Why You Need Daily Non-Negotiables

This guest article is lovingly written by Katie de Rooy.
Katie runs The Change Box; a snack and beauty subscription and gift box focused on ethical purchasing and wellness. 


At certain points in our lives, stress hits us all. It’s unavoidable. Your child is sick during a really busy week at work, your business has a difficult month, someone hits your car. You feel anxious, overwhelmed and full of self-doubt.

The occurrence of stress is inevitable but the chaotic trail of mess it often leaves behind is not. You’ve heard it a million times - we can’t control situations or other people the only thing we can control is the way we react and it’s so true. But what does that mean? How do we control our reactions? Because saying to yourself ‘don’t be stressed!’ generally doesn’t work that well. 

When it comes to stress you can choose to be either reactive or proactive.

You can deal with the mess when it arises or plan for it before it even occurs. You can put in place daily stress-reducing exercises to keep you balanced and focused or focus on your well-being and stress levels when everything goes wrong and you feel anxious and overwhelmed. 

Being proactive allows you to be ready with systems in place to help you tackle the problems causing you stress and react in a way that is not only stress-reducing but in some cases advantageous (turn that situation around!). However, this mindset and attitude does not happen overnight and it’s not something you can pull out of your bag when stress comes a-knocking. 

Daily non-negotiables are key tools and exercises you do every day to ensure you are maintaining a healthy mindset, de-stressing and preparing yourself for whatever that day (or the next) throws your way. These might be drinking a good amount of water, getting 8 hours sleep, spending quality time with your loved ones. 

I know you are thinking ‘Okay, Katie, I do those things all the time..’ but often these tiny simple activities that keep us going are what we stop doing when we feel stressed. We replace water with coffee and sleep with frantically typing away on our computers and spending time with our loved ones for stressing out over our endless to-do lists. 

Daily non-negotiables are about being proactive about maintaining your daily non-negotiables even during difficult, stressful times in life. When you are able to do this you will find that not only are these times not as stressful but you have the mental clarity and patience to pull through and often come up with solutions to find the positive aspects of the situation. 

Here’s three quick tips to help you set daily non-negotiables and stick to them (especially during stressful times): 

  1. Identify simple things that make you happy, re-energised and motivated.

    Some ideas include exercising or stretching everyday, eating healthy, getting 8 hours of sleep, spending quality time with your loved ones, or spending time in nature. 

  2. Decide when you will do these things each day

    or example, if one of them is getting 8 hours sleep then you will set a time you want to sleep and get up.

  3. Write them down and put them in a place you see everything day

    (you can even add a motivating quote next to your non-negotiables to help you maintain motivation in difficult times, one of my favourites is ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’