Reset Your Day in 5 Minutes or Less

A woman reads with a cat cuddling on her lap
Photo: Thinkstock/vladans

I know how hard lifestyle changes are. They’re hard for me and they’re hard for my clients. It’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t eat just perfectly or stick to our exercise routines or whatever our new lifestyle goals are.

Some people really struggle to get back into control when they make a misstep, and others decide to give up on their efforts with the idea that they’ll start fresh tomorrow or start fresh on Monday. But we all know that waiting for a do-over has the potential to get us into much more trouble. That’s why I have techniques to reset right away. Fortunately, with some creativity and some practice, you don’t need a lot of time.

Here are a few ways to reset your day.

Get close to your fur friend. Playing with Benny or getting a good cuddle when he’s a bit sleepy are among my favorite ways to reset. That boy has mood-improving powers. So much so that my daughters want me to text photos of him when they’re feeling a bit cranky!

Soothe. Something else that works for me is to indulge myself with some quiet time and a hot cup of fragrant tea — preferable from a pretty cup. This gives me a few minutes to soothe myself before I have to move on. It feels nurturing and gives me time to refocus on my intentions.

Recite a mantra. Many of my clients find a reset in reciting a mantra. Think about what works for you. Here are two examples:

  • I am a work in progress. I strive to be terrific, not perfect.
  • Every mistake is proof that I’m trying, and I can learn from each effort.

Notice your successes. You did dozens of things really well! And they matter. Like prepare a wholesome breakfast, help a friend with a problem, eat only one cookie instead of several. When you feel regret about dietary indiscretions, quickly list five things related to your health that you did well. You’ll be surprised by how long your list can actually get.

Nourish yourself. Eat something that you can feel really good about. If you regret some diet choices earlier in the day, mindfully eat a juicy piece of fruit or a crunchy vegetable.

Take five. Try a five-minute meditation break or even five long breaths.

Get active. If I’m at home when I need my reset, I can help myself by lifting weights for just a few minutes. Surprisingly, it helps a lot. Other people do jumping jacks or push ups or practice yoga poses. Even a five-minute walk helps.

If you experiment some, I’m sure you’ll find several ways to reset your day in five minutes or less.  Eventually, you’ll be able to reset while doing everyday chores. Don’t laugh, but sometimes I can meditate on chopping vegetables. I joke with my kids that I’m zooming in with my soul. There’s something very soothing from the rhythmic movement of cutting through carrots and onions while knowing that I’m nurturing and nourishing myself and my family. Ok, I said don’t laugh.

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Jill Weisenberger
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a writer, nutrition consultant and speaker with a private practice in Newport News, VA, and is the author of four books, including the bestselling Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and her newest title, Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. Follow her on social media and learn more at jillweisenberger.com.