How I Maximize My Day While Working the Graveyard Shift with Kids in China

in #life6 years ago

@trustyourpath The chimes from my alarm can be heard from across the room, but they're a pleasant enough way to wake up. My phone reads, "Wake Up and Visualize Your Day!" complete with a sun emoji at the end that I've now decided was just a bit too much. I lie back down, close my eyes again, and begin to visualize my morning unfold in my mind.

It is 1:00am.

This is the time I wake up, every day, Monday - Friday. This is because I begin teaching online at 2:00am. On Sundays I "sleep in" and wake up at 2:00am because my first class doesn't start until 3:04am. (Yeah, 3:04am - that exact time. Strict schedules is all I'll say on that for now.).

I suppose my work shift would be called the graveyard shift by some, but because my mornings usually consist of alphabet flashcards, singing songs like, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and learning the names of zoo animals, I've always hesitated to call it that. The word graveyard shift just sounds so spooky and unappealing. Nothing like my students, who are children (ranging from ages 4 to 14) and the most sweet, fun, intelligent, and talented kids you might ever meet. They all live in China, so when they log on for one of my classes it's after 6:00pm where they are.

When I tell people I wake up at 1:00am every day they almost always visibly cringe. I know it sounds painful. Trust me, I like sleep just as much as the next gal (maybe more) so I get why my schedule sounds awful. But I have managed to make this schedule work for me and here are three of the main reasons why....

How I Maximize My Day While Working the Graveyard Shift with Kids in China

1. I accepted my new schedule.

I accepted that 1:00am is the time I wake up now. I love teaching and I adore my students, so I accepted that in order to have those things, this is what I need to do. I do not complain about it, think of it in a negative way, wish that I could wake up later, or long for the good old days when I woke up at a "normal" hour. I accepted my new schedule instead of resisting it. There's a common misconception that you have to like something in order to accept it. Nope. You can accept something and still not like it... but you must stop actively resisting it.

2. I embraced my new schedule.

Once I accepted it, I focused on the positive aspects of my new schedule and tried to think of ways I could make the most of my waking hours. With this schedule, I will always have plenty of time to get my son to and from school (several hours after I'm finished teaching for the day). That is a huge blessing! With this schedule, I could be one of those people who goes to the gym before the sunrises too. Yeah... I haven't done that yet, but it's there for me, if I choose it. What I have managed to do is create a morning that allows me to feed positive energy into my entire day. Oh wait... that's no. 3.

3. I designed a morning ritual that super charges my day.

My morning ritual was designed using the SAVER principles of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Some of my fellow Steemians have done a beautiful job explaining this in detail so I won't re-explain the nitty gritty details again. @psylains called them Life S.A.V.E.R.S and @mysted wrote about how using this will transform your life. Be sure to check out their articles for more detail. I've included an image below that offers a quick summary.

(image credit belongs to

My current morning schedule looks like this:

1:00am - Wake up & Visualize my day for 2 minutes.
1:05am - Get up. Turn on my video lighting in my classroom. Check my computer, audio, and for any class changes.
1:15am - Shower.
1:30am - Drink a protein smoothie for Meal 1 while getting ready and listening to my daily Affirmations.
1:40am - Grab a cup of coffee and make sure I have water, lip balm, and my blanket near my desk.
1:45am - Check in to my teacher's center and review my lesson prep notes from the day before.
1:55am - Read my daily devotional and do a quick 2-minute breathing Meditation. I do other mindful exercises and/or meditations as often as possible throughout the day too, and I do an evening meditation before I go to bed as well.
1:59am - Smile, login to my first class and start teaching!

The first hour of my day allows me to accomplish 4 out of 6 of my SAVERS tasks so I already feel like I'm ahead by staying consistent with my self care. This morning ritual almost guarantees that I start each day with a positive, grounded perspective. It basically ensures I am my best self for my students and my family, which is my top priority.

The last two tasks I have to complete for My Miracle Morning are Exercise and Scribing, which I save for after I teach. I teach until just after 5am (sometimes until 6am, depending on my class schedule) so once I'm done teaching, I get my workout done sometime during the following hour. Full Disclosure: I have been slacking on my exercise lately, so I am re-committing to my daily home Pilates routine this week! Pinky promise. I'm also planning to add in 30 minutes of cardio at the gym after I drop my son off at school each weekday morning.

I usually do workouts at home from The Balanced Life, Yoga with Adrienne, or Tone It Up. I get something different from each of these beautiful communities and invite you to explore them for yourself. They are ALL about getting healthy, positivity, self-love, and being your best self. Here's the meditation I added to my day today by Karena from

Mindful Meditation ~ Keeping Up Your Amazing Momentum

As for Scribing, well, you probably already guessed by now that posting here on Steemit will complete this task for me. I am thrilled to have this Steemit become part of morning routine... though as long I get my posts published here by the end of my day, I'm calling it a win.

What about you?

How do you start your day? What time do you wake up and do you have a morning ritual? I'd love to hear about it so please, Reply below!


Seeing this post now, haha that´s great you´re doing this! ;)

thanks for upvote

My pleasure! Thank you for yours ❤

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