Find Your “Reset Button”…

Find Your “Reset Button”

I went hiking this morning. It was a short hike, only five and a half miles, but it was enough—enough to push my reset button.

I often feel that my racing mind and body needs a reset, a clean slate, to be renewed. The New Year is always a very concrete pillar in time that promotes everyone to “push their reset buttons.” The New Year brings a new YOU—a fresh motivation, a chance to wipe away all the dirt of the previous year and launch into your better self.

Here is the problem though: the New Year only happens once a year. As time ticks on for the next 364 days, you lose that beginning motivation, that drive to be better. Your habits and old ways leak back in, and come February (or March, if you are lucky), you are back to needing a reset. For the rest of the year, you are playing catchup, feeling rushed, or watching Netflix to pass any free moments that you previously promised yourself would be used for self-improvement.

I went hiking this morning. I have discovered through my own self-exploration that hiking (even a short one) acts as my reset button. It gets me away from my busy life, away from other people, away from technology. It puts the pace of the natural world in perspective—it puts my time on this Earth in perspective.

I get urges, almost like my brain feels itchy, to reset my mind and body very often. When I say “reset,” I mean a deep cleaning, like taking a long shower after rolling in a mud pit. With three different freelance jobs, my schedule gets very hectic and I spend a lot of time driving. Driving means listening to the radio; the news. Hearing constantly how badly our society is treating each other and the Earth is very degrading. I am left feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of our problems, by the guilt of how little I can do directly to fix these problems, and by the number of ideas I have but do not or cannot implement—in the end, I write about them. Overall, I may get this urge to reset at least three times a week.

What I am getting at here is this: I do not hike three times a week. I choose other activities that fail to press my reset button fully, like going to the gym, reading, writing, or doing nothing at all. Of course, all of these activities I enjoy and they help me survive every week with my sanity. But what if I was able to fulfill my “reset urge” every time I had it? How could that improve my mental health?

Find what your reset-button-activity is. Record how often you get these urges in a day or a week. Determine if there is a pattern. Plan for them. Experiment with fulfilling that urge every time it arises. Obviously going hiking three times a week would be hard with a nine to five work schedule, but then again…there are 24 hours in a day. If you really want it, you can make it happen.

The power for a reset in your life does not have to rely on the relationship between December 30th and January 1st. If you incorporate reset moments more frequently, reassess your goals, define what success means to YOU, life will feel a lot more manageable. You will be able to see more positive change towards the life you want to have. You will feel successful more often, which will fuel your motivation. Self-exploration is incredibly important. Be strong and go show the world what you’ve got!


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Lea Fetterman


Lea Fetterman is a violinist and music teacher in the Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Victoria with…

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