It may only be Wednesday, but so far this week has been one of the busiest of the year.  Long, intense rehearsals with little time to sit, eat, drink or rest in any way have left me feeling slightly…well, drained.  While weeks like this one are taxing on my body and mind, they also bring me the chance to practice some important methods of relaxation to replenish myself for the next few long days ahead.  Here are some of my favorite ways to unwind:

1.  Get enough sleep.  This seems obvious, but it really does work.  Instead of spending my nights lazily staring at the television or anxiously organizing my room, I’ve taken to my bed by 10:30 every night this week.  I’m shocked just how renewed I feel in the morning.

2. Prioritize.  If a task is not pressingly important, postpone it until your life becomes a little less stress-prone.

3. Take 5-10 minutes to stretch, meditate, or just deeply breathe in the morning before you get up.  Taking these few moments to refuel will clear your mind give you the energy you need for a power-packed day.

4. Drink tea.  Caffeine for a boost (without the jitters of coffee), warmth to calm the senses, and liquid to keep you fuller longer (great for days where 3 square meals are not an option!)

5. Eat healthy.  While this may not be a time-saver, the effects of eating green, healthy food are unparalleled.  Vegetables are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that boost your mood- plus you won’t be bogged down with guilty thoughts of the junk food you consumed (making for a more productive day and a less distracted sleep).

6. Make lists.  One for “to do’s”.  One for “dones”.  One for “thank you’s” to those who’ve helped, and one for “please’s” to those whose help you may need during this busy time.  Also, consider writing a “stress” list of all the things that are making you anxious…writing them down not only unclogs important parts of your brain that you’ll need to ensure a productive day, but it may also help you realize some de-stressing solutions.

7.  Know your limits.  Work hard and sweat it out, but never push past your boundaries.  Stop when your body says so.

Practicing these tricks has significantly improved this dauntingly strenuous week.  How do you cope when your schedule seems unmanageable?