Sometimes, everything seems complicated, as if the world were working against me. I feel stressed, out of sorts, cranky, and not the least bit creative. My coffee even tastes terrible! When I attempt solutions, they fall flat. Clients don’t call back, emails get stuck in the outbox, and I spill breakfast on my favorite shirt; it’s not a great day.
Like any other person, I’m not too fond of these moments. They feel endless, pointless, and overwhelming. Also, like everyone else, I must work, take care of my family, and keep moving forward. During these mini-breakdown sessions, I feel trapped by negativity and desperate to get away from the projects and deadlines so I can take a breath and reset.
As we all know, those breaks are not practical or doable during a busy work week. Deadlines don’t care if you’re feeling stressed; as they say, the show must go on. Out of sheer desperation to feel better, I developed a go-to ritual to reset my mind and body when I feel the world closing in.
It’s a simple task; I put my bare feet on the earth. It does not matter what the size 9 piece of earth is covered in, be it pavement, small summer-baked stones, sand, snow, or concrete. The only rule is bare feet on the earth.
I go outside, strip off my shoes and socks and put my feet on the ground. Without fail, I feel better. Something about the ground's solidity, temperature, and texture pulls me out of any funk. I wiggle my toes, take a couple of deep breaths, dust off my feet, put my shoes on and head back into my life with a fresh, calmer perspective.
I came across this simple self-care intervention one hot afternoon on one of “those” days. My boss was unhappy and blowing up my phone, my husband needed help with his tasks, and I had somehow gotten a flat tire while sitting in the parking lot.
I got out of my car, walked to the office, and paused to answer an angry text in the shade of the building. At that moment, I slipped my flats off and stood barefooted on the cool concrete of the sidewalk. It was like a breath of fresh air. My mood improved, and I felt like I would make it after all.
The memory of the relief I felt that day burned itself in my brain, and moving forward, anytime I felt overwhelmed or was having a bad day, I’d find a way to put my feet on the earth. Simple, practical, and lovely.
As it turns out, there are others with reset rituals too. I found a few famous people that have destressing activities. Actress Zendaya colors, Keanu Reeves, gives money away, Angelina Jolie jumps on the trampoline, and the late singer Leonard Cohen shaves his face.
All unique and personal solutions to a bad day!
When stress becomes too much to bear, and life seems unfair, what do you do to feel better? What is your reset ritual, and where did it come from?