I created a list of things to do for night shift workers that are subject to boredom trying to figure out what to do on nights off of work like me when I last worked on nights.
Most of everything is closed past midnight including restaurants, retail stores, and even gyms like Women’s Fitness Clubs of Canada which is where I have a membership. Planning hang-outs with friends can also be challenging due to the differences in waking hours. The options of things to do for night shift workers seem slim, but I’ll share with you what I did to remain productive and entertained.
1. Study a language is number one on this list of things to do for night shift workers
Studying and picking up a language on our own may seem almost impossible but it really is not as complicated as people make it out to be. In fact, in my experience, languages are easier to pick up when studying individually using online resources as opposed to going to classes with a bunch of fellow non-native speakers.
- DuoLingo is the world’s most popular language-learning app for good reason. It tests your writing, listening, and speaking skills in an organized manner and keeps track of your progression. The app helped me significantly in recognizing characters when I was studying Mandarin back in university and now, is helping me practice French daily by showing me my streak.
- HelloTalk is a good app to use to have a conversation with native speakers of the language you’re studying. It’s almost like a social media platform where you make a profile and post content, except that everyone on the platform is trying to learn a language. For instance, you’ll see people posting content in the language they’re practicing and native-speakers fixing their grammar through comments. There’s also a messaging feature to directly speak to individuals you befriend.
I used HelloTalk when I was studying Mandarin as well. The people I spoke to in the app helped me enunciate words I had difficulty with. Keep in mind, I ended up becoming a regional Mandarin Chinese speech contest champion so hopefully that’s convincing enough that the apps help and make sense to be on the list of things to do for night shift workers.
It’s recommended to study a language on DuoLingo or HelloTalk that you already have some familiarity with like French if you’re Canadian like myself and studied the language a bit during grade school. This is so that you’re not overwhelmed when you attempt to practice the language on your own.
Picking up a new language has many benefits including opening doors to new job opportunities, help you better connect with more communities, and in my experience, even help perfect your grammar in English. For these reasons, studying a language had to be in my list of things to do for night shift workers.
2. Write a blog and get it published on Parting Stories
According to clinical psychologists like Jordan Peterson, writing betters your ability to think clearly and improves your decision-making since it allows you to review your thoughts and ideas.
I write often, which is obvious given that you’re reading my blog. The most common response I get when I ask others why they don’t write is that they don’t know what to write about. My solution to that is journaling about your days and sharing thoughts about them.
I grew into the habit of writing from journaling most of my life. Reflecting on our days and the experiences we have allows us to identify where in our lives we want to see change, and keep track of our productivity in reaching our goals.
Writing a blog and getting it published on Parting Stories is easier than it may seem.
- You write about what you’ve experienced and your parting thoughts/learning insights following the blog criteria and submit it to the team’s gmail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For instance, in this blog, I’m sharing that I’ve experienced working night shifts, struggling to find things to do on my weekends being up all night, and learned what we can do to keep ourselves busy.
- The Parting Stories team will review your submission and connect back with you through email to provide you with suggested edits for your blog to qualify for publishing purposes.
- Your own written content can be published within just two weeks!
There are so many benefits to successfully getting your blog submissions published on Parting Stories; You can build a personal brand and grow a following, attach them to your social media profiles, and obtain a writing certification which you can add to your resume to prove your effective communication skills.
Anyway, writing and getting your content published is a productive way to spend a night at home and so it made it on this list of things to do for night shift workers.
3. Go for a late-night drive
The roads are typically emptier past midnight versus during the day in my experience in North America and yes, this includes “the city that never sleeps,” New York City. We all hate traffic and past midnight there is usually close to none and thus a great time to drive in downtown areas to appreciate the beauty of the city.
If the weather conditions are not extreme and I want some fresh air but have no company to go for a walk, I go for a drive alone with the windows down and turn some music up. It’s honestly very refreshing. I recommend avoiding (very) sad songs by the way when doing this because they’ll likely end up depressing you for no reason –I used to have this habit of listening to sad songs for sure too (I wrote an entire blog on it) and so I can confirm, it really did make a difference in my emotions when I avoided negative songs.
We all have different tastes in music, so listen to whatever you like. Here are some songs I currently enjoy listening to loud in the car in case we have a similar taste and you’re looking for some recommendations:
- Body In Motion – DJ Khaled ft. Bryson Tiller, Lil Baby, Roddy Rich
- Be Like That – Kane Brown, Swae Lee, Khalid
- 000000 – A. Chal
- This Time Around – Tove Lo
- Creep on me – Gashi ft. French Montana and DJ Snake
- Lavender sunflower – Tory Lanez
- No Guidance – Chris Brown ft. Drake
- Manike Mage Hithe – Arjun
- Ghazali – Dystinct ft Bryan Mg
- Istersen – Buray
4. Take deep care of your hygiene is next on this list of things to do for night shift workers
Regardless of whether you are a male or female, we all need to take care of our hygiene. I’ve shared what I do on a self-care night in order which you can follow along if you’d like. Note, I have limited hair growth and have dry skin, do not experience breakouts, have no blackheads, never dyed my hair or used self-tanners. We all have different hair and skin types, please research and add or omit steps that are necessary for you.
- Brush my teeth, tongue, and lips with any mint toothpaste (I typically use the Crest brand) then floss.
- I’ve attempted to use tongue scrapers in the past but in my opinion, those were never as effective as a toothbrush in cleaning the bacteria on the tongue.
- Put about a spoonful of Virgin Coconut Oil in a small bowl and warm it in the microwave until it is in liquid form then dip my fingers in it and massage the oil all over my scalp. I also apply the oil to my hair ends.
- Some people leave oil in for hours, but personally, I see no difference in putting it about 10 minutes before washing it off.
