As I sit at my desk pondering what I can write about in this week’s blog post, it occurred to me that I needed to ask you a question and that is: “How ‘adaptable’ are you to working shift work?”
By this I mean when you signed up to be a shift worker, did you realise that you were actually signing up to a life of constant tiredness, irregular sleeping patterns, missed social gatherings and continual weight fluctuations? Did you ever think they’d be times when you’d have to make some hard decisions and sacrifices along the way?
It’s a tough one isn’t it?
I know when I signed up to work 24/7 I certainly didn’t.
In fact I think it would be a great question to ask at a job interview because let’s face it, unless you’ve worked shift work before it can be a tricky path to navigate. I remember feeling like a deer in headlights for the first few years of my shift working career because I had absolutely no idea how to cope working irregular hours.
However the real reason I’m asking you this question is because when you signed up to work shift work, you essentially signed your family up to work shift work as well – and that can be tough, incredibly tough.
Here’s a couple of questions to prove my point:
- When that alarm goes off at that ungodly hour, do you have to wake the entire family up as well?
- Do you have to boot the cat off the bed and wake the kids up much earlier than our 9-5 cousins?
- Are you finding that due to your overwhelming feelings of fatigue, you may say or do things that you would not ordinarily do?
Well I wouldn’t be surprised because sleep-deprivation does that to us; however it can certainly cause a bit of friction within the family dynamic.
So in order to lessen the negative impacts that come with the territory of working 24/7, it’s incredibly important that you remain adaptable. That is remain focused on all of the things that you can change and not on those which you can’t. Essentially don’t stew over the stuff that you have no control over otherwise it’s going to lead to unnecessary fights and disagreements within the household which is definitely not a good thing.
Shift work is tough it really is. It’s incredibly challenging mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically which is why it’s imperative that you remain adaptable and take the good with the bad. There comes a time when you just have to roll with it and stay focussed on all of the benefits that come with working irregular hours because there are benefits – plenty of them.
And on that note – it’s Tuesday tomorrow and I’m off to the beach … need I say more?