June 25, 2013
So you’ve landed a job in a call center. The pay is high and your colleagues seem fun, hip, and happening. You’re looking forward to hanging out in bars and partying. Looks like you’re headed for ‘the good life’.
But as with all ‘good things’, too much of it can be bad for you. Here’s the flip side. Late nights, working the graveyard shift, erratic sleep patterns, improper diet, meals consumed at odd hours—can all wreak havoc on your body. When you should be in the ‘prime of your life’, you might just end up feeling old, tired, ill, and even depressed. A study conducted by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute and the International Labor Organization in 2010 revealed that more than half of the country’s call center workers experienced fatigue (54 percent) and insomnia (47.7 percent). The situation seems the same everywhere.
So what’s the solution? There’s a way to work around this. That’s by bringing in a sense of work-life balance, getting enough rest, and eating right.
1. Load up on proteins before your night shift: Grilled fish, chicken, eggs, tofu, soybean, and nuts are a rich source of protein, which gets converted into amino acids by your body and helps build muscle and blood. Protein prevents fatigue. So go for it.
2. Don’t cut out carbs: You might have heard that carbs are bad, but your body needs a certain amount of it. Foods rich in carbohydrate and tryptophan produce serotonin, which is a hormone that regulates learning, mood, sleep, and vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels). You can get carbs from whole grains (the less processed, the better) and fruits. Alternatively, you could also try vegetables, such as potatoes, parsnips, and beans. Get your supply of tryptophan from cheese, chicken, turkey, tofu, soy, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. A meal that consists of food rich in carbs and tryptophan also helps you sleep better.
3. Cut out caffeine and nicotine: Call center workers tend to have endless cups of coffee in a day. Substitute this with buttermilk, herbal tea, green tea, or tulsi tea, which are good for you. Green tea contains anti-oxidants that helps neutralize free radicals.
If you haven’t smoked ever, don’t get tempted to start. There’s nothing ‘cool’ about it. It’s a habit that can ruin your health and lead to premature ageing and an early death. If you are a smoker, try hard to quit.
*Here’s how kicking that butt can change your life:
• 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
• 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
• 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
• 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
• 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.
• 5 years after quitting: Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
• 10 years after quitting: The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.
• 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.
4. Eat dinner before 8 pm: When you finish dinner by 8, you give your body enough time to digest the food. After 8, your metabolism slows down considerably, so it becomes harder to digest the food.
5. Get some exercise: Figure out what kind of exercise suits you. Whether it’s a workout at a gym, a few laps in a pool, a hot yoga session, pilates, power yoga, zumba, or aerobics—there’s a form of exercise for everyone. While you may not like gym workouts, you might love zumba or vice versa. So choose a form of exercise that you love and make it a part of your daily life. Exercise boosts brainpower, melts away stress, and wards off diseases. It also brings about a positive mindset since exercise releases endorphins or the happy hormones.
When you modify your lifestyle, you make room for good things to start happening in your life. Get started today!