Every once in a while we need the chance to reset. Maybe it’s after a difficult day, a difficult conversation, a bad mood, a health diagnosis, a fight with a loved one, a night of no sleep, the loss of a job, the death of a friend, or just a need to stop and restart. It can also be the opportunity to embrace joy.
I often think about the beginning of a new year in January, or right after my birthday in July as a chance to begin again, a time to reset. Sometimes it’s the time to take stock and see where I need to be and where I am, and see if I need to readjust my path, my time, my effort.
A reset doesn’t have to be a big redo, a big reassessment of life. It can also just be a moment to catch my breath, a moment to return to the now, a chance to feel my lungs, my feet, even the hair on my head.
A reset can be a quick walk around the block, or 10 seconds of deep breathing. Sometimes it means locking yourself in the stall of a public restroom to cry or wipe away your tears. There have been times where I couldn’t let myself into full emotions or deal with a situation until later. Maybe I was in the middle of a work shift and couldn’t let myself break down then. One of the best things I learned in therapy was to give myself time to deal with those moments, but also to prioritize and choose when and how I would take care of myself in those moments.
After years of burying things or not fully acknowledging situations, I learned that I didn’t have to feel all the feelings in the middle of the day, but that I could hit an emotional reset button and come back to those feelings and situations when I felt safe and ready to do so. Sometimes it means pausing a conversation and sometimes it means retreating to my house or room or the patio with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. In the mornings, when I need to confirm that reset of a new day, I start with a run (or waddle) and time for writing in my journal. Sometimes a reset can be helped along with a long phone call with a good friend or an in-person visit. I have often used my car and the shower for reset moments. I have also used a good run or a late night walk to breathe, reflect, and reset.
A reset can be a quick chance to breathe, but sometimes it can be a big life u-turn. A reset could mean a change in job, home, town, or major relationship.
A reset doesn’t have to be a burn-the-house-down restart, but sometimes you do have to let go of people and situations. There have been points in a relationship where I felt like I had to break off all contact with someone I once loved and then with time and some spiritual work, I forgave myself and the person from afar. Yet other times there has been a chance for reconciliation.
You don’t have to wait for a relationship to turn sour or for a situation to become impossible to reset. You don’t have to wait for a new month or a new year or a new day. You can take a breath, a break. You can write down your feelings of rage and sadness or happiness and disappointment in your precious journal, or the back of a junk mail envelope. You can keep the reflections or discard them in the recycling, or burn them in a safe manner to release them.
Give yourself the moments and the work for reset. Take deep breaths while you count to ten. Put the phone down and take a walk around your neighborhood. Take a shower and wash your emotional residue down the drain. Take a moment in between, between clients or between work and home life, whatever you need. Say a prayer, repeat a mantra. Drink the tea, sit in the dark. Go for a run and sweat out your moody toxins. Give yourself the chance to sit with it. A reset doesn’t mean chasing away the feelings. It can be the time to acknowledge what you’re feeling and experiencing.
A reset, a pause, a moment. We all need them from time to time.
Hi, Kary! This is beautifully written, and such a valuable thing to realize and remember, how important those resets are and how many different forms they can take. Coincidentally, just yesterday I was combing through my bookmarks and realized I hadn’t seen a post from you in quite awhile, and it worried me a little. Glad to hear from you again!
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Hi, Donnie! Thank you! I haven’t written a blog in a long time, almost a year. I really appreciate you reading and commenting. I hope you are doing well. Yes, you’re right, we all need those resets. It was good to hear from you. Thank you so much.
Hello, Kary. Glad to see you’re still blogging! Interesting thoughts as always, thank you for sharing.
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Hello, Jan. Thanks for reading and commenting, as always. 🙂 I want to get back into writing and posting more regularly, and this seemed like a good time to start again, a little reset of the blog and writing. 🙂 I hope you are well!! Thank you!!
A very well written essay on stepping back and catching our breath when things have been rough for us. When things get rough, I most often read a book, go running, drink diet cokes(yes, that is correct), send emails to family and friends, read from the bible, listen to gospel music, and at the end of the day take a hot shower to give myself a good night sleep to render myself pause. All of the above are vey efficient in letting my reset button work its magic when things do not go well for whatever etiology. To reiterate, a very well written essay.
Thank you, William, for reading and commenting. I really appreciate you and your support over the years! I enjoyed reading what you do to reset; thanks for sharing! Indeed, a reset can be wonderful when things have been rough! They can also be great when we need to moment to stop and ponder and reconfirm or readjust! Hope this finds you well!