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12-Hour Shifts. ugh. JAWM

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When I worked part time, a 12-hour shift was long, but doable, even on my feet for most of it.

And now, with the full-time job, a 12-hour shift is not so bad, I can actually sit down for all of it if I want. 
Its the getting home at 7pm (had to run errands) only to realize I SHOULD go to bed at 8pm because I have to
get up at 4am. Oi!

For those of you who work long shifts, what helps you; stay energized, not gain a boat load of weight, get enough sleep,
etc? 

TIA (thanks in advance)!

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I just accept that those day are a complete waste and don't bother trying to do anything else. By the time I get up, get kiddo off to school, get myself ready, drive to work, get home, eat dinner, go to bed....it has been a full day.  When I am working a 12+ hour shift (13 to 14 with getting ready and driving), that usually means that either I am getting extra days off or that another  day will be short. I just move everything I would normally do on a long day, to the short day and figure it all evens out in the long run. If I am working OT, then it is all a wash, because I am extra tired and know that lots of little things aren't going to get done because of it. They will have to wait till next week and I will likely pick up dinner at least once or twice that week to help with cooking and clean up. 

One other thing I know about myself is that I am short on patience on long days (or long weeks) so I purposefully try to avoid situation that are irritating. I worked56 hours last week. I am in the middle of working 13 days straight right now (and I have a special needs daughter so home time is not necessarily relaxing). At this very moment in time, I am eating a taco and having a beer in my room. Dh has the music turned up downstairs and I HATE music playing when I get off work (they play very loud music at my work so when I get home I just need it to be quiet). He knows this, but...he likes music so he will leave it turned up until I absolutely hit may breaking point and then he will turn it off if I ask. Instead of having that battle tonight, I am in my room (we have separate bedrooms) enjoying some computer time and eating my tacos LOL .  :0)

Edited by Tap
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Thank you. Yep, I'm realizing I need to PLAN my off-work time VERY strategically. Also, because I'm in training at this job, I literally have homework that needs to be done in my off hours. Just not a lot of time for "extra" anything on the 12-hour days. Glad I have 3 days off in a row later this week, because I have other things that NEED to get done! 😉

 

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Yep, just a lot of things get dropped. I started a full-time job in October and work between 50-55 hours a week. Before that, I was a SAHM for 20 years so the whiplash has been pretty extreme. 

My standards for a spotless house, fantastic healthy dinner, time with friends, etc. have dropped dramatically. My hubs and teens have been really great about stepping it up to help pitch in, and my Saturdays are now crazy trying to get all the things done that didn’t get done during the week. I feel like I’m still working on finding the balance. 

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While it's still new and you are getting adjusted, I would not worry too much about anything else, knowing that you will find a rhythm and routine.

Back in the days, when I had to work a day shift and a night shift, I drank quite a bit of herbal tea (not caffeinated but just the act of drinking something kept me awake), or a small, healthy snack every 2 hours, just enough to boost energy to get through.

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Thanks for all the tips and hints. Keep 'em coming! I know I'll find my rhythm. Right now it sometimes feels like
6/8 time with lots of staccato! LOL

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I don’t work 12s; I work 24/48s. Obviously, nothing gets completed on the days I’m on duty. My first day off is usually a wash because I come home exhausted. I just don’t plan to be productive on that first day off. 

I think you’ll find a routine fairly quickly. However, you may need to lower your standards for what is accomplished on the days you work. 

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DH and I work 12s, 4on 4 off. Meal planning helps (I subscribe to a website - I finally realized that I can’t do it, I am terrible at it), so DH and I both know what to cook, and less excuses to eat out. Ordering groceries online and picking them up helps a lot, too. The day after my last night shift is pretty much just catching up on laundry, etc. The second day off, DH has just finished his last night, so if my mom needs something, I plan it for that morning while he’s sleeping. The next two days off are together, so I reserve one for a date breakfast and running around. And ideally the last morning is housecleaning... and getting ready for the next four days at work.

All of the usual kid activities still happen - I use my lunch break for an hour-long nap and eat at my desk instead. Other people use their lunch to run errands or workout. 

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DH suggests having a routine for when you get home. He tries to go for a walk (even if it is only 15 minutes) before he gets ready for bed, then he reads to wind down. (He works 6-6 swings so sometimes he gets home in the a.m. and sometimes in the p.m.)

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As mentioned above, I just expect to not accomplish much except work on those days. I keep my expectations to a minimum and recognize that I'll likely be cranky those days so I try to avoid stress and annoyances. 

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Thanks for the input, everyone. I welcome even more suggestions. This week on my first day off of the week, I let myself sleep in and then just did stuff around the house all day. Yesterday and today I've been out running errands. Had planned to go to church service tonight but I'm already feeling worn out and start back to work early in the morning tomorrow. Thinking I'll just hang out at home for the rest of the day.

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Hugs.  I think that this would be a hard schedule to get used to.

I don't have any personal experience, but I know that my aunt (who was an RN) came to love her 12-hour shifts.  She would schedule to work 4 days in a row with 3 days off together and then schedule the next week to have 3 days off followed by 4 days of work.  What resulted is that she had 6 days off in a row without taking time off.  She ended up being able to take a lot of vacations to the beach or skiing or Vegas or whatever without taking vacation days.

Maybe that is something that you could eventually look forward to?

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11 hours ago, Junie said:

Hugs.  I think that this would be a hard schedule to get used to.

I don't have any personal experience, but I know that my aunt (who was an RN) came to love her 12-hour shifts.  She would schedule to work 4 days in a row with 3 days off together and then schedule the next week to have 3 days off followed by 4 days of work.  What resulted is that she had 6 days off in a row without taking time off.  She ended up being able to take a lot of vacations to the beach or skiing or Vegas or whatever without taking vacation days.

Maybe that is something that you could eventually look forward to?

 

6 days off sounds lovely, but 8 days on!  OY!

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4 hours ago, DawnM said:

 

6 days off sounds lovely, but 8 days on!  OY!

Actually, I think I had it backward.  I think she had 6 days on and 8 days off.  She went on a lot of vacations!!

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47 minutes ago, Junie said:

Actually, I think I had it backward.  I think she had 6 days on and 8 days off.  She went on a lot of vacations!!

 

That actually does make more sense now that I am thinking this through.  3 12 hour shifts is considered full time isn't it?

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