By Kristen Lee
Have you ever wished you had a reset button? In a world where we’re told to be goal-setting machines, there’s even pressure to be Zen.
This way of living leaves us exhausted and filled with anxiety that we’ll never be enough.
As a “recovering perfectionist”, I developed a behavioral model of self-care. RESET. It’s grounded in the latest neuroscience, lifestyle medicine, and cognitive behavioral principles.
Here’s how to create your own RESET:
R is for Realize.
Avoid trying to problem solve when your amygdala, the almond-sized structure in your brain is tripped up, preventing you from accessing your frontal lobe where reasoning prevails. If you’re tired, triggered, or sick, it’s not the best time to make an in-depth analysis of your life.
E is for Energize.
You are not a robot; your brain and body need rest and refueling. When you care for your body you’re also taking care of your mind.
S is for Soothe.
When you’re overstimulated and stressed, you either soothe in adaptive ways that help your stress bottom line, or maladaptively, in ways that hurt it. Work towards mindful presence and gratitude to help you cultivate resilience.
E is for End unproductive thinking.
Rumination is the act of spinning our wheels continually. Learn to reframe and engage in positive activities. Adopt a mantra and focus on strengths and solutions.
T is for Talk it out.
Hiding doesn’t serve you well. You need community — spaces where you can open up without fear of judgment and stigma. Fight the tendency to airbrush your struggles and seek relationships that allow you to be transparent.
Snack On This:
As an expert in stress, to avoid being my own case study of burnout, some of my go-to favorites include regular walks, runs, meditation, deep breathing, time with family and friends, unplugging from technology, looking at the big picture, and going to therapy on a regular basis to challenge my perfectionistic ways.
Dr. Kristen Lee is the author of “Reset: Make the Most of Your Stress: Your 24-7 Plan for Wellbeing” and the upcoming “Mentalligence: A New Psychology of Thinking.” She is very active on Twitter, but you can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat too via @TheRealDrKris. Or check out her website, Kristenlee.com