I hope hermit crabs go into hiding and do nothing, I thought that was a saying?! Not sure. As many of you know, I work every. other. weekend. It’s a part of my nurse life that I’m not obsessed with, but I definitely knew what I was getting into before I signed up.
As we welcome the warmer weather, it’s easy for me to get more negative about heading into work on the weekend. I love my job, but…is it hard to scroll down my Instagram and see everyone enjoying the farmer’s market, terrace, patios, vacations, weddings?! Yes. I get FOMO…bad sometimes. My younger, cooler coworkers taught me that one (Kaitlin, Ali 😉 ). It means “fear of missing out”.
When I was in nursing school, I really thought 12 hour shifts would be the life. Just work 3 days and you have the rest off….what?! And it is awesome, but it is hard! Here is what my work weekend usually looks like this: work (with commute 13.5 hours), sleep (7 hours), try to jam everything into the remaining hours (including eating, showering, packing a lunch). Sometimes I need to workout. If I’ve had a stressful shift or my FOMO is at an all time high…I hit the gym and put Beyonce or Kanye in. It truly makes me a happier, nicer, less stressed, and more patient person. All important in life, and especially in nursing.
I have lots of friends that do the travel work thing. I’ve listened as they talk about how busy their lives feel when they are out of town all week and then come back to a full weekend of plans. I reached out to my friend Kelly to contribute since I’ve never traveled for work. I love what she wrote:
“Work travel can wreak havoc on your week, your nutrition, and your energy levels with long days, maybe early mornings, team dinners and drinks with co-workers. The worst part is you generally feel obligated to stay for that “night cap” with your boss rather than going to bed, although in your ideal world bedtime would have been two-hours ago. Here are a few tips to keep your mind and body fit during work trips:
- Assess your schedule ahead of time: Be honest and determine which days are going to work best for workouts, and be flexible with what’s possible. Maybe you can’t sneak in your hour run between meetings but you can probably do a quick half hour. I usually treat myself to a fun workout class like Soul Cycle the morning of a work flight to make sure I get a workout in ahead of my travel. You start your trip on the right foot!
- Be a morning person: On work trips, sometimes the early a.m. is the only time you can squeeze in a workout out. Get up, embrace it and expense a coffee on the company 🙂 The perks of the workout will out-weigh the extra half hour of sleep. And you feel awesome telling all of your co-workers you squeezed in a workout!
- Be confident in your healthy decisions: Don’t be afraid to make healthy choices when you are with your team; stand up for yourself and your decisions. Before you know it, they will be following your lead and ordering salads instead of french fries and water instead of another round of beers. Also, rally your team to get in a workout on the road – it’s a bonding experience and fun! Scope out a spin studio or route for a hike and get everyone up early to start the day.”
Isn’t she great?! Kel + I are on a continuous stream of text messages…just throwing around phrases like “win the day” or “your either growing or decaying”. A quick tip on being more positive: surround yourself with friends that build you up + agree to contribute to your blog without hesitation 😉
Working every other weekend is tough for my outside of work life and I’m sure traveling all the time for work is the same. Here is how it usually goes, I work every other weekend…so Drew + I pack the off weekend with tons of fun stuff. By Sunday evening, all I want is to be home with just my husband. I can (truthfully) get a little dramatic about this, I should work on that. I’m always say whyyyyy did we make so many plans in one weekend?!
I’m a girl that definitely needs time to do nothing. To just be. I want to stay home with no plans. Hermit crab style.
Since this blog is about Balance and this blogger sometimes struggles with it…truthfully, I’m on a 4 day bender or 12 hour shifts right now…I probably need this post more than you do 🙂
Here is my best advice for weekend workers/frequent work travelers:
- See the positive. I love my job + I get to work with some of my best friends…how awesome is that? I also think the patient population I work with is so special. I also find it 110% easier to eat really well during work weekends. We have off during the week, and get to soak in Devil’s Lake or Noah’s Ark with not so many people (this perk cannot be understated). I’m sure you can find positives too!
- Learn to say no. I just was talking to my girlfriends about this. I’m just not going to be able to get to every single baby shower, wedding shower, BBQ, family gathering. Of course I want to come! But, it’s hard to switch work weekends and if it’s on a work weekend I don’t have more than a couple hours outside of work/sleep. I’m probably not going to use it to come to your shower, it would just be too stressful + it’s probably during prime sleeping time (aka normal people hours).
- Make small plans. My friend Ali told me about this one. On a work weekend, it’s awesome to still have a little something to look forward to. She headed to the farmer’s market + a breakfast date the other week. Drew + I will go on a walk + grill out before I head in. It just gives you a small glimpse of the weekend.
- Get a Chipotle bowl. Every weekend that Kaitlin and I work together, we do this! It’s just a small treat and something to look forward to for our 2-3am dinner. It’s really about the small things! It just makes your day a little bit brighter + it’s easy to order healthy there + it’s so darn delicious!
- Get some alone time. If you are walking in the door from a travel work week, or from your third 12 in a row, it’s okay to ask for a minute/twenty to put your stuff down and wash your face, and just unplug for a second. Having Drew around during my work weekends is awesome, because he usually feeds me and makes our house pretty. BUT, I had to tell him last time I just need some alone time each day. Not much, because I love spending time with him…but, some.
- Take it a day at a time. It’s too overwhelming for my mind to think of working 48 hours in 4 days. So, I just head into each day thankful for it and just do it. Win the day, as I like to say.
- Workout. Seriously. It’s science. I always hit the gym or go on a run if my stress is getting the best of me, it makes it 10x better.
I have really cool things coming next week! So stop back 🙂 Have a terrific + balanced weekend everyone! -Ames