August marks Tradies National Health Month, a time for all tradies to reflect on their health and well-being. It’s been a tough year for everyone, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re looking after yourself both mentally and physically. Here are some tips on how to prioritise your health:
Take Your Mental Health Seriously
Mental health is often overlooked in a physically demanding industry, but it’s just as important as physical health. Stress, anxiety, and depression can impact your work performance and well-being. That’s why it’s vital to be attentive to your mental condition and to seek help when you need it.
The following mental health resources can help:
- Mental Health First Aid Australia – A national not-for-profit organisation that teaches companies the skills to recognise mental health crises and give someone the support they need.
- Beyond Blue – An organisation that helps people suffering from anxiety and depression connect with mental health services and professionals.
- TradieWives – An online community that supports and empowers the wives and partners of tradies. This community serves as a hub for advice, tips, and shared experiences. It can also be a great source for finding relevant counselling services and support.
- TradeMutt– An Australian workwear brand that aims to raise awareness about the mental health problems and suicide rates among tradies. The company sells clothing that not only makes tradies feel and look great, but also donates 50% of profits to charity groups. TradeMutt has also helped thousands of tradies gain access to free mental health support.
- MATES – A charity organisation that provides suicide prevention through community outreach programmes, mental health training, and 24/7 support lines.
Don’t Overexert Yourself
While you may feel the need to push yourself due to looming deadlines, it’s important to know your limits. Overexerting yourself can lead to exhaustion, chronic illness, and debilitating injuries. If you feel pain, dizziness, excessive fatigue or shortness of breath, stop what you’re doing and rest. These are all signs that your body is telling you to slow down.
To avoid overexertion on the job, use proper lifting techniques, take frequent breaks, and pace yourself. If a load is too heavy, get help from a colleague or use the appropriate equipment where possible. Listen to your body at the first sign of discomfort and take breaks during long days on the field. Also, make sure to warm up before starting any physical activity, and stretch afterwards to prevent injuries.
Wear the Right Gear
The best way to reduce the risk of fatal accidents and injuries on the job is to wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves, safety glasses, high-visibility clothing, steel-capped boots, and masks. Wearing the proper PPE can help protect you from hazards, including electrical shocks, falls, and chemical splashes.
In hot and sunny weather, it’s especially important to stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, wear appropriate clothing, and take breaks in the shade. Working outdoors for prolonged periods can increase your risk of heatstroke, sunburns, and skin cancer.
You need to be physically fit to do your job well. Strong muscles, good stamina, and endurance will help you get through the day. To get fit, you can try weightlifting, swimming, running, or playing sport after work.
Mobility exercises are also incredibly important in preventing injuries. A good way to improve your mobility is to do some basic stretches every day, both before and after work. Yoga and callisthenics are excellent for building core strength and flexibility, which is beneficial for almost every task on the field.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Maintaining your energy levels by eating the right food is essential. A healthy diet reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It also helps with weight management, gives you more energy, and can improve your mood.
A tradies’ diet should consist of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit your intake of sugary drinks, fried foods, and processed meat. While the occasional Maccas run can’t hurt, try not to make it a habit. If you’re short on time, prepare quick and easy recipes like wraps, sandwiches, and stir fries for the week ahead. You should also pack healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggie sticks to keep you going throughout the day. Last but not least, stay hydrated, especially during the summer months.
Consult With a Physio
Regular check-ups with a GP or physio can help identify any health concerns early. If you’ve been experiencing pain or discomfort, don’t ignore it! Proactively addressing any aches or pains will help you recover faster and get back to work feeling your best.
Making your health a priority is key to avoiding burnout and staying sharp. For more tips on how to stay healthy throughout the year, talk to us at WorkBuddy. We also offer a job management platform that puts your health and safety first. Book a free demo today to see how we do just that.