When you work long hours during any hellacious sale event, it is vital to keep yourself hydrated. Our bodies are like little cars taking us places and doing things. If we don't put gas in our body cars, they stop working and break down...
So our next tip for Black Friday Sale Hell or any kind of sale hell, is to make sure you stay hydrated and get enough water during the course of your shift. Having enough water will give you the energy you need to get through it without feeling like you were mauled by those Black Friday Shopping Zombies.
Debates rage on how much water you should be drinking daily, but working Retail Hell often doesn't give you the choice to follow any water regimen that you might have going for yourself and it can be such an all-consuming job when it comes to your attention. You may not know that you're dehydrated until you're already feeling the effects. Here are some dehydration warning signs to look for:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Dehydration can creep up quickly, especially if you're under stress or too busy to notice the signs. You don't want your afternoon bathroom break to be the sign that pulls all the symptoms together and puts your health at risk.
That said, drink in moderation but throughout the day; it's important for your health, but odds are if you're working a customer-facing job, you can't just walk off every time you need to go to the restroom.
If your store allows, keep a bottle of water at your station; you can grab a swig between customers. Depending on where you work, there may be policies against doing that but during sales rules about water are often relaxed. Management knows it's important even if they aren't doing anything about it (Like handing out water to their employees and encouraging them to drink and take breaks, wouldn't that be nice?)
If you aren't able to have water at your register or nearby in a stockroom, make sure to be thinking about the idea that your body needs water frequently and is quickly drying up like the Sahara desert as you ring up one custy after another. Force management to give you your break or at least allow you to slip away for a few moments to get hydrated!
A tip to keep your water cold, is to freeze a bottle or two overnight. Take sips as the ice melts over the duration of your Black Friday shift, and you will keep your body supplied with a steady flow of hydrating water.
Freddy recommends Trader Joe's Alkaline Water as an awesome hydrater for Retail Hell. It's at an affordable price of $1.19 for 1L and the water is unbelievably refreshing with no aftertaste. Without going into the science of it all, alkaline water helps neutralize acid in the bloodstream, which leads to increased oxygen levels and improved energy. Some folks use it for anti-aging and healing, but it's an excellent way to get super hydrated quickly. And the water tastes great on top of it!
Alkaline or not, perhaps you loath water and your tastebuds need more to get you to drink up. Here are other ways to stay hydrated during your sale hell shift:
Coconut Water is a great hydrator, and low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. Its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating (assuming you like its unique taste).
Coffee, Tea, and Juices
Coffee is the number one choice of drink outside of water for just about everyone working in retail! Our little buddy, Mr. Caffeine helps get us through those fiery days of Retail Hell. But it does not replace the benefits of pure water for hydration. It's better to treat coffee as an accessory to your water drinking and letting it give you a boost of energy, but don't drink more than one cup and don't drink it on an empty stomach. There's nothing worse than "coffee stomach!" If you're not a lover of coffee, hopefully there is some sort of tea you are able to enjoy. Juices are great too as they are packed with vitamins and hydrating abilities, but most have to remain chilled and they don't replace water that your dried up sale hell body so desperately needs.
Another way to keep your hydration up during a long sale shift is at lunch. Try and avoid the Burger and Fries even though your tired mind in search of tastebud joy is telling you that's what the body wants. On Black Friday or any sale day where you are working hideously long hours, try not to overeat (because that can make you sleepy) and stick with foods that will help hydrate you. On the flip side of hell, many people forget to eat and that's not good either. Many of us have been there. Make sure your body gets nourishment. Fruits and veggies like watermelon, lettuce, strawberries, celery will absorb quicker into your body, that Ultimate Cheeseburger not so much...
Energy and Sports Drinks
We don't recommend Energy and Sports Drinks on their own for staying hydrated even though that is the claim to fame with many of them -- your body still needs WATER, plain old WATER -- but they are an AWESOME accessory to Sale Hell, especially if you are dragging and feeling like you want to crawl underneath the register and go to sleep.
There are all kinds of health drinks and vitamins loaded with zippy energy like ginseng, B vitamins, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, taurine, mau haung, or yohimbe just to name a few. Find an energy drink or supplement that works for you and if you are on a low or no sugar diet, always read labels. Some drinks will be healthy like they say, and others contain too much sugar and corn syrup.
Freddy no longer drinks Diet Rockstar as you've seen in this classic RHU pics, but it was always one of his favorites in Retail Hell. For a long shift of sale hell he recommends 5-hour Energy. (They also make it caffeine free) His tip is to buy the 5 Hour Energy Extra Strength and keep it in your pocket or near the register all day. Instead of drinking it all at once you sip from it, taking nips all day long as you need them. Getting blasts of fruity energy throughout.
Taking Vitamins and herbs is also an excellent way to keep your energy up during Black Friday, but remember, you still need to drink water. Lots of water.
A sale can get busy and before you know it hours have passed and you have had no drink. One way to tell if your body is dehydrated is by checking out the color of your urine. Your pee should be a pale yellow color. Any darker than that, means you should be drinking some water.
Whatever your choice is to stay hydrated, just remember to drink throughout your shift when you can. Too often the chaos of retail and sales can make us feel like we are robots and our minds end up being captured by the store. The last thing we are thinking about is what our body needs. But if we don't take care of ourselves during our work shifts, who will? Definitely not The Store. It wants you glued behind that register ringing and greeting custys. It's up to us.
Take care of your body on Black Friday and drink lots of Water!