How a “Reset Day” Can Make a Total Difference for Your Mind and Home

published May 9, 2024
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Reset day
Credit: Kadna Anda

We’re spotlighting the link between how we feel on the inside and how our spaces look and feel in our Mind, Body & Home collection. This content is presented by DoorDash; it was created independently by our editorial team.

With the increasingly blurred lines between work and home life and the challenge of tempering a hectic schedule with intentional living, paying attention to how you use your time is more important than ever. Building in time for things that fall through the cracks makes the difference between scrambling to catch up and feeling confident that everything will get the attention it needs. 

This doesn’t only apply to the necessary to-dos like chores, getting your steps in, or making those doctors’ appointments. It’s even more important to carve out time for one of the most important things: spending time doing the things that make you feel happy and whole. 

Since I’ve started budgeting my time and using a block schedule, I’ve been making a concerted effort to make time for a reset day every week and to tweak it so that it’s as restorative as possible. A reset day involves refreshing both home and mind, which so often go together. 

Reset days are an integral part of a sustainable weekly routine because they allow you to “catch up and fill up.” Catching up involves checking off those tasks that you couldn’t get to earlier in the week. Knowing you’ll have a chance to complete these removes the pressure of having to do all the things perfectly every day. Didn’t get to schedule that appointment today? No problem; it’s penciled in for reset day. 

Additionally, being able to reschedule loose ends for reset day permits you to move on to your next activity of the day without feeling behind. Rather than eating into your daily rest time to finish the laundry, for example, you’re able to enjoy your space and time in peace because even though that chore isn’t done yet, there’s a plan for it. 

Reset days are also for attending to yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as the saying goes, but without purposefully setting aside the time to fill that cup, it’s too easy to keep running on fumes. Restoring yourself by doing whatever it is that recharges you, on the other hand, makes you feel whole and happy so that you can show up as your best self for both your responsibilities and the ones you love.

Finally, having time for restoration, whatever that means for you, is motivating. No matter where in your week your reset day falls, having it to look forward to helps you finish what you need to get done that might not be as enjoyable. It’s always encouraging to see that light at the end of the tunnel you’re going through!

As I’ve been experimenting with my own reset days, I’ve found that I prefer to have them on Fridays. This way, I can get the home reasonably in order before my family spends time together on the weekend. It also allows me to be more present with my kids rather than looking for time for myself when it’s harder to come by. 

Here are some examples of what a few of my reset days have looked like:

Reset Day Example 1

  • Catch up on chores like mopping the kitchen floors or washing family room blankets
  • Exercise (no excuses)
  • Get some yard work done, which is relaxing and satisfying for me 
  • Read for an hour before the kids come home
  • Take a well-deserved bath

Reset Day Example 2

  • Pick up items that are out of place and put them in a laundry basket to deal with later
  • Do some returns that I’ve put off all week (and feel so much better that they’re not hanging over me!)
  • Clean up the clothes that have been strewn all over my bedroom floor for weeks
  • Go on a walk 
  • Do something to prep dinner or weekend food for future me

Reset Day Example 3

  • Clean up the kids’ rooms for them as a surprise while I listen to an audiobook 
  • Work on a long-term organizing project that I rarely have time for, such as straightening up the garage or going through a box from the attic
  • Alternatively, do a small organizing project that I can complete in less than an hour, such as going through my junk drawer or tidying the pantry 
  • Plan to go out to eat or have takeout so I don’t have to cook 
  • Enjoy a spa day at home

Reset Day Example 4

  • Get out of the house so I’m not tempted to do any housework
  • Browse a local nursery, go to a coffee shop to read or research a fun project, or visit a friend 

Reset days can follow the same format every week, which can eliminate decision fatigue, but they can also be open-ended so you can truly do whatever you want to do to feel reset. One especially busy week, you can spend a reset day getting your home in order. Another week, you may need to take a short nap with the dogs on the couch. Although reset days will look different for everyone and may even look different week to week, everyone can benefit from dedicated time for resetting their home, their mind, or both at once.