How I Stayed Calm and Stress-Free During My Busiest Week of the Year (So Far)

Updated 04/15/19
Stephanie Squadrito for Byrdie Australia

Stressed, anxious, and busy. Three words almost anyone can relate to (and if you don't, can you teach me your ways?). At the start of this year, I made a conscious decision to slow down; to leave my laptop at work and get to a Pilates Reformer class in every morning. They're not huge changes, but little ways I thought I could trick myself into feeling blissed out.

While there are certainly times where that's all I need to keep cool, calm, and collected, there are other weeks where I feel like I'm climbing a mountain. And I need an entire spare oxygen tank to get up there.

This last week was one of them—but this time, I set a plan ahead of time, for how I'd get through it. Sure, it's not for everyone to stare at your Outlook Calendar and To Do list and make a meticulous plan for how you'll get through it, but it works for me, and stops me from feeling the Sunday Scaries that usually creep up ahead of a busy week.

Read on, for the different methods I put in place, to give me the energy get through a busy week, while feeling calm and stress-free.

SUNDAY MASSAGE

Probably not a technique you can employ every single week, but when you know you're on a tight project deadline, have back-to-back meetings all day, everyday,  or you're juggling after-work events each night, it's worth it. 

Finding that time for yourself is so beneficial for clearing your mind and really switching off—setting your week off on the right foot.

I booked myself in for the Om Massage at Venustus. I'd heard so many positive reviews, and seeing as the treatment lasts for 90 minutes, I knew I'd have time to actually switch my mind off. 

The treatment is described as a "spirit leveller", focusing on the body's vibrational frequency, to slow down the body and nervous system. It is literally a treatment used to help calm the body, and believe me when I say, it really, really did.

As soon as you enter the dimly-lit treatment room, there is om chanting and palo santo (a sacred wood) scented throughout. Within minutes, my mind was completely asleep and my body responding to the different elements of the treatment (which included traditional shiatsu, reflexology, hot and cold crystal rocks, and remedial massage). 

I left feeling light, and determined to hold onto this feeling.

Stephanie Squadrito for Byrdie Australia

MEAL PREP

This might seem obvious, but in order to keep a clear mind, I need to eat clean. And the only way I can do that, is by preparing in advance. When I know I'm working back late in the evenings, the last thing I want to do is meal prep for the next day when I get home. If I just get it done on a Sunday, I know I'm setting myself up for an easy and healthy week. 

MyDomaine has so many different meal prep ideas that are easier than you think.

REFORMER PILATES

I used to treat busy weeks as an excuse to 'sleep in' because I needed the extra sleep. In reality, when I keep my regular routine, and push myself to head to the gym, I find myself way more productive throughout the day. I don't have that guilt of brushing off the gym weighing over me, and it helps me stay focused.

Before I exercise, I spray the Venustus Extreme Sports Muscle Spray onto my pain points (neck, shoulders, back) and tight muscles. It helps warm them up, prevents injury, and helps them heal. No time for pain or injury when there's a job to be done.

HEAT PACKS AND AROMATHERAPY

After a long, long day, I like to treat my home like a day spa. Sounds super indulgent and difficult, but it's actually really simple.

Unfortunately I don't have a bath, but that doesn't stop me from unwinding with an at-home 'spa' experience. I pop a few different heat packs in the microwave, and light an oil diffuser (I like to burn this organic oil that's targeted to those working 60+ hours a week) before relaxing on the couch. Then, I give myself a quick at-home treatment. Lately, I've been using the Om Facial Water and Om Facial Serum from Venustus (picked up after they were both used during my magical treatment) and layering them together.

Each made up of organic essential oils, they help slow down the body and nervous system, and deter dryness, dehydration, and breakouts in the skin.

Even if it's only for 10 minutes, this mini ritual helps to signify the end of the day, and that it's time for bed.

Stephanie Squadrito for Byrdie Australia

Do you have any tips or tricks to help unwind during a busy week? I'd love to hear, so please share in the comments below, and we can de-stress together.

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