Ask Sheba

How I Survive Waking up Before 3 A.M.

My first alarm goes off at 2:40ish every morning. I would like to say that I get up, but I am trying to break my addiction to the snooze button.  Being an adult is tiring and waking up in the middle of the night often leaves me feeling like a hamster on a wheel, always going and going.  Over the years, I have discovered some things that help me make it to the next day.

Set Multiple Alarms

Being late is not an option.  Our show starts at 4:30am and I HAVE TO be on air. There’s no such thing as running 5 minutes late. One alarm is just not enough.  I often turn them off.  Setting more than one assures that I will be too preoccupied turning off alarms to completely fall back asleep. 

Have a Backup for Sleep

Everyone says get enough sleep. Well I’m here to say, that’s just not always going to happen.  And I don’t drink coffee, but it’s crucial that I have a go to when I just CAN’T! For me, it’s green tea.

Say No

There are only so many hours in a day. I had to accept that I can’t do it all at one time. Learning to say no has helped me feel less overwhelmed and happier because I am only doing things that are really important to me.  It’s also easier to keep going when I am tired if everything I have to get done is something that I am really passionate about.


To get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, I would have to go to bed by 6:30pm. The world is still alive and buzzing. I have tried, but mentally, I just can’t check out that early in the day.  I am also much more productive at night, so I don’t want to give up that time.  I have become dependent on naps to get me through the day…everyday.  I have a vicious cycle where I go to bed somewhere between 9pm-11pm, wake up exhausted, get off work usually between 1pm-3pm, nap and then have a regular afternoon.  It’s not perfect, but it works for me.

Prioritize by Day

There’s no such thing as a normal day for me, and if I try to stick with a regular schedule it just doesn’t work.  One day I may use my afternoon to go to the gym, another day I may use it to hang out with friends or stay at work late.  I had to let go of the idea of a regular, daily schedule and take things day by day.  

ASK SHEBA: How Do I Leave Louisiana?

"My career will probably take me outside of Louisiana, but I am scared to leave.  How do I deal with this anxiety?"

This question came from a young lady I met while speaking to her class at my former high school, St. Mary’s Dominican high school. She is now a sophomore at Louisiana State University and thinking about a career in PR.


The world is big and the idea that life will probably take you outside of Louisiana is a great thing. But I understand your anxiety! I grew up thinking I would stay I'm New Orleans, go to college in New Orleans, and I never really thought about leaving and then Katrina happened and I had to leave.  It opened my eyes to the fact that there is a lot of world outside of New Orleans. Traveling is now my favorite thing in the world. I always loved it, but now that I am older I can appreciate how it opens my eyes to new experiences and cultures that make me grow as a person.


Remember -you ultimately decide what your life is looks like and where you live. You can ALWAYS come back to New Orleans or Louisiana.  You won't always have the freedom and opportunity to travel (financial reasons, maybe eventually kids...etc).  So when I get an opportunity now that sends me away, I jump on it, even when it’s a place I never even cared about going.  I went to Minnesota recently- I never even thought about going to Minnesota. I was asked to emcee a conference.  Turns out, the Mall of America is there and it was an amazing weekend. Will I ever make plans to go back? It’s not on my immediate list of goals, but now I can tell people how great the mall was and I know what Minnesota is like.  


With all of that said, there is no way to get over the anxiety -instead push forward carrying that anxiety and I PROMISE eventually it will go away.  Before you know it, you’ll be traveling outside of Louisiana all the time and not even thinking about it.  And hey- maybe one day, you’ll find somewhere you love more than New Orleans.  There are many opportunities that simply are not in Louisiana. Don't cut them off because they are not in your area code.  Your family and loved ones are a phone call away. Talk to them the entire trip if you need to until you are comfortable branching out on your own. Eventually you will be!