Working during the holidays can be a fun and stressful time. Between trying to request off your holiday to work and other coworkers swarming you to swap days with them, it can become a season of mixed feelings. I for the most part happen to enjoy working the holidays, when I’m on day shift as is the case this year, because I get to make the holiday pay and then spend time with my family afterwards. There’s nothing wrong with making a lil extra money 🙂
Not only is it super stressful trying to rearrange your daily lives, work schedules, and other amenities around working the holidays — if you have no choice — worrying about walking into roomfuls of potlucks and holiday parties can be a concern for some people, like myself. I have always tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I’ve found that sometimes this career can get in the way of that. From patient’s families sending in food for the staff, to coworkers bringing in food, to the end all be all holiday potlucks and employee holiday meals, I have seen it all! Hopefully I can shed some light on it and show you that it’s actually very manageable with a few quick tips.
Regulate a solid exercise schedule: When I am on day shift I make time to go to the gym before I go into work, as it allows me to wake up and be on my A-game come time to clock in at 7am. Making sure to fit in exercise, regardless of it being holiday season or not, can set you up for much success mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Pack the proper snacks and foods: If you don’t want to partake in any holiday snacking, bring your own food! Or if it’s a potluck and you want to join in, bring healthier options that are shareable — it’s a win-win: healthy food for you and still being able to partake in the potluck. This is a key piece of advice that pertains to almost any day at work. Most cafeterias have adequate healthy food (mine has hard boiled eggs, a salad bar, and others), but typically it’s best to bring your own 🙂
Send in your requests well in advance: Even months or years if so be it!! This one more so goes along the lines with not getting too stressed during the holiday work season… but, if there’s a holiday you know you absolutely cannot work, request it in advance! I work with people who have requested off or asked other people to switch well in advance. Now, if your position is rotating holidays like mine you may have no choice, but you can always switch with people. Give and take a little bit.
Don’t forget to take time for your most important patient- YOU: I have probably said this in almost all of my posts, but at the end of the day you are your #1 priority and most important patient. I’ve recently been working a lot, picking up extra shifts because I have a hard time saying no to extra money!! It finally took a toll on me and I became physically and mentally exhausted I had to turn down extra shifts over the weekend. I realized that I won’t be the nurse I strive to be everyday if I am not treating myself in a healthy manner nor doing the things I encourage and teach my patients to do – rest.
Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally will not only get us through the stressful holiday seasons, but helps us every day in the nursing world to keep enjoying what we love! Until next time bloggers 🙂
Sydney Adelstein is 2016 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Nursing.