We’ve talked about preparing for peak season and about how peak season can be very profitable and stressful. Even with peak season forecasts that say peak season may not be as busy as previous years, there is still the potential for stress, from weather to volume to long hours. Here are 5 stress management tips for peak season.
If You Can’t Get More Sleep, Get Better Sleep
The long hours you may work during peak season can really mess with your sleep patterns. It’s easy to say, “Get some rest.” But some days it is impossible to get more sleep. However, you can get better sleep.
- Avoid entertainment and television time before you go to bed
- Put your phone away early
- Take a shower or bath before going to sleep.
- Use calming and white noise apps to help
- Drink a warm, non-caffeinated beverage before bed
Avoiding blue screens and stimulating things like action movies before you sleep can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep. And avoiding caffeine, especially in the few hours before you go to bed, can really help too.
Your sleep will be much better if you are intentional about creating the right atmosphere and mindset before your head hits the pillow.
Avoid Alcohol Until After Peak
It might seem like that sip of whiskey or beer before bed will help you sleep, but it doesn’t really. You might fall asleep faster, but you won’t sleep as well, and you might even wake up feeling worse than when you went to bed.
If you can, avoid alcohol during peak, and save your partying for after. More, or at least better sleep will lower your stress levels and reduce mistakes that happen when you are exhausted. Peak for FedEx Ground drivers doesn’t last that long, so avoiding alcohol and especially getting drunk should be possible short term.
Your body, your route, and your customers will thank you.
Eat the Right Food for Better Stress Management
The problem with peak is that you as a driver are constantly on the go. It can be tempting to grab whatever food is at hand, and that can mean eating things that are not good for you. Sugary foods give you a temporary high, but that can fade quickly as the day wears on, and even result in a blood sugar crash. It can feel like the cure for this is more sugar, but that can make it worse and even impact your sleep later in the day.
Eat carbs that contain high amounts of fiber, fruit, nuts, and other items that offer long-lasting energy that will sustain you throughout the day. It’s also helpful to meal plan, and bring along food and leftovers if possible rather than eating fast food or other food on the run.
Check with your business customers or other places you stop often. They’re often happy to let you use a microwave in their lunch area to heat up some food and even take a brief break.
One of the biggest causes of muscle pain and even injury during peak is a lack of flexibility. But more than just avoiding injury, stretching can help lower your stress levels and help you relax. Try adding a stretching routine both morning and evening, even before you go to bed.
Try yoga or another structured stretching that is also designed to relax you, slow your breathing, and improve your overall health. It’s a good idea throughout the year, but especially during peak season.
Achieve Better Stress Management by Saying No
Sometimes it can be tempting to say yes to more stops, helping another driver, or even going to a holiday party or family event right in the middle of peak season. It is okay to say ‘no’ to such things if it causes your more stress and impacts your personal health.
Remember, you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your business and customers. Avoid things that interfere with that mission. Peak can be hard enough without adding more into the mix.
If you’re an experienced route owner, you already know peak can be hard. Being ready with stress management strategies can be a big help. If you’re new to route ownership, this is a great way to keep your peak season from being overwhelming. And if you are considering buying a FedEx Ground route, keeping stress management in mind for your first peak season is always a good idea.
And when you’re ready to buy or sell a route, contact us here at Route Advisors. We’ll be with you every step of the way.