“If you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” – Dalai Lama
Ever have that nagging feeling of discontent? That sense that you’re a bystander in your own life, kind of like your body is in the game, but your mind is elsewhere? That life isn’t panning out quite like you thought it would but you’re not sure how to fix it? It might be time to press pause, take a deep breath and hit the reset button.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘reset’ is defined as ‘to set again or anew’. When your mobile or PC needs a reset you get a nifty little pop-up notification telling you it’s time – sometimes it even happens automatically. Unfortunately though, there’s no fancy algorithm detecting when you’re not working efficiently, then helpfully prompting a reset. But the signs are there, in your emotions, your mind and your body – you just need to be able to read them. Is your system running slow? Are you a little glitchy? If so, it might be time for a reboot.
Here are 5 signs that a reset is in order.
1. Things just don’t feel right
Author Kazuo Ishiguro once said “There was another life that I might have had, but I am having this one.” If you feel stuck or unmotivated, or like you’ve missed a Sliding Doors type of moment somewhere along the line, it’s time to work out what’s not working and do something about it.
When you just don’t feel right, it generally means that the things you really value in life are missing from yours. Those values that deep down matter to you most – whether it’s connection, ambition, kindness, adventure, nature, sincerity or something else entirely. When those true values are embedded into your everyday life you’ll find you’re content, happy and energised – and when they’re not, well… you’re right here, unsettled, unhappy and unfulfilled. So if you’re feeling discontent, it’s time to take a good long look at what really matters to you and take action to course correct. If you need some help identifying your personal values, give this exercise a try.
2. You’re exhausted
If there is one silver lining of the pandemic, it’s that when everything else was taken away, we learnt to adapt and appreciate what we had. Cinemas, bars, restaurants and gyms gave way to Netflix and games nights, DIY meal kits, UberEats and online workouts. And without a million extra-curricular commitments, weekend parties, kids sport and even the daily work commute, we were left with time on our hands. We found ways to connect while apart, and we found time for ourselves.
Despite lingering covid concerns, and new worries like the flu pandemic, rising interest rates and government changes, most of us feel like we’ve gone straight from zero to hero since the lifting of pandemic restrictions. It’s exhilarating. And it’s exhausting. Somewhere between the Ugg boots and the high heels lies a happy medium – it’s time to press reset and find it.
3. Your needs are secondary. Always.
Life gets busy. Things happen. I get it. There’s a grace period for putting yourself on the backburner, but if you leave yourself there too long, you’ll wake up one morning and wonder who the hell is staring back at you in the mirror. Just like in flight, you need to fit your own oxygen mask first if you’re going to be any good to anyone else – so prioritise self-care, make time for exercise and movement, check in on your mental health, put a plan in place for your own happiness. Not when the kids get older… or when you have more money… or when you retire… get out of your own way and start working on a plan now!
4. Boundaries? What boundaries?
Your personal boundaries define what’s acceptable to you, what you’ll tolerate, what you’ll compromise on, what you’ll say no to. They’re the ultimate form of self-care. The problem is, unless you enforce them, they’re no good to you at all.
Most of us have such a deeply entrenched people-pleaser streak that we disregard our boundaries and default to ‘yes’ for fear of letting others down or not being liked. The problem is, as Author Brianna Wiest said, “Each time you break your boundaries in order to ensure someone else likes you, you end up liking yourself that much less.” So set your boundaries and be firm about enforcing them (these tips on how to have brave conversations will help) – I promise you’ll be much happier for it!
5. Your Work / Life balance is out of whack
Battling peak-hour traffic and working insane office hours is so 2019. Working 16-hour days to help build someone else’s empire isn’t healthy, and it isn’t sustainable. It also isn’t necessary.
In the wake of the pandemic, people are re-evaluating their purpose, their goals and their lifestyle and are making the most of the opportunity to strike a better life balance – or as I call it, ‘integrate it your way’ (the 9 to 5 really has been an illusion we’ve hung onto since the 80’s!).
In April 2021, a study of more than 30,000 workers worldwide revealed 41% were considering changing professions or quitting in the coming year. The power has shifted to the people, and businesses have had to lift their game to keep their staff. If the business you’re in hasn’t, maybe it’s time you consider your options too. A good place to start is by having a conversation with your Manager to see if you can find a way to make work ‘work’ for both of you – maybe that means a shift in the time you start, days you work in the office or ways to create better connection, creativity and collaboration with your team.
Try these simple, calming resets
Resets don’t have to be enormous life-changing ones to have impact – taking just 15 minutes to consciously calm your emotions can help you face the challenges ahead. Try incorporating some of these rapid resets into your day and see the difference it makes:
- Take a walk in nature
- Take your shoes off and put your bare feet on the ground
- Prepare a tasty, nutritious meal
- Talk to someone you miss connecting with
- Find a way to put a little play in your day
- Tick off a task you’ve been meaning to finish
Resetting is a natural process. After all, the day resets every sunrise, your skin turns over new cells each day, deciduous trees shed their leaves before they bloom again. And so it should be for you too. Be conscious of the signs, and with some self-awareness you won’t need to wait for your life to fall apart before you stop and hit the reset button. As novelist Anne Lamot said “Almost everything will work again if we unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
If you’d like some help on a reset, my Recalibrate Self-Paced Coaching Program is focused on helping you assess and reset your boundaries. You’ll also learn other life-long skills like value-setting and taking action to achieve your goals, as well as how to smash through limiting beliefs, bad habits and negative thinking. You can download an Info Pack for all the details, or simply get in touch and we’ll organise a time to chat!