Any self care tips you can provide for a person about to endure a 2.5 month work sprint?

Hey super peeps.So I'm about to put my head down from the end of this month until the middle of August, working 7-days a week, probably 12+ hour days. I have a STOOPID ton of work to do for clients, and I plan on delivering. Though, as you can tell from my subject line - because this is going to be quite STRENUOUS for the next 2.5 months, I need to put systems in place so I don't burn out. Things I'm thinking about now: ✅I'm going to be staring at a computer, and sitting, for HOURS. I need to join a gym and workout 1-2x per day.✅I need to invest in a better work setup (e.g., ergonomic chairs, an organizing cabinet, etc)✅I need to Marie Kondo the 🦆out of my place!✅Food...I won't have the time or energy to meal prep. So the meals need to be as simple as pork & beans and those prepackaged salads (and "no", I'm not kidding about the pork & beans)✅I will have a set schedule for EV-ERY-THING!✅In bed, early in the PM - which is weird for me (I'm a Moonwalker, normally)Any other tips/suggestions to help me through this would be greatly appreciated.
I'm proud of you for being mindful about taking care of yourself even though you anticipate such a strenuous time. Many of us definitely need to prioritize self-care a bit more when we know that we're heading into stressful periods of work.- For food, I would definitely recommend overnight oats (even though in all honesty I've poured some milk in + waited 15 minutes before and it was just fine). Oats + Milk = Simple, Filling breakfast/mid-afternoon snack. Also, stock up as much as you can on your favorite fruits and veggies, the less labor-intensive the better.- If at all possible each day, give yourself at least 5 minutes to stand in your window (or a porch, or balcony, etc.) with the sun touching your face (remember your sunscreen!), close your eyes, lift your chin, and just breathe slow, deep, intentional breaths. If you're feeling fancy, remind yourself that you are awesome at what you do, you have goals that you're working towards, and you will be okay. - When you're about to head to bed at night, take a couple of minutes to do some simple stretches, even while laying on your bed. Work your neck, shoulders, back, and legs, slowly, but surely. It will help the stiffness from working at a laptop all day, as well as help to calm you down for a good night's sleep.I hope some of that helped.You got this!
Hey thanks Shanice!I have a Pinterest board of so many overnight oats recipes, lol! I've just never tried it. Maybe it's time...The whole reason for me going to the gym is to get me off the screens and into the sun. It's a short drive to the gym, so I'll get it then. And then just being out and about, even if it is at a gym, I'll take it. And I like the idea of bed yoga before going to sleep.Also, you've just reminded me - to be off my computer at least 1 hour before going to sleep. If I can do 2 hours, even better. We'll see. Again thanks!
Ooo! On food - given you don't have time to cook, if you can buy pre-packaged cut-up fruits, or fruits that you can just grab and eat without cutting (to save time), definitely try to add that to the diet!On moving - if there are any calls that you can take audio-only, do it! You can take a walk while being on a meeting at the same time, get some fresh air and give your eyes a break from the computer screen :)Good luck with your heads down sprint! 💪
Both REALLY GOOD ideas, Teresa!I have Zoom on my phone, I need to freakin' use it!Thanks!
This might sound counterintuitive, but I set the bar low for myself. When I schedule my "ideal" life, I never actually have the energy for it and end up skipping entire workouts or getting takeout all the time. Instead, I commit to stretching for 30 minutes or eating one meal that's mostly vegetables every day. The bar is low enough that I actually do it, and then those healthy behaviors beget other healthy behaviors.
This is advice I would follow, but in the case that I'm going to be in front of the computer screen for MANY hours at a time, I'll be ITCHING to get away and do something. And I know stretching ain't gonna cut it. I might actually try taking a nap instead - lol!But in "non-sprint" times, I'd be 100% down for it.
Incorporate a walk when you can (ideally same time everyday) doesn't need to be long even 10 minutes- but make sure to get out and breathe real air. Also try to plan something one day a week you look forward to e.g watching a documentary/movie/show.And also get off Instagram (or whatever that is that doesn't add value to your life for that time- for me it's Instagram but that doesn't mean it is the same to you)
That's a good idea - planning something 1x/week that I look forward to...hmmm...The only thing coming to mind is sleeping in on Sunday - lol! I need to think on this.I won't be spending almost any time on social media, except YouTube from time to time, unfortunately. I've trained my algorithms in TikTok and Instagram to fill my feed with so much cool stuff!But alas, I'll need to take a breather from my entertainment for a while. Good advice. Thanks!
Nuts, ball chair, office weights, desk cycling pedals, and social breaks.
I think the only thing I'd be able to get down with is the social breaks. But for me that equates to going to the gym. Having a sweaty instructor scream at me, that "I'm not really doing a squat - go lower!" will be socializing for me. HA!
Write down somewhere the things you would want to hear when you’re in the middle of this sprint and feeling overwhelmed/stressed/tired. This could include things like:- a reminder to be kind and supportive to yourself- the reasons why you took on this challening task in the first place- a reminder that the stakes are not as high as they might feel right now and that things will be ok if you let up a little ... these are just ideas, write whatever works for you. You know yourself the best, you know what you need, and there’s no one better to counsel you through those inevitable moments when you’re going to need support.
I love this idea. Hell, I might even hang some posters up so I can look at them, and be reminded of my motivation. Thanks!
Look into the Pomodoro🍅 technique! It can help you build breaks into your schedule, and if the standard time frame doesn’t work for you, tweak it and make it your own. ❤️ But definitely force yourself to take breaks, even when you don’t feel like it, or you’ll be at risk for burnout. Take it from someone who tried the “just push through it” route, and became a frazzled mess. 🙃 Sending good vibes! 🍀
For sure! I was thinking me going to the gym counts as a break, but 10-minute breathers between projects can't hurt as well. Thanks!
