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Hardly eating because of hectic work


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Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa and I'm a mental health therapist and after-hours crisis worker. I'm on my first round and day 19. I've been doing well with making meals and staying compliant but I'm having a hard time actually eating throughout the day because of my hectic job. I bring my lunch everyday but often don't get a lunch because of crisis situations. So, I often only eat breakfast and possibly dinner if I don't get called out. I have emergency food with me like larbars or hard-boiled eggs but by the time I get a chance to eat it, it's too close to dinner and I just hold out. Do you think it's better to hold out for dinner or snack whenever I get the chance? Anyone else have a chaotic and unpredictable job like me? Also, I love my job so please don't think I'm complaining, I just want to make sure I'm getting support so I make it to the end! Thanks for any feedback!

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I'm sure there must be something in your training that indicates that you need to take care of yourself as a caregiver... I understand having a hectic job and I understand that sometimes there are crisis situations but this cannot be a standard... your team and your patients can't expect that you go 8-10 hours without eating. 

While its encouraged to make meal time a priority and sit down and concentrate on eating, that sometimes isn't possible... a meal can take about 10 min to eat and I firmly believe that you need to prioritize those 10 min.  You'll only be doing your patients and the rest of your team a service by making sure you're properly fueled and hydrated.  It can be easy to be sucked into 'I"m too busy to eat' but that's a cycle you don't want to get into.

What ways can we help you to find a way to eat that 10 min meal 4-5 hours after your breakfast?  Do you need easier options, on the run foods, strategies for how to ask for the 10 min?  

I just re-read that some days you don't even eat dinner??  The meal template is the bare minimum a person needs to fuel a day and that's not taking into account a high stress high functioning job.

I know this isn't the advice you asked for,but I think you've got a more complicated situation than just 'can I eat a snack or wait for dinner' (incidentally a dinner that may not actually happen).

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Hey, thank you for the feedback! You are 100% right about self-care. I absolutely recognize the importance of prioritizing my personal care and I do attempt to do this on a daily basis. After re-reading my post, I realize I did not phrase this to the best of my ability. Let me provide some additional context: 1. This is not a daily occurrence, but it has happened several times during my whole 30 2. I am often called out to different locations and never know how long I'll be gone, but I can be gone for 4 hours at a time, which often interferes with lunch. 3. If I miss lunch, I often have free time later in the day but I'm usually not hungry and usually just eat dinner when I get home 4. I've only had to miss lunch and dinner once, but I snacked. I should have said I always eat breakfast but sometimes miss either lunch or dinner because of work. 

I think more than anything that my body just doesn't like eating outside of normal meal times. I'm never hungry outside of those times and feel nauseous just thinking about food. Plus, I just get thrown off if I eat snacks during the day then try to eat a meal later. 

Honestly, I don't know what would be helpful at this point. I know what to cook and have been bringing food, but I'm just having a hard time with meal scheduling. I guess I just wanted to vent more than anything :).

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That additional background is definitely helpful and I"m glad you're not going multiple days eating only one meal.

Can you take your lunch with you to a call if you're called out?  Then you can eat it at the call... if that's possible. Maybe things like meatballs and leftover roasted veggies?  Easy to eat, quick, don't need cutlery if you promise to wash your hands before ;)

I always think about people who smoke in situations like this... People who smoke NEVER miss a smoke break, they NEVER make excuses for having to disappear for 5-10 min and no one ever says anything to them... so I try and substitute 'eating' for 'smoking'.... eating is not optional, it's not a luxury afforded to only those who are not busy and shouldn't be treated like a hassle by you or by others.

 

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Hi Calypso  

I sympatize with you here ;) i am a social care worker and my schedule includes overnight shifts (it's a sleep in night but still I might get an emergency call sometimes). On top of that I also have type 1 diabetes and need to wait about 35mins after injecting insulin and only then I can eat. It's not always perfect but I do try to eat 3 meals a day. Dinner is sometimes too late though. If i am at work I try to prepare food that doesn't take very long to eat, just as Sugarcube said maximum 10mins. I think even if you wouldn't make it  and only eat half of your prepared food it will still be better rather than not eating at all. At least I think so.. :) 

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Surgery resident here, totally get it. There are a lot of nurses on this forum who have the same problem. Honestly, there are plenty of days where I don't eat "lunch" until 2-4 pm because that's the first moment I have to go grab it. I agree, it messes with me and I don't like eating then, by then I'm not hungry, but I literally just force it in my face, lol. I actually was worried I'd lose too much weight otherwise, and I'm already slim, so I don't want to be wasting my muscle or something. I honestly don't have any tips or tricks, can just say that other people totally understand and we are here for you!

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