Nurses Holiday Survival Guide

Being a Nurse means you will most likely have to spend a holiday or two a year working a shift. It can be disappointing to forego your holiday traditions and festivities with your loved ones to head to work instead.

Although having to work the holidays can be difficult, it is important to remember that your presence can make a huge difference in the lives of your patients. Follow this holiday survival guide to continue spreading holiday cheer, even if you must spend the holiday in your scrubs.

Put Your Mental Health First

Nurses have a physically and emotionally exhausting job, and the emotional toll can become especially hard during the holidays. It is important to prioritize your mental health, especially during the holiday season. Set time aside to recharge before, during, and after your shift by taking a short walk, a bubble bath, or reading a good book.

Prioritizing your mental health while working the holidays will set you up to enjoy celebrations in your personal life.

Find Ways To Celebrate the Holidays at Work

Just because you must work the holidays, it doesn't mean you can't celebrate them. One of the best ways to spread the holiday spirit and enjoy your time at work is to bring the celebration into your shift.

Consider organizing a holiday party at work where everyone brings a dish to share, wear holiday accessories or scrubs, or even plan a Secret Santa with your coworkers. Although working the holidays can sometimes feel like a drag, these simple holiday traditions can make all the difference.

Think About Your Patients

If you are disappointed to be spending the holidays working and away from your family, odds are your patients are feeling the same way, maybe even worse. Be cheerful when interacting with your patients and tell them they are not alone.

You could decorate patient rooms to spread holiday cheer or help them call or Facetime their loved ones to help lift their spirits. A great way to uplift your mood is to boost the mood of others, and a little extra holiday cheer can make a huge difference in the lives of our patients.

Stay Connected to Friends and Loved Ones

It can be challenging to work the holidays instead of spending time with your friends and family, but staying connected the best way you can is essential. If possible, arrange with your loved ones to move your usual holiday traditions to a different day so you can attend. This way, you can still enjoy time together celebrating the holidays. Because at the end of the day, all that matters is time spent with loved ones, even if you celebrate the holiday on a different day.

If you work as a travel Nurse and distance is a struggle when trying to stay connected, arrange for a virtual celebration so that you can stay connected despite the physical distance.  

Splurge on a Gift for Yourself

One of the perks of working the holidays is holiday pay or bonuses. If you are working during the holidays and find yourself with a little extra cash in your pocket, consider buying yourself a gift to celebrate your hard work. Nurses put so much of their time and energy into caring for their patients. You deserve to celebrate your hard work with something special.

Prioritize your Rest to Combat Fatigue

The key to success in surviving the holidays is remembering the basics of self-care, and this includes prioritizing your rest. Caring for yourself and getting enough sleep between your holiday shifts is essential to combat the physical and emotional fatigue that comes with working a busy holiday shift. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help unwind and reset your mind for a good night's sleep.

Maintain Boundaries

We all know, the holiday season is a busy time of year. It can be challenging for Nurses who work off shifts to coordinate attending specific gatherings, especially when it seems like there is a gathering planned every day of the week.

 It is important to set clear boundaries between your work and personal life. When you are off-duty, focus on relaxing and enjoying the time with your loved ones and not overcommitting to social events if you need the time to recharge between your busy holiday work shifts.  

Balancing work and your personal life can be challenging, and the holidays are no different. The best way to survive the holidays is to plan appropriately and prioritize self-care so you can enjoy the season and continue to take great care of your patients.

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