Something I do a little more often than probably is normal is attempt to reset my whole life or attitude. Sort of like a back-date reset on those shabby, big desktop computers which always makes me think of suffocating someone with some good, old-fashioned chloroform. A lot less dramatic though, I promise.
I try to ‘reset’ almost every summer which is pretty comical but equally a bit questioning seeing as I clearly bottle things up a little too much, resulting in me needing a cathartic refresh every time I get a couple months to myself. However, in moderation, I think this is a necessary part of life and it can really help you reflect internally to properly evaluate what’s going well in your life and what isn’t.
So I’d like to share some of my favourite ways to ‘reset’ and review them all in terms of how effective they are for me:
- Abolishing Your Social Media Presence
I did this one last summer because I felt a little intoxicated by social interaction and contact. Also, I was sort of struggling on a personal level with lots of stressful things upcoming in the next academic year (UKCAT, BMAT, UCAS, university, etc.) and rethinking all my life choices, which was why I chose to go about my summer in a very private way. A huge advantage of deleting social media is the fact that you don’t have to see what other people are up to and I think this is something incredibly draining on a mental level, particularly at this sort of vulnerable age as all pictures and posts can be so well chosen to show the most perfect aspects of someone’s life. Honestly, I’m a huge advocate of this in everyday life and even just reducing your time on social media can be beneficial. Although, I think I’ve reached the point in my life where I truly feel unaffected by what other people are doing and also I know how blessed I am as I have every opportunity under the sun throughout the year to do exciting things and just because I’m not doing it at that particular time doesn’t change anything.
On the other hand, I will be the first to admit that social media is so much fun sometimes! In certain cases, I love seeing what other people are doing and it’s an outlet for creativity as much as it’s a platform for flaunting.
Overall, I’d have to rate it a solid 6/10. In my experience, it wasn’t as satisfying as I had expected it to be which was disappointing and I think that was due to some level of boredom as I couldn’t annoy my friends on a variety of different platforms (as I had abandoned my use of Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter).
Overall rating: 6/10
Would she do it again? Maybe but only if I’m really stuck in a rut and hating everyone, but I don’t think it’s a favourite for the foreseeable future
2. New Haircut, New Wardrobe, New Me
So retail therapy was my main way of finding balance in my life again after exams and I have zero regrets about the amount of stuff I bought. To compensate, however, I did go through my wardrobe and donate a huge amount of clothes to charity because that’s a part of the rejuvenation process as much as buying new stuff is. I also had my hair cut super short, very reminiscent of 6-year-old Malaikah dancing in the sun, pigtails in, that cute little denim jacket with the gold trim hanging off my shoulders. Man, those were the days. In the days since all this, I am loving my hair (I had it cut when it was straightened and when I leave it natural, it’s even shorter!) and my new wardrobe makes me feel like a child of the sun. I mean, it’s not a huge change really but I just needed new things as I was getting sick of wearing the same clothes day in, day out and in the beautiful weather recently, it’s been a treat wearing new, pretty clothes.
The main advantage for me was that it made me feel new again and reignited my love for dressing up but it did kind of remind me that I don’t really have anything to dress up for. Regardless though, it’s so much fun to focus your energy on something else and to build and develop your own sense of style.
The downside for sure is money! There is no magic money tree (too right Theresa was about this) and it’s not in everyone’s budget to go on a shopping spree for the sake of resetting your life. I think an alternative to this may be to splurge on maybe one particularly nice item that you’ve either been eyeing up for a while or something impulsive that catches your eye which you could treat as a staple piece to centre a bunch of outfits around, which is also super fun in my opinion.
This is my favourite, easy way of resetting to be honest and the reality remains that I am eager to cut my hair dramatically after every minor inconvenience in my life, but saving it for those big moments makes it more memorable.
Overall rating: 8/10
Would she do it again? I will indeed be doing this repeatedly throughout my life.
3. Liberation by Vacation
This one is really out there but amazing if you have the funds and the time for it: go on holiday! Honestly, I can imagine nothing better than spending a few days in a different country, exploring the culture and the cuisine, making new friends and memories, feeling freedom on another level. I live for it. If I could visit new places all the time I’d be extremely happy, but of course, travelling requires a lot of preparation beforehand (though any number of the last minute trips I’ve been on with my family in the past would suggest otherwise) and can seem like a very daunting process.
The main downside is that it can be expensive travelling. This isn’t always true though, because there are a lot of sites and emailing lists dedicated to find you the cheapest flights, many of which I’m signed up to. Also I’d suggest looking at Google Flights, Skyscanner and Momondo which have done me well in the past. Skyscanner especially has an option for finding the absolute cheapest flights out of an airport at any time of year so if you’re not tight on time then that’s a great option and Google Flights has a very cool price graph, which you’ll find me perusing for the majority of my day because you never know where or when you can find a good deal!
Despite all that, accommodation, food and rental cars can be quite expensive in their own right so a good alternative to going abroad can be to stay at home and explore around the area you live. For example, we weren’t able to plan a holiday abroad for summer this year so we decided on heading to either Scotland or London next month, which can be equally as fun, as long as you’re surrounded by good people.
I would say that going on holiday is one of my favourite things to do and I’ve been so incredibly lucky because I have been able to travel so much, especially these past few years when I’ve been old enough to properly appreciate and acknowledge the beauty of the world. In terms of a resetting mechanism, it’s effective because it puts your own life into perspective for you, in particular when you visit very different countries than you’d think of visiting.
Overall rating: 9/10
Would she do it again? Absolutely, 100%, package me in a box and ship me off for a while, please.
I’ve racked my brain for anything else I’ve used in the past to refresh my life but this is it I think. In reality, total resets aren’t something you want to be doing a whole lot of the time (unless you’re into that kind of thing, in which case go for it I guess) and I have tried and tested these methods over many years.
Wishing you success in spicing up your life,