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5 Tips for Getting Sleep During a Stressful Work Week

One fashion girl's viewpoint proving a heavy workload doesn't have to mean stress!

Photo by Michaell Johnson

Being a woman at Fashion Week is no easy task. It’s actually a lot like attending multiple condensed Broadway shows every hour on the hour. Just like when you attend any show, your hair and makeup should be done, you shouldn’t look frazzled, and your tired feet should play second fiddle to a pleasant smile on your face. In fact, just ignore how your feet feel all together. And most of all, ignore that you’re tired and hungry. Fashion Week can be anything but getting enough beauty sleep.

My first year attending fashion week, I slept from 5am-7am; my racoon eyes were so bad that even makeup couldn’t save me; everything about me was the definition of frazzled. I was completely overwhelmed.

Most of us with busy social lives, high-pressure jobs, and families can relate to this type of living once-in-awhile. Multiply that by seven during Fashion Week.

Since my first year at fashion week, I’ve learned a few tricks that have made this event-packed week much easier.

Tip #1: Learn from mistakes

I tell myself frequently now that not being perfect shouldn’t be embarrassing. Mistakes are an opportunity for growth. One of my mistakes was not being realistic about what I can achieve as one person. There are only 24 hours in a day and laser-focus for all 24 hours is not a realistic expectation. In fact, too much attempt at multi-tasking proves what the research shows: it doesn’t work.

Tip #2: Prep ahead

Procrastination is the enemy when it comes to stressful situations. I’ve found it’s better to do a little every day than to have a cram session when deadlines are near and lose sleep.

Tip #3: Identify priorities

Getting everything done isn’t always possible. Once I came to terms with that, I realized the importance of getting everything done with the same urgency isn’t practical. Now I make a list, identify which things need to be done first, and which things can be pushed because their deadline aren’t as important.

Tip # 4: Learn to sleep on a plane

I’ve had many a red-eye that has left me miserable. Just like you make your bed and do your routine before you sleep, I do these on a plane now. I bring a magnesium-calcium effervescent powder to mix in my drink and make me drowsy, a facial oil to treat my skin, an eye mask, a wrap/blanket, ear plugs, headphones, and a neck pillow. I also never choose an aisle seat so I can be mostly undisturbed. I usually try to fall asleep for a half an hour, then take an over-the-counter sleeping pill if I’m not getting sleepy.

Tip #5: Create Boundaries

I don’t work on planes anymore. It’s one of my boundaries. This is my last chance for “me” time before I’m at work. This is also my sleep time. I protect my sleep time no matter what day it is. I set “work” hours for myself and I’ve had to ask myself what is reasonable to ask of myself and let that be my guide for employee expectations as well.

Prepping for success isn’t in the big decisions, it starts with good choices in all the small decisions all along the way. This year, trust me, I’m getting my beauty sleep.

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