Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

Three Ways to Reset

When you ask a computer to do too many things it overloads and stops working. Freezes. My screen gets a little spinny wheel of death and won’t budge unless I shut it down. We as people are pretty much the same. You’re responding to a text when an email comes in. You stop typing mid-word because this looks pretty important. You’re scanning an email when a slack message comes in from your boss while your neighbor is FB messaging you asking for the name of your lawn care company. Blahhhhh. Which means it’s time to do a hard shut down. Just like you would to your computer. Hit the button and power down.

I have three ways to achieve the same effect. Three ways to hit the button and stop the spinny wheel of death. Try them all and see which one you like the best.

Plunge your hands up to your wrists in icy water.

This one takes a little preparation, but it works. This method is so effective for one of my clients that she keep icepacks in the break room freezer at work. It’s unlikely the same benefit can be achieved from just cold water from the tap, it needs to be downright icy.

Be sure and keep them submerged for as long as you can stand it. According to Sheri Heller, a New York City–based psychotherapist, this method works because, “Sensorial stimulation with cold water can break through dissociative feelings that often accompany anxiety and offer immediate relief from heightened cortisol levels.”

Regardless of the science behind it, you’ll find relief in an instant reboot. Score!

Push away from the screen and turn up the music! 

When there’s too many pieces of data swimming in your head, it may be time to move your body. If you can swing it, turn it up loud and dance around for a few minutes. Or, put in your head phones and rock out. The key is to get out of the head space you’ve been in and cut loose. Work up a sweat, sing out loud, and you get extra points if people can see you in your office getting down to the music. This is the music version of the hard power down for your computer.

Go outside and walk around. 

This is by far my most favorite way to reboot. But the thing is, you can’t take your phone. You’re skipping the goodness of the whole situation if you’re staring down at your phone the whole time instead of looking around and reminding yourself the world is big. Look up and let the sun hit your face. Breathe deep and exhale loud. Swing your arms around and be aware of what you’re doing. You’re walking. Not thinking about your next meeting that’s coming up. Not mentally driving home for the day. Let it all slip off your shoulders for a moment. You owe this downtime to yourself.