On paper, a ‘Sunday reset’ sounds like a pretty good idea.
You’ve no doubt spent the rest of the weekend burning the candle at both ends, while that life admin has been piling up.
The Sunday resent is all about setting yourself up for the week ahead. One scroll on Instagram and TikTok, and you’ll find a never-ending stream of influencers sharing their reset routines.
It starts with a 5am wakeup (who wants eight hours sleep, anyway?) before they don a uniformed sports bra and flattering tracksuit bottoms, and start blending their green juices in their Nutribullets.
The videos usually involve journaling, before running a cloth over their already immaculate home in the name of ‘deep cleaning’.
Artfully filmed shots of three different ice cube trays being restocked will also grace your phone screen – because different shaped ice cubes are the only way one can possibly tackle a Monday.
Yes, some people might genuinely enjoy spending their final day of freedom like this, but as I watch these TikToks, I feel far from inspired.
In one video, a creator says she ‘allows’ herself just one hour to be ‘lazy’. On a Sunday.
ive truly found that living in a clutter free home has significantly reduced my anxiety. Does anyone else feel this way? #sundayreset #sundayroutine #lifestyle #dailyvlog #cleangirl #cleantok #aestheticapartment #morningroutine #resetroutine #cleanwithme #vlog
Why should we be aspiring to spend our Sundays in a way that, for many of us, is unrealistic? Not to mention those of us who have children, social lives or commitments that prevent us dedicating hours to preparing for the week ahead.
But, despite this, #sundayreset has an eye-watering 2.4 billion views on TikTok with people eagerly watching young women re-organise their entire life from top-to-bottom.
For author Julio Vincent Gambuto, who has become an authority on wellness in the digital age, the concept of the Sunday reset on social media is an unrealistic ideology for many.
His latest book, Please Unsubscribe, Thanks! focuses on ‘how to take back our time, attention and purpose in a world designed to bury us in bulls**t’. And he’s best known for his viral essay series ‘Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting’ which reached 21 million readers.
Julio goes so far as to tell Metro.co.uk that the true concept of a Sunday reset has become so pressured that it actually drains us of our energy for the week.
He says: ‘It’s important to draw a distinction between resetting that truly allows you to restore your mental, emotional, and physical energy, and resetting that zaps it or that actually winds you up to be more efficient and productive.
covid or not, a sunday reset must go on👏🏼☁️🤍 #sunday #sundayreset #clean #cleantok #cleaning #cleaningmotivation #motivation #routine #sundayroutine #aesthetic #inspo #cleanhome
‘For a long time, I “did meal prep” on Sundays. I was working out a lot. I would cook (really unappetizing meals) for the week (I’m a terrible cook) and get every T crossed and I dotted to make sure I was ready for the upcoming sprint from Monday to Friday.
‘It seemed like a healthy exercise, but it was only re-enforcing the idea that the week is a race, and I must win it. That’s not wellness. At some point, that’s psychotic.’
Julio goes on to say that this regimented productivity and efficiency are ‘business aims’ which are not necessarily always ‘aligned with our natural instincts to explore, discover, celebrate, or enjoy — life, people, food, the world around us’.
He adds: ‘Yes, sometimes you’ve just got to do what you got to do. I get it. Especially if you’re a parent. But a practice that might serve us well is to ask: am I doing this to reset in order to restore or am I doing it in the name of efficiency and productivity?’
But it doesn’t mean that the intentions behind the core idea of the Sunday reset are bad. In fact, the idea of a Sunday reset has been around for thousands of years.
Julio tells Metro: ‘It is our modern way of re-creating the Sabbath—a day of the week to step away and rest. But rest is not reset, reset is not rest.
‘The truth is that sometimes we just need a nap. Or quiet. Or a day to do nothing. And it’s time to stop feeling bad about that. We are human. That’s a beautiful thing to be.’
As Julio rightly points out modern life can be taxing and ‘relentless’ so ‘any effort to share and spread wellness is to be applauded’. The toxicity of the Sunday routine stems from a lack of respect for genuine rest.
He says: ‘The trouble with social media’s idea of wellness is that it keeps us “always on.” We go to social media for ideas. We follow along. We create our own memes and videos to share our routines.
‘Even if we are there in the name of wellness, we take the bait way too easily from these systems, and we wind up negating much of the wellness we are trying to cultivate.
The perfect Sunday #sundayroutine #sundayreset
‘True wellness starts when we unsubscribe from the notion of “always on.” Let’s be sometimes on and sometimes off. Remember, these systems need us. We don’t need them.’
In the comment section of these Sunday reset wellness videos you’ll be guaranteed to find numerous comments asking where to purchase the items owned by the influencer.
Instead of focusing on wellness, Julio points out that we ‘get stuck in the shopping mall of it all’.
He says: ‘Many of these social media posts include products — cleaning products, skincare products, self-care goods and services and planning apps.
‘They’re not the primary focal point, necessarily, but they’re there. And so what may have started with very noble intentions—the sharing of wellness strategies to combat the relentless of modern life—at some point gets warped and becomes very fertile ground for consumer marketing.
‘Embracing calm and quiet and allowing ourselves to truly reset means stepping away from the constant drumbeat of: “Buy more sh*t.”
‘All you need to be well is you. (And, yes, maybe a doctor and a dentist at some point.) That’s a hard idea to embrace in an age of constant consumption.’
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