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How to Make the Most of Your Summer When You're a Shift Worker (Part Two)


Published: 15 December 2016

Cover image for article: How to Make the Most of Your Summer When You're a Shift Worker (Part Two)
Continued from How to Make the Most of Your Summer When You’re a Shift Worker (Part One)

When You’re on a Day Shift

  • Play a twilight sport
  • See a movie
  • Go on a dinner date
  • Observe Christmas light displays
  • Go carolling
  • Watch the sunset!
  • See a concert or stage show in the evening
  • Have a pyjama date on the couch watching a movie with your partner, plus or minus the kids!
  • Walk the dogs
  • Walk along the beach
  • Go to the gym or pool/sea-pool
  • Catch up with friends
  • Listen to music you haven’t heard in a while
  • Make time for hobbies (e.g. sing, dance, write a poem, play guitar, make Christmas cards)

When You’re on a PM Shift

  • Many of the activities from the AM shift ideas list could be done before work – just don’t wear yourself out before working!
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Have a brunch date or catch-up with friends
  • Play social sports (e.g. morning tennis)
  • Go for a scenic drive, practice your photography skills, and sing your heart out to music
  • Go on a picnic
  • Go for a bush walk
  • Go to the beauty salon or pamper yourself by getting your hair done – something that you find relaxing and a special indulgent treat!

shift work over summer

For Night Duty Workers and Long Shift Workers

Depending on how long your shift goes for (8hrs, 10hrs, 12hrs) and whether you prefer being active before or after your shift, the ideas outlined earlier may be relevant to you. Just make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep and being safe, especially when traveling.

For long shifts you may only really have time to eat, work, sleep, repeat. The good news is that often you may end up with three days off in a row instead of two. If you use one of those days for cleaning, washing, and doing errands, you can plan to use another one of your days off to do relaxing activities, and the other to get out and about and have some more active fun. It all comes down to a healthy balance and division of your time.

Ideas for Summer

  • Mini vacation not too far from home
  • Lounge room picnic
  • Go out for dinner/breakfast or a movie before or after your shift
  • Host a BBQ/party
  • Go sight-seeing
  • Wear jewellery and wear your hair down – because you can’t at work!
  • Board games and cards with the family
  • Paint or draw – it doesn’t matter what time of day it is for this activity!
  • Make playlists of your favourite music based on different themes
  • Spring clean your house, and/or redecorate (they say a change is as good as a holiday!)
  • Go for a morning bike ride
  • Late night shopping before your shift
  • Learn a skill – you don’t have to go out to a night class if you don’t want to. You could stay in your pyjamas and learn from home. You can surf internet videos or blogs and take the time to perfect a skill you have always wanted to try (e.g. cake-decorating, learning to contour when applying makeup, gardening, landscaping, interior decorating etc.) There are lots of free internet courses that you can do in your spare time at your own pace, either in a professional or personal sense. Some universities and educational institutions even release units for the public to study for free.


Portrait of Madeline Gilkes
Madeline Gilkes

Madeline Gilkes focused the research project for her master's of healthcare leadership on health coaching for long-term weight loss in obese adults. Madeline is also a qualified weight management practitioner and Registered Nurse. Her vision is to prevent lifestyle diseases, obesogenic environments, dementia, and metabolic syndrome. She has a master of healthcare leadership, a graduate certificate in aged care, and a bachelor of nursing. Madeline works as an academic and has spent the past years in the role of clinical facilitator and clinical nurse specialist (gerontology & education). She is due to complete her Graduate Certificate in Adult and Vocational Education at CSU before November 2018. See Educator Profile