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As a new police wife, I dreaded night shifts.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m an introvert who loves her alone time, and having the bed to myself is kind of luxurious, but night shifts got old quickly. I’d pretty much spend the time watching Netflix and grumbling when there was nothing to watch.
Now, I recognize that it’s just part of this life. It’s still sometimes hard (especially now that it means doing dinner, bathtime, and bedtime routines all by myself), but for the most part I love it. I don’t really know what I’d do without it.
The key is to recognize that that time alone is the perfect opportunity for you to focus on taking care of and improving yourself – and then taking that time to intentionally do something for yourself.
I know as a police wife you spend a lot of time doing things to try to help your husband, but you might be surprised at the positive difference it’ll make in your marriage if you invest some time in yourself, too. 🙂
Whatever you plan to do, get yourself something special. Whether that means a soda or a fancy coffee from Starbucks or a batch of brownies (no judgment), or whatever. Just get something you don’t normally get to enjoy.
It’ll help you look forward to your husband’s time away and make it less of a pain and more of a special occasion.
My husband hates This Is Us. He thinks it’s so dumb. I, on the other hand, can’t get enough of it.
So guess what I inevitably watch on night shifts? That’s right.
The same goes for Parenthood, 13 Reasons Why, and all kinds of other shows he just can’t stand to watch. When he’s away, I get to watch them with no judgment and no complaining. Yay!
If there’s a show you love to watch that your husband can’t stand, night shifts are the perfect opportunity to watch it guilt-freely, whether it’s the awesomeness that is This Is Us, or a total guilty pleasure show like The Bachelor.
Like I said, this is a judgment-free zone. You do you 😉
Can I tell you how much I love the idea of bullet journaling? It totally appeals to my type-A, tracker, goal-setting, stationery and fancy pen obsessed self.
I already have my own journal system and planner set up, but bullet journals don’t have to be full-life journals. They can also be used for a specific purpose – like a reading-specific bullet journal (check out #BuJoforbooklovers on Instagram) or one to track fitness/nutrition goals, or whatever you want.
I actually took a short course from Modern Mrs. Darcy on how to start one and it has me itching to get started… but I think I’ll wait until it’s time to re-start my Day Zero project (I’m currently only halfway through, so it’ll be a bit :))
Speaking of which…
I’m obsessed with list making and goal setting. Every night before I fall asleep I write out my to-do list for the next day. I have goals for different seasons, for each year, and I even have a Day Zero project going like I mentioned.
I love setting goals, because it gives me purpose. When I feel like I’m dragging, I love reminding myself that I’m still one day closer to whatever goal I’m shooting for (depending on my decisions that day, of course!)
Plus, those lists keep me focused. It’s easy to let myself float through the day and at night, I realize I haven’t gotten anything done. With a solid to-do list, I’m actually productive.
Night shifts are a great time to set some goals for yourself, whether it’s just one small goal you want to achieve in the next few weeks, or a big list of goals like Day Zero. You could even spend your time making a vision board if you’re a more visual goal setter!
This isn’t exactly a “self-improvement project” per se, but it’s a great way to free up time later in the week. I just discovered MyFreezEasy and it’s freaking life-changing – 10 freezer meals done in about an hour (if you do it in an organized way like they suggest… or about 2-3 if you’re a hot mess like myself. Still a time saver ;))
Especially if you have kids, this is a great idea, because you don’t have to spend so much time cooking when it’s dinner time. You also don’t have to worry about what you’re going to make, since the food is already prepped – you just have to thaw it and cook it.
Also – as someone without a dishwasher, I can tell you it saves a lot of dish-washing time.
If you want to try MyFreezEasy, check it out here.
One of my faaavorite date nights with my husband is when we pick a movie, buy some candy, and I get to put all my work away for the evening and really get into whatever we’re watching. I love it so much. I remember the first time we did it after A was born. We watched Jurassic Park and I still have warm fuzzies about that movie because of it.
I know, I’m weird.
Regardless, it’s totally re-creatable alone. I get kind of a kick out of picking a movie, making popcorn, eating candy, putting my phone away, and just getting to focus on a movie I want to watch.
And again, it’s a great opportunity to watch movies my husband groans about 🙂
Whether you go to a gym, run outside, or do at-home workout videos, this is a great productive way to spend time on your husband’s night shift.
While I love exercising first thing in the morning, when my husband is at work and the kiddo is asleep, exercising in the evening is pretty great. It’s not often I get to work out without someone underfoot!
I personally love Beachbody workouts, and for what it’s worth, I’m not even a coach. I can just tell you by following the programs, I’m in the best shape of my life (take that as you will ;))
Part of my nighttime routine is to read a chapter of a book before I fall asleep. I love it, but I sometimes yearn for the days that I could read all night and sleep all day.
I know, I used to be quite the party animal.
Even though I can’t exactly make that happen, when my husband’s away, it’s a great time to focus on reading once our son goes to bed. I can spend a solid 2-3 hours reading, and it is glorious.
If your family could use a little extra money (and let’s be real, what family couldn’t?) night shifts are a great time to get your side hustle on, whatever it is.
Whether it’s blogging like me, or doing Uber, or running an Etsy shop, or whatever. The time your husband’s away is a great time to focus on it and get some solid work done!
My favorite relaxing activity is to do something creative, like drawing, painting, or knitting, and night shifts present a great opportunity to get lost in what I’m doing. I love turning on music and working on new pages in my art journal, especially.
If you’re not super artistic, have you tried some of the new coloring books out there for adults? This is kind of “trendy” but I love it. I spend so much time in a frenzy during the day trying to get things done, so forcing myself to sit and focus on coloring tiny details of my coloring book is meditative.
I love the artwork in this particular one. Being near the ocean is one of my favorite things… so of course, I live in a landlocked state. Go figure. But coloring in the sea animals reminds me of home a little, which is nice for the days that homesickness sets in.
Whether you’re into painting or drawing, or if you want to take the time to learn something new, night shifts are a great opportunity to do so.
If you do it right, lonely night shifts can actually become your favorite shift 🙂
I’m a twenty-something LEO wife and stay-at-home mom to a one-year-old little boy. I enjoy writing, reading, taking my son for walks and runs in the stroller, and crafting. My goal is for Love and Blues to be a resource for first responders and their families. I write about marriage and family topics, as well as about the quirks that come with being married to a man in law enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services.
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