New Beginnings

Well here we are again, way over due for a post, but I have a good excuse I promise! This one is going to be sort of a combined nursing and lifestyle post, so bear with me, there is a lot to update, and I will try to be succinct and not bore you too much.

I have now moved to a new city, gotten a new job, and moved into a new apartment with a new roommate. Well I guess we can call him a roommate for arguments sake, but really he’s my boyfriend (yay! finally, that only took 2.5 years).

I now reside in the beautiful and diverse San Francisco, CA. I know that I still can’t believe that I live here.

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I have a new job in an Intermediate ICU for Neurosurgery, the acuity is DEFINITELY a lot higher than that of my previous position, but I am excited for the challenge that it will bring in the future and all that I will learn. So far everyone at work has been friendly and helpful and want to see me succeed, which makes for a great work environment (not that I didn’t have this before, it’s just always something I am worried about when going to a new place).

My new apartment is fabulous, and is within short walking distance to…

  1. The train, which I take for work most days
  2. Great restaurants
  3. Union Square
  4. The Embarcadero
  5. And several other things which I will stop listing otherwise this list will be a mile long

which is nice for afternoon strolls and little mini weekend adventures. Especially now that I live with…

ETHAN! That’s the boyfriend for those of you who don’t know. He’s great and puts up with my antics so that makes everything better. We have been doing little day trips and walking around in places and decorating the apartment, which makes me happy so all in all not so bad :).

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Little day-cation to Stinson Beach! So pretty!

Ozzie the cat tolerated the move well, it took him a couple of days to warm up to the idea of the new apartment, but now he loves to sit in front of the window and bird watch, and keep a close eye on all of the goings on occurring on the street outside our window.

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Excuse the mess behind this picture, we were still trying to figure out where everything should go, but Oz just looks so content I had to post this picture :).

Until next time, or if there is anything you would like to hear about in particular, leave a message in the comments!

~Niki

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Sleeping and Nights

I have finally been able to switch over to night shift! YAY! This is a win for me, as I tend to be more of a night owl than a morning person. But there are a lot of people that have a hard time adjusting to nights. This post is going to be about what works for me to be functional on non work days, and everyone is different so I please keep that in mind when reading this article.

I am already naturally a night person so some of these things are much easier to me. To begin, I have skewed my schedule so that I am up until 0200-0300, and sleep until 1100-1200, typically 0300-1100. This sets me up to stay up to 0730 the next morning when I need to work.

Setting an alarm the next day after your last night shift and getting up to go for a walk or go do something active definitely helps you get over that feeling of being hit by a freight train.

I always wake up parched and with a mild headache, the getting up and moving helps with the headache, and a good glass of water and rehydrating all day helps with the parched feeling. However the parched feeling is not exclusive to nights for me, I am never drinking enough water when I am working, which is a personal issue and potentially the topic of another post ;). I enjoy my hot yoga, going for long walks outside, and some gym time. I get bored easily so I try to keep things varied, so I don’t burn out on one thing.

One thing I have also realized for me is caffeine. Oddly enough contrary to probably what almost every other nurse out there is going to say, I need to stay away from caffeine. It makes my sleep cycles really strange and too much of it actually exacerbates any anxiety I might have. So I have been weaning myself off of my caffeine, although it’s slow going, I definitely enjoy a cup of coffee every now and again (hey, don’t forget to feed the soul and do things that make you happy ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

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I am so tired by the time I get home and go to bed I don’t really need black out curtains, but a lot of people benefit from them. I used a throw blanket (which worked just as nicely)ย for a while, but then I find that for me it is extra difficult to get out of bed after having slept for my 4-6 hours, so I have left them behind for a brighter future (pun intended ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

I usually pass out and am sleeping for a solid 4 hours before I wake up, but if I have had a particularly trying or emotional night and am having trouble getting to or falling asleep, I have melatonin. I rarely use it, but it is rather reassuring to know that I have it should I ever need it. It is over the counter, but I spoke with my doctor about dosing before beginning to take it, so I would never recommend to take supplements without knowledge about what you’re doing.

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Any other tips and tricks out there about working nights and sleeping during the day? I know I am still testing different things out to see what is going to work best for me, so this is a preliminary list of what works for me :).

 

~Niki