Advertising
Advertising

10 Things Only Loved Ones of People Who Do Shift Work Would Understand

10 Things Only Loved Ones of People Who Do Shift Work Would Understand

Many of us are aware that it’s not easy to do shift work. Disruption of normal sleep patterns is just one of the many challenges only shift workers would understand. But do you ever take a moment to think about the difficulties and struggles that the loved ones of people who do shift work face?

Few people think about what these people go through, and sadly seldom do we talk about what these loving people are up against. So today we are going to break the silence and honor these affectionate souls by highlighting some of the struggles only you, as a loved one of someone who does shift work, would understand.

1. You hardly ever get the chance to just sit and enjoy quality time with them.

That’s because your loved one who does shift work is always away working when you’d have loved to hang out and enjoy each other’s company. While this upsets you sometimes, you understand that they have to go to work.

Advertising

2. You don’t get time to go out together anymore.

You used to spend mornings out together or go on fun date nights with them, but now you don’t dare ask them to go out with you because you both have different sleep schedules and they need to catch their sleep on off-hours. Even on holidays when you might want to go out and have some fun with them, they don’t feel like spending the day out. And you completely understand because they have to work the next night.

3. You can’t just pick up the phone and call them anytime you want.

That’s because you don’t know if they’re sleeping or not. They’re always moving from night shift to day shift and vise versa, and it’s difficult to know for sure whether they are free to take calls. Besides, some work places have strict cell phone policies and you don’t want to get them in trouble by calling them when they are at work.

4. You have a hard time making plans in advance that include them.

They might tell you their boss has promised a rotation to allow them to attend an event you’re planning, but you can’t be sure that the promise will pan out. So you put them under the “Maybe” category of those coming to your event, even if they said they’ll be there. Usually this is the case until the day before the event when you, hopefully, realize their shift duty was actually moved and they will indeed be there.

Advertising

5. You expect them to miss or skip most social gatherings.

Why? Because you know they don’t have the weekends free to meet up with friends and family like everyone else does. They work odd hours, and sometimes that means missing important social gatherings, including birthday parties, graduations, and family meetings. It makes you sad that you rarely see them and that their youngest cousins usually have no idea who they are. But you try to understand that love—no matter how important and fulfilling it is—doesn’t pay the bills.

6. It is hard to spend time with them because they always seem so tired.

This happens when they somehow manage to beat the system and show up to hang out and spend time with you and other loved ones. You may even notice they are moody or irritable with their own children, relatives, and friends because of being so tired.

7. You sometimes feel as though you both exist in parallel universes.

This is especially true if you are a married couple with kids. You may feel like you’re not a team as parents, not because of any conflicting parenting styles, but because it seems like they don’t have time for you and the kids. Your kids, parents, and even close friends often ask about their absence, and it secretly hurts you inside to answer why he/she is not there with you.

Advertising

8. You sometimes feel lonely and emotionally isolated.

That’s because your partner or loved one is never there. You just wish you would have more time to spend with them, but you know demanding more time will only create stress. You understand that your loved one has a difficult work schedule and needs their sleep and time to rest, just like everyone else.

9. You always hope that they’ll be available for Christmas.

Christmas is always a busy time for everyone. But if you do shift work, this time of the year is often more hectic than usual. It may be that Christmas doesn’t stop your loved one from working. So each year you cross your fingers and hope they will get a break and be available to spend Christmas with you, which unfortunately doesn’t always happen.

10. You’re heartbroken every time you see those bags under their eyes.

When he or she comes back home or walks in the room and you notice that major sleep face and those fierce bags under their eyes, it just breaks your heart. And you never mention how tired you are yourself to them because you know they’ve been up working the shift since 1 in the morning!

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Healthy Morning Snack with a Tea/VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

25 Memory Exercises That Actually Help You Remember More 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Beer You Probably Never Knew 15 Funny Idioms You May Not Know (And What They Actually Mean) Great Leaders Remember to Offer These 10 Things All The Time

Trending in Communication

1 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way 2 How to Break Free From Negative Thinking for Good 3 15 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Daily Motivation 4 How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often 5 Feeling Super Stressed? Do This Daily Routine Every Day

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

Advertising

2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

Advertising

Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

Advertising

12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

Read Next