Maintaining a positive mindset while shift working

Shift work can take a toll on your mental health. Learn how to adopt and maintain a positive mindset.
Published 27 June 2021

When it comes to your overall health and wellness, taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. This is especially important as a shift worker, as it can take a toll on your mental health and affect your overall mindset. Here are some simple ways you can adopt a more positive mindset when shift working:

Spend time or connect with family and friends

Spending time with family and friends can positively impact our mindset in several ways, for example can improve our mood, boost our happiness and also help us cope with stress we may be experiencing. Each week, try and schedule a catch up with your nearest and dearest around your working schedule. If some weeks are trickier than others, consider virtual catch ups such as FaceTime or Zoom calls - these can be just as effective in helping your mindset for the week ahead.

Make time for yourself

More often than not, we tend to prioritise the “must do” items on our to-do list each week like work, errands and chores, and forget to make time for ourselves. But making time for the things we enjoy, or taking time to unwind is just as important. Not only can it help us to relax, to clear our minds and recuperate for the week ahead, it can increase positive emotions and increase our overall happiness in the longer term. Each week, aim to pencil in some me time into the calendar so it becomes a priority for you

Words of wisdom from Shellie WeightWatchers® Coach

Shellie was previously a flight attendant for seventeen years and a resort worker for another five years.

“You may feel like you miss out on a lot when not working regular hours – friends, family and a lot of celebrations – it can be very lonely. I would make time to do things by myself, special things like a movie or a nice lunch somewhere to lift my mood. Focusing on what made me happy was really helpful, so did uplifting podcasts or mindfulness apps.”

Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can be a powerful way to help us shift our mindset, as it allows us to step back and become aware of our thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness is also a great way to practice gratitude and appreciation.

Acknowledge that you’re only human

Being kind to ourselves, aka applying self-compassion is important when aiming to maintain a positive mindset. It can also help us get back on track with our weight loss and wellness goals and help us cope during stressful periods when we experience setbacks on our journeys. Next time you notice negative or unhelpful thoughts, ask yourself ‘What would I say to a friend if they were in this situation?’ While it may seem simple, this can be a powerful technique to help you shift your mindset.

Some words of wisdom from WW Coach Abby

“Speak to yourself the way you would your best friend! You don't have to believe every thought that pops into your head! A helpful sentence to remember when those negative thoughts creep in.”