The key to shift worker happiness is undeniably fatigue management because finding a way to reduce your fatigue when you work irregular hours can be a massive daily upheaval.
In fact the quest for many shift workers is to find the Magical Golden Ticket. That is, to find that one ‘Magic Pill’ that is going to help end their feelings of chronic fatigue, tiredness and exhaustion.
Something that you could personally relate to I’m sure.
But the bad news is there is no such thing as a ‘Magic Pill’. It simply does not exist.
Which is a bit of a shame really because it would be great to wake up bursting with energy, despite having worked an early shift or night shift the day before.
Of course there is a cheap and easy fatigue management strategy that many shift workers overlook and it’s simply called exercise. Yes, that’s right – the art of moving your body.
Our bodies are designed to move. They are not designed to sit on a chair all day or step onto an escalator to get to a higher floor. We are designed to step, run, climb, stretch or even jump over things.
But the harsh reality is that technology has made us lazy. Incredibly lazy.
Now if the word exercise sends you into a bit of panic, don’t fear. Because exercise doesn’t mean that you have to sign up to join a gym or run 50 laps around an oval (thank goodness).
It’s about moving your body in a way that you enjoy, and fitting it into your day so that you can then make it a part of your life. And that really is the key – a part of your life. There’s no point going on a massive health kick and doing lots of exercise for a limited time, that’s not how it works. It’s about making exercise a part of your life – forever!
Despite what you may think, you simply cannot afford not to exercise when you work shift work.
And it’s really easy to begin by just taking a look at your running shoes. (Don’t worry – you don’t actually have to ‘run’ in them). If you take them for a 15-20 minute walk every second day this will go along way into helping to restore and rejuvenate your energy depleted shift worker body.
So start using exercise as your fatigue management strategy. It’s going to help to improve your sleep, increase your energy levels, reduce muscle tension and also alleviate the effects of stress – a condition experienced by many shift workers around the world.