I spend a lot of time on the road visiting 911 dispatch centers in the Midwest, and I often find myself trying to entertain myself as well as eat healthy. Here are a few things that I have found to be useful while traveling that you may be able to use to help stay awake during those early, quiet hours on the job:
Embrace Healthy Snacking
How easy is it to grab a handful of M&M’s or chips? While it is super convenient, I always feel guilty thinking that I should have made a healthier choice. If you experience a similar situation, here are some of my favorite grab-and-go snacks that do not require a ton of prep and won’t leave you feeling guilty or sluggish afterwards:
- ZonePerfect bars (The fudge graham ones are delicious!)
- Hummus w/ pretzel chips
- KIND bars
- BelVita biscuits (I am eating the blueberry one right now!)
- Fresh veggies
- Smoked almonds
- Beef jerky
Quench Your Thirst
It’s natural to get thirsty while snacking, but some drink options are better for you than others. Here are some alternatives to explore in place of soda next time you want to quench your thirst:
- Vitaminwater (My favorites are the “revive” and “spark” flavors.)
- Bai Bubbles (Blackberry lime is AMAZING!)
- Bing drinks (All of the varieties are simply delicious, but the black one is my personal favorite!)
Entertain Yourself With Podcasts
Ok, so you have your snacks and drinks, but now what? 911 Dispatchers who work in the wee hours of the morning are no strangers to going through quiet stretches. If you experience this and need something to do during that downtime, consider listening to podcasts.
Podcasts are my new favorite way to pass the time while on the road or sitting on a plane. There are so many to choose from, and you can find excellent ones that indulge your interests. Personally, I like the ones that keep me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next. I also love listening to podcasts that relate specifically to public safety. The current combo in my library: Within the Trenches, Dirty John, Young Charlie, and Accused. Happy listening!
Hopefully these tips help you better survive those late nights in the comm center!