Suffering < 9
You will have more difficulty coping with and adjusting to shift work if you have one or more of the following:
- Asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
- Heart disease, gastro-intestinal disease, cancer or auto-immune disease
- Anxiety, depression
- An undiagnosed sleep disorder
- Alcohol or substance addiction
- Lack of ‘hardiness’ & resilience
- Heavy domestic workload
Whether you consider yourself successful or suffering, don’t believe the myths that are often offered to explain shiftworker success or suffering. It is not because you’re tough or not tough enough or that you’re not trying hard enough or that shiftwork is just always difficult.
If you judged yourself to be a ‘successful’ shiftworker then you are presumably healthy, enjoy the shiftwork lifestyle and are well-adapted to shiftwork.
If you judged yourself to be ‘struggling’ then perhaps some things are going well but you could use some help with sleeping, schedule transitions, diet or managing family life.
You can find this information in the articles on my website or in the book ‘Working ‘Round the Clock: a Survival Guide for Shift and Night Workers.’
If you consider yourself to be struggling, education may not be enough. You may need some time off or a schedule change. It may be that you are not well-adapted to shiftwork and you do not enjoy the lifestyle and may need to consider other career options.
If this is your situation, an assessment may be necessary to support a leave or an accommodation. Call or email me if you require such an assessment.
© Carolyn Schur, August 2018. May be reprinted with attribution. www.carolynschur.com