Kick Ass Living the Night Shift Life
Insights from Your NightShift Guide:
Living a night shift lifestyle is difficult, but not impossible. In fact it can be really good for some people. I might be one of those people, then again I might not. What I do know, I feel like I’m starting to kick some ass.
I’ve written a lot about what you should be doing with yourself. Personal development, meditation, exercise, preparation and the list goes on…
I was thinking about the current direction of this blog and decided that I needed to share some insights from previous posts. So I chose 3 of my posts and gave them a small twist.
Circumnavigating Reasons and Excuses:
Being tired is simply an excuse for not getting things done that were planned. I’ve experienced days when I haven’t had any sleep (20+ hours awake), hit my bed, and even with my best intentions I neglected to either get up on time or follow through on my plans. I’ve also experienced normal days when I wasn’t tired at all yet I still neglected my plans. Plan with the best intentions and then fall flat onto the bed. Yes, I’ve been there all too many times. Yet the thing that bugs me most are my college years, when I had to run because I was part of a team. Exhausted from school and clinicals or not I made it through without dying. Some might give the excuse that I was younger then, I didn’t have a family, I didn’t have a job etc. True, but I would have run 65 miles a week regardless because I was committed. I didn’t quit because I wasn’t living through my emotions I was living through my purpose. I didn’t realize it then but my purpose was to better myself so I could be at my best for my team. I was committed to them and therefore had a higher purpose that stuck me to my task, running. What’s the difference between emotion and a purpose? Emotions come and go, they are fleeting, random, and usually don’t cooperate with how you want to feel. A strong purpose is rock solid. It will help to hold you to your word regardless of your feelings, and will allow you to act the same regardless of the circumstances. Tired or not you will get up and run or exercise or zumba or eat right because you have a rock steady purpose. I’ll have more about actually writing a strong purpose statement later. For now do your own research and find out what works for you.
Punching Giant Gorilla in Face!
When I start to learn a new skill I usually have a lot of trouble at the start. It’s against who I am at the point and my Gorilla will be angry when I try to change. It’ll take me a lot of practice and patience to learn something new, to cultivate a new habit, or maybe change a bad habit. It’s taken me years to cultivate some habits and I’m actually still working on getting rid of some that don’t serve me. It becomes a lot more difficult when you work nights because you add in the constant exhaustion and change of schedule. How does one get around this? Build a foundation of rock, not sand. WTF does that mean?! There are basics that need to be mastered in every situation. Breaking down and identifying these steps will set you on the right path. Example: If you want to read more you know it takes time to read. So set aside time every day and put it in a reminder or schedule. Somewhere you can see it every day. Have a quiet spot, no electronics or family around, and keep your book there. Find topics that interest you to keep you anxious to read more. Do it every day. Reward yourself for keeping a set schedule. There are other ways to help keep the habit strong but if you keep it simple and cultivate consistency you will eventually look back to see the results pile up. Remember, the Gorilla won’t like change. You will fall down, fail, and struggle. It’s OK!! The difference between people who whip their Gorilla into shape and the ones that don’t is their resolve to keep trying. They don’t give up, they improve, they tweak, and they get better. Good example of purpose. (religious twist not intended)
Fostering a Positive Mindset and Perspective while Exhausted
This is easier said than done. I don’t know anyone who is happy when they are exhausted. What, you ask, does it take to cultivate such a wonderful attitude toward others and yourself when exhausted? I can tell you firmly that beer or wine is NOT the answer. The answer lies in your daily routine. Every day, go to sleep with a positive thought. Every day, wake up with a positive thought. Every day, decide to live with purpose not emotion. Every day, remind yourself of your purpose. Every day, decide to be happy. Every day, take control of your actions. Every day, be grateful. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, A LOT. I don’t always go to sleep with happy ideas bouncing in my brain. In fact I’m not always nice to the people around me. What I just wrote above is probably bullshit right? Nope. The difference is when I feel myself go into a negative state, someone says something negative about my attitude, or I realize what I’m saying is hurtful I make an immediate mental shift. I force my brain to think and be happy. How? Practice. Every Day. I wan’t to be a pleasant and loving person. My daily purpose is to bring a smile to others faces, to let them know I care deeply about them. It brings me joy to know someone is happy because I gave them a few encouraging or kind words. Again with the purpose thing! The real idea here is that we need to practice an be patient. With minutes we can do so little, but over time we can accomplish anything.
Week From Hell vs Personal Growth
When hell in a hand basket comes knocking, keep your personal growth material as close as you can. Read whenever you can, write, yoga in a parking lot, meditate for a minute at a time, jog in place to get your heart pumping, walk stairs etc. The idea is to counteract all the craziness with your material and training no matter when, where or how you do it. Always, always, always keep in mind that everything is temporary and nothing will ever stay the way it is. Even if it’s really horrible at the time it will always get better. Think of the hard days as rocks you need to climb over. When you finally get past them you become a different, stronger, wiser person. With consistent work, a resilient attitude, and strong material to keep your mind on track you can forge through those terrible times. When I’m up against the wall I take a deep breath. I relax, refocus and concentrate on the idea that this too shall pass. I decide what to do next and immediately take action. I keep my mind here and now. If it get’s harder I ask for help. Never underestimate the power of help. Sometimes it’s hard to ask but once you do a big wave of relief washes over you like a cool drink on a hot summer day. With the help of others I move to finish the task at hand. When it’s time to relax that’s exactly what I do. Even if it’s 5 minutes I enjoy it. Step by step I master my surroundings, and so can you. Let’s review: 1: deep breath, 2: relax, refocus, and concentrate on the task at hand 3: decide what to do and take immediate action 4: ask for help 5: finish and enjoy your break 6: repeat and kick ass.
End of The Line
There you go. Three things to help you kick some ASS living a Night Shift life. I hope you enjoy these and if you have any examples of crazy days you got through feel free to post your reflections below. Even if you just want to tell your story feel free to let it rip.
Your NightShift Guide -Jayby