I love traveling. And I consider myself incredibly fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so quite regularly.

But if I don’t consciously take notice, it can really throw off my routine. I have some grooves that I consider to be absolute non-negotiables when I’m at home that I’m not willing to drop on the road. Mind and body work that can easily get lost in the shuffle of 

Whether it’s a random road trip where Jess and I jump in the car with the dogs, touring with Ponder the Albatross, or a more extensive, thought-out, overseas trip – I love it all. And having just gotten back from the amazing Telluride Bluegrass Festival (absolutely one of my new favorite summer traditions with some very close friends) and heading to Austin tomorrow afternoon to take part in a conference for an incredible product line I’ve recently partnered up with, then the band tour down to Arkansas and back starting next week — I have to continually be mentally prepping myself to know what’s coming and know there’s going to be some adapting I’ll need to be doing.

The important thing is, I know what those things are. I need some form of exercise: running, weight-lifting, yoga, anything that will get me sweating for a bit – and some mindset work: even just a few minutes of meditation to clear my head.

And while for the most part, it’s for my own selfish reasons, I know it’s also incredibly important for those around me. Because I can become one cranky SOB at times if I don’t practice those priorities. I can lose sight of what I’m supposed to be doing, the messages that I want to portray for the Modern Day Gentleman, the positive mindset that I like to pride myself on carrying.

So I mention this because, if we’re not focusing on the self care for ourselves, making everyone else a priority can start to spin out of control and start to eat at us. Resentment can start to kick in.

The question is – do you know what those things are? Are you aware of the little things that can bring you joy, the things that mean taking care of you? 

If you’re not, I strongly urge you to sit down and consider them. Journal about them (right… journaling… Guys – that really is a practice that we can, and should do). Focus on finding the things that you can do for yourself in order to sustain a happier and more pleasant mindset. Need some help? Grab a pen and paper and write at the top, “The things will do today that are most important to me are….”

And if you are aware of those things…. Do you practice them regularly? Do you make them a non-negotiable on a daily basis?

I know too many people, experience too many behaviors of those that continually put their own passions on the backburner that they ultimately just lash out, and usually at the ones they love the most. 

The point of this is that it removes any kind of resentment possibilities and enables you — empowers you, even — to actually put more of you into caring for and being more present for those closest.

If you’re energy-drained, then it will suck the energy of others around you. 

Why do you think the airlines tell adults to put their oxygen mask on first before assisting others?

It’s because you can’t take care of the loved ones around you if you’re passed out.

Look — I’m not saying to focus solely on your own needs and become a selfish, ego-maniac (we all experience too many of those bro’s out there). But I know that’s not who I’m talking to right now.

But if we don’t make ourselves a priority then it will deplete us to the point where we have no reserves left. And how can we be the best version of ourselves with nothing in the tank?

So get clear on what’s important to you and carve out some time to make it a necessity. I for one am about to sit in a conference room for 2 full days, so you’re damn right I’m getting up an hour earlier than normal so I can make my non-negotiables happen. 

And if you don’t know how to get clear on those priorities? 

Journal it. I dare you.

Don’t forget to apply your own oxygen mask first