The Shift

Shift-workers navigate a unique experience.

If you have ever heard the term “banker’s hours” (used to describe the opening hours of banks, before they pivoted to increasing service on evenings and weekends, drive-thru options, online banking and mobile apps), shift-workers are often subject to unconventional hours that conflict with the obligations they may have outside of work.

Banks, medical clinics, and grocery stores are a few examples of places with opening hours beyond what we presume is typical working hours: from 09:00 to 17:00. If you spend your days in one of these workplaces, you may consider that all of your errands will have to be completed outside of those hours; either before or after your workday. This may add an hour to your commute during evening rush hour to get groceries, pick up your children from their afterschool activities, or return a stack of really good books to the library.

Shift-workers do not always have that kind of time available.

As an employee who has worked 8-hour and 12-hour shifts, it can often feel like your time is not your own. At the end of a workday, looking at the clock seeing 06:00 and knowing that if I need to visit the bank my only option is to delay my rest to arrive as soon as the branch opens at 09:30, or cut my rest short to wake up and rush in just before closing.

It can be infuriating to reconfigure life around your work schedule.

In workplace-led or workplace-offered health and wellness spaces, many of the programs, gatherings, and offerings are scheduled during the “lunch hour” (read: noon-hour): for your typical nine-to-fiver, this is a great opportunity to escape from within the walls of your cubicle and enjoy a walk outdoors, a yoga class, or a professional development workshop. But when your “lunch hour” is a time when no offerings are or can be made available, it can feel exclusive and isolating.

I’m not the first person to raise this concern, either. I have heard the question asked in many spaces where I’ve worked and volunteered, and the answer is often underwhelming: the truth is, no one really knows how to support shift-workers unless that is their reality.

That is why I want to help make that change.

I want to help my friends and colleagues change their perspective from work-life balance, where you juggle life obligations around work, to life-work balance, where your life and work needs can be met – but where your life outside of work can be centered. Where your time for rest, for play, and for all the things you haven’t even considered doing yet take center stage in your life.

A blue sky with snow-capped mountains in the background. Text reads in brown letters: The Shift. Navigating Life-Work Balance in Shift Work.

In the bottom left-hand corner, above the mountains,  in white text, reads: Instagram Healthy.My.My.Maya. In the bottom right-hand corner, a white circle with white letters spelling "M-C-D-O" on the inside of the circle.

Let me introduce you to The Shift: a community space that centers shift-workers. As this is a brand new offering, the first cohort will be instrumental in defining how the program will develop in future iterations.

This program will be limited to TWELVE (12) participants. We will be working together to navigate life-work balance, to tackle some of the biggest challenges for shift workers:

  • Managing sleep: days or nights
  • How to manage shift-work through the changes in season
  • Physical activity: keeping the body moving but not overworking it
  • Emotional and spiritual growth: freedom to learn and do new things, or level up on existing skills or knowledge
  • Making time for yourself: when to check in vs when to check out
  • Access to a support system, accountability, and community
  • Time management and time commitments
  • Nutrition and food preparation

Each month, The Shift gatherings will start with a 20-minute community check-in and journaling practice, a 20-minute mindful movement or yoga sequence (options for all levels and all bodies), and end with a 20-minute action planning activity and gratitude offering.

This could very well be the place you need to be right now, without even knowing it.

Join me, and let’s get un-shifted together.