Coping With Major Schedule Change

Linda Bittle
Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

While I am so very thankful to have a job again, the 12 hour shifts (6 am to 6 pm) and shifting days off are making me so very tired. I had such a hard time fining any job, and will keep looking for one that uses my office/bookkeeping skills while I do this one to pay the rent and bills.

The new job as a nutrition services assistant in the local hospital is not nearly as physical as the elementary school custodian job that I left in Idaho back in June. I am on the run most of the day, but no hours and hours of mopping and vacuuming, so that's great. I get to eat for free from the leftover hot line after patients are fed, so that cuts my grocery bill way down.

Oddly, while the food is good, I don't think it's particularly healthy, but I am happy to eat for free since I'm only making 9.45 an hour. It matters.

I worry about my little dog being alone for 13 hours a day, but he is paper trained and I put up a baby gate to keep him in the kitchen/living room area. He has a history of seizures when he get anxious, and is on Phenobarbital twice a day. (The cat doesn't much care so long as she has food and water down.)

I've adjusted my bed time so that I still can read a little each day (but have been going to sleep with book in hand.) I am OK with extra sleep, but am missing out on the rest of my life right now.

I'm trying to keep my coffee consumption to the one big mug a day that I am used to (free coffee and sweet tea if I bring my own mug!)

Any tips for this big life change?


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think you will adjust to the long hours after a bit. If you can, try to take your breaks out in the sunshine/fresh air.

    Your dog may cope better if you give him something of yours to cuddle with while you're gone. Do you have a relative who would be willing to keep him company during the day? Hiding snacks around his area or in a dog puzzle/mat might help to keep him occupied.

    I drink my coffee and tea. I also have incorporated some adaptogens like ashwaganda, rhodiola and eleuthero that seem to help my energy levels.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @shllnzl I had Mom sit with the dog while my sister and I ran to do an errand. Mom almost let Sammy out the door when we returned - the street outside is very busy, and he wouldn't make it a block before he was hit. Mom kind of shrugged her shoulders and that's the last time I trust her with my pets. He gets to sleep all day on the couch, with a blanket that we both use, and I give him a smear of peanut butter on his chew bone. My new vet wants to wean him off the amount of phenobarbital that the Idaho vet prescribed, and we have talked about other drugs for days I work. I have an appointment next month to follow up with that idea.

    Ashwaganda is something I want to look into, and also maca powder seems like a possibility. Thanks for reminding me about that!

    I do walk the 20 minutes to and from work so that I can get the exercise and the fresh air.

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mary Linda Bittle A warning about maca powder and the reason I stopped using it: maca will stimulate your sex hormones, so I had to stop it because of my stage 0 hormone receptive breast cancer.

    Sounds like your dog is definitely safer and happier at home. You and I obviously will do the work necessary to keep our pets safe.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    When I worked the 12 hour shifts in the ER, I found if I exercised before going to work, it helped me sleep better, especially if I could exercise outside.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ltwickey , that's one of the reasons I walk to and from work. If the traffic is in my favor, I can do it in 20 minutes each way. I think it does help.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm learning to expect less from myself right now. Going to bed early, putting the book down sooner, teaching to dog to use potty pads in the night so I don't have to walk him at 10 pm.

    Have decided that I do need to keep applying for other jobs that pay better (it's been a LONG time since I had to settle for 9.45 an hour), and have more reasonable hours. I have excellent computer skills, and great references from my past employers. The right job will come along. Sooner rather than later, I hope!

    I am so thankful to have finally been hired after moving back to Missouri. And I don't like to leave a job after just a few months. And I realize that I'm nearly 62 years old, and I have to put myself at top priority. There are so many things I want to do and study - I feel like I'm just working and sleeping all the time.

    Say a little prayer that this will work out soon. I miss hanging out with y'all more!

  • Jack_Went_Splat
    Jack_Went_Splat Posts: 59 ✭✭✭

    While it is difficult to do, please let me encourage you to push yourself a bit on the walk in to work and then take it a little easier on the way back home. It helps me to get in the sunlight or a rough equivalent within 30 min of rising and to limit computer use, LED lighting or wear blue light blocking glasses 2 hours before bed.

    These actions help you to wake up by stimulating cortisol and then get into the groove of going to sleep by taking advantage of circadian rhythm cycles that also produce natural melatonin before going to bed. My rest improved a lot using these tips, plus they are free, well mostly, if you get the UVEX amber lens safety glasses, they block 70% of blue light and they are about $10.

    Like you, with diminished income, it is difficult for me to spend $60-$150 for a pair of blue and green blockers.

    Here is hope you can find a job that uses your skills, pays better and has more traditional hours.