When you work the night shift, it can feel impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When your schedule is the opposite of your natural instincts, it can be difficult to find time to make healthy choices. The good news is that though it takes some extra effort, you can adopt a healthy lifestyle when working a night shift
1. Plan Your Meals
Meal planning and prep is a night shifter’s best friend. Lack of energy is extremely common when you work overnight, and it’s very easy to fall into the trap of grabbing things out of a vending machine when you’re busy. You can give yourself an advantage by prepping healthy meals and snacks for the week. That way, all you have to do is grab your food out of the fridge or freezer and go, and you have access to healthy food when you need it most.
2. Stop At The Gym On Your Way Home
You likely understand the importance of exercise for your health and energy levels. But as a night shift worker, you know it can be impossible to find the time. Many overnighters have found that working out immediately after their shift ends is the ideal time for them. Stopping at the gym, taking a run after work or doing yoga when you get home helps you to wind down and signals to your body that it’s time to rest.
3. Be Mindful Of How You Spend Your Days Off
It is common for night shift workers to attempt to keep their schedules consistent on their days off so that their bodies do not have to re-adjust to the night shift. This can work, but it can also be a bit impractical, especially if you have children.
One thing night workers should not do is stay up for 12 or more hours before the first shift of the week. This is a highly common practice, but it has been found to be the least effective strategy for adjusting your internal clock to a night shift schedule.
Try to find a plan that works for you, but make sure you’re mindful of how you are spending your days off and whether you are harming your ability to get into or stay into a night shift mode.
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