If you’re looking for a holiday job to bring in a little extra cash this year, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Seasonal jobs for Christmas can be great, but they’re also challenging, as many industries, such as retail and postal work, really ramp up during November and December. Once you do find a holiday job, use these tips to take care of yourself and make the best of your role while you have it.

  1. Pay attention when packing your lunch and snacks. Bring food that will energize and nourish you, not weigh you down and make you sleepy. Avoid pasta and sandwiches, as carbs will cause a crash later on. Instead, try hard-boiled eggs, nuts, fruits, whole grains like oats, salads with protein, and yogurt. And don’t come to work on an empty stomach. Breakfast is essential to get through a day on the move.
  3. Stay hydrated. It can be easy to grab a soft drink from the vending machine for a quick sugar rush, but it won’t last and will only make you feel sluggish in the end. Instead, bring water with you and refill it regularly from the drinking fountain or tap. Staying hydrated will help you avoid headaches, stay energized and will help tide you over if you can’t get away for a meal as soon as you’d like.
  5. Dress appropriately. Your part time seasonal job is not a fashion show – take care of your feet and legs! 8-12 hour shifts on your feet, whether you’re at a cash register, on a retail floor or sorting loads of holiday mail, can really take a toll, especially if you’re not used to it. Choose footwear that is sized properly and breathable. An added shoe insole can help provide cushioning and arch support when you need it most. Break in shoes and insoles for a few days before your first long shift.
  7. Respect your breaks. While breaks unfortunately often come too few and far between during the holiday season, when you do get them, take them! Don’t worry about how much you still have to get done, and don’t treat them as time to run your own errands. Head directly for the break room and take a seat. Put your feet up, or try some quick exercises to ease foot pain. Take advantage of any quiet moments to reset your mind for the rest of your shift.

In addition to these tips to care for your physical health, remember to consider your mental well-being and that of your coworkers and customers too. The holidays can be tough on many people, so do your best to let the stress roll off you, try to learn fast to make your trainers’ lives easier and also have as much compassion as possible for difficult customers.

You will get through this, with some extra money for your own holiday shopping!