Manual work is hard. Ask any carpenter, plasterer, or a bricklayer how taxing their jobs are for their bodies, and they’ll tell you — a lot. Working at a job site usually entails lifting heavy objects, and it’s very difficult to retain proper lifting form when you need to lift objects quickly. Spending too much time on your feet can also cause many issues. Doing repetitive work is a sure way to get an injury.
However, with so many blue-collar Baby Boomers retiring, we are seeing an increased demand for manual and trade workers. If you are looking to take advantage of the blue-collar boom, you need to make sure that you take care of your body. And that doesn’t mean only to prepare and ensure safety at work, but also to learn how to recover after a day at work.
Disconnecting from Work
Blue collar jobs are not without stress. You will have a schedule you need to meet, you will be pushed to work more efficiently, and you will have to be focused to avoid any mishaps. All that stress will increase your levels of cortisol, the hormone of stress, which will make it harder for you to wind down after the work is done. And you will need to wind down if you want your body to recover after a day at work.
Among the many relaxation techniques you can practice, learning how to leave your work at the job site is one of the most important. If you carry your work home, you will stay tense and the quality of your sleep will suffer. There are many useful practices that will help you disconnect from work. Even the good old beer after a hard day’s work can be helpful, although you shouldn’t make it a habit.
Take a Bath
Hot and cold water treatments are often used for recovery. They do different things — a hot bath will reduce muscle tension and help you relax. Cold, usually in the form of ice, is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. Alternating between hot and cold can also be helpful.
You should use the treatment that works best for you. However, a warm bath can be very beneficial after a hard they at work. It will help your muscles relax and it will help you ease your mind. The water shouldn’t be too hot, though, just as you shouldn’t put ice directly on your skin when trying to cool your aching joints.
Take Care of Specific Problems
Heavy manual labor can cause several health issues, and you should keep them all in check. If you have a regimen your doctor or physiotherapist has prescribed you for after-work care, make sure you do it. You can do stretches that can help relieve back pain, for example.
You can take care of some issues on your own. If your legs are aching, lifting them while sitting might help. If your veins are swollen, you look into specific treatment options like compression stockings. Anti-inflammatory creams, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers, can also be helpful for a variety of issues, although you should always be careful when taking drugs.
Feed Your Body
Your body needs fuel to work, but it also needs it to recover from work. Blue collar workers often don’t have the time to eat well at work, or they don’t have the facilities for it. You should always make sure to eat well at work, but if you can’t, the least you can do is eat well when you get home.
Healthy food is the best. Instead of grabbing a burger, opt for a mix of protein and high-quality carbs. They will help you get the energy you need, as well as all the things your body needs to recover. Chicken breast and veggies are a great choice.
Finally, you should ensure you have plenty of high-quality sleep. If you manage to properly relax and detach from your work, you shouldn’t have a hard time falling asleep. And because you probably need to get up early in the morning, make sure you go to bed early enough.