- If I have makeup on, I will use the coconut oil on my face as well then wipe the makeup off with a tissue. Coconut oil is a great makeup remover.
- Cut my nails and toenails until I see as little to no white nail as possible.
- Depending on the length of my body hair, I will either wax or shave.
- I personally have light hair growth and so I typically choose to shave and only wax private areas.
- If my body hair is long enough, I’ll microwave wax and apply a layer on a waxing strip using a popsicle stick, then placing it in the direction of the hair growth to strip off.
- We can apply more wax on the same waxing strip to reuse if done properly.
- If my hair is short, I will shave but only after the next few steps.
- Scrub exfoliate all over my body before showering.
- Some people say to exfoliate on damp skin or whilst showering but the exfoliate is never effective when I do that personally. I have dry skin and this method of applying exfoliate before turning on the shower works for me.
- Turn on the shower to medium heat water and shampoo my hair from roots to ends twice to get the oil out of my hair.
- Run through the ends of my hair with a little conditioner using my finger tips
- The coconut oil should already be enough for smoothening the hair but I tend to still use some conditioner on my ends.
- Shave the areas I grow hair on my body with a razor.
- Women’s razors tend to have dull blades so I use men’s razors
- Apply a body wash to a loofa and massage my body with it.
- After the shower, use a towel and gently tap it around my body to absorb the water then wrap another towel around my head.
- Apply Cetaphil Moisturizer generously all over my body and face.
- Apply Vaseline under my eyes, to my lips, and nose.
- Apply foot cream generously to my feet and put socks on.
- Wear fresh clothes and let my hair air dry.
- That’s all!
5. Watch an entertaining show or movie is last on this list of things to do for night shift workers
Sometimes, the “Top 10 Movies Today” on Netflix don’t seem entertaining but because they’re new, we give it a shot. However, there’s so many movies and shows that have come out in the past that we don’t know about and would’ve enjoyed which may be available on different websites online. I recommend being open to exploring movies/shows from all over the world and getting an HDMI cable to plug to your laptop to play on your TV so that you’re not limited to shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
Here are some shows I highly recommend:
- House M.D. – This was once the most watched show in the world and now when I talk about it, people tell me they never heard of it. The show is about a top doctor in diagnostics that hates people but helps them when they need it the most. Go watch it, nothing beats House.
- White Collar – This show had so many clever scenes and just never lost my interest. The main leads include a criminal informant and an FBI agent.
- Bridgerton – This was so popular for obvious reasons so the likelihood is you already watched it. Just go watch it again for the romance.
- Suits – I felt smarter after watching this show filled with unstoppable lawyers.
- Lie To Me – This show is underrated and binge-worthy if you enjoy crime TV.
- The Mindy Project – At first, I was reluctant to watch this show, thinking it would be too “silly and goofy” for my taste. But no, it ended up making me laugh out loud so many times.
- Prodigal Son – The story-line of this series is very interesting. It’s about an FBI Profiler who gets help in his findings from consulting his father, a serial killer surgeon, sitting in jail. I’m still annoyed this series got canceled after only a couple seasons.
- Prison Break – Everyone loves the lead character, Michael Scofield, when they watch this show. It’s almost impossible not to. The story is about an intelligent man who gets himself in prison to help his brother escape from it.
- Blood, Sex, & Royalty – This docuseries is based on the life of Anne Boleyn, the once upon a time, queen of England. I don’t know how accurate this series is but I know the main parts are true, the ending especially which is horrifying. It’s interesting to observe the differences of way of life back in the day and now.
- Marlon – This sitcom starring the famous, Marlon Wayans, is good to watch for some quick laughs.
Here are some movies I highly recommend:
- Catch Me If You Can – One of my all-time favourite movies is this one because not only does Leonardo DiCaprio do a phenomenal job but the movie is based on a true story which is absolutely incredible.
- The Great Gatsby – This is a classic movie based on a book. If I had to choose three words to describe this movie, I would say: love, heartbreak, and dreams.
- The Ugly Truth – I’ve watched this movie tens of times and love it every time. It’s to this date, the best rom-com out there.
- The Intouchables – This movie is also based on a true story and can be watched multiple times with family. I like this French original, but the Kevin Hart English remake is enjoyable too.
- The Imitation Game – The storyline of this movie is something I’d expect Tom Hanks to act in but Benedict Cumberbatch was the lead and he nailed it.
- Papillon – This is one of my favourites due to the focus on friendship and the outstanding performance. The fact that this movie is based on a true story gives me chills.
- Just Go With It – If you’re looking for a feel-good rom-com, this movie is it. Bare in mind, like all Adam Sandler movies, there are some annoying scenes here and there.
- Suite Française – I love a good romantic movie and this one is deep, based on a book written in times of the world war.
- The Devil’s Double – This movie is disturbing but interesting considering it is based on a true story about Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday Hussein. I recommend watching it once to understand how cruel people can be, and then never watching it again.
As you can probably tell, I enjoy watching movies and shows based on real life events or mysteries. Note, I didn’t include stand-up comedy in these lists but I am a fan of them and wrote a blog before on some comedians I enjoy which you can find by clicking here. I also didn’t include many non-English movies though I enjoy them. Click here to read another blog I wrote that includes many Bollywood movies I liked.
That concludes this blog of 5 things to do for night shift workers on nights off. There are other things like going to hookah lounges open until 2:00am but I wanted to include things you really can do at any point during the night in this blog rather than certain times. I hope you enjoyed this read and found it helpful! Thank you for your time!
Founder and Managing Director at Parting Stories
Manager I, Operations at Amazon
BBA ’20, Schulich School of Business at York University
Certified PS Writer