If you work in shifts or alternating shifts your social life won’t automatically match that of friends and/or family. While you’re at work, they’re asleep, and their day is just getting started when you’re going to bed.
For someone who is used to a day rhythm, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like to have to work at night and have off during the day. For that reason, night workers regularly encounter a lack of understanding from their environment. There’s an expectation that they should just be able to keep going during the day, even though they’re still trying to recover from an often heavy night shift. Remember that the social drawbacks are exacerbated by symptoms of fatigue.
10 tips for a better work-life balance
Do you work at night? If so, make sure that the balance between your work and private life is good, because that’s essential. The people around you absolutely must keep this in mind; it’s also important for you to ensure that good arrangements are in place with your friends and family. The right schedule is also the basis for a better balance between work and your social life. We give you 10 tips for a healthy work-life balance.
- Try to find a good balance between social life and recuperation. That’s because if you mainly adapt to the rhythm of friends and family (to spend more time with them) over a longer period of time, it will hurt your own rest and recuperation in the long run. So, be sure to get enough rest and remember to take care of yourself. This can only enhance the quality of the time you spend with friends and family.
- Let friends and family know about your activities. Sending a weekly message to your best friends using an app, using a message board, or hanging your work schedule on the refrigerator are good ways of letting others know when you won’t be available (or won’t have much time) to talk during the day.
- Discuss with your family and friends what would be the best way to get enough sleep. This will also help them to be mindful of your lifestyle, understand your needs better, and keep the time you need to rest in mind.
- Try and eat together as often as possible, without the distractions of TV, mobile phones or tablets. During shared meals you can talk to each other, plan activities, discuss problems or simply talk about your day (or night!).
- Schedule holidays and regular family days/outings with your family or friends. Plan well ahead to do something fun together. Sometimes the prospect of a holiday or pleasant outings can help relieve the stress of everyday life.
- Be sure to spend quality time or go on dates with your partner every week. Intimacy within a relationship is often the first thing to suffer when the pressures of (night) work and the household intensify.
- Trade shifts or take off for important events, such as birthdays, weddings and important performances by your children or their competitions and/or games.
- Take part in fun activities with colleagues who are on the same schedule. You might find colleagues interested in playing sports, cooking, shopping or watching a television series with you during the day.
- Take advantage of your days off and make sure you also enjoy some ‘me time’. For example, take the opportunity to pursue a hobby you enjoy in your spare time.
- Talk to other night workers and share tips and experiences to discover new ideas for having a healthy social life when engaged in night work.
Do you have any questions about a healthy work-life balance when working night shifts? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!