On Change — My Ever-Changing Hours and More 

There’s been a change in my life that will result in changing hours at White Dove. I’ve been doing Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons for the past year and a half. That’s now changed. I think, for now, the best way to schedule a session with me will be ahead of time. I have limited hours that I am available as I have taken a full-time overnight job.

You can book with me via email at: youdeservereiki [at] gmail [dot] com. 

That allows me to sleep during the day and get back to you in the evenings when I am awake and available. Most likely this will be very late at night when you are asleep! Right now, I am looking at being around on Thursdays and Fridays, with hours varying.

What I won’t do now is just hang in the store and wait for walk-ins. You will have to schedule with me ahead of time!

Schedule your Reiki session by emailing youdeservereiki [at] gmail [dot] com!

Schedule your Reiki session by emailing youdeservereiki [at] gmail [dot] com!

Change is easier when you go with the flow 

Always swim with the stream, not against it! This means for me that self-care is paramount. I practice what I preach. You know if you’ve ever had a session with me that I tell you to engage in good self-care. Overnights are a huge lifestyle change! I’m back to drinking my caffeine, which I had given up in March. The last time I did overnights I was very young. If your baby was born that year, he or she is a freshman in college by now.

I decided not to fight the sleep schedule. I sleep from 10am-6pm with no exceptions. Besides sleep, here are other acts of self-care I am engaging in as I get used to the third shift schedule:

*I am working out.

If I have time for an hour, I do an hour. If I can only squeeze in 20 minutes, I do that instead of whining, “I don’t have time!” Just do it.

*I’m making crockpot meals. 

I do prefer a Braums 1/3 pound bacon cheeseburger, but I am an adult and have to eat right if I am going to make this shift work. The crockpot meals allow me to spend less time cooking and less energy heating up the kitchen. It gives me something to eat at home and take to work. It’s a win-win.

*I am meditating and doing self-Reiki

I meditate daily, even if it’s only for 10-20 minutes and with a guided meditation podcast. Now, I make a point to make sure I am doing it because it reduces stress. I lay my hands on my chest or stomach to do self-Reiki as I meditate, so I kill two birds with one stone. Don’t forget the self-Reiki!

*I am setting boundaries

Like the meditating, I always do this. When you require 8 hours of sleep during daylight hours with a mid-week weekend, the boundaries have to be even stronger. Sleep, eating well, meditation, and exercise come first for me right now. That means texts and phone calls can be returned after I wake up at 6pm. Everything is on “do not disturb.” I’m saying “no” to things I normally wouldn’t, like time with friends or calling an alcoholic new to AA. Taking care of me comes first. Working overnights is basically flip-flopping my life. I get up at 6pm instead of 6am. I eat a cheeseburger for “breakfast” at 7pm. On my day off, I hit the gym at 3am… My world is topsy-turvy as I get used to these hours. If people can’t give me some slack right now, that’s on them.

*I know how my body works and I’m not fighting it

I nailed two blankets over my window to block out light in my bedroom so I can sleep during the day. I bought melatonin to better my sleep patterns and help me fall asleep faster after I get off work.

*I attend daily AA meetings 

AA works for me. It especially works for me the more often I attend. I’m an “out” alcoholic in recovery. I work in the field of addictions. Nothing to hide here! I manage to attend my home meeting on the way home from work. It just works out. Once I get out of there, I am wound down enough to go home and fall asleep after I play with my cat, Alcatraz, for a few minutes. Since I work in the field directly with addicts, it’s vital I keep taking care of my own recovery. I’ve already been warned of the high rate of relapse in this field! So I keep going to meetings and reading my Big Book. I am also reading more modern recovery literature like “Recovery 2.0” and “Refuge Recovery.”

*The fun shall return 

Once I get used to a sleeping schedule, that is. For now, it’s all I can do to sleep, eat, exercise, do my freelance writing, and shower. I owe a few phone calls to family and friends. I hope to be better accustomed to this soon so I don’t miss Friday night Kirtan on the 3rd Friday… I haven’t even figured out if I should stay awake long enough to go to church on Sundays yet. And Lord knows I forgot to even pick up my guitar yesterday! I have found I always know what time it is but I have no idea what day it is… Welcome to third shift!

How you can use these self-care lessons 

Steal these! Set boundaries with people so you can sleep or do whatever it is you need to do.  Look at what is a priority in your life and what isn’t. Do you skip exercise? Eat poorly? How did those things get placed so far down on the ladder? Do you make time for yourself? When you make a big change like this, do you take things off your plate like I have? Or do you pull the Superman/Superwoman tricks and try to do it all? I have learned finally I can’t do it all and I suck at multitasking. I am more realistic with my scheduling than ever. This means I say “no” more often. I also learned to say “no” and not feel guilt, remorse or shame. If you learn nothing else from this blog, pick that up — it’s OK to say “no” and not feel bad afterwards!

What are your third shift lifestyle tips? Leave them in the comments below! 


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