ve found that if I don’t take time to get some exercise every day, it really affects my energy and motivation. I have become creative with how I get this done, and I bought a walking pad for those colder months or rainy days. In the summer I like to get out with my son too and we go for a walk together. But regardless of how it gets done, exercise is something I don’t go without!
I have made a huge point of making sure I get my water during the day! It’s so important to me that I used to always make a point to bring three different drinks to work; water, flavored water, and coffee. Now I don’t have to think about it as hard, it’s just become a habit. But I always start my day with my drinks next to me.
This is the newest addition to my daily routine, and I’ve found that monitoring my protein intake plays a huge role in helping me stay on track with my nutrition and energy levels throughout the day.
These three things are essential for me to have a productive day, and on top of these, I have to make sure I’m getting enough rest. I think everyone can define rest differently, because rest doesn't necessarily mean laying around or physically relaxing. For me, rest means scaling back on less important tasks, avoiding overworking, and removing the non-essentials from my routine every now and then to make room for the essential things. So for me, taking time to rest looks like walking to the park with my son in the evenings, or actively learning by listening to a podcast. I think it’s important to define what rest means to you, and to prioritize that to avoid burnout and put your best foot forward each day.
If you’re not at a place where you feel your non-negotiables are protected and you are getting the rest you need to function, that’s okay. The good news is, you can always grow and change things! If I were starting from square one, here is what I would ask myself.
1. Are you getting the rest you need to function? - If your answer is no, then you’re already at a good starting point. Take that stepping stone of acknowledgement and create a path towards getting the rest you need. You can start by identifying the things that drain you, and the things that rejuvenate you. From there, develop awareness around where you’re at versus where you want to be, and begin to restore balance. Take time to check in with yourself by journaling or talking to someone, and give yourself space to learn where your limits lie. Start allowing yourself to take the time and space you need to rest and recoup, and you’ll start to grow into a much healthier space.
2. Are your non-negotiables well defined, and are you accomplishing the steps needed to fulfill those daily? - I have created very clear definitions for myself around what my non-negotiables look like, which ensures that I’m able to be my most productive self from day to day. Whatever the things are that allow you to get up, do a good job at work, be present with your family, or whatever your life looks like right now. Make sure that your non-negotiables support your lifestyle, and give yourself the time and self-respect to get those things done.
It takes deep levels of self-respect and love to allow yourself time and grace to accomplish those things, but for the longevity of your health and overall wellbeing, these things are so important! I would encourage you to take some time to define rest for yourself, and identify your own non-negotiable items. I’ve found that my most productive, caring and present self comes from a place of taking time to care for myself. I hope you take the time to care for yourself this week!