Most of you know that I work full-time.
No, not just on the blog and my social media management business.
I also have a full on full-time job in Corporate Affairs & Communications, which not only provides me with experience, but also pays the bills!
I’ve written about it before in my 7 Tips for Blogging Time Management post, but having a full-time blog (which comes with various commitments), working full-time in a 9-5 job, PLUS trying to fit in time for family, friends, exercise and general well being, can be seriously tough work.
This is why I feel that it’s really, really important to set myself up with a weekly, and weekend routine that assists me in reducing the stress and troubles that are associated with working crazy hours and being pulled in every direction.
So that you can peak a little into my life and see how I manage my stress, I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I do to minimise stress throughout my working week.
Note: These are stress minimising steps that work for me, but may not be for everyone. Make sure that you spend time finding out what works best for YOU!
HAVE A RELAXING SUNDAY
If you work Monday-Friday and have weekends off, then use Sunday’s as a day to really relax, unwind and de-stress.
I find that my Saturday’s are normally crammed FULL of activities, errands to run and things to do. By the time Sunday morning rolls around, my body tells me to stay put in bed, and chill the heck out. And it’s right.
There’s no use running yourself to the ground on weekends, only to have it roll around to Monday and there you have it – you’re back to square one with a busy working week.
Use Sunday’s to sleep in, read a book, do meal prep or just take your dog to the park. Use Sunday’s as a day off from your usual workout routine as well, and truly give your body a day off from all forms of exercise (it’ll thank you for it, trust me).
Unless I’m travelling, I generally spend my Sunday’s doing all the above and try to perch myself at home for most of the day. I’ll set my goals for the week, but I’ll never prep my weekly diary until Monday morning. Why? Because by already setting your mind to thinking about the new week and all the things you have to do – you’re defeating the purpose of having a relaxing Sunday off!
Save the admin work for early Monday morning when you’re fresh-faced and actually ready to tackle the tasks you’re about to give yourself.
EXERCISE OFTEN, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
I’ve mentioned it previously, but exercise really is key to preventing stress in my life.
By doing some form of it everyday (Sunday’s I tend to just take the dog to the dog park, nothing intense), I find that it really does reduce the little stresses that may pop up each day.
I’ll generally work out every morning at my local F45 – and I love it! Doing 45 minute interval sessions is beneficial for a variety of reasons, and doing it so early in the day before work means that it’s out of the way, and I am setting myself up for a good day.
Trust me, some mornings it’s really hard to wake up so early and motivate myself to get out of bed (we all have those days), but once the workouts done and you’re wide awake before most people in the world, it really is the best feeling.
If you’re not an early exerciser and want to be, then try and prepare yourself as much as you can the night before. Lay your clothes out, get your drink bottle filled and ready – have everything literally beside your bed, so it’s the first thing you see when you wake up.
It’s important also to mention that over-exercising can actually cause you and your body, A LOT of stress. At first, you won’t notice it, but suddenly, you’ll find that you’re becoming more tired, less attentive, crabby and sometimes physically sick with the flu or other symptoms. This is your body trying to tell you that somethings not right and it’s run down.
So remember, sometimes its OK to swap that afternoon boxing session or run, for time on the couch with the Kardashians or a good book.
EAT WELL – MEAL PREP IS KEY
It took me a while to realise that meal prep really is important, and the key to reducing stress throughout the week.
By prepping your meals on a Sunday or early in the week, you’re setting yourself up with more time in the morning to get ready for work, or fit in that workout session, as your lunch and snacks are all ready to go! I will tend to either prep my lunches either the night before, or on Sunday.
Eating well and eating often, is also super important. Fueling your body with food that is going to nourish you, fill you up and provide you with the right nutrients is going to ensure that your mind, muscles and overall body is happy.
A couple of weeks ago I went to a health and wellness seminar presented by Dr Libby Weaver, a well know Australian Holistic Nutrition Specialist who said something I will never forget (and backed it up with scientific research to support).
She said “If we all knew more about how our bodies worked, then we would look after them a lot better than we are today”. And she’s so right – the more we learn about our own bodies, and what foods work for us and make us feel good, the more motivated we would be to eat right all the time.
If you want to learn more about this, her new book Women’s Wellness Wisdom is what you need to get your hands on!
TAKE YOUR ALLOCATED LUNCH BREAK AT WORK
Lunch breaks are something that I love. Not because it means I can leave the office, but because it means that I can take a chance to get some fresh air, clear my head and ready myself for an afternoon of work.
Lunch breaks at work really are important not only so you can eat a proper meal, but also so you can take a break, and refresh yourself for the afternoon. You’re no use to yourself and your workplace if you burn yourself out by working a straight 8 hour day with no break! No matter how busy you are, at least take 15-20 minutes to step outside and get some fresh air. It’ll do you wonders.
It’s always important to treat yourself, especially on those days when you’re not feeling so good. I love buying myself a bunch of fresh flowers, or heading home from work and slapping on a face mask in my pj’s.
Doing these sorts of ‘treat yo self’ activities, and literally treating yourself to something from you for YOU, is so crucial to keeping a balance in your life. After all, your number one priority should always be you, before anything else. When you are able to look after yourself, then you are able to help others and contribute more to life.
I think it’s really important to implement some sort of stress reliever plan into your life, so you know exactly what you can do when you’re feeling a little under the pump and blown out.
Like I said, these tactics may work, or may not work for you; but spend some time getting to know what truly does work, and what’ll help you get through those tough and stressful times.
What things do you do to reduce stress from your week? Comment below and let me know!