How Working the Night Shift Changed My Routine
I've been a morning person pretty much all my life. Since I was young, I could never really sleep in past 7:15 am and today, I can guarantee that I'll wake up at 6:30 most days of the week! It never really bothered me since it's what I'm used to, and, until recently, I always found myself in activities or jobs that required me to start in the morning so my early wake-up time benefitted me in those situations.
Now, I'm at a job that doesn't only require me to start my days at 12 pm, but it sometimes leaves me working overtime to 11 pm! Did I mention I'm the farthest from a night person? I couldn't have imagined how difficult it would be to adjust and to be honest, I still find myself struggling some days. Read on to see how working the night shift changed my perspective on routines.
Routine Can be essential
The first thing I learned is how much I love having a routine. Since a lot of us spend most of our time at work, for me, I like to have an idea of timing, so I know what I can or can't plan for. In the past, I could count on starting my day bright and early, doing whatever had to be done for the day, coming home at night, and going to bed at a decent time. There were no surprises unless other things jumped into the mix, but nothing crazy because that basic outline was still there. My body understood what to expect each day and that routine works best for me, since as I mentioned before, I am not a night person at all. Even when it came to my career, I never imagined I would be working the night shift anywhere. You grow up hearing all about the 9-to-5, and I guess that's just what I expected for myself, literally. All my internships fit into that formula, so I never had any reason to even think about things switching up. Naturally, when I found out I would be working 12 pm-9 pm, I automatically thought I must've heard incorrectly, but at the end of the day I said, 'It's not going to be that different, right?'
Yes, it feels different
I would be lying to you if I said the switch came with ease. By the time my first day came to end, I could feel it. Not only was it beyond weird leaving my home to go to work much later than I normally would, but by the end of my shift, I was extremely tired. My body felt like it was yelling at me to get back to the comfort of my home. After a couple weeks of working this way, I still feel just like this some days. By the time I get home, I don't have time for anything else but sleep.
adjusting takes time
Even though I'm working a night shift, I still wake up just as early. I know, I know, that's awful, but I just can't seem to wake up any later. I like to workout in the morning now since I definitely don't have time for it at night anymore, so it helps that I have that extra block of time for it. Even the most basic things like my eating schedule got weird. It's certainly different not having dinner at home, and I eat breakfast later to offset having lunch the minute I get to work. Meditating in the morning also helps keep my mind right when I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
All in all, I feel like working the night shift has certainly thought me a lot about myself. Is it a forever thing? Probably not. But I'll take the experience and lessons learned with me and keep it pushing towards my future.
Does it ever feel like you're attached to a specific routine for your day? Let me know in the comments!