Back in May, I started a night shift job. Originally, I was only going to be working part time but lately, I’ve been working full-time hours. This is great for the paycheck but not so much for my schedule. I had already gone through the Make Over Your Mornings and the Make Over Your Evenings courses and was determined to get back on track. But, that is easier said than done when you are operating on a different schedule than the rest of the word.
If you haven’t heard me talk about Make Over Your Mornings, it’s an online course designed to help you transform your mornings from being stressful and frazzled to restful and efficient. It’s a fourteen-day course that takes fifteen minutes a day to complete. You can read this post for more information.
I’ve heard a few reasons why people feel this course isn’t for them.
“I’m not a morning person”
“My mornings are ok enough as they are”
“I don’t have the time to complete the course”
“I work night shift”
As other bloggers have tackled the other reasons, I decide to write a post on why you should make over your mornings while working nights. In fact, I feel that night shift workers can benefit more than most other people with this course.
I’ve actually learned that I prefer night shift over any other shift. While, I would prefer to be working from home fully, that is not a financial option right now. I’ve always been a “night owl”. Left to my devices, I would stay up till 3 AM and wake up around 11 AM. I’ve always felt more alert during the night than the day and sleep better when the sun is up. Now that my daughter is in school, I sleep during the school day and have the whole evening with her. For me and my family, it is the best set up.
Even though, I feel I’m a natural “night person”, I struggled with getting a good routine into place when I started working nights. This was mainly to do with the fact I was in complete survival mode and because my schedule was changing constantly. Now, my schedule is fairly regular and I can start to gain order over my life again.
Figure Out Your Stress Triggers
Many night shift workers are prone to high levels of stress. Try to minimize this by figuring out what your stress triggers are. A lot of times, high-stress levels can be linked to low vitamin D levels. It is especially important for night shift workers to plan outside time.
Do What Works For You
My “day” begins in the afternoon when I wake up. Crystal (the creator of the course) is a big fan of getting up before the rest of her family to have time to herself. That will not work me as by the time I wake up, my family is just getting home. Getting up earlier than that cuts into my sleep time. Instead, I carve out a small block of time after everyone leaves in the morning before I go to bed.
Figure Out What You Can Do NOW
The main question I ask myself is what can I do now to make tomorrow easier? This doesn’t change just because the light outside is different. Before I go to sleep in the morning, I try to do things to make my “wake up time” easier. I pick out my clothes (I actually try to plan a week’s worth of outfits out at a time!), I prepare easy lunch stuff, I pick up the house and go over my plan for the following day.
Change Your Mindset
I don’t have “mornings” or “evenings”. I break my day apart by “before sleep” and “after sleep”. It took me a few months to get over that change in my head but now it seems pretty normal to me. I don’t eat “breakfast” when I wake up. I eat “dinner” with my family. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve always been a fan of abnormal breakfast foods! Pizza is great when waking up.
Go Against The Norm
As a night shift worker, don’t feel that you have to conform to the “typical” way of doing things. It really is ok to do the dishes in the middle of the night. Feel free to go grocery shopping at 2 AM on your days off. (less crowds!). I see many night shift workers trying to fit “normal life” into their schedule. Don’t do that. Plan your chores and errands around what works for YOU.
Don’t Shift Your Schedule
Do you try to keep a normal schedule during your days off? This is not healthy as your body needs consistency. Several times, I stayed awake all day after getting off work. This back and forth put my body through the wringer. It’s unavoidable sometimes though because of appointments and wanting to spend time with my family. Now, I try to nap for a few hours after getting off work on Friday mornings (I have off Friday and Saturday nights). I am still able to go to sleep in the evening and have my whole Saturday to spend with my family without exhausting myself completely. This is probably still not the healthiest way of handling days off but it’s gentler on my body than staying up all day long.
Set Up Routines
I have many routines in place to help my day go smoothly. I have a routine for getting my daughter ready for school, one for before sleep for me, one for after sleep, one for my daughter’s bedtime and one before I go to work. These routines aren’t complicated but it’s helpful to write them down. When I’m feeling frazzled, I can look at my routine list and make sure I’m not forgetting to do anything essential.
Use Tools And Short Cuts
I have a variety of tools that I use every day to keep myself organized and sane.
I frequently pull out the workbook from the course when I feel myself getting off track with my routines. You will need to change your routines as your life changes. This is normal. That’s why I am so thrilled to have lifetime access to the course.
Are you a night shift worker? Have you benefited from this course?
I love Make Over Your Mornings (and Evenings!) so much that I signed up as an affiliate. If you choose to sign up with my links, I receive a small percentage back to help support this site. Thank you so much for your help and support!