My fellow women, chill out! Sit down and catch your breath!

But not too long because we’ve still got stuff to do.

As a woman, mother, daughter, wife, and employee our to-do list is never-ending. So please don’t try to shank me when I ask you to add five more things to your list.

I call these the five non-negotiables: The five things we must do every single day to stay sane in the middle of this crazy life. You’ve probably already spent hours today negotiating with your kids, your boss, or even a salesperson. Go ahead and give yourself permission to make these five to-do’s non-negotiable every day.

1 | Drink water.

Sure coffee and other caffeinated drinks will give you a quick energy boost by stimulating the adrenal glands. But over stimulating by drinking excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to adrenal fatigue – a condition characterized by extreme fatigue due to stress, diet and hormones. Adrenal fatigue can’t be cured with just a quick nap.

Drinking more water is not only cheaper than a luxury coffee habit, but it will make you look and feel younger too! Drinking water helps prevent premature wrinkling, memory loss and weight gain.

2 | Eat something green.

Green gummy candies don’t count.  I’m not talking about losing weight here. What I’m talking about is eating food to nourish your body to give yourself the long-term energy you need to get through the day.

My food mantra is very simple: Eat like crap and feel like crap. Trust me, I know it to be true. The more processed and heavy fat foods I put in my body the more sluggish and run down I feel. But a salad here and there, or a veggie burger instead of a double Whopper, not only make me feel lighter, they make me feel better.

When I feel better I can be better to those who are depending on me.

3 | Get some rest.

Now you really are going to hit me if you think I’m going to tell you to go take a nap. 

Have you ever felt so frazzled and over-scheduled that you thought you might be going crazy? You aren’t crazy. You’re tired. I once read that a woman should never make a major decision until she’s taken a nap.

Most women I know don’t have the luxury of midday naps. However, I can close my office door for 10 minutes of quiet in the afternoon. Push the work aside and just sit quietly, eyes closed if possible. Or, if there’s enough room, do a few quick yoga poses to rejuvenate you both physically and mentally.

4 | Break a sweat.

Remember the instant energy boost we talked about in your morning cup of coffee? Exercise stimulates the production of hormones that work with your adrenal glands to increase your energy! But unlike the caffeine buzz it won’t leave you with a sugar crash – feeling more lethargic than before.

The type of exercise you do is far less important than actually getting moving. The key to a successful exercise program is to find something you enjoy doing. Even a daily walk around the neighborhood or through a local park on your lunch break will lift your spirits and give you a bit of cardio benefit.

5 | Stand strong.

Remember your own mother telling you to say what you mean and to mean what you say? Well, the same holds true whether you are four, 14, or 40 years old. If you don’t want to do something or don’t like the way someone is speaking to you, speak up and say so!

There’s something else we need to remember: No is a complete sentence.

Do you have any weekend appointments available? No.

Can you babysit my kids? No.

Can you fill this PTA position? No.

When you learn to stand strong and say no to the little things, the bigger things will get easier to say no to. And the important things will become easier to say yes to.

Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s simply remembering to take care of ourselves as well as we take care of those around us.