Recognize 5 Psychological Effects Of Working Retail [Plus Tips To Cope]

Working a retail job is notorious for being mentally exhausting, and the psychological effects can be significant.

Has your work as a retail employee affected your mental health? Do you find yourself struggling to cope with the pressure and long hours? If so, you’re not alone.

Several psychological effects can occur when you’re working in retail, and it’s no wonder many people want to avoid it. 

However, don’t let them keep you from getting your desired job. 

In this article, I’ll tell you about some of the psychological effects of working a retail job and provide tips on how to cope with them. 

Read on.

1. Stress

Stress is one of the psychological effects that can be caused by working in a retail job. It’s often called the “crowding out” of cognitive functions. 

It generally affects people who work in busy environments where they constantly deal with others and their demands. 

When employees feel stressed, it removes their ability to think straight and make good decisions. 

This can lead to mistakes on the job or worse — decreased productivity and even lower employee morale. 

Despite this adverse chain reaction caused by excessive stress levels, it continues to be one of America’s main problems among employees. 

How to cope with stress when working a retail job

Rather than wallowing in self-pity or beating yourself up for not being able to escape it completely, find ways to de-stress your mind and body. Here are some tips:

  • Focus on taking regular breaks
  • Make sure you have enough social interaction with co-workers
  • Get plenty of exercises

Even though there are certain things you can do to alleviate or reduce stress, sometimes it’s best to accept it as part of the job simply.

SEE: Understand coping skills to deal with stress and emotional trauma

2. Impaired Back and Spine

Impaired back and spine are psychological effects of working in a retail job. It’s one of the most common jobs out there, and yet research has shown that it can lead to severe spinal problems down the road. 

The constant stress, long hours, and physical demands can wear down even the strongest person. 

Injuries that occur as a result of these conditions only further distress the victim mentally and physically. 

Experiencing back pain, neck pain from looking up excessively often, or sciatica from standing on one foot for too long can have financial and physical consequences.

How to cope with impaired back and spine when a working retail job

As a backup plan, it’s essential to have strategies in place when your spine is impaired. 

For example, wearing support garments and using good ergonomic posture can help counteract any potential spinal issues you may encounter while working at a retail store. 

You can also consult with a chiropractor so that they can understand the individual specifics of your case. Hence, they can provide fully informed advice on what steps should be taken next.

SEE: Understand what compliance training means

3. Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a problem many people struggle with every day. It becomes especially pronounced for those who work in retail because of the constant scrutiny and critical customer comments. 

This environment can take a toll on someone’s esteem, making it challenging to feel positive about themselves or their achievements. 

In general, self-esteem refers to how we view ourselves concerning others and evaluate success or failure in particular situations.

There are numerous ways that low self-esteem can be caused by working in retail: 

  • feeling like you’re always second best to your colleagues
  • being constantly judged
  • dealing with impatient or rude customers
  • not getting paid enough
  • seeing yourself as powerless to make any fundamental changes

No matter what the specific reason may be, retailers should know that this feeling has profound implications both psychologically and physically. 

SEE: Find out if yelling is a workplace harassment 

How to cope with low self-esteem when working a retail job

Low self-esteem is one of the psychological effects that can be experienced when working a retail job. 

Yet, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to coping with low self‑esteem due to working in retail, but some general tips can help. 

First and foremost, ensure you take care of yourself physically by eating nutritiously and getting enough rest. 

Make time for your hobbies or interests like yoga outside work to counteract the negative energy imposed on you inside the store. 

And finally, try not to dwell on your failures – mistakes are human. Remember: every person has strengths and weaknesses like everyone else. 

So, focus on what makes you unique rather than dwelling on those shortcomings. Taking these simple steps will make it easier to shoulder the burden of holding down a retail job.

SEE: Discover books that will change your life for good

4. Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep has psychological effects for everyone, but it’s hazardous for people working a retail job. 

Retail workers are constantly on the clock and must be up early to start their shift on time. 

This schedule can cause stress and anxiety, leading to psychological effects like lack of concentration, impulsiveness, restlessness, mood swings, and fatigue. 

All these negative emotions make it difficult for retailers to handle challenging customer situations or stay patient when dealing with troublesome employees. 

And all that tossing and turning? You’re more likely to develop insomnia if you work in stores late into the night or on Saturday mornings when there are crowds around.

How to cope with lack of sleep when working a retail job

Making the most of limited sleep can be critical when working a retail job. Here are a few tips to help you cope:

  • Keep regular sleep habits
  • Don’t skimp on your shut-eye just because you’re tired – it’ll only make things worse in the long run
  • Stick to regular bedtimes and waking times, even if that means incorporating some napping into your schedule from time to time

The more consistent your sleeping routine is, the easier it will be to resist letting fatigue improve during work hours.

Additionally, setting reasonable goals for the day/week can help motivate oneself despite fatigue.

SEE: Explore proven ways to get paid to sleep

5. Depression and Reduced Job Performance

Retail jobs are known for being physically demanding and often stressful. This can lead to several psychological effects, including depression and reduced job performance. 

Research has found a direct relationship between working in an environment with high demands and low satisfaction with employees’ psychological well-being. 

This work can be extremely physically and mentally demanding, which takes its toll on those suffering from mild chronic depression. 

Depressed individuals are more likely than other people to experience managerial problems at their jobs (i.e., they’re less productive). 

They feel like they need time off because they can’t function under pressure anymore, and report higher rates of absenteeism/tardinesses, etc. 

A person eventually becomes clinically depressed when work becomes too hard, or demands exceed their natural capacity.

SEE: Explore the best jobs for people with complex PTSD

How to cope with depression and reduced job performance when working a retail job

Sometimes, everything feels like it’s crashing down on you, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. At these difficult times, what can you do? 

First of all, don’t give up. You’re not alone, and there are plenty of people who have been through similar experiences before you. 

Furthermore, remember that anything is possible if you set your mind to achieving it. And finally – most importantly – talk to someone about your feelings. 

There might be somebody in your life who could help provide some comfort and support during this tough time. 

Finally, stay positive. Even when things seem overwhelming, try not to dwell on negative thoughts – focus on happy memories.

SEE: Explore actionable ways to improve your performance at work

FAQs

Can you get PTSD from working in retail?

Some people get PTSD from working in retail, but it is not universal. Many factors can contribute to whether or not someone will develop PTSD after working in retail.

Why is working in retail so stressful?

Constant demands are made on you from customers, as well as the pressure of meeting sales targets. 

This often leads to higher levels of stress both mentally and physically, which in turn has adverse effects on our productivity and morale.

Can your job traumatize you?

Yes, your job can traumatize you, depending on your job. 

Some people may find their jobs traumatizing because of the stress and harassment they experience daily. 

It’s important to seek professional help if your job is causing significant distress or anxiety in your everyday life.

How do you survive working in retail?

One way to survive working in retail is by learning how to make the best use of your time

Retail work can be very demanding, and it’s important that you find ways to optimize your schedule so that you can maximize output. 

Final Thoughts 

The psychological effects of working retail have been well documented. However, many employees do not feel supported by their employers and struggle to deal with the stress of the job. 

This is a challenging position for anyone, but it can be even more difficult when you are assigned to strenuous or high-pressure tasks. 

Nonetheless, there are ways to cope with these effects. You can improve your job satisfaction by learning about the psychological effects of work and implementing strategies for coping highlighted in this article.

Explore tips to make working as a cashier easier. Share with your friends too. 

Thanks for reading.