Top Tips for Hospitality Shift Workers

I want to share some thoughts that’s relevant to you as a hospitality industry shift worker who works works long, disjointed hours.  Coping with shift work can be difficult. 

“Work to live, don’t live to work”

“The easiest way to deal with working long hours was just to make it enjoyable, have a laugh and banter with the customers. At the end of the day, the best way to get through it is to keep yourself busy at all times.”

“Large vanilla latte, extra shot of espresso, plus a double choc muffin!”

“Working in hot busy environments should be treated in the same way as running a marathon. Plenty of water and fruit juice will maintain blood sugar levels and help you to stay alert.”

“Getting stressed and angry diminishes energy. The best chefs and hospitality staff operate in a calm professional way and never even need to raise their voices.”

“Switch off from work as soon as you leave and then totally relax with a long soak in the bath!”

“I work long days that are event driven, so I could work from 6am to 11pm and be back in work again at 6 the next morning. My tip is to be prepared and always prep meals in advance. Make time for breaks — if you don’t eat, your energy levels drop.”

“Don’t lie in bed all day! On your day off, get up so you have the entire day to yourself. It’s so easy to snooze the entire morning away, but you‘re stealing time away from yourself.”

“If it’s late and you’ve just finished a long busy shift, spend some time while the restaurant is quiet to take care of paperwork or tasks you haven’t been able to complete yet. You’ll sleep with a clear mind instead of thinking and worrying about things building up.” 

“If you work nights like I do, it’s your social life, so just enjoy! It’s a lifestyle, not just a job.”

“Drink lots of water — it really helps with sore feet!” 

“Before you go to bed drink a cup of warm milk or hot chocolate. It’s been putting me to sleep every night for the last ten years.”

“My top tip for relaxing and getting an early night is eliminating alcohol and caffeine before bed. It seems obvious but it really makes that difference.”

“Be organised from the moment you get into work and have a time management plan. It saves on the stress later.”

“Get away from it all at least once a week. Do something completely different, like sport, visiting a new place, relaxation or massage.”

“If you live on the premises, make time to get out of the building on your day off. It’s so tempting just to crash and relax in your room. You don’t have to do anything heavy, just release yourself from ‘cabin fever’ and breathe some fresh air. It’s an effort, but it relaxes you and helps you focus your mind. As they say, a change is better than a rest.”

“When doing a dreaded ‘late-early’ (finishing work at 11pm and starting again at 7 the next morning), the temptation is to get into bed as soon as you get home from work that night. Instead, spend an hour doing whatever you find most calming, like reading or having a bath. You’ll spend the limited time you have in a deeper sleep, so you aren’t totally shattered in the morning.”

“When you get home after a long, tiring shift, lie on a soft surface and put your feet up against a wall so they’re higher than your head (this helps the blood circulate through your body properly). Then close your eyes and think about all the good or funny things that happened at work that day/evening. Avoid negative feelings and just focus on the positive — works every time!”

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