Stress is inevitable, and in small doses it can actually be a good thing, giving us a hint of adrenaline that makes us ‘superhuman’ at times. It’s when you’re in a constant state of panic that it can be problematic though, and it’s sometimes hard to fight it when the environment around you starts to get overwhelmingly busy. It’s natural to feel this way in hospitality at this time of year. Whether you’re managing staff or working shifts, now more than ever it’s important to ensure you look after yourself and control your stress levels. It will actually make you more productive when you are under the pump at work. So, rather than tripling your regular caffeine intake and running yourself thin this year, try our top tips to reduce stress and let’s tackle the busy season together.
Perhaps you’re already run off your feet at work, but we mean the kind of exercise that’s for you, in your own time. Exercise releases those positive endorphins, which make us feel a natural high after. This can help clear your mind and make you feel calmer and more productive when you do go back to work. You don’t have to add in a gruelling hour long HIIT class everyday (unless that’s what you’re into), but why not try making your latte a takeaway and taking a brisk walk around the block rather than sitting in, or waking up 20 minutes earlier and trying some yoga to stretch into that busy day ahead? Find something you love and dedicate some time during your week to it to see how much better you feel.
When you’re busy, you might think you don’t have enough time for yourself let alone your friends and family. Prioritising this will make a massive difference to your mental health though. An abundance of evidence supports how meaningful relationships with friends, family and our wider community is one of the most important things for mental wellbeing, as it gives us a sense of belonging and purpose. Try taking your lunch break with a colleague, turning off the television at night and eating a meal with your housemates, or make the most of technology with the likes of Facetime to stay in touch with those you may not live close to.
Sleep is imperative for our mental health, and it’s often pushed to the bottom of our priority list. We all know how important it is, but achieving more or better quality sleep is not always the easiest task. Try these tips; dedicate your bed to the place for sleep only, that means not working or watching Netflix there. Your body is then more likely to condition itself so when you get into bed it knows this means it’s time to sleep. Soak in a magnesium salt bath before bed. This relaxes your nervous system and replenishes your natural levels of magnesium, which is a vital mineral that we burn up when under stress. Practice some mindfulness before you sleep. This could be reading a book, some breathing exercises or even using apps like ‘calm’ or ‘headspace’ for some guided meditation that may help you drift off after.
Stress can be greatly reduced by feeling like we are in control of our lives. Try writing a list of what needs to be done in order of urgency and tick off tasks as you go. If you’re enjoying the life of flexible working hours, you get the luxury of effectively planning your own rota. This can tempt you to take on more than you should though. Remember, holiday pay is included for every hour you work and we encourage you to plan your shifts around giving yourself time off when you need it to keep healthy each week. Try a calendar on your wall and write your shifts down in advance so your schedule is right in front of you. You may also find looking up the commute and noting it down in advance gets you feeling on top of your week and more prepared, leaving you with more time for yourself when you aren’t at work.
Take that ‘me time’ we all need, it’s not selfish! Listen to your favourite music or podcast, cuddle your dog, get a massage, visit a museum, whatever it is that makes you feel happy and relaxed is so important to make time for, especially when you are busy. Doing things you love makes you more content and satisfied, so that when stress does come up you are actually more resilient and can manage it in a more efficient way.
We hope that these tips can help you destress during the busy season, and if there’s anything we can do to help you out here at Rota then please feel free to get in touch.