VA Self-Care: How to Survive Night Shifts
Being mentally and physically healthy corresponds to being more productive at work. Because of this, it’s important for virtual assistants to prioritize their health and overall well-being.
Working from home and having an online job has many perks, but there is one factor that every aspiring virtual assistant must know: there will be times when you cannot freely choose your work schedule. This is due to the fact that the clients who outsource virtual assistants are usually based abroad. While some might not require you to work during their work hours, others definitely will. Being awake and functional at night is tough, but there’s no need to fret even if you are given the graveyard shift. Here are the best ways to survive night shifts:
Transition smoothly to your new work schedule.
The moment you are hired, you will be oriented and informed about your new work schedule. Ease your way into conditioning your body and mind to get used to this by preparing ahead of time. For example, if you are required to work from midnight until 9 in the morning, try to stay awake three days to a week before this new schedule so your body is used to it when the actual day comes.
Stick to your new schedule as much as you can. Do not attempt to stay awake day and night because this will lead to exhaustion and mental fatigue. Obviously, when you do not have a sound body and mind, it will derail your productivity and quality of work. As much as possible, sleep at the same time each day.
It’s very easy to be unhealthy at night. This is when the rest of the household is asleep and the only items available to snack on are chips, cookies and instant noodles. Having easy access to 24-hour fast food delivery options is also a fast way to the path of obesity. Do not compromise your health by settling with low-quality food. Prepare your meals ahead of time. Choose food items that have a lot of health benefits that will help your body function well. Avoid fast food, junk food and overly processed food items at all costs. Eat the right amount and avoid starvation and over-indulging. Balance is key.
Have a fitness regimen.
Be active and make this a lifestyle that you can sustain. Most VAs complain of extreme weight gain. This is due to the sedentary lifestyle that some virtual assistants have adopted. Working from home changes your body’s dynamics. Since the preparation for work, commuting to and from the office are eliminated from your daily schedule, your activities become limited. Because you burn less calories daily, unwanted weight gain happens. Avoid this by having a fitness regimen that you can stick to. There are many exercises that can be easily done in the comforts of your home. It’s just a matter of making it happen.
Getting quality sleep is vital for your mental and physical health. Try to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours. Make it known in your household that you have a new sleep schedule so they don’t interrupt your sleep. Having continuous sleep adds value to the quality of sleep that you have.
Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine.
Some virtual assistants think that energy drinks and coffee are the answer to staying awake. This is true for about 2 to 3 hours. After the initial high, you will feel a sudden drop in energy level. This crash will leave you feeling sluggish and down. If you need a boost, just take a cup of coffee when you start your shift. Limit additional cups and avoid them altogether if you can.
Surviving night shifts require discipline and practice. Remember that a proper self-care regimen is vital if you intend to stay reliable, focused and highly productive. After all, these are the key characteristics a VA must aspire to have if they want to remain in the industry.
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