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Night Shifters - Hobbies?

Stress 101   (572 Views | 4 Replies)

yesrun has 1 years experience as a MSN.

614 Profile Views; 21 Posts

Hey there,

I'm new to the nightshift and I decided to make my sleep schedule as consistent as possible, so on my nights off I'm staying up until about 3-4 am and sleeping until 1-2 pm (I work 6-6 and sleep from 7 am to about 1-2 pm after worknights). With that said, my wife is in bed by 10 and I have 5-6 hours by myself and I AM SO BORED. I need a viable nighttime hobby. I usually like being outdoors or exercising, but not after midnight. I'm tired of watching Grey's Anatomy and farting around on my computer. 

What do you folks do to keep yourselves entertained on your off time in the middle of the night? I'm dying for something interesting, I'm curious as to what other people in my situation are doing. 

Thanks for sharing:) 

A

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barcode120x has 5 years experience as a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in Telemetry.

537 Posts; 10,331 Profile Views

I'm a gamer at heart so that's pretty much my main hobby. Gym is my #2, but I rarely ever gym at night because it keeps me awake too late including my pre-workout. Netflix and other streaming platforms are always a good call (Disney+ soon too! haha). But now that I'm in school, it keeps me awake at night too for homework unfortunately.

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3 Followers; 37,151 Posts; 98,934 Profile Views

I once had a home care client on night shift who watched the Food Network and “cooked” at night by having his night shift nurse do the physical cooking in the kitchen and directing them, as he was confined to his bed.  Cooking at night can be fun.

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marienm, RN, CCRN has 6 years experience and specializes in Burn, ICU.

219 Posts; 4,382 Profile Views

Might not be your cup of tea, but I like doing something quiet with my hands...I'm currently working on a big embroidery project. It's not too taxing mentally but it keeps me more focused/awake than reading. See also: model-making, knitting, tying flies, putting all the old photos in an album (or taking them all out and scanning them!), drawing, etc...

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Nurse BB is a BSN and specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, Neuro, Personal Trainer.

5 Posts; 225 Profile Views

Hey, @yesrun! You are asking the question that plagued me for the entire first year of my career when I was first hired at my hospital on the night shift. To protect my circadian rhythm, I rarely "flipped" my sleep cycle (there are lots of studies out there demonstrating a correlation between night shift workers and chronic disease development), so I found myself in the same predicament as you with many hours on my hands with nothing to do. After lamenting and wallowing in self-pity for the first couple of months, I finally decided to take action. My first task was to become a good cook. I began learning recipes that I would practice making. My second task was to "Mari Kondo" my living space. This meant yanking EVERYTHING out of every shelf and closet and sorting through what brought me joy and what had served its use and would be better given away or tossed. My third task was to learn to paint, something I'd always wanted to do. I purchased art supplies and set up an art corner. I'd put on music and YouTube "paint-along" tutorials and work on painting. My fourth task was to catch up on shows I'd missed. I binged many a night. I broke up all these sedentary activities with late night walks or jogs, at home workouts (I purchased an app called Aptiv that has guided workouts with excellent personal trainers), or trips to the gym. I found a 24 hour diner near my house and sometimes I would go there for a treat in the middle of the night. I located friends who stayed up until 12-2 am and I had movie nights for dinner dates with some of them. I checked out late showings at the local movie theater. Ultimately, I decided night shift was too lonely and isolated for me if I wasn't going to flip my sleep cycle, so I opted to take an evening shift position when it became available. Toward the end of that year, I began planning my schedule (I was per diem), so I worked many nights in a row and then had a bulk of days off so it made "flipping" worth it...during which time I'd soak up all the sunshine I could get out hiking or kayaking or walking around with friends. I also purchased a "sun lamp" to mimic the rising sun at the beginning of my "day" to keep my circadian rhythm as normal as possible, trying to fake out my body. It worked - I never gained weight, I stayed fit, and I stayed fairly content. To connect with my significant other, we planned nights where I'd wake up earlier and he'd stay up later so we could have some dates together. I hope you find something that works for you! For me, I knew it wasn't forever, that it was just a chapter, so I focused on doing things I wouldn't have time to do if I worked a day schedule filled with the normal distractions that accompany that. Good luck, and you're not alone! You can do this!

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