Surviving the Christmas shopping season as a retail manager is comparable to surviving the Hunger Games. You’re exhausted, someone is always trying to pick a fight with you, and you’re in a never-ending search for food.
The long holiday shifts can be draining and sometimes you wonder if you’ll make it to see the New Year or even your bed. It’s the toughest marathon you’ll endure, but you know you have what it takes to own the holiday season.
Follow this survival kit below to help you endure the season ahead. Before you know it, January will come and you’ll have gone from the Hunger Games to a ghost town.
No matter where you work, you know that going in with a negative attitude only makes things worse. Time moves slower, your temperament with customers changes, and you’re not able to do your job to the best of your ability. Sure it’s hard starting your day off in a positive mood when you know you’ll have to deal with terrible people for the next 14 hours, but as the saying goes, “it takes just as much energy to be negative as it does to be positive”. So why not go for the latter? It will surely help your mental health and sanity in the long run.
Looking at your week ahead can be daunting, but you can tackle that fear with planning ahead as much as possible. Plan and pack meals for each shift as well as
things to eat before and after your shift. By planning your meals a week ahead, you’ll avoid wasting time in long lines at the food court during your break. You’ll also feel better that you’re not only saving money, but eating healthy throughout all the madness.
Take care of your feet as if they were your children
More than customers trying to tear your apart, your biggest enemy during the holiday season can be your feet. Running back and forth in the store and climbing stairs in the stock room can quickly take a toll on your feet within the first hour of your shift. Do yourself a favor and give your feet some TLC. Invest in a pair of sneakers that have some cushion and if that isn’t enough, add some feet pads for extra comfort. Let your feet breathe during breaks, change socks when necessary, and when it comes to the end of the day, give them a quick massage with a tennis ball.
Just because you’re running this show, doesn’t mean you can skip out on your breaks. You’re a human just like everyone else and need time to recharge during your shift. Be conscious of slower pockets in the day where you’ll feel more comfortable taking a break rather than checking out during the after lunch madness. If possible, try to find a quiet place to eat your lunch where you can relax, get some fresh air, and rebuild energy to last you the rest of your shift.
Like meals and breaks, water is absolutely essential to conquering the long days and nights working in retail. When you’re constantly running back and forth all day, it can be easy to forget about the vital liquid that can help you keep going. Rather than feeling like you spent the last year in a desert after your shift, find ways to get in those cups of water throughout the day. Make a goal of how many cups of water you need to drink in the day, then mark a tick on a piece of paper each time you finish a cup or make sure you drink a cup every hour. You can also opt for electrolyte-enhanced water that specifically helps combat dehydration.
How could such a simple task be so important to surviving in retail? Extremely important. It isn’t enough to just breathe normally throughout the day and expect to feel fine. We have to find multiple moments throughout the day where we can stop to take a few deep breathes where we can breathe in fresh positivity and breathe out toxins. Think of it as a quick cleanse for your body that doesn’t involve only drinking juices for a week. At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember as a retail manager is that you’re human and just like any other human you have to remember to take care of yourself. An athlete doesn’t train 24/7 and win the Olympic gold without plenty of rest, eating, and hydration and the same goes for you.