Nursing usually means working the holidays, so why not make the most of it? Striving to recreate the perfect holiday depicted on television while managing a busy schedule only runs you ragged. The joyous holiday scenes the media portrays often create unrealistic expectations of what isn’t always the most wonderful time of year. In reality the holidays can be stressful from spending too much money and having too little time and end up falling short of what we envision. This results in many dreading, instead of enjoying, the holiday season. Perhaps this year it’s time to gain a different perspective of the holidays by taking advantage of opportunities as a travel nurse!
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Travel nurses are often in high demand this time of year. Explore all the benefits assignments during the holidays have to offer (in addition to the potential for increased holiday rates, of course):
- Less debt. View your assignment as an opportunity to earn money this holiday instead of spending it.
- Shifts are often a slower pace and as a travel nurse you can avoid the drama that can often occur over the schedule.
- Expectations for social gatherings can be overwhelming. You can still enjoy symbolic traditional foods at a restaurant and avoid the cost and pressure to host the holiday meal. Not to mention foregoing the unwanted weight gain from too many treats and temptations.
- The average person travels 275 miles over the holiday season, but you have no worries, because you’re avoiding the crowds and stress accompanying the onslaught of travelers.
Spread Good Cheer
There’s no reason you can’t still enjoy the season. It’s not the day that’s important, but how you celebrate!
- If you’re working on the holiday, simply change the day you celebrate. You can relax and choose a convenient day and time that fits into your schedule, rather than rushing to cram it into a busy, or inconvenient, time.
- While on assignment, you can seek out unique gifts for loved ones or take advantage of post-holiday sales.
- You might not arrive on the unit in a sleigh, but to your coworkers you can be like Santa Claus. You can give them the gift of lightening their workload or enable them to take a day off.
- Change your mindset and think of this season as an adventure. An opportunity to make new friends and traditions should always be welcomed with open arms!
Make This Year a Holiday to Remember
Have you always wanted to dash through the snow? Or enjoy a tropical holiday? Seek out a destination, or an experience, that can make this holiday something special.
- Explore nearby events to invoke some festive magic or experience local traditions. Perhaps test the waters to see if this might be a place you would like to live.
- While everyone is bustling through the mall, you can skip the stores and pursue personal interests or rejuvenate old talents.
- If you’re alone for the holiday there’s no need to feel lonely. Seek out others in the same boat. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to arrange a potluck meal or a place to meet.
- Treat yourself. Relax and focus on you with a day of pampering, or curl up on the couch with your favorite movies.
The Reason For The Season
Remember the true spirit of the season. As a nurse, the opportunity to provide healthcare to families that might need a little extra love during the holidays is a gift within itself. Sharing kindness and contemplating the gifts of good health and family and friends can provide you with peace and gratitude.
- Look for places to volunteer to lend a helping hand and receive personal fulfillment.
- Make your plans early and choose a destination close to home, or near long distance family or friends. If you can’t go home, make time to call or Skype with loved ones.
- Look up old friends in the area to reminisce with old memories or make new ones.
- Seek out the patients who have no family. Often they see you as substitute family. Talk to them about their holiday traditions and see if you can recreate a small part for them.
Working as a travel nurse over the holidays can provide you with the opportunity to make it a memorable one, if not one of your best yet. Don’t just endure your assignment, explore it! Discovering new places, enjoying new and old traditions and reviving the joys of the season can help you make the most of this, and every, holiday.
- Carlson, Keith. (2016, December 19) Nursing During the Holidays. Nurse.org.
- Williams, R. (2010, November 28) Why People Get Depressed at Christmas. Psychology Today.
- The Gypsy Nurse Staff (2016, November 16) Working the Holiday Shift? The Gypsy Nurse.
- Simon, Libby (2016, December 07) Why Do People Go Home for the Holidays? Psych Central
- Find the Data (2015, November 25) 2015 Holiday by The Numbers-25 Stats from Spending to Celebrating StarNews
Maureen Bonatch MSN, RN is a fiction author and a freelance healthcare writer specializing in leadership, careers, and mental health and wellness. She is the owner of CharmedType.com and MaureenBonatch.com