I won’t lie to you all and say that it’s easy. Hell, it was very difficult for me to find the motivation to write this blog post! I had been putting it off because I couldn’t even find the motivation to do something that comes so naturally to me: writing! It’s difficult to find the motivation to do the simplest things in life that we know we’re supposed to do but add the stress of having to cope with staying sane during a global health crisis, and you’re basically a goner.
Something that I’ve gotten in the habit of doing when I’ve fallen into a rut is what I like to call my “Reset Day”. Everybody needs a reset day; it’s a day where I focus solely on myself, giving myself attention, pampering myself, and doing whatever I need to do to get back in the right mindset.
I like to give myself a reset day once a week, but that’s not to say that you can’t have a reset day more than once a week. I've gone weeks without having a reset day, and that’s just because I haven’t had the time or energy to really focus on myself for a full day. We’ve all been on pause when it comes to doing the routine tasks of our daily life because of this global health crisis. For some of us, we’ve been home waiting to go back to work, while others are working from home or staying busy with kids or other side projects.
One thing we all have in common is a disruption in our routine, which can take a major toll on our mental and physical health. So, if we want to improve one area, we should do little things to improve both areas and the other will follow!
On my reset days, I like to put on a face mask, a hair mask, and I often feel refreshed when I give my surroundings a bit of a tidy-up. I like to set a precedent not to feel disappointed by my lack of accomplishments on my reset days. If I spent the entire day feeling like crap because I haven’t done all that I had hoped to do, then it wouldn’t be a true reset day, would it? I give myself permission not to feel bad, or to feel pressured. I take victory in every little win because those are what help guide me to a more productive mindset!
I know, reset days sound phooey considering we’ve been going to bed knowing exactly what each day is going to look like when we wake up the next morning. You might also find yourself feeling like you don’t deserve a reset day. Why would you deserve a break or a day of pampering yourself if every day has felt like this? Well, we’re not on an indefinite stay-cation, we’re on lock-down. Our wants and needs are limited, we are not able to give in to every little desire. So, you most definitely deserve a day of pampering because none of us asked for this. Yes, we are lucky to be alive, healthy, and to have homes to be able to isolate in, but we are also scared, and just because we’re lucky, that doesn’t mean we are not allowed to feel unhappy in these circumstances.
Here are some tips for you on how to give yourself a reset day that is sure to have you feeling refreshed and motivated:
- Do a face mask or two. Listen to your body, figure out what it needs. Is your skin flourishing in these trying times? Give it some love! Hydrate, girl!
- Do a hair mask! There are a bunch of homemade face and hair masks online. If you have an aloe vera plant, you can use them for both your face and hair! They work wonders.
- Refresh your surroundings. You can do this in a number of ways like clearing off your bed, opening a couple of windows to let some fresh air in, or going through your wardrobe and making a donate pile. Do whatever you need to do to make your space more appealing because when you feel like you’re in a comfortable and clean space, you will feel more motivated to tackle what you need to accomplish.
- Have a bath! I have never been drawn to taking baths. I think I just find it more relaxing to stand under the running hot water than to sit in water, but baths seem to do the trick for a lot of people. I know a lot of people who are obsessed with bath bombs and they use them all the time. If you’re that person, light some candles, toss that blue gardenia salt cube from lush into that water, and play some good music while you float away and forget all your problems!
Aside from a reset day, there are other tactics that I often use on a daily basis. They are many little things that can have a big impact. Some of these tactics are:
- Re-read one of your favorite books. Sometimes, we can be so blocked up and stuck on the current problems and they just run on a loop in our minds that we can’t seem to be open to any other ideas. We often feel emotionally and mentally clogged when we haven’t done much in the way of challenging ourselves. I believe that re-reading a favorite book can really help with getting inspired again. As a writer, if I am ever feeling blocked or uninspired, I will often re-read a book that had a hand in inspiring me as a writer. If I’m being completely honest, I will also sometimes re-read my own books. It’s weird, I know, but when I do, I put myself back in the mindset of when I wrote it and I only write when I’m absolutely inspired, so it reignites a fire inside my mind!
- Forgive yourself for not doing every little thing you promised yourself you would do and congratulate yourself for doing what you have done. One of my biggest issues with how this crazy modern world runs is that we are programmed to have goals and if those goals are not met, we are programmed to feel guilt. Let’s talk about the greats you read about or the people you follow on social media. They are all human, they have all failed, and they have all survived. We set timelines for ourselves that must be met and we feel like utter disappointments when they are not. We, as a society, are more forgiving and understanding of everybody in the world than we are of ourselves. You’re doing the best you can, don’t give up on yourself.
- Meditate! I will do this on the rare occasion that I am so stuck, I simply can’t formulate a thought good enough to be said out loud, let alone written down! I use a meditation app that helps guide me; some people just sit in silence for as long as they can stand it. There are plenty of resources online. I use the Headspace app, but there are many others. I’ll even get multiple reminders in a day from my Apple Watch to breathe. You forget how useful breathing can be until you sit there feeling the air slowly leave your lungs and then slowly breathing it back in. It’s remarkable. It’s a whole lifestyle, being mindful. If we can adopt it for just a few times a day, imagine how much more fulfilled we’d all feel.
- Do Not Disturb!!!!!!! This one is so important. We normally have mini-breaks from our cell-phones or our social media presences. When you’re at work or at school, you have to keep your phone out of view and you don’t typically always have access to it. We went from having little breaks from our phones to having them glued to our hands and faces. In these few months, I don’t think I’ve ever really been alone. My tv is always on, my phone is never out of reach, usually because it’s in my hand while I play a game or post a stupid tweet. I usually do this when I’m feeling particularly restless but I’ve come to realize it’s useful to do it every so often regardless of how I’m feeling. Some time away from your devices will give you a new perspective on being alone with your thoughts. We often run away from being alone with our thoughts, but I think that’s because we are afraid of what we might learn about ourselves. Who knows, you might think yourself into a brand new idea that could ignite your process!
- Little Wins!!! I touched on this a bit in the reset day shpeal, but this is important for every day. Give yourself little wins. Just because you didn’t do every single task on your to-do list doesn’t mean you failed! Remember, when setting out to complete goals, you must make sure they are concrete, measurable, and achievable. Whether they are long-term or short-term goals, you must be realistic. If I know that I have to do laundry, clean my room, clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, make food, go grocery shopping, and write, I try to space them all out. I plan my day accordingly, and I tell myself I should be done at least one or two of these tasks today, and then whatever is left over will just get moved to the next day’s agenda. It’s really not the end of the world if one thing doesn’t go as planned. It’s also not the end of the world if a bunch of things don’t go as planned. Take the little wins.
I know getting and staying motivated can be really hard sometimes. I hope these tips will be helpful for you! Before all else, set your intention and believe that you can do this.