De-stress your stressful week

Wow! This week has been another busy one! I write and read the travel bulletins in the afternoon for Glasgow and the West on Clyde 1 and this week my colleague, Cassi who does the same as me in the morning on the breakfast show was in Santorini (lucky for some!) so that meant….hello split shifts!

If you’re like me and are always very busy – or have a particularly full-on week that could potentially get stressful (try breakfast travel, straight to uni to work on a degree you’re finishing next month, back to work to get on with essays for deadlines THIS week and then afternoon travel… yeah, could get pretty stressy!) then this post is perfect for you.

It’s all about time management, cooling down and staying positive. And NOT stressing!

Get plenty rest

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So, this week everyday my alarm has been set for 4:15am – eeeeeeek! To most, the thought of even having to move a foot out of bed then (unless it’s for a holiday) is one that sends an eery shiver down their spine. And that used to be the case for me! I covered breakfast shows last year as well, and trust me I got myself so stressed out overthinking  when to sleep, eat, exercise- under think it always! You’re getting up at the back of 4am? Go to bed earlier, your body will thank you that you’ve had enough sleep. In Calm, one of my favourite books by Michael Acton Smith, it is recommended that we get 7 hours per night, and so I would go to my bed at around 9 o’clock, but because it’s light outside now and the kids were out playing I probably would get to sleep about 10 every night, so I knew my body was going to get treated right overnight.

I you think negatively about the day ahead before it’s even started (“I can’t be bothered getting up”, “I don’t want to go to work”, “why is everyone else still in bed and I have to be up?”) then I’m sorry, but your day will be negative. You’ll be off to a negative start, and the likelihood is that everything else will follow in a negative fashion – like a domino effect. If you awaken with a positive mindset, up with the rising sun, then I can assure you, the day will run a lot more smoothly.

I used to get up in the morning and stress – what will I wear? Is my bag packed for today do I have everything? I now make sure before I go to bed when I’m on double shifts that I prepare the next day’s clothes and pack my bag so I’m all set and no negative thoughts or headaches can come in the morning when I get up. Oh, but I’m always hungry… Which brings me to my next thing… Do I have my food?

Don’t forget to eat (but eat the right things!)

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This is so important! As a petite girl who exercises a lot, I eat a LOT! When I was covering breakfast shifts last year though, I ate all of the wrong stuff, and lost out on money and felt sluggish as a result. I would typically have a cereal bar about 4:45am, some tea or coffee during my shift, finish the breakfast show at 10am and then have a second breakfast – and by that time of day my body had been awake for six hours and was craving lunch-y type foods, so if I felt like a sandwich I would have one. By the time afternoon came I would quite often snack on crisps, chocolate, breadsticks and walk across to the shopping centre for a Greggs, Subway or McDonald’s! I justified it by saying “but I’ve been up since 4 and I’m not finishing till 7pm tonight so for one week it’s ok” – it’s totally NOT! On the other end of the scale, some day sI was so busy going to and from work, home and university that I would barely eat at all and I would get stomach pains, headaches and feel extremely tired. The other thing is, I always needed a nap in the afternoon doing a split shift and I would be knackered after it, but this time – I was so awake because I planned, timed and ate well!

In terms of eating, what I would advise is meal prepping – preparing all (or a lot of) your food for the next day or couple of days when you can. I’m going to write a separate post on that, so I won’t go right into it but basically I would make as many meals as I could to transport around with me while I was at work, uni, or more work! Before when I was so busy I would ALWAYS eat in the car and not enjoy my food, but now I like to really sit down and enjoy every mouthful and it’s all about planning. For example, this week on Sunday I made a chicken breast, broccoli and potatoes for lunch on two days, two tubs of mixed salad and a tub of two tins of tuna mayonnaise. This meant that my meals were easily accessible and only needed heating up in work, or the tuna scooped on to the salad! It saves me chopping everything up and cooking when I really don’t have time or I’m sleepy and hungry (not a good combo!)

So the food I would have typically this busy week would be a Super Smoothie or something similar, if I was hungry mid-morning I’d have some dried fruit and nuts or an Eat Natural bar and then that would satisfy me until my (already-prepared!) lunch. Again, in the afternoon if I was peckish I would have some humus with pitta bread, crackers and cheese or fruit until dinner, which I would get at home. It is so important to eat when you’re life is as busy as this – and this is definitely better than the two ends of the scale I was working from before!

Stay Active

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When you wake up with the rising sun and leave before 5 in the morning, no matter what kind of day it is you feel like the only one awake and alive in the world. You look around and see the world for what it is, nature, birds singing, clouds passing by, the sun rising, mist hanging and you know that you have all of your meals for the day prepared, you’re going to a good job and you have a great life and it really motivates you to exercise.

The endorphins released during exercise trigger a positive feeling in your body, similar to that of morphine and leave you feeling refreshed, alive, positive and what’s brilliant when you’ve been up since 4am… Awake!

When I’m working these shifts I would typically go to the gym for an hour about 11 or 12noon or 8pm after work – I love weight training but even in these weeks if I can get a little of that and a little cardio I feel brilliant.

Don’t stress – take one thing at a time

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I’ve been heading to and from work – university that is an hour drive form work – back to the house and to the gym, and I got everything done that I had to. People would say to me “you’re doing 20 hour days and you’re so awake and happy? I would be absolutely shattered!” Well, I’ve learned you have to appreciate that you’re busy rather than having nothing to do, appreciate who and what is around you and I know now that you have to just take one thing at a time, everything can be done to the best of your ability if you give it full focus and attention. So next time you have a stressful week or worry about getting everything done; it’s totally manageable. Write it down, plan it out and don’t stress – always remember that you’ve got this.

Keep Smiling 🙂

Amber x

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