Being the first to arrive and the last to leave isn’t easy. It can be a challenge to stay safe, keep focused and remain calm and grounded, given the high job demands faced at work.
Consider this to be your digital support pack, for when you need to take a moment and come back to baseline.
TAKE A BREATHER (VIDEO AND GUIDED AUDIO)
BOX BREATHING EXERCISE (VIDEO ONLY)
Highly trained military individuals use box breathing — also called “the Navy SEAL breathing technique” — to steel their nerves and focus before entering high-pressure situations. So do professional athletes, police officers, and nurses. It’s a great breathing practice to bring yourself back to baseline if you’re feeling stressed, angry, overwhelmed or anxious.
HUNGRY? ANGRY? LONELY? TIRED?
Take a moment to check in with yourself. Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired?
When we’re feeling like this, we can overwhelm our ability to focus, and will find it tough to remain calm and tackle workplace challenges. Note if you often tend to be out of balance in one area. By proactively making sure you never get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired, you can help protect yourself against injuries, illnesses and mental health symptoms.
Hungry? Eat something nutritious to provide energy to sustain you through a demanding shift. Ensure you’re staying hydrated with regular water top-ups.
Angry? Notice when those feelings start to bubble up and catch yourself before you react. Take a moment to plug into calm with the breathing tips above.
Lonely? Have a chat with someone at work. Open up when someone asks how you’re doing. Check in with folks at work who don’t seem to be doing great.
Tired? Understand your sleep, rest and recovery needs. Talk to your manager if you think you’re at risk of fatigue and do something to manage it, such as taking regular micro-breaks. Short breaks of around 10 minutes taken during a work shift are surprisingly effective for recovering from work stress.
When our bodies and minds need to recover and reset the most (i.e., when we’re most depleted), we’re the least likely — and able — to do something about it.
For example, when work is demanding and we’re feeling overwhelmed, we quickly slide into a negative cycle of working longer hours and taking fewer breaks.
During those stressful times, we also tend to eat less healthily, even though adequate nutrition and hydration are important to replenishing energy levels. Further depleted, we have less energy and motivation to take time out to relax or engage in exercise, leading to low recovery and in turn, further exhaustion the next day. Rinse and repeat.
EAT WELL. Fuel your body with nutritious food and stay hydrated to help your body reenergize and recuperate. Find a range of meals you enjoy.
REST. Understand your sleep, rest and recovery needs. Implement good sleep hygiene by sleeping at roughly the same time each night, for at least 6 hours.
CONNECT. Make time for the important people in your life.
MOVE. Get your body moving with regular exercise. Find an activity that you enjoy that works for your body and is easy to commit to regularly.
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE PDF PLUG-IN PACK FOR ONSITE AND RECOVERY WELLBEING TIPS
TALK ABOUT IT
For crew, speaking with a health professional might seem like you are ‘weak’, when in fact, it’s probably the strongest thing you can do.
If you’re finding it difficult to cope with everyday life or are simply feeling confused, overwhelmed or isolated, speaking to a third party who doesn’t personally know you is often easier.
Health professionals deal with mental health concerns every day and are trained to support you with sensitive issues. You also don’t need to wait until things are really bad to get support. Often, it’s reaching out to deal with issues before they spiral out of control that makes the biggest difference. Importantly, anything you discuss with a counsellor or health professional is strictly private and confidential.
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