05/02/2019  •  Articles

A Healthier and Happier You

It can be difficult when you’re working long and exhausting shifts. If you find yourself struggling, here are some simple tips to follow…

Stay hydrated:

It sounds simple, but with the added pressure of a busy shift, it’s easy to forget to drink the recommended amount of water daily. The NHS Eatwell Guide suggests 6 – 8 glasses per day. Do your best to stay hydrated throughout the day (or night) and drink plenty of water to keep your energy levels up.

Getting enough sleep:

Plenty of sleep is the key to staying healthy and alert. While working long shifts, especially nights, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy and regular sleeping pattern.

Try to get the recommended 7 hours of sleep to avoid fatigue and move away any distractions including your phone and the TV. It’s also known that a dark, quiet and cool environment will generally make it easier to fall asleep.

Some say a pre-sleep routine is essential to improving your sleep quality. Popular methods include taking a relaxing bath or shower, listening to music or reading a book to relax your mind. 

Reduce stress:

It’s no secret that health and social care roles can be stressful. But too much stress can cause burnout. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, try to negotiate and delegate certain tasks. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ or ‘not right now’, when appropriate, to duties and responsibilities, or delegate tasks to others who you know are capable.

Remember to stay positive – it’s during those long and challenging shifts when negative attitudes are most likely to show. If you see this happening, try and quickly turn the atmosphere around by supporting each other and creating a more positive working environment.

Take care of yourself

Eating better, exercising regularly and maintaining a good social life are all ways to ensure you are on the right tracks to staying healthy while working those long hours.

If you’re not spending your well-earned days off resting at home, make plans so you have something to look forward to. Using your days off wisely will mean you’re well rested and positive for your next shift.

Find time to exercise

It may seem counterintuitive to add another activity to your to-do-list if you have a busy work schedule. However, research shows that exercise can boost your mood, improve sleep and give you more energy, all while reducing any stress you may experience. 

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Try breaking this target up into smaller sessions. For example, you could incorporate exercises like cycling, swimming or running three times a week for around 50 minutes to hit your weekly movement goal. 

Ready to give it a try? Staying active will help you better manage the demands of working in healthcare or social work and keep you healthy for longer.  

Support each other

Chances are you won’t be the only one struggling to stay healthy when working. Supporting each other in your efforts to maintain healthier habits will mean you’re more likely to stick to them!

If you are experienced, make sure you’re supporting junior staff who are new to the job. They might be finding it difficult to adjust to the intense working patterns and challenging situations, and a calmer working environment will be better for everyone – including yourself. 

Click here to view our latest Social Work roles across the UK…

The information in this blog is for general informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalised guidance. The author(s) and publisher(s) are not liable for errors or omissions, and reliance on the content is at your own risk.

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