We all have them days. I get home and collapse onto the sofa, burned out from an exhausting week. I feel drained of creative, emotional and physical energy and my mindset isn’t its best. However, having a harrowing headspace and feeling depleted is something I accepted, taking it as a given that the week is inevitably going to take a toll on me. However, to evade this, I have some rituals and weekly tasks which leave me feeling less stressed when Monday morning rolls around, feeling fit for the week ahead.
Make a schedule
This is a must. Every Sunday, I sit down in front of my journal and note down all of my shifts, tasks, possible appointments and social events for the week ahead. I also take this time to have a bit of a brain-dump, getting all my burning thoughts down on paper.
A schedule means that you’re entering the week with some clarity rather than with endless thoughts swimming around your head. Moreover, having all your tasks in one place means you’re less likely to forget something.
When creating a schedule, it’s crucial to prioritise what tasks are particularly important. In an ideal world I’d sit and spend each of my mornings reading or binge-watching a new Netflix series. However, my to-do list would be left untouched. Let the little things slide and prioritise what you need to do, and when.
Plan some ‘me-time’
After you’ve made your schedule, find some time where you’re free and set this aside for yourself. A lot of us are guilty of neglecting self-care, too wrapped up in work and feeling as if we need to be busy 24/7. However, even spending just an hour doing something you enjoy is a great way to de-stress. Whether it’s a face mask and Netflix, or feet up on the sofa with a good book and a cup of tea – set time aside to do something you want to do rather than what you feel you need to do.
Do some weekend baking
If the week ahead is going to be stressful, why not hone in on your inner Mary Berry and bake yourself a sweet treat? Baking is the perfect stress reliever, something I find somewhat therapeutic, plus you’ll have some goodies to munch on throughout the week. I love baking during my days off, but getting in the kitchen on a Sunday means you’ll have something delicious to return to after a stressful day during the week.
Pictured below are some brownies I made on my day off: so fudgy you’d never think they were made of black beans (yep, black beans). The recipe is over on my Instagram!
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times, but exercise works wonders for stress.
When you’re feeling lousy, often the last thing you want to do is hit the treadmill or lift some weights. However, scheduling in a few workouts helps you relieve stress while simultaneously receive a positive outcome. Exercise is proven to boost endorphins and therefore, improve mood. I’ve not been in the mood to head to the gym on countless occasions. However, getting my sweat on always gets me out of a rut and I feel 10x better for it. Not a gym goer? Simply taking a walk while listening to a podcast, attending a Zumba class, or even practising yoga within the comfort of your own home are great ways to break a sweat and de-stress. Yoga, in particular, is a great way to focus on your breathing, reducing tension and relieving stress.
I have struggled with sleep for years, but I can vouch that a solid nights sleep improves my mood, concentration and productivity. In an attempt to catch more zs, I’ve found sticking to a bedtime routine essential. I try limiting my screen-time an hour before hitting the hay, and instead, I read a book before lights out at 10:30 pm.
Although anxiety is a killer when it comes to sleep, scheduling the week ahead helps keeps this at bay. Sleep is something I’m focusing on improving right now, finding that it has the most impact on my mood. Your girl ain’t happy when she’s tired.
What are some ways you reduce stress? I’d love to hear some more tips!
Thanks for reading!