DR. LASHAUNDA POINDEXTER MASSEY
FROM THE MIND OF A MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT
Performing a Personal Hard Reset
It’s 40 days into the New Year. How is your “New Year, new me going?” Let me guess. Your hot start towards all things new has simmered down as you are drenched with many old things that still blur your view, garner your attention, or outright stop you in your tracks. Your focused has waned as you juggle all the balls, including the new ones, that you have in the air. My troubleshooting tip:
Perform a HARD RESET!
Step 1: Unplug
Truly disconnect from all duties and responsibilities for a dedicated amount of time. This the RESET. Be careful not to refer to this down time as “doing nothing.” Nothing is defined as having no prospect of progress; of no value. If you’re involved in something that has no value, you are highly likely to replace it with something
that has value. This puts you at risk of sacrificing your much needed down time to fill a request or to give in to an urge to “be productive.” Your time unplugged should be filled with refueling activities that you can identify by name. Here are a few suggestions: resting, reading my new book, or organizing my lady loft. That last one may have made you laugh, but it is important to designate a place in your home that is quiet, peaceful, and inviting where you can retreat to rejuvenate and relax on a regular.
Acknowledge any feelings of guilt or uncertainty that arise so that we can address those later. Identify the positive feelings that arise from having time for yourself. Before you plug back in, complete step 2.
Step 2: Evaluate Connections
Take a close look at the things you were plugged into before your time away and determine the parameters of plugging in again. This is the HARD. You’ve likely heard it said, “Choose your hard” implying there’s an element of hard in everything you do. Well yes, but I caution you to consider that not all “hard” is created equal. You must improve your skills on how to choose what you will commit to at any given time. In choosing your hard ask yourself these two questions: “At what cost?” and “For what gain?” What you have to give is not infinite and saying yes to something inevitably means saying no to something else. All too often the no becomes related to the time you have to care for self. Be as mindful as you can of what goes into fulfilling a yes (time, effort, context, etc.) and what freedom you have to set the parameters.
Step 3: Establish Rules of Engagement
Self discipline can be a challenge and you need a detailed plan of action! I’m sure you set goals for the New Year, but did you layout the timeline and action steps? Did you identify checkpoints and benchmarks to track your progress vs limiting your view to goal completion as the only important factor? Did you include things that bring you joy, promote peace, and provide rest
and relaxation in your plan for engagement? In order for this hard reset to be successful, self care must be central. No longer can self care be the thing we struggle to “fit in” to our appropriately busy (because who’s wasting time on meaningless tasks) schedules. It must become the central component of our existence that we work everything else around daily. This is no easy task so be willing to write down your plan and re-evaluate it regularly. Remember that you have many commitments and priorities, and plans associated with each cannot be siloed. Create your “motherboard” allowing you to readily assess how sections of your life are interconnected, inform one another, and consume your energy.
THE ELEMENTS OF DR. MASSEY
“Mental illness is not the problem. Untreated mental illness is the problem.”
“I want to live what I teach in session. You have to DO the work.”
Does racism have an impact on the mental health of African Americans? Are you searching for ways to become an ally in this climate of unrest? Dr. Massey has solutions for those questions and more in her latest article in the Daily Memphian. Click HERE to access this pertinent information!