When things get stressful and you need to get it together, feel better, and just reset, push your RESET button!

When I worked with children who had been through domestic violence, we would teach them to reset by putting their finger on their noses. When they would notice themselves getting upset they would put their finger on their (nose) reset button to remind them to take a deep breath and to reset.

Children who have been through the stress of violence often have difficulty regulating emotions, so this was a good exercise. It didn’t always work, but if we could get them to breathe and step back for a second, it often would be a better outcome. Adults also go through stress, anxiety, tension, and have difficulty regulating emotions. We can also push our reset button.

Ani Difranco has a line in one of her songs that says, “There’s a bathroom in a gas station and I’ve locked myself in it to think.” I used to love that line- I still love that line- because sometimes we do need to lock ourselves in a bathroom to have time away, to think, to breathe, and essentially, to reset.

This is a blog to encourage writing for mental health- right? So, we’re also going to write. I want to encourage you to use your reset button. If you feel silly putting your finger on your nose, maybe you put it on your chin, figure out something for you to be able to reset.


Think of a time recently when you were upset and needed to reset. Maybe thinking about it makes you upset all over again. If so, that’s okay, but reset.

List things from around you, in your environment in the moment when you are upset. Focus on place, what do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Notice all around you and write those details down. In between those descriptions, weave in the situation or your feelings about the situation. Include a mix of details and description with what the stressful scene was about.

Write this and reset. Try to (at least periodically) breathe deeply as you write through it and definitely at the end, breathe.

I have been selected to write a poem every day (30 poems in 30 days) for the month of September as a fundraising effort for Tupelo Press, which is a small press I admire. For the poem I post on Wednesday, I will write from this prompt above. Please tune in to Tupelo Press 30/30 on Wednesday to read my poem for inspiration or just to see what I did with the prompt. The Tupelo Press is listed below then click on the 30/30 Project after 10:30 am Tuesday September 1.

And if you would like to donate to motivate me to write write write and to support Tupelo Press, send me your address and I will send you some cool stuff and write some great poems.

Here is the link to donate to Tupelo Press:

And if you would like to join us in writing every week, please follow this blog. Come, write your butterfly.

Be well,

Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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