Managing Mental Health as a Retail Worker

faceless woman with cardboard box on head against pond

Working in retail can be stressful and demanding. It may seem easy at first; you get to be around merchandise all day, assist customers and stand at checkout. That said, once you have worked in retail, you realize that there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. You will face daily challenges and hurdles that require patience to overcome. You may have to deal with long hours, difficult customers, and low pay. These challenges can affect your mental health and well-being. However, there are some tools that can help you cope and thrive in your retail job. Here are some of them:

Self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for your mental health. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and doing things that make you happy. Self-care can help you reduce stress, boost your mood, and improve your resilience. By including other activities and interests you can help you maintain a balanced lifestyle. You also need to be aware of your physical wellbeing. Retail requires a lot of standing time, lifting boxes, using ladders. Being set with the right shoes, posture and stamina can also help your tolerance and recovery to complete your duties.

Support network: Having people who support you can make a big difference in your mental health. This can include your family, friends, co-workers, or professional help. You can reach out to them when you need to vent, get advice, or just have a chat. Support networks can help you feel less isolated and more valued. They can help you work through scenarios you come across sharing experiences and guiding you from making the same mistakes on situations they may have been through, provide sales advice, tips and best practices to help you improve in your roll and prepare you to grow into new positions.

Boundaries: Setting boundaries is important for your mental health. This means knowing your limits and saying no when you need to. You don’t have to take on more than you can handle or accept unreasonable demands from customers or managers. Boundaries can help you protect your time, energy, and self-esteem. Avoid gossip! Talking negatively about others eventually works itself around to those that you may not want to include. This could affect the work environment negatively, the team relationships and your long-term job opportunities if word spreads that you take part or lead that gossip.

Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help you manage your mental health. This means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the present moment. Outside of your work include other favorite activities to take your mind off of the concerns, issues and stress you incur. Whether video games, sports or family time, it gives you a mental break and takes your mind to another place easing some of the pressures of retail especially during busy sales times like the pressures of the holiday season. You can use mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, or journaling to calm your mind and body. Mindfulness can help you reduce anxiety, improve focus, and enhance your emotional regulation.