The holiday season is a busy and occasionally stressful time of year. Being a medical professional during the holidays can be especially exhausting and demanding at times. Not being able to take time off and celebrate the festivities with family and friends can be upsetting, but there are still ways to be positive and make it a festive time! Here are a few tips for healthcare workers to brighten their days while working through the holiday season.
Create holiday traditions with co-workers and patients
Get creative with your co-workers and come up with traditions that everyone can look forward to at work. Spread holiday cheer and organize fun activities with your co-workers by setting up a secret Santa, white elephant gift exchange, or even by bringing in treats for a potluck that everyone can enjoy (NurseJournal, 2022).
Your patients will also be thrilled to celebrate the holidays with you. Take time to engage with your patients by providing some arts and crafts, like card decorating, ornament making, or even putting together holiday goodie bags for friends and family! You can also opt for some easier activities such as singing carols or simply playing holiday movies or songs that are perfect for the season.
Enjoy the benefits
Working on the holidays can be difficult but focusing on the benefits can help you see it as a rewarding experience. Nurses and other healthcare professionals who work holiday shifts typically earn higher pay rates than usual due to the increase in demand. If you can’t celebrate with your family and friends on the actual holiday, remind yourself that you’re earning a profitable salary.
Another benefit of working on the holidays is that you get to spend that time with your patients. You could be making your patients' day by celebrating with them, especially for those who might not have family or friends to celebrate with. Remember that you get to go home after your shift ends, but chances are, they are disappointed about being in the hospital this time of year too. Since they don’t get to go home and celebrate, try making their day a little more special any way you can.
Decorate for the season
Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like decorating for this special time of the year. Make your spirits bright by surrounding yourself with festive decorations in your workplace. Not only are decorations enjoyable and nice to look at, but it can be a fun bonding activity for you and your co-workers! You can also get a diffuser or other air fresheners in scents like pumpkin spice, peppermint, cinnamon, or apple crisp to boost your mood and bring in holiday cheer!
Participate in a holiday charity event
Giving back this time of year is one of the best things you can do to help the less fortunate. With so many people in need of your generosity and help, there are a variety of charities you can give back to. Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, Santa for Seniors, and Meals on Wheels are just a few great options.
At Favorite, we love getting our teams together to give back to our community. Read our Favorite Volunteers Visit the Rose Brooks Center for the Holidays blog to learn more about one of our favorite holiday volunteering opportunities.
Celebrate with family and friends when you can
Healthcare workers may have to work unconventional hours, especially around the holidays. Your family and friends realize this and will be happy to celebrate at a time when everyone can join in. Whether this be before or after the actual holiday date, your loved ones will just be glad to be able to celebrate the holidays with you.
Remember to take care of yourself
Because of the various social events, shopping trips, and holiday festivities, you will be more prone to exposing yourself to germs. With the flu already in full swing this time of year, it is important to prioritize your health during this busy season. The last thing you want to do is get sick and miss out on all the festivities. You can read our How to Stay Healthy this Flu Season blog to learn about the best ways to avoid sicknesses this time of year.
Practicing self-care is always a good idea, especially during this hectic holiday season. De-stress after your long shifts with a soothing face mask and skin care treatment. Winding down with your favorite book and coziest pajamas is also a great way to relax after a long day. Treat yourself this holiday season by buying yourself that special gift you’ve been wanting. You can also order your favorite meal while on your shift, or even pick up your favorite seasonal beverage on your way to work.
Finally, it’s important to know your limits so you don’t become overworked or feel like you’re in over your head. As we know, this is the busiest time of the year, so it’s important to try and plan ahead whenever you can. Reduce your stress by getting ahead of your shopping list and planned social events so they don’t sneak up on you. You’ll thank yourself later!
Wherever you end up this holiday season, we hope you are able to rest, enjoy time off with family and friends, and shake off the stress from this past year. Just know you’re not alone and that many other healthcare professionals and their families are in the same boat as you. Think of it as a way to get closer with your co-workers who can relate to you, and your patients who rely on you. We hope you found these tips for working through the holidays helpful. Share your tips for working through the holidays with us!
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