Surviving night shift

The night shift is a bitch. Yes, we have a higher chance of getting robbbed, or at least burglarized. But it also can have detrimental effects on our health. Even though I’ve only been on them for about a year, there are a few things I can tell you about the night shift, at least from a retail perspective.

  1. It disrupts the natural circadian rhythm. More often than not i will tell customer to have a good day 10pm-3am and everthing after is “goodnight”.
  2. Social isolation. Not many people hang out at the store at 3am, which is nice sometimes for an introvert like me, but it is very true that isolation can cause depression and anxiety. Not to mention boredom.
  3. Getting things done. Not entirely a health problem but just try scheduling a doctor or dentist appointment for 2am when you’re off. Add in family events and wanting to socialize, it can go back to isolation. But it might be better than the alternative…
  4. #Therealteamnosleep. If you’re going to be working overnights and you are independent, you are still going to have to pay bills, and set appointments, school, etc. This meant for me pulling at least one day of week with only 4 hours of sleep.
  5. Safety. Being a clerk in an overnight store can be dangerous. Really, any place that is open 24 hours a day is a pretty easy target especially if you don’t have any type of security.
  6. Sunlight. I don’t like outside. The bugs, the heat/cold, the people, and last but not least is the sun. Vitamin D is essential for health, but unfortunately, unless I dont want to sleep, that wont be coming from the sun
  7.  Metabolic Problems. According to a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers in the journal Science Translational Medicine, working the night shift can up insulin levels and lead to a higher chance of developing diabeetes and becoming obese.I mean I have to throw those doughnuts away anyways..
  8. Shift work disorder. I couldn’t believe this was a thing. Until I actually thought about it… Thos comes from not being able to fully synchronize your internal clock to your shift. It comes with a fun cornucopia of awful side effects.

Now that I’ve got you good and scared, I will link you up to a fantastic article about protecting yourself from these side effects.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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How to maintain your health when you’re a workaholic

The first time one of my regulars called me a workaholic, I gotta admit, my chest swelled with pride. Now, I hear almost daily “Do you ever go home?” (Rarely.) 

Everyone loves hearing what a hard worker they are, but sometimes it comes at a cost. Month two of doubles, after a meeting with my boss about the direction of my career, my legs gave out standing up. I literally faceplanted in front of my boss.

I wasnt just embarrased, I became extremely concerned about the toll of the physical and psychological stress I was under. The money was good, but was it worth possibly destroying my body?

If you are going to be a crazy workaholic like myself, you’re going to have to take care of your health, or you could do permanent damage to yourself.

Now I’ve never been a great role model for good health. I smoke too much and I rely a bit too heavily on coffee. BUT, the way that I live depends on me being able to get up and go at any point in time, for hours and hours. Sooooo without further adieu, here are some good tips for maintaing your health as a workaholic:

  • Mental health matters too: If you are breaking down in tears over, anything really, it might be a good idea to ask for a little extra time off to just come to terms with yourself. People will be sympathetic, if you’re willing to lay it out for them.
  • Don’t sacrifice your sleep: Yes, I know you miss having fun. Yes, I know you want to watch tv and process the day. But disrupting your already chaotic sleep schedule can be absolutely destructive. Your body needs it. Your mind needs it. You need it. 
  • Eat often: Snacks rule. You’re tired and you’re cranky. You’re hangry and other people dont want to hear it. Don’t wait till break or when you get home keep lots of HEALTHY snack in your bag, in your pocket, in your desk, and in your car. Your coworkers/customers/sanity will thank you.
  • Eat HEALTHY: You cannot survive on fast food and pizza. I tried. It does not work. Food is fuel and it can be nourishing and revitalizing or it can be garbage that makes you sluggish and tired.
  • Exercise: This one is kind of meh, if you work on your feet for 16 hours a day. If I didn’t love both of my jobs, I would get one active and one sedentary.  But regardless, if you’re sluggish and tired get up and move. It doesnt have to be a lot to be effective.
  • Don’t let your hygiene suffer. Nothing is quite as demoralizing as waking up one day and realizing you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair. Make time to het yourself together before work, and if you have a second job, kepp toothpaste and a toothbrush, deodorant and a hairbrush on you or in your car.
  • Keep your vices in check: I remember one specific incident that always reminds me to only cut loose if im not working. It involves a stress old 20yr. old and a bottle of tequila. Long story short, it did not end well. And if you smoke, don’t use stressed out or tired as an excuse to up the habit, if anything it should give you more of a reason to quit.

    My last and final tip is to know when you need a break. One particular week of exactly 12 hours of sleep I broke down crying and called in for the first time in 2 years. But it had to be done. Don’t feel guilty for not being invincible. 

    Stay happy, stay positive, and happy hustling 😊