Saturday, February 19, 2011

Non-Negotiable Saturdays

Since I took my full-time position this past fall, I have come to the point where my Saturday's are all about "la dolce vita," the sweet life. I have always been one to embark on introspection and can confidently say that I have tendencies to push myself to the brink in most everything that I do, professionally & personally. Unfortunately, this tendency to push beyond emotional, mental, and physical limits has gotten me into trouble in the past: rocky relationships, health issues, depression, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, etc. I have been engaged in this process of learning how to establish boundaries, create nurturing self-care routines, and find joy in my everyday life which brings me to the title of my post: Non-negotiable Saturdays.

Why Saturdays?

Saturday is the only day of the week that I keep blank in my calendar on purpose. Whether it be talking to my mom via skype, sleeping in, ordering a pizza, scheduling a massage, browsing the shelves at the library, watching a chick flick, or taking the dog on a hike, I know I get to choose how my day goes. I only participate in things that make me feel good and happy.

The Unplug Strategy
Saturdays are the days when I do not have to be attached to e-mail, computers, blackberry, etc. I do get on to check e-mail in the morning, peruse Facebook, and checkout my favorite blogs, but I only give myself a 15-minute window to do all that. Most Saturdays, I like to write and post to the blog so I carve out time for that, usually when I get back from my hike with the dog down to the beach. Unplugging is becoming more and more integral for our brain to work at its optimum level. With our 9-5 lives filled with stimulus-response-stimulus-response, we become literal robots. Saturdays are my one day when I can rest the brain and give it some much needed brain rub luv.

My Church is Outside
So many people ask me if I am religious. Growing up, I was raised Roman Catholic. My mom is 100% Italian and my Dad, French. So my brother and I attended church, received our First Communion, Confirmation, etc. At the age of 13-14, I started discovering and dabbling into Eastern Studies: Buddhism, Zen, Yoga, etc. I took my first yoga class at 16 years old and all through my life, the outdoors were super important to me and my family. I created my own personal spiritual practices after I moved to Colorado where I went to college and the outdoors became the place where I could find peace and solace among the whirlwind of thoughts, to-do lists, and deadlines. Every Saturday, I lace up my mud sneakers and take Ginger for a hike down to Carkeek Park. We descend the trails, walk past the orchard, and head to the beach, where we usually sit on a bench and take in the view of the Olympics. It takes us about 90 minutes round trip and it makes my weekend.

Writing & Creativity

Saturdays are one of the only days that I can be sure to get to the blog. Writing for me is my form of self-expression and creativity. I am slowly starting to dabble into other mediums like collage and art journaling as ways to expand my own self-expression. I can sit, sip my tea, think, and write without deadlines or interruption. I also can carve out the time to practice yoga and meditation since that is a part of my life that is essential to my survival. J


5 Tips for Creating a "Non-Negotiable Day"

1. Block out the time AND make it a recurrence. Get your "day" in Outlook, Google Calendar, your Dayrunner, planner, etc. Even writing it on a post-it note makes it real and treat it like a meeting with your boss. You would never blow that off, would you?

2. Give yourself permission to do what feels good. If staying in your pajamas sounds like the best thing since Green Juice, then DO THAT! If taking a dance break to Lady GaGa at 10am feel good, then DO THAT! Remember that this is about letting go and not having restrictions.

3. Really do your best to unplug. Turn your ringer to silent and check messages twice, try to not get on facebook, or give yourself 15 morning minutes of laptop time to get your fix. There is too much good & juicy stuff waiting out there for you, including rest.

4. Walk, stretch, dance, work it out. Get moving for at least 30 minutes. If you are the type that does not get moving during the week, then make this a priority. Your bod and your brain need it. The cells in your beautiful temple need the oxygen, the heart needs to pump and the cobwebs need cleared out. Take a hike!

5. Schedule self-care rituals: Get a massage, take a spa trip, fill the tub that you never use, walk in for a mani-pedi, whatever. Just show yourself sum luv. J

My fave site for self-care tips:

Let me know how it goes and what other tips you have to claim your "non-negotiable" day. 

1 comment:

Rosaria said...

I especially love your tip about taking time to unplug. I just spent 3 days away from computer emails, facebook and being constantly plugged into something and how refreshing it was. Unfortunately, it will take me 3 days to respond to all of that, which is necessary for the salvation of my career. Going to try the other stuff though.