Struggling With Fatigue? Read This BEFORE Seeing A Health Care Practitioner.

There are a myriad of reasons that can contribute to fatigue.

Some of which include low iron and an under-active thyroid.

However, before spending a fortune 💰 on exhaustive testing, have you considered the real reason for your fatigue?

As in – could it be because you’re just trying to juggle “life”, whilst being a full-time shift worker?

I’m mentioning this because I had a client reach out to me after a 3am early shift (yup, that’s not a typo… ⏰️😳😵‍💫), whilst juggling full-time shift work AND being a mum to 3 young children.

Long story cut short, she was running on about 3-4 hours sleep EVERY night.

I could have run some tests and prescribed some pills, but that wouldn’t have addressed the root cause of her fatigue.

All it would have done is artificially suppress her body’s overwhelming feeling’s of fatigue, and possibly delay the onset of a chronic disease later in life.

So my question to you is this.

Have you created a life that doesn’t allow your body sufficient time to rest and sleep?

Because no amount of pills can fix a lifestyle that not only involves burning the candle at both ends… but sets fire 🔥 to the bit in the middle as well.

Just something to ponder if your health care practitioner is quick to “diagnose and prescribe”, without taking into consideration your lifestyle first.

Audra x

Shift Work Burnout – Ten Tips To Help Reduce The Debilitating Effects.

When you work a 24/7 roster which encompasses some pretty ruthless hours, shift work burnout is going to be inevitable.

Considering sleep deprivation is often unavoidable and many employees have to work harder in today’s economic environment – burnout is becoming increasingly common amongst employees around the world.

But can you reduce the effects of shift work burnout?

You bet. And it all begins by watching out for the symptoms.

These may include things like headaches, stomach aches, high blood pressure, back and neck pain and even skin rashes.

They are basically warning signs that your body is not at its optimum.

In fact when you suffer from shift work burnout you can become more susceptible to viruses and other infections.

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Putting Our Shift Working Jobs Into Perspective.

Having grown up in rural NSW and watched my house burn to the ground when I was just 7-years old, the images that we’re seeing right now of widespread bushfires around Australia is nothing short of heartbreaking.

The sheer devastation of loss including wildlife, livestock, property, vegetation and even human life, is gut-wrenching to see.

It’s why I feel it’s fitting to give a special shout out to all the firefighters who are on the front line, risking their own lives to help others 24/7.

Here’s just a snippet as to why:

✔️ Many of these firefighters are experiencing sleep deprivation on a whole new level.
✔️ Their “shifts” are longer than anyone should ever have to work.
✔️ They are having minimal meal breaks – if any.
✔️ Many are volunteers who have also taken leave without pay 💰 from their “real” jobs.
✔️ Despite being physically and emotionally exhausted, they keep going because they don’t want to let their communities down.
✔️ They are working in an extremely dangerous and hazardous environment 🔥.
✔️ They are subjected to a level of emotional distress that no one ever wants to experience – seeing countless burned wildlife and livestock, (and in some cases, the loss of human life).
✔️ Many are also working in the community in which they live. So when a house 🏡, or heaven forbid, a life is lost, it affects them right to the core.

So please join me in sending out an enormous gratitude of thanks for all of the incredible work that they are doing.

And the next time you’re experiencing a crappy shift at work, please keep in mind what the fire fighters are currently having to endure.

It definitely puts things into perspective and why they are truly deserving of the title of “HERO” – as I’m sure you would agree.

Audra x

HSW 31: Self Care and Balneotherapy with Elizabeth Greenwood.

Healthy Shift Worker Podcast Episode:

Self care is super important for shift workers because our bodies are already biologically stressed as a result of working against our natural circadian rhythms or body clock. That being said, for most people, self-care can be an incredibly hard thing to do, as we often feel guilty of assigning some “me time” to ourselves.

So this week, I invited Naturopath and Aromatherapist Elizabeth Greenwood to talk to us about self-care, including one particular form – that being Balneotherapy.

In this episode, Elizabeth explains why self care is essentially working out what best works for you, as we are all very different, and why it doesn’t have to involve going to a health retreat or undertaking some kind of fancy detox. It can just mean doing something little each day, something that is both practical and sustainable, and that you can integrate into your own shift working lifestyle.

Elizabeth also shares her passion for Balneotherapy, which is a type of water therapy similar to that found in a natural thermal spring, and is great for the mind whilst also allowing us an opportunity to take some well-deserved “time out”, which is vitally important for those who run on little sleep.

To find get in contact with Elizabeth:

Email – embody@me.com

Balneotherapy FB page

“I Can’t Do This Anymore!”

The Day I Turned My Shift Working Life Around.

quit

To anyone who has ever worked shift work before, you will know how incredibly tough and at times downright exhausting it can be.  In fact, I remember coming home from work one day after an extremely stressful day (on top of it being my fourth early shift in a row), taking my shoes off and proceeding to curl up into the foetal position on the floor in the spare bedroom and saying to my husband – “I can’t do this anymore”.

I’d reached a point of burn out. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

Every muscle in my body ached from top to toe, my sleep-deprived brain felt completely drained, and I became overwhelmed with emotion when my husband wrapped his supportive arms around me triggering an outpouring of tears down my face.

I felt completely and utterly lost.  I loved my job, but due to circumstances beyond my control – the dynamics of the workplace had changed.

A change in management had brought about changes to our work practices, including our rosters – but without any consultation with the staff.  This resulted in over 100 resignations over an 18 month period, from a workforce of 300.

Quite simply, despite many years of service, my workmates had reached a point where they’d become burnt out and had enough.

It was an incredibly emotional time – and one that I will never forget.

A stressful workplace is hard enough to navigate through at the best of times, but when it’s coupled with ongoing sleep deprivation thanks to our 24/7 lifestyle, it can wear us down to our very core.

Nonetheless throwing in the towel and quitting my job at the time for me, was not an option.  Like most young couples we had a mortgage and bills to pay, and despite the ongoing sleep-deprivation and changes which were occurring in my workplace at the time, I still really loved my job and wasn’t ready to hang up my alarm clock for good – just yet.

In fact, all I really needed was someone to tell me “I know it’s hard Audra, but you’re going to be OK.”

But there was no-one. No-one to put my mind at rest and tell me that despite the rigours of working 24/7 – I was going to be OK.

Perhaps you can relate to these feelings too? (more…)