Shift Work Health – What Price Do You Place On Yours?

As shift workers we often feel like we’re on a constant uphill battle trying to achieve optimum health. The irregular hours, disruptive sleep patterns and work-related stress place an enormous amount of strain on our bodies every single day.

But what price do you place on your shift work health?

Many shift workers say they take good care of themselves, but are you really? Are you really doing absolutely everything possible to take care of your health?

Take a moment to think about your answers to the following questions.

1. Do you avoid buying ‘health’ food products because you think they’re too expensive?

2. Have you chosen not to join a gym, health club or yoga class because you believe they charge too much?

3. What about those dancing classes you’ve always wanted to sign up for but keep saying to yourself you can’t really afford to do them?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then it might be time to re-evaluate.

Healthy food is not expensive – it’s how you perceive it to be.

When Cyclone Yasi wiped out 70% of the banana plantations in North Queensland last year, the price of bananas went up – no question. But even though a banana cost $1.50 at the time I still bought one because it was cheaper than buying a chocolate bar or a bag of chips.

And for a shift worker who is starved of energy, eating a banana is always going to be a much healthier and better option than eating a chocolate bar or a bag of chips.

The same goes for buying fruit or vegetables. Even though I do try and buy things when they are in season (you know they are going to be fresh this way as well) – I don’t NOT buy them just because the price is higher than normal.

Why? Because I know my shift work body can function so much better if I provide it with the right kind of fuel – that is, the right kind of nutrition.

The same can be said about exercise. You don’t have to join a gym or class to enjoy the benefits of exercise. There are lots of outside activities that are free, but sometimes joining a club or signing up for a class is a great way to meet new people and you are more likely to work that bit harder than if you were exercising on your own.

So never underestimate the value of your shift work health.

Many people spend their whole lives eating all of the wrong foods and doing all of the wrong things because at the time they appear to be the ‘cheaper’ and easier option. But if you consistently abuse your all-ready-struggling shift worker body with bad food choices and little exercise it will eventually catch up with you when you get older – guaranteed.

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

Shift work health is all about prevention. Spend your hard earned money taking care of yourself now, so that you don’t have to spend a fortune correcting it when you’re older.

Lacking Energy and Motivation? How To Recharge Your Shift Work Batteries!

Are you struggling to find some energy and lack motivation to do absolutely anything? Are you feeling like your batteries are in need of a bit of a recharge?

Well if you’re reading this article right now, then I’m going to assume your answer is ‘yes’.

Because it’s certainly hard to feel energized and motivated when you work shift work.

And let’s face it. Working shift work definitely involves working peculiar hours.

Not to mention that our lives today have become extremely busy. We often don’t take the time to stop and rest which is paramount for good health and well-being.

So just like everyone else, shift workers need to allocate time to relax because if you don’t, then your mood, energy levels, and your ability to think diminshes severely.

In fact adrenal fatigue is becoming a common illness among shift workers around the world because we just push our bodies to keep going and going.

So how can you recharge you shift work batteries?

By setting aside some time when you are in complete and absolute solitude. That is – totally alone and uninterrupted from anyone and anything.

Sound impossible? Well how bad to you want to feel well? How bad do you want to regain some of that lost energy and get your mojo back?

If you’re thinking just a little bit then you need to think again.

Because you need to make your health your Number One Priority. Actually I’m going to rephrase that and say that you must make it your Number One Priority.

The sad reality today is that most of us are happy to spend money buying the latest gadgets or purchase new clothes, regularly service our cars or renovate and beautify our houses – yet are reluctant to spend money (or allocate time) on improving our health.

Taking some ‘time out’ to improve your health can be as simple as turning off the lights in your bedroom and closing the blinds so that you are in complete darkness – and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

Even if it’s just for 10 minutes because eliminating noise and distractions will go along way in helping you to clear your mind and regain some of that long lost energy.

So go ahead and give it ago. Everyone can find 10 minutes in their day to treat their body to a bit of solitude. You just have to be willing to put your health first – which is exactly how it should be.

In Need Of A Pick Me Up? Juice Me Up Baby!

After starting work at 0345 am this morning I came home and opened my front door to be greeted by a very sleepy looking cat. .

You see my cat Misty got up with me when my alarm went off at 0230 am this morning … and she then proceeded to scratch the side of the mattress to “get me out of bed”.
She actually has a habit of doing this … refer to my previous post ‘Do You Have A Back Up Alarm Clock?’
Now when I came home and picked her up to give her a cuddle – she felt more like a rag dole. She’s obviously not cut out to be a shift worker from her obvious her lack of energy. Hmmm … then again, who is cut out to be a shift worker?
Now even though I was actually feeling pretty good (I had no disgruntled passengers to deal with today), I knew that I was going to need an Energy Boost to get me through the rest of the afternoon. And this is when I decided to get on my hands and knees and dig out my Juicing Machine from the back of the pantry to make myself a home made Juice! .

As you can see I whipped this one up which contained 1 pear, 2 apples and 2 cups of watermelon – yummo! Drinking a fresh juice is not only fast and easy, but it is an excellent way to give yourself a kick start as it is jam packed with energy boosting vitamins and minerals.

So if you’re having a day when you’re feeling flat and in need of a pick me up – just raid the bottom of your fridge for some fresh fruit and throw it all into a juicer. It’s a great way to use up any old or ‘suspect’ fruit, and hey presto – you’ve got yourself an instant Pick Me Up!

P.S. – Now Misty didn’t get to have any of my juice but she did get to have a Purrrfect Healthy Cat Treat instead. Yikes! There goes a flash of grey fur running through my kitchen at lightening speed …

Do Your Pyjamas Zap Your Energy?

Do you ever have days where you just sloth around the house in your PJ’s?

You’re that exhausted after a string of early shifts and/or night shifts that you just can’t be bothered getting dressed.
Well despite what you may think – this is not good. You see, slobbing around in your PJ’s is great – for making you feel lethargic.
Instead, lay your clothes out the night before and as soon as you roll out of bed, get straight into the shower. After you’re dressed, do your hair and makeup – even if it’s just a bit of lip gloss.

Wandering around in your PJ’s till 3pm might sound like a bit of luxury but realistically there’s nothing luxurious about it. For most people it makes them feel tired and lazy.

Having a refreshing shower and getting dressed confers a sense of purpose and get-up-and-go, and I certainly recommend it to people who can spend a lot of their day hanging around at home – new mums in particular.
So get out of your PJ’s and put them under the pillow where they belong and you will have so much more energy to tackle the day ahead!