Work-Life Balance as a Shift Worker: Tips and Opportunities

We all have our roles to play both inside and outside of work. You could be a registered nurse at work and a mother at home. Each role is valid and can take up a lot of our energy, so it is important to find a work-life balance. As attitudes towards work continue to change, it is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee to ensure there are procedures in place to find this balance and avoid burnout.


As shift workers, it can be particularly difficult to have this balance as there may be a lack of routine or pattern in the times you work. However, there are steps and healthy habits to consider to make things more manageable:


Take Breaks!


It may sound obvious, but it is one easy way to prevent burnout and create a pause between your busy schedules. Particularly if you have completed a long task, try to take 5-10 minutes in a different environment to relax and recharge. Get a drink, get some fresh air, or simply take a minute to sit and breathe. Not only is this healthy for you, but it will ensure you can maintain the energy to complete the rest of your day to the best of your ability.


Ensure 7-8 hours Sleep.


We recognise that this can be easier said than done, especially if you work nights or irregular shifts. Consider taking short naps! Make a note of your shifts in the week and allocate time to sleep between them. Keep track of your sleep patterns in a diary to help identify if you are getting enough sleep.


Food is Fuel!


Your shifts might fall on irregular eating times, but it is still important to adapt your eating habits to suit this. It is recommended, rather than having three big meals, to consider regular light meals/snacks with foods which are easy to digest, such as pasta, rice, bread, and salad. Remember to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated!


A benefit of working in an agency is you have control over the shifts you work; you simply tell us your availability. This gives you the flexibility to work at the times that suit you making it easier to create this work–life balance for yourself.


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