Surviving night shift

The night shift is a bitch. Yes, we have a higher chance of getting robbbed, or at least burglarized. But it also can have detrimental effects on our health. Even though I’ve only been on them for about a year, there are a few things I can tell you about the night shift, at least from a retail perspective.

  1. It disrupts the natural circadian rhythm. More often than not i will tell customer to have a good day 10pm-3am and everthing after is “goodnight”.
  2. Social isolation. Not many people hang out at the store at 3am, which is nice sometimes for an introvert like me, but it is very true that isolation can cause depression and anxiety. Not to mention boredom.
  3. Getting things done. Not entirely a health problem but just try scheduling a doctor or dentist appointment for 2am when you’re off. Add in family events and wanting to socialize, it can go back to isolation. But it might be better than the alternative…
  4. #Therealteamnosleep. If you’re going to be working overnights and you are independent, you are still going to have to pay bills, and set appointments, school, etc. This meant for me pulling at least one day of week with only 4 hours of sleep.
  5. Safety. Being a clerk in an overnight store can be dangerous. Really, any place that is open 24 hours a day is a pretty easy target especially if you don’t have any type of security.
  6. Sunlight. I don’t like outside. The bugs, the heat/cold, the people, and last but not least is the sun. Vitamin D is essential for health, but unfortunately, unless I dont want to sleep, that wont be coming from the sun
  7.  Metabolic Problems. According to a study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital researchers in the journal Science Translational Medicine, working the night shift can up insulin levels and lead to a higher chance of developing diabeetes and becoming obese.I mean I have to throw those doughnuts away anyways..
  8. Shift work disorder. I couldn’t believe this was a thing. Until I actually thought about it… Thos comes from not being able to fully synchronize your internal clock to your shift. It comes with a fun cornucopia of awful side effects.

Now that I’ve got you good and scared, I will link you up to a fantastic article about protecting yourself from these side effects.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

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Surviving the spiral

One day you’re on top of the world, happy, making good money, doing real good. But if you’re naturally unstable like me, one day, you’re going to spiral. This comes in a lot of different forms. Sometimes it just my disorder acting up, and I’ll find myself literally unable to get off the couch. Maybe you’ll lose your job, maybe one of your relationships will go to shit. It happens. But for your mental health, it’s very important to know how to deal with your life going to shit. Because all it takes is one bad day. Recently, an onset of my BPD led me to let things start going to hell and I remembered why keeping your priorities straight durning this time was important.

Here’s some advice I’ve learned to surviving the spirals of life;

Before the spiral:

If you’re prone to them like ours, it’s important to take preventative measures to insure you, your health, your career, etc. Will all be safe and reparable.

  • Maintain good relationships- With your family, any friends you may have, and your boss. This will make your inevitable distance much easier for them and yourself. 
  • Have an emergency fund set up- work really hard to save enough money for when this time hits. Whether you lose track of bills or have to miss some work, this will make the financial blow much easier.
  • Confide in those you’re comfortable with- You might have a problem telling people at work that you’re prone to extreme lows. That’s fine. I told one of my managers last time it hit. The one i work with the most. Even if others get irritated with me, I know that he’ll explain to any higher ups that start asking questions.
  • Have reminders set up- Bill due dates, classes and court, maybe even scheduled family or friend times. If you have these things set up, it can be a huge motivator to get out of the house.
  • Do good- When your on your game you should do good at work, do good at school, do good with cleaning and cooking and be a good person. I consider myself a great employee, an amazing friend, and a decent caretaker. When I crash though, It’s been a good day if I wash my clothes. Always do your best, if your a too performing employee USUALLY, your boss won’t hold a few bad days over your head.
  • Seek therapy or medication- This wont always prevent spirals, but it can make them much easier to deal with. Also, doctors notes for work and school.

During the spiral:

This is definately a difficult time to try to remember things can get better. But it will. A lot of times, you’ll just feel like the whole world is crashing down. But you are string and you will survive.

  • Reach out- If everything is way too much, you NEED to find some release. Having someone to help you deescalate you will be extremely helpful. 
  • Take care of yourself- I know this is one of the last things you’ll think of, but sometimes brushing your hair, and cleaning your apartment can encourage you to just do a little bit more. Makes all the difference.
  • Indulge yourself- If a syarbuck will make you happy, go het that damn frappucino. If a new pair of shoes will lift your confidence, don’t sweat another 20$.
  • Mental health days- Not a lot of places offer these, but it’s between having an embarrassing mental breakdown at work (it happens) and calling in sick once, believe me it will be MUCH easier.

Shit gets rough sometimes, sometimes we get so caught up taking care of everything else we forget to take care of ourselves. As unbelievable as it may seem, sometimes we need these wake up calls to remind us that it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.