Written by: Mark Sephton, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
We all live a very strange and peculiar time in our lives, where for many of us, life looks and feels very different. The main imposter would probably be seen since COVID came into our world. Like many, I would love to send it back to where it came from and get the freedom of our lives back.
I am not enjoying the restrictions. I don’t like not being able to choose who I spend my time with and what I spend my time doing. I have worked for myself for the past 11 years. I valued and thrived under the freedom of setting my own pace and working as hard or as easy as I would like.
We all have coping strategies and hobbies that we love to take part in. It's our way of enjoying our lives and dealing with life stresses and challenges. Our way of life helps us deal with the everyday niggles we all face in life and business.
Take away my ability to play football on a Saturday morning, and it starts to affect my mood, happiness, and the way I deal with things.
Surely, many of you also have a personal story of infliction by not doing something you could do before COVID reared its ugly head. I understand the need for restrictions to stop the spread of a killer virus, but we are all affected differently. While there are substitutes for some of the things we miss, many, including me, do not enjoy a lockdown. I don’t like my choices being taken away. Most of all, I dislike not doing the things I love, especially if I think it's best for my mental health than it ever does to the risk of contracting a deadly virus.
Anyway, my point isn’t to start a debate about the lockdown, but it is about encouraging you while I also encourage myself to reset my mindset to push through this season of infliction.
When I play football, I often tell my teammates to reset throughout the game. I will shout the word reset after we’ve had a corner or the ball has gone out of play in the opposition's half. When our team gets an attacking corner, we typically leave 2 defenders back and 8 players, including the corner taker. We go to the other end of the pitch to attack the corner and try to put the ball in the net. If they fail to put the ball in the net, the play results in a goal kick to the opposition by at which point all of our players are out of position. When I shout reset, I am telling the players to get back into position before the opposition goalkeeper takes his goal kick. This ensures we don’t go from an attacking position into a defensive position without all our men being in the right place at the right time.
If you’re not familiar with football or soccer, then you will be more likely familiar with the reset button on your wifi router at home. Pressing the reset button takes the router back to its factory settings. It restores it to its natural state, and in most cases, that clears any cliches or breakdowns in communication. The reset button is essential at times to take things back to the very premise of how they were created. Reset gives you the best chance of success and preventing further problems from occurring.
During COVID, we all need to reset ourselves. I need to reset myself. If I don’t, I tend to feel edgy, anxious, depressed, concerned, overwhelmed, abandoned, and afraid. In all honesty, I have felt all of those negative emotions over the last 8 months during COVID. They do not serve me, and they do not serve you too. So, I want to share about how to reset yourself.
For me, the best way to reset myself is found in a shift in my physical environment and my mental environment. I decide on a physical place I am going to go. Once that is decided, I then decide on a mental shift in my environment too. This may be in the form of meditation or prolonged gratitude. It's a place within your own mind and soul you are just going to focus all your energy on. A physical place I may go to reset myself is a particular bench in my local park. It has a beautiful view of the water, gorgeous trees surrounding me, and so much wildlife. Nature is one of the best ways to reset yourself. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves. I may just sit quietly to start with and close my eyes. If I am fortunate to feel the sun upon my face, it gives renewed strength. I take several deep breaths, and I deliberately and consciously listen for sounds, the wind in the tree’s the sound of the birds, the geese honking, the footsteps of a passing by runner, the sound of someone on their bike, whatever the sound or noise I reference it, I accept it. I become fully present in my current state; the ability to do this will help reset our mood and outlook. It reframes your sense of purpose and gives renewed hope. From feeling of being cut off, isolated, anxious, and depressed, now I am feeling in-tune, hopeful, free, and content.
Anxiety always lives in the future, not in the present. It's about the next second, but not this second. Resetting ourselves is about getting ourselves back into our position, back to basics, back to our roots.
The mental shift in my environment quickly starts to take shape once I have immersed myself in my physical environment. Mentally, I am now primed to take myself and my thoughts to a place of strength, power, and hope. As I sit on the bench, I begin to focus on the good in my life.
Someone recently explained something very simple. It was a beautiful illustration of gratitude and its power. If you have 2 people that you recently bought a gift for and one of them said, “Thanks so much, it's beautiful, you are so sweet, I appreciate your thoughtfulness,” and the other person said, “Ah, it's not really my color, and the size is a little too big“ who would you buy another gift? Honestly, I am more likely to buy another gift for the thankful person over the other who just complained. In life, one of the fundamental reasons to be grateful is for the sole person of those around us, whether that’s people, God, the universe. Whatever it is to you is more likely to give you the things you love, want, and desire because you’re grateful over the one who’s complaining and never satisfied—something to think about.
Alongside, gratitude is the importance to understand the temporary from the permanent. We all live in a temporary phase though at times, it feels like a long, long road. I find it helpful in acknowledging and writing down where I am now and where I want to go. Francis Of Assisi said, “O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other. “ This prayer is the right way to frame this current situation we are in. It’s a beneficial exercise to name your feeling, write them down, express how you feel, and understand your feelings. It will help you know where you need to accept and where you need to be courageous.
Your ability to reset yourself will help you build resilience to the choices and restrictions we all face in some form. When you can mentally take yourself to a place where nobody can imprison or restrict you, that’s when you will have the most harmony in your life. It’s a lifetime practice; it's not mastered overnight.
Ways to reset yourself
Focus on what is true. For example, you are loved by your partner or children, or parents.
Take care of your basics, the food you feed yourself, and the amount of sleep and rest you have
Meditation and gratitude
It sounds funny, but sometimes I take a shower as a symbol of washing away the day or a negative thought.
Give yourself a day off, do nothing, be in nature, lose yourself.
Exercise, do some weights, go for a run.
Always get dressed, even if you have zoom meetings all day, put your perfume on
Remember the body-mind lead. By doing something physical, your body will lead your mind to a better place.
Take time to breathe.
Whatever resetting yourself looks like, it's so important to do it. While we may have restrictions in terms of where we can go and whom we can see, nobody can restrict your thoughts, and your thoughts are what give you power and help you feel connected, loved, and reset. This too shall pass.
Mark Sephton, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Mark Sephton is a personal mentor to entrepreneurs. His mission to help others has seen him break into global markets while working with startups and millionaire entrepreneurs worldwide. Mark's love for entrepreneurship has been expressed through serving as TV host of the show "One More Round." When not on the big screen, Mark is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a speaker for corporate events, entrepreneurship summits, and major conferences worldwide. His expertise in personal and professional development has positioned him as an expert in the industry, resulting in transformational experiences for audiences, clients, and businesses alike.