Burn it all down. It’s not a mantra I’d usually expect from myself. My chosen positive affirmations have an element of lightness and a spirit of ease. I have a gift for finding the beauty in everything. I can open my heart to others. But as July came to a close and I decided to embark on an August reset, I knew: to come back to myself, I needed a completely different approach.
The last few weeks have been filled with self-contempt. My creativity has withered, my inspiration has waned, and my productivity has slowed to a non-existent stop. All of it came to a head with a particularly bad bout of Covid. Amidst the coughing and fatigue, I layered on another obstacle to navigate: unrelenting critique. First came the symptoms, followed swiftly by You should respond to those emails. You aren’t that sick. You’re being lazy.
The irony wasn’t lost on me. Clearly, the universe wanted to give me space to learn who I was apart from my utility, function, and productivity—i.e., when I physically couldn’t get out of bed. Realizing I’d had enough, and thankful for the alignment of the end of July, I knew: I would allow this desire to be gentler and kinder to myself to inspire my August reset. I’d burn it all down and emerge softer and ready to rediscover a more forgiving version of myself.
Featured image from our interview with Brandy Joy Smith by Michelle Nash.
How to Know If You Need a Reset
We’ve all been there. It’s that feeling of plowing forward without looking back—moving at breakneck speed only to feel like it’s never enough. It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and the cause of so much self-doubt. When it feels like you’re putting everything you have on the line, but the product isn’t matching up.
Sometimes, it just takes a little pivot to find your way out.
Recently, Camille instilled a new approach of simplicity into every area of her life. From work to wellness to her relationships and obligations—I’m seeing the positive impact of slowing down in real-time. It’s a reminder that no matter how stuck we feel, any period of stagnation or burnout doesn’t have to be a permanent state of being. Sometimes, it just takes a little pivot to find your way out.
If you’re not sure whether or not you’re in need of an August reset, try asking yourself the following:
- Where is my energy? Do I feel scattered and overwhelmed, or calm and collected?
- How are my relationships? Is it easy for me to connect with others and to feel supported?
- How do I feel about myself? Am I proud of the work I’m putting in and the results I’m getting out?
- Where am I in relation to my goals? Am I making progress toward the things that feel meaningful to me?
If the focus and intention you’re putting into each day align with what you’re getting out of it, keep following that energy! Otherwise, an August reset could be exactly what you need.
August Reset Intentions
No matter the month, if you’re looking to enter a space of growth and change, it’s helpful to let intentions guide your way. Below, I’m sharing some of the intentions I’m setting this August to shape my path forward. May they provide a grounding direction and jumping-off point for all you want to bring into your life in the month ahead.
I will experience rest.
No matter the tasks or to-do’s, remember: you can create space for rejuvenating, replenishing rest. Just as there are times in our lives when we’ll have the energy and inspiration to go forth into the world, there will be others when the best thing we can do for ourselves is go inward, get quiet, and be still.
I will simplify where I can.
Take Camille’s lead. Oftentimes, we do our best work when have the space to direct our attention strategically. Identify what can wait until tomorrow, the next week, or the next month. Instead, pour your energy into what will give you the greatest sense of fulfillment during this season in your life. That goes for work, social invites, relationships—anything and everything.
I will do the exercise that supports my body and life best.
Maybe you were a die-hard runner a couple of months ago, but you’re connecting more with low-impact exercise. Or, perhaps you’re craving the freedom and weightlessness that comes with immersing yourself in a body of water. (It is summer, after all.) No matter what workouts are trending online, do what feels juicy, empowering, and energizing for you right now. It doesn’t have to be glamorous—it just has to feel good.
I will practice routines that honor my truth.
After a particularly reflective conversation with my partner the other day, we both realized we’re craving a major slowdown in our lives. Amidst tons of travel and general summer busyness, we’re both wanting a schedule that feels easy and open. The things we want more of are just about as unglamorous as can be: more walks in the neighborhood, bike rides along the lake, reading next to each other with our cats, cooking together, watching our favorite TV shows, going to the gym. I’ve discovered that what feels good for me is very rarely what looks exciting or interesting on social media. Instead, I’m prioritizing the little, quiet routines that never fail to leave me feeling whole.
I will find beauty in the life all around me.
PSA: Changing your life is often a matter of switching your perspective. We don’t need more money, a new job, a tighter body, a bigger house—anything to make a positive difference for ourselves. Instead, as I’ve long believed, the answers lie within us already. We just have to know where to look. So get quiet, pull out a journal, and commit to seeing, honoring, and celebrating the beautiful life that’s yours to enjoy already. What does that look like in practice? Go to the farmers markets, play in the kitchen with fresh produce, fill your house with flowers, read books for pleasure, wear colorful outfits, and romanticize your life every day. Trust me, that’s the ultimate August reset.