It’s Monday and since last night 22:00, Hell Week is officially over.
I finished strong, with a 18KM run as my final Hell Week workout. It was the perfect epic ending to the week: The longest distance I ever ran, and a 4K increase of my previous long-distance run of 14K a week ago.
I’d describe the long distance run as ‘Doing something moderately fun for 2 hours while your legs slowly go from “okay this is fine” to “DUDE WHAT THE FUCK.”‘
(Great slogan for running, am I right? Nike, I’m available during office hours. Get at me.)
Big thanks to my mom for supporting me from the 8 to 18K, Speedy J podcasts and ACDC’s Thunderstruck.
Want to know what I learnt, if I recommend it and if I have any tips for your very own Hell Week? Click below and find out.
WHAT DID I LEARN FROM DOING HELL WEEK?
– 5 o’clock sucks big time, every time. I’m a morning person, but 5 o’clock to me is SO early and SO unusable. I don’t like it. HOWEVER.
– 5 o’clock becomes slightly more bearable when you just do no brainer activities. At least for the first hour and a half. In the first half of the week I was trying to hard to write, think and be creative that early in the morning. It was a lot easier to just clean, exercise, even read.
-I CAN stay awake all night. By myself. In the kitchen. While doing various useful and not useful things. This may have been the most shocking realisations of the whole experience.
– I can do a lot more on little sleep than I thought I could. As it turns out, I can do a 90-minute yoga class, a house call, a social event, make dinner and stay awake until 10 o’clock at night on the 2.5 hours of stolen sleep that resulted from my FUCK EVERYTHING AND ESPECIALLY THIS reaction to not being able to take the 06:30 AM yoga class.
– I can go without social media. I did not miss it much. The rule “stay off social media while working” didn’t really apply to me as I wasn’t working, but I stayed off social media a lot anyway, only dropping by occasionally to tweet or share a picture of update. This was good for me and my focus. One of the Hell Week aspects I liked most.
– Exercising every day is a miracle worker*. This was the most beneficial aspect of Hell Week for me. The reason I survived the 5 o’clocks? Yoga. The reason I didn’t fall asleep in a public place on Thursday? Yoga. Exercising every day was a time investment that paid off ten times in focus, energy and endorphins.
DOES THE SELF HELP HIPSTER RECOMMEND HELL WEEK?
I got a couple of questions from readers all boiling down to the same one syllable sentiment: why.
I did it because I was curious to what it would do. I did it because I was curious to see if I could do it.
I did it because I needed it. A kickstart, a pick-me-up, a weird set of rules to kick me out of my comfort zone.
Why would anyone want to do it? Because you experience a week differently than you usually do, because it makes you think about what you do and who you are, and because you push yourself over (what you think are) your own limits.
This can have a great and positive effect on you.
You don’t believe a week with relatively simple (but strict) rules can do that? I invite you to try it.
TIPS IF YOU WANT TO DO HELL WEEK
- Just do it. Don’t overthink it. It’s easier than your Monkey Brain makes it.
- Realise you can do anything for a limited amount of time. Next week you can go back to your regular behaviour if you want to.
- Do something simple when you wake up at 5, like exercising, cleaning or maybe even an elaborate beauty routine.
- Tell your people. My friends, family and boyfriend were all very supportive. My brother texted me during my Hell Night. My boyfriend did not complain about the 05:00 and 22:00. My friends offered moral support and occasionally texted to ask how I was doing. This helped.
- Doubting whether you should do it during a regular workweek or during a week off? If you want to do the Hardcore (Real) Version, do it during a regular workweek. If you want to get a lot of shit done around the house, spend time on your hobbies and invest in your personal life, do it during a week off.
AM I GOING TO DO IT AGAIN?
My Hell Week was different from the Regular Hell Week, as I had the week off.
This made it easier, and harder too. It’s easier because I could manage my time as I pleased, and I didn’t have to worry about being a zombie during work. But when I’m working I have more structure and pressing to-do’s, which I believe can also be a good thing during Hell Week, helping you focus.
I want to try it again while I’m working, and then I want to really try to stay up that night.
Hell Week. Get the book here. (Disclaimer: Dutch/Affiliate Link).
*This do not have to be the long work-outs I did this week, with the yoga classes I love being 90 minutes and the 2-hour long 18K. They don’t have to be insanely intense every time either. Whatever you feel upto that day, physically and mentally, is good enough.