November 7, 2021 at 12:44 am #11163
Hi guys, we all know how important taking breaks are for many different reasons, however there is one thing regarding breaks I’m struggling with.
In a 10-12 hour small animal emergency vet shift, I tend to find that after I take my lunch break in the middle of my shift, I struggle to get back to the same level of productivity after my break as the first half of my shift. Has anyone got any tips for combatting this?November 8, 2021 at 4:34 pm #11261
For me I find that the post-lunch slump is worse if I eat certain things – e.g. a big stodgy meal. Don’t know if it might be experimenting with different types of food?
Also I find that if I spend my lunchbreak slumped and scrolling through social media on my phone, I don’t feel particularly rested or particularly keen to restart my day. Whereas doing things like going for a short walk outside make me feel happier and more energised (I if can manage to motivate myself to get outside – easier said than done sometimes).
Also, are you doing enough to look after yourself throughout the rest of your day? 10-12 hours of emergency work is a pretty gruelling shift. Are you able to take a couple of little rest breaks throughout the day as well as your lunch break? Are you drinking enough and keeping well hydrated? It could just be that you are working so hard that when you stop to take your mid-shift lunch break your body is exhausted?
Good luck!November 8, 2021 at 4:38 pm #11267
I’m similar, and I think this is very normal. We all have peaks and troughs in our energy levels. I try to organise things that require less brain power when I’m in a trough phase. But I do really like Vicky’s suggestions too they are all solid gold. 🙂November 8, 2021 at 9:22 pm #11290
Having worked similar length shifts, I can totally relate, though mine are all day shifts, I’ve not any real experience of a night shift other than on-call. What works for me is balancing my blood sugar levels over the day, to avoid those peaks and troughs, and, boring as it is, staying away from the refined white carbs! In my experience, it’s easy to get to a (late!) lunch, and be so hungry that its easy to wolf down a white bread sub, packet of crisps and a few cookies brought in by a kind client in a few minutes. A situation like that for me is just absolutely game over, complete snooze-fest! I’m much better if I eat a decent breakfast with some protein (usually porridge or peanut butter on wholemeal or 50:50 toast) and keep some protein snack bars in my drawer for late morning when I’m starting to flag. Then for lunch I’ll have some soup or beans on wholemeal toast- these are things that don’t really need any prep in the morning, and I can keep a few tins at work so I’ve always got something for lunch. You might need something else in the afternoon, or if you are ok then you can have an evening meal of your choosing when it doesn’t matter if you get a big insulin rush after!November 10, 2021 at 10:30 pm #11514
Weird as this may sound, I keep kombucha in my clinic fridge for just this reason. It’s my afternoon pick-me-up/reward that I look forward to every day. A little caffeine, but in a healthy way – much better than soda.November 17, 2021 at 12:48 pm #12366
Ah yes, ,the post-lunch-slump!
I also work 10 hour shifts, and I get this when I have lunch at my desk and don’t physically remove myself from my work area. Whenever I go to the lunch room and get a chance to chat with my co-workers, I find the return to work far less difficult. I also agree, that having a nutritious lunch and an exciting treat (coffee, tea, kombucha) to look forward to, will always help.
Remember that your body and mind aren’t designed to be super productive for 10-12 hours per day. So if you need to ride out that post-lunch haze for 30 minutes, then just be kind to yourself and let it happen.
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