It’s easier than you might think to do a daily reset if you’re feeling overwhelmed. As a country, I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn here when I say we’re collectively overwhelmed.
Most of us have put our lives on hold for so long because of coronavirus. We’re fatigued with talking about fatigue. I don’t think I’ll realise just how difficult this period of my life has been until I can reflect on it. For many of us, it has just been about plowing through the mud until we come out the other side.
Like many people, I’ve found methods of coping. I’m somebody who only feels like true sense of ‘aaaah’ calmness when the house is tidy. I’ve tried to rationalise my neat personality in so many ways before, but since having Isaac I’ve simply realised that I’m happier when things are clean.
We all have that thing, right? Something that gives us that need to go ‘aaaah’. For some, it’ll be a glass of wine in the evening, a nice bath at the end of a long day, a morning shower, the smell of freshly cut grass, coming downstairs to the smell of bacon. I could go on.
They are life’s simple pleasures and they remain when everything else is in disarray. Even with the worries and pressures of Covid going on around us, it’s still possible to find pleasure in little things. In fact, for many of us, we learnt (at the height of lockdown) that the simple pleasure of life were all we had to grip to.
The 30 minute reset
I wrote an article last year this year talking about how I was coping with having a newborn baby during a pandemic. I mentioned my daily reset in the article and since, a few friends have commented on what they do to ‘reset’ each day.
It sparked me to want to write a little bit more about the importance of something like this. I’ve had various conversations with people recently about how they feel like work has become all-encompassing for them over the past couple of years, taking up far too much brain space in lieu of anything else.
Before covid, we had weekends to look forward to, evenings in the pub garden, holidays booked. Yes, thankfully things have returned to what feels like a relative level of normal, but we’re still in recovery from what has been a whirlwind almost two years.
My 30 minute reset at the end of each day has given me something to look forward to. I get it, you might think it’s a sad state of affairs if you’re looking forward to tidying the house as a form of ‘self-care’, but I don’t always choose to tidy up. When I do, though, I feel like I can go into the next day with a sense of completeness – I wake up with a feeling of calm rather than a feeling of overwhelm.
How does it work
It’s pretty self-explanatory really. I sit down on a Sunday night and I look at my week; what plans do I have with Isaac? What does my working day look like? Does James have a lot on, work-wise?
Once I’ve figured out which responsibilities I have for the week, I schedule in some non-negotiable reset time. Some days I’ll have a bath and read my book, others I’ll do a blitz of the house so that it’s all nice and tidy for the following day.
I try to keep this time to 30 minutes as a minimum – sometimes my baths overrun. I also try to encourage James to do the same because it can be difficult with a baby to find time for yourself and it’s really important to.
Lately, we’ve both been using this time to use the Peloton. We bought about two months ago and we’re both well and truly on the fitness wagon. Many people might question how we do that with a toddler, but it works quite well for us. We alternate between doing bath and bedtime. I will exercise while James does bath, James will exercise while I do bottle, book and bed or vice versa.
Is that it? Just 30 minutes?
I’d say 30 minutes should be your minimum. For some people, it’ll be no problem to spend longer on themselves and I think you should 100% spend as much time a possible. For me, at the moment, 30 minutes is realistic.
It really does depend on what stage of life you’re in, but finding 30 minutes for yourself should be something you work on if the idea of that seems impossible. I don’t think it’s selfish or crazy to want time out. For parents, the idea of any time when you’re not flying round the house might seem crazy, but look at your day as a whole and see where you could slot in a bit of time.
30 minute reset ideas
Here’s some ideas to cheer up your day and give you something to look forward to if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or over-worked.
- Make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee, get a couple of biscuits and sit and read – be it a book or your favourite magazine. I enjoy Apple News for my magazines and general news.
- Have a bath – pull out all the stops and have candles, nice warm fluffy towels and the very best bubble bath.
- Tidy the house. Put everything back in its home. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieve in half an hour.
- Focus on one room; clear out some clothes for charity, give the bathroom a deep clean, use the very best window vacuum in the world and thank me later for how satisfying it is.
- Online shop.
- Do something that has been niggling you. On my list at the moment is putting some prints in frames that I’ve been putting off forever.
- Put a podcast on and go for a walk. Or just lay on your bed.
- Play happy music. Apple Music have some great happy playlists but if you don’t fancy that, may I recommend playing Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. I mean, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again’ – this song was made for a pandemic.
If you want to, just lay face down on the bed for half an hour. There’s no rules to the 30 minute reset, it’s just a time for you. We live in a time in which everyone is so demanding of our precious hours, you need to start being the person who’s demanding of your time.