I'm happy you're doing prep beforehand! I had a similar 3-month sprint last year, so I'm glad you're doing this for yourself. It's so important.Some things that helped me last year:> If most of your day is *super* structured and self-led, lose that structure during your downtimes. I.E at the gym, either do classes where you can 'lose' control and let someone else lead you, or don't plan your exercise routine beforehand. It'll add some fluidity and flexibility to your days that can feel rigid.> Have little ways of celebrating. Break down your sprint into tinier milestones, and treat yourself at every checkpoint. It could be as simple as indulging in a good meal. I loveddddd these moments so much – and believe me, I INDULGED.> I had lots of trouble sleeping during this period, because my mind was constantly buzzing. A method I wish I knew then was to spend 5 minutes at the end of your day to transfer all your thoughts and unfinished to-dos onto a piece of paper. Apparently that helps your brain accept that you're 'taking care of it' and it won't bug you when it's time to sleep.> This came to me only after the sprint, but I came out of it feeling like a very different person - professionally and personally. For me, the transition felt foggy (especially mid-sprint!) and it took me a while to realise what was going on. Allow yourself to celebrate the new facets of you – or even grieve the parts of you that you're not holding onto anymore. > Lastly, if things or schedules don't go as planned, don't beat yourself over it! It's very normal for shit to hit the fan, or things to crop up. Everytime that happens, take a second to reflect and acknowledge that you moved the goalpost even farther than where it was yesterday.All the best – I hope it goes well for you!
This. All of it. YES.Wow! Thank you!
This is awesome foresight and self care :DSome thoughts from me:On exercise - if you don't have much time there are def more / less efficient ways of exercising. Doing interval training is one of the best. X seconds "on", and Y seconds "off" - gets the job done in no-time. I would mix cardio, strength, and stretching :)On physical space / set up - I moved my work desk into a room with a closed door. Previously I was in my open layout kitchen / dining room / living room and it was no bueno lolOn bedtime - timing is important but so is having a wind-down routine! You want your brain to actually rest and not "spin" while you're asleep, so 30-90 mins before bed is a good time to dim lights, turn of devices, maybe do a lil spiritual practice (meditate, journal, etc)I'd also suggest having a plan for your social life - maybe you have an OOO-type message in your personal emails? Or a set time to catch up with friends so the planning isn't interrupting you?And lastly do you have a post-sprint phase in mind where you can unwind, rest, celebrate, etc?
I loooooooooooooooove these tips!Exercise - I do have a fancy jump rope. So with that, and the YouTube channel JumpRopeDudes, I can knock out a good 10 minute exercise routine. Physical Space - I watched (2) episodes of Marie Kondo and now I'm on a mission with my work space. It's slowly coming together and I'm able to put my arms out wide, and spin around saying, "Weeeeeeeeeeee!" - without tripping over cords, clothes, or camera gear. Bedtime - I'm REALLY gonna struggle with this, but will figure some routine out...Social Life - I'm very much willing to go dark for 2 months - lol! - but maybe on Sundays, I'll sneak in a call or two...Post Sprint - I didn't even think about that...Maybe an ACTUAL spa day with a deep tissue massage....
Ah thank you for the enthusiasm and feedback haha yes, post sprint reward / marker for a phase concluded is good. It actually helps you with your next sprint cause your brain will be like "remember how good it felt after we accomplished the last one?" - for that to work you need to celebrate a bit after :)
I'd recommend investing in some blue-blocking glasses to help with eye strain at your computer!Also, you'll want to take care of your nervous system and adrenals, so drinking herbal tea, especially with calming herbs (chamomile, lemon balm, lavender), could help. Depending on how sensitive you are, they may make you sleepy, so maybe drink them closer to bedtime. I also love Rasa, it's an herbal coffee alternative, and it's designed to support your stress levels and adrenals.Remember at any point you can stop and take a few deep breaths, and that's really helpful. Also getting out in nature, if possible, or even positioning your desk to look out a window can help.
I love everyone's suggestions! If you have the financial capital, a part-time assistant may be very helpful. Some places to look include: Upwork, Twitter, or Linkedin. If you can outsource admin work, cleaning, or preparation, that can help free time.Best of luck. I'm rooting for you!
I am in a similar position.. end of next month is a presentation for fundraising. supplementation is super important (im in biotech) below is my list for hydration and all around support: adrenal complexhyaluronic acid amino acid powder to mix in water deer velvet liver tonic complexb complex Glucosamine magnesium intermittent fasting for the first sprint of the day it helps me focus - while you cook listen to a podcast that is either fun to destress or something that will bring value to your work -(I do kale and steak or organ meat with quick high fat dressings like tahini / lemon //sesame oil- the kale has a lot of fibre you need a flowing intestine for mental productivity aha!) After eating as soon as you can given digestion do a workout to avoid the unfocused sleepy post food lul. three times a day - take a second to sit with eyes closed and reaffirm your "goals" and your "why" with deep breaths You mf got this! sooo excited for your levelling up over this next month :)
THIS. You're the first person to mention supplements, fasting, and their eating habits to stay focused and productive throughout the day. I have to say, I'm ALWAYS skeptical when it comes to taking anything more than my an Aleve, but I'll research this. The food though....that sounds DELISH!I like kale. And I like how it's cheaper than a bundle of spinach. Good for the body, mind, apparently the intestine, and my wallet! Woo! I dig it!As far as a workout right after. I hate those. I'm always too full. I've heard of a supplement that promotes gut health called Masszymes & P3-0M that will also help you digest your food faster so you don't feel as full.Again, squeemish about pills, but THIS - they have my attention...And YES!We MF got this! Woo!