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How to maintain healthy relationships when you work crazy hours

Posted by Chloe Papas on Feb 14, 2018 8:11:00 AM

A career in hospitality is rewarding in many different ways; it’s a dynamic industry, with the flexibility to move anywhere in the world, advance quickly and meet new people every day. But, a life of working in hospitality can have an effect on other areas of your life: namely, relationships.

Whether it’s friendships, romantic partners, or making sure you catch up with your mom once a week, finding the time and energy to maintain relationships out of work can be tough.

We have put together a list of health and wellbeing tips to remember when it all seems too difficult to juggle.


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Set healthy boundaries at work

It’s no secret that hospitality professionals can end up working long hours, and long weeks. Your usual set of shifts could turn into doubles, you might pick up a shift for a coworker, perhaps you put your hand up to work an event. It’s important to learn how to set boundaries - both for yourself, and for your manager.

Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to work each week, and take into consideration the emotional and physical toll overworking can have on you and your relationships.

Chat to your manager about the expectations they have, and come up with a flexible plan that works for your schedule; whether it’s limiting the number of shifts you do per week or blocking out a specific day here and there where you can’t be called in to cover someone.

Embrace mid-week dates 

Your friends keep inviting you to Friday night drinks, you met a new person on Tinder but keep having to cancel plans on a Saturday. It’s time to embrace mid-week dates and drinks; let your friends and potential significant other know that you often just can’t make it happen on the weekend.

Call your mom and tell her that Tuesday night you’ll be round for dinner, and meet your mates during their lunch breaks or after work during the week. Don’t be afraid to put your own wellbeing first instead of trying to fit in a bunch of social plans on the weekend - as well as work!


Spend some time phone-free

We know, it sounds a bit terrifying - but hear us out. Although you probably aren’t spending much time on your phone while you’re at work, outside of working hours it’s probably permanently on you, or sitting next to you.

Whether you realise it or not you might be on high alert in case your boss calls and asks you to pick up a shift, or an employee calls to go over plans for the next day. So give it a go; put your phone away or turn it off during your next date or drinks with friends, and spend a bit of time looking after yourself.

For your next catch up with friends, consider suggesting some fun activities which won't have you jumping at your next notification - host a board game or trivia night, go on a long hike trail, or take a new class. 

Communicate effectively outside of work

Perhaps at work, you’re a gun when it comes to communication - whether you work on the floor or manage back of house, you know how to make sure things run smoothly and everyone is kept happy. But for many hospitality professionals, the energy expended on positive communication at work can deplete a little in your home life.

However, it’s important for your wellbeing that you don’t let friendships and relationships fall away. Again, it’s about setting expectations with your mates and partner; you may not able to reply to their messages straight away, but you will when you can.

Try not to skip events or catch ups without letting your friends know why, and let them know that sometimes a chat on the phone might be the most you can do.

Bring your friends on board with your self-care

Staying healthy outside of work isn’t just about keeping up with friendships and relationships - it’s also about looking after your physical and mental wellbeing. But, there’s no reason why you can’t sometimes combine the two!

If you’re focusing on staying active, why not invite a friend along to your pilates class or to go for a run? Taken some leave and need to get away for a while? Make it a romantic trip or invite your mates away for a weekend. Need to debrief?

Your mid-week friend catch up could be the perfect person to talk through anything that is stressing you out. Need to spend some well-earned time with your partner? Set up a date that is just for the two of you; and not just at home on the couch!

There are many different ways to maintain healthy relationships and your own wellbeing when you lead the ever-changing life of a hospitality worker, but at the end of the day it comes down to communication and boundaries. Make sure you are valuing your own needs as much as you value those of your workplace and employer. And, don’t forget to call your mom!


Learn more about managing your health and wellbeing with our Exercise tips course from Leandra Rouse. Start now! 


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Topics: Health and wellbeing, Hospitality staff