6 Days Reset for Exhausted Parents! Press Pause and Tune In
This year has been going too fast! 6 months ago I was decorating the Christmas Tree while sweating it out on a very hot Australian day, and now I’m considering taking it out of the box, as on this side of the planet we are celebrating Christmas in July (as quirky and magical as it sounds).
I have been feeling slightly on the edge lately, as my husband has mentioned a couple of times (a day), over the past month. Whenever I get snappy, I can’t fall asleep in less than ten minutes, when the tears of my child perforate my inner ear and leave me shaky and exhausted, I know there are a couple of changes that need to be put in place. Pronto.
This is the time to press the pause button and make myself a priority. And whenever I feel tired, or worn down, I come back to this mini reset and allow my fears to ease away, while bringing my shine (and mental sanity) back.
Reset day 1: Eat nourishing foods.
Being a Nutritionist, I obviously start by talking about food. If you stop and think about it, how important is food? It makes our muscles move, our neurotransmitters switch on and connect, it allows us to socialize, feels satisfied, and gives us the energy to do the simplest tasks. It is a no brainer, we need to nourish our bodies.
And I’m not talking about a juice cleanse (I’m not a huge fan of extreme measures), but of simple, possibly organic, mostly plant-based, tasty, unrefined, unprocessed, humble whole foods. For the next 6 days try to avoid anything that comes in a plastic container (takeaways are included, sorry), wash your veggies and eat plenty of it (especially cruciferous veggies, as they help the liver with its detoxification process), limit sugar and alcohol intake to a minimum ( 20 gr of dark chocolate per day, and 1 glass of wine per week would be ideal), cut the junk entirely, and have only 1 coffee or tea a day (and if you can do without it, thumbs up!).
Remember, it’s only for 6 days, and see how you feel afterward. Keep a journal as a friend, or talk to someone your trust completely.
Reset day 2: Move your body in a meaningful way
I LOVE exercising. I simply ADORE it. If it was for me, I would wake up every morning at 5am and go to a HIIT class, followed by a long walk near the ocean (and possibly a sneaky swim). Having said that, I’m a woman, and my body wouldn’t like that. We are not a man’ smaller version, and we need to recognize that in order for our body to function properly, we need to fuel ourselves (go back to Reset day 1), and move mindfully. If vigorous exercise is what you like, go for it; but avoid doing it every day or on an empty stomach. There is nothing healthy in running to the gym at 6 am, after sleeping only 5 hours, without any food to fuel your exercise routine, and then rush to work with a strong cup of coffee in your hand. This means depriving your body, it means not giving it a chance to heal and function at its best. For the next 5 days, try to swap an intense exercise class for a walk, or for a gentle stretching session, and see how you feel. Does it make you anxious or relieved? How does your body feel after the break?
And if you are sitting on the opposite side of the spectrum, and don’t enjoy exercising, think it as mindful movement; go out, walk, break a sweat at least 2–3 days out of 7, and feel your endorphins rising and giving you that glow. And tune in with yourself; how does your body feel? How does my mind feel? How can I add a form of exercise to my daily schedule? What would make me happy?
Reset day 3: All you need is sleep
“You can sleep when you die” how often have you heard this sentence? Pity that people don’t consider that the less they sleep, the sooner they will die. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture, it has been used for many centuries to break men down, and it has always worked. Ask a new mother how much she enjoys surviving on broken sleep.
Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc in our bodies; foggy brain, higher cortisol level, insulin resistance, higher sugar intake, muscle aches, depression, anxiety, poor decision making, confusion, unbalanced hormones…. most of these conditions could be alleviated by sleeping properly. When we sleep, we don’t do much, right? It is basically a waste of time, correct? WRONG! That’s when our bodies heal, when our brain goes through all the information we have absorbed through the day and filters them. It is a great chance for our body to do a mini cleanse, for our digestive system to get a break, for our liver to go through its detoxification process without interruptions. So, sleep! the importance of it cannot be overstated.
Reset day 4: Live less out of habit & more out of intent
My days are pretty similar; I wake up, do my own things until Luna wakes up, then we play, I feed her, we go out, then I get ready to go on with my day and da, da… until is almost dinner time, we cook, my husband and I bathe her, we put her to sleep, we eat, we talk, we stretch and relax, and eventually we read a book or work, and go to sleep. Although many different things can happen throughout the day (meeting new people, changing career, etc), we tend to stick to the same routine. My daughter has a set routine, and she thrives on it. But still, she is excited about life! Show her a flower, and she screams, smells it, touches it, bashes it, tries to eat it, and then eventually she moves on to the next thing on the list. When was the last time you got so excited about something? If your answer is “this morning”, that’s excellent, keep it up! And if you don’t remember…find THAT thing that makes your brain sparkle and your hearth shine. In the next 3 days write down a list of all the things you would like to try and all the things you really don’t enjoy doing it. Then leave it, and come back to it at the end of the reset. How much time do you invest every single day doing the things you don’t enjoy? Is it time for the wind of change to blow again?
Reset day 5: the way you speak to yourself matters
This is one of the most important days of this reset. How do you talk to yourself? How worth it do you think you are? We can’t really be the best version of ourselves if we think we are not enough.
So today, every time you look at yourself in the mirror, pay yourself a compliment. And it doesn’t have anything to do with your physical appearance. Tell yourself how smart, strong, kind, empathic, witty, intelligent, clever, ambitious, strong-willed you are. Choose your adjective, define yourself and MEAN IT! Think about all the wonderful things you have achieved, what brought you to this point in time, all the adversity you had to face. You are SO worth it, and you know it. It is time to recognize it and to say it out loud.
And you know the exercise: for any negative comment, you need to compliment yourself 5 times. Go and look at yourself in the mirror.
Reset day 6: Today’s Agenda: 1-wake up 2-love
And last but not least, love! It seems so willy nilly to say it, but hey! If you don’t love yourself if you don’t love others, what’s the frigging point? Love a plant, love a cat, love your baby, love whatever you want, but love. Human beings are very simple from that point of view, we need love, and we need to love in order to thrive. It’s like watering a plant; how long would it last without water? You can be a dry cactus in the desert (nothing wrong with cactus, they are sturdy, amazing, and never give up no matter how adverse the surrounding conditions are), but wouldn’t you rather be a lush, colorful flower in the middle of a green garden? And yep, it is up to you to open that heart, doesn’t matter how many times they have tried to shut it down, or shit all over it.