Do you feel like you have no social life since you started working nights?
There is no gray area with night shift. Either you love it or you hate it. Most nurses will have to experience night shift at some point in their career. Personally I loved it and always felt a certain sense of calm at night, even when all hell broke lose in the O.R. Maybe it was the lack of clerical work and administrator presence. Or maybe it was just the lack of politics in general. But either way, I loved night shift nursing and the chilled out atmosphere.
I loved the benefits of working nights too. Going to the grocery store at 7:00 am beats the heck out of all the crowds you encounter at 7:00 pm. Knowing you're going home to sleep when others are just beginning their day, was always pretty cool to me.
But what about your social life? Well that's something that can really suffer when you are on nights. Check out these helpful tips
1. You can still go to dinner with friends. If your shift starts at 7:00 pm, try going to dinner at around 5:30pm. This way you can still engage with your friends and make it to work on time.
2. Lay off that caffeine. It's difficult to sleep at night, so do yourself a favor and go for the decaffeinated options. Caffeine sticks around in your system a long time. So lets not make it even more difficult to sleep during the day.
3. On your days off try to get back onto sleeping at night. Most people sleep better at night. So even if it's just for a couple of days, (while you're off work), sleep at night. Not only will you get better sleep , but you will have more "normal" time for socializing.
4.If your schedule allows, try to group your shifts together. This way you will have more days off in a row , and be able to catch up with family, friends and errands. Your body will thank you for the longer rest times too!
5. Make friend with your coworkers. They are on the same schedule as you so you can plan to workout, go to breakfast or do other fun things with them during your off time.