It’s getting to that time of year when for many of you, our humble, van driving readers, things really shift up a gear (pardon the pun), as Christmas deliveries begin to peak and you’re here, there and everywhere and working all the hours God sends trying to fit 15 hours of work into eight or nine.
You’re rushing around with impossible targets to hit, just a breath away from telling your boss where to shove it most of the day. The traffic is worse, thanks to the crappy weather and pensioners with nothing better to do than take a little 20 mile an hour pootle into town to look at the pretty Christmas windows, when you’ve got a job to do.
When you feel like that, even if you are working more hours than you know is good for you, it’s important you make time for yourself. Stress causes people to make silly mistakes and tiredness can, as we all know, be fatal. If you’re feeling your blood pressure rising, it’s easy to tell yourself to man (or woman up) and have a few beers to unwind when you get home. But not only is that just making the problem worse, overdo it and get breathalysed in the morning, and it could cost you your job.
Save the booze for the night before your day off, and start each working day with a clear head.
Eat well. Again, if you are busy and rushing, it’s easy to skip a meal or live off junk food. But good nutrition will give you the energy to face the challenges of a busy schedule.
Try and make time for yourself. Even if you don’t have much, make a little. You may want to lose yourself in gaming, or a box set or a good movie. When you’re doing whatever it is, try and put the phone/iPad/laptop down and focus on doing just one thing.
Try and get some exercise. We get it, you’re exhausted already, but if you’re able to get a kick about in, or a quick gym sesh, the endorphins that creates will make you feel 100% better. And you’ll sleep better too.
Keep electronics out of the bedroom. No sitting on your phone or TV in bed. The blue light emitted is proven to create sleep problems. Instead, focus on using your bedroom for, well, sleeping.
Don’t kid yourself into thinking that a coffee is going to perk you up when you’re driving. Neither will opening a window. You need to pull over and rest. Just napping for 15 -20 minutes will make all the difference. And you’ll feel refreshed when you wake and more alert and ready to get back on it.
Take a tip from the ladies. Time spent on you, is time well spent. Go and get a massage (no, not that kind) in a spa or salon. It’s like one of those big secrets of the male world – loads of guys do it, but few admit it. You’ll help undo some of those knots from your time behind the wheel and sleep and feel so much better for it.
If you need to put the brakes on – do so. We don’t mean your van – we mean all of it. If you are struggling and finding it too much, you need to say no. Whether that’s to extra social activities, or to overtime requests, no amount of extra dosh in your pay packet is worth the consequences if you’re truly burned out.