Waiting tables may look like an easy job, but it definitely isn’t, and this high-pressure, draining job can also cost you your health and even your life if you don’t take care of yourself from the start. Being a server is hectic; it’s grueling, physically demanding, and subjects a person to some seriously rude people that they have to deal with nicely.
According to research, any job with a low-wage and high workload can be extremely stressful and even cause strokes and heart problems. Late-night shifts, irregular working hours, and staying on your feet for hours, along with missed meals and other minor injuries while waiting tables, can be exhaustive.
So, how can you take care of your health while working as a waiter? Here are some tips for all the waiters out there:
1. Get Your Employer’s Attention towards this Matter
First and foremost, while you are still in the process of getting hired, make sure that your potential employer understands the importance of the health of the employees. Also, you should consider all the factors before becoming a server. Do your research about the fundamental health-related things such as breaks, the environment of the workplace, working shifts, and smoking policies. In such a way, it will be easier for you to decide whether the circumstances allow you to stay healthy while working or not.
However, if you didn’t do this while getting hired, make sure you ask your employer to take action about the things that are actually problematic and are harming your health. But do this tactfully so that your employer sees the problem instead of just giving you some excuse.
The good news is that nowadays, most employers are focusing on the health factors of their employees, as these modifications don’t only benefit the employees but also the employers indirectly.
2. Don’t Forget to Have Your Breakfast
Instead of skipping breakfast, ensure that you have a proper filling breakfast and make it a habit. It is even more necessary if you are working morning shifts. To make it a routine, ensure that you have your breakfast at the same time every day, whether it’s your shift or not. This way, your body will get used to it, and you will ultimately feel the need for a healthy breakfast every day.
Your breakfast doesn’t have to have expensive so-called healthy cereals or spreads, but it can be a simple breakfast including some fruits, nuts, and protein sources along with a cup of coffee or, even better, a glass of juice. Foods rich in fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients are more filling and can provide more energy to get you going throughout the day, especially when you have to wait tables all day long.
3. Make Sure You Get Your Meal Break While Working
Working long shifts can make you skip meals, which isn’t a healthy choice. We understand and find it quite odd that most restaurants don’t have any proper space for their staff to have their meals. So, if you are working in a restaurant that doesn’t have any facility like that for its staff, make sure you do some research and find a quiet corner where you can have your meal.
Skipping meals shouldn’t be a standard practice, as it can lead to malnutrition and other health issues. Moreover, humans need the energy to keep working, and that comes from proper food. So, from now on, make sure you have one meal packed with you while going to work. It can be a simple sandwich or a bowl of salad, whatever you like.
4. Move As Much As Possible, but Don’t Forget to Relax Either
In this regard, waiting tables is actually a helpful job. According to research, people who sit for more than six hours a day are at a higher risk of dying of heart attack and have other heart problems than those who keep moving and sit less.
However, staying on your feet all the time is also unhealthy and can cause you to have a bad posture along with other bone and muscle problems. So, ensure that you don’t forget to sit down and relax for a few minutes every now and then.
5. Stay Hydrated
Water is life, and lack of water can cause so many problems in your body. Not drinking water and having high sugar beverages instead will never hydrate your body properly. Moreover, it can lead to exhaustion, obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, and several other chronic diseases. So instead of drinking sodas or sugary juices, simply have water and keep yourself hydrated.
If you want to have something fruity, eat fruit instead of drinking those bottled so-called fruit juices that contain tons of preservatives and other chemicals.
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking is injurious to health; that’s the fact that all of us know. However, waiters and servers tend to smoke more because of the stress and exhaustion that comes along with their job. But let us tell you the truth, smoking wouldn’t solve a single problem; instead, it will just add up to your issues by ruining your health.
If you are not a smoker, it would be better to stay away from this slow poison; however, if you already smoke, try quitting this habit for good. Your health should be your priority, and a cigarette shouldn’t ruin it.
7. Get Proper Sleep
Proper sleep is essential, no matter you are a waiter or not. Irregular sleeping patterns and not getting enough sleep can cause serious damage to your health, including increased stress, hypertension, and a weak immune system.
If you are not getting enough sleep, you are most likely to provide bad service at the restaurant as well. Ensure that you have your sleeping cycle on track and you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep every day. Also, if you get some time for a short nap, never miss a chance. It’s better to take care of your sleep than look like a zombie at work.
8. Never Ignore the Signals Your Body is Giving You
Most people, especially servers who have to work every day to earn a living, tend to ignore the red signals their bodies give them. We understand that sometimes, ignoring is all you can do; however, too much ignoring can lead to severe health problems.
Moreover, it’s not just your physical health that gets affected while waiting tables, the rude comments and harsh customers you deal with all day long can also have a long-lasting negative impact on your mental health.
Ignoring your physical and mental health can really make you end up in a big mess that’s definitely isn’t easy to heal from. To cope with such issues, practice mindfulness. If you feel down, anxious, or sick, take action as soon as possible. Do what can be done to deal with a certain problem, and don’t let it mess with your mental or physical health.
Taking care of your health with such a hectic job is never easy, but it’s not an impossible task either. So make sure you prioritize your health, as a healthy body is what will keep you working.