· By Eva Machado
5 Tips For Working The Holidays
Of all of the cons within nursing, one of the struggles most of us face is working holidays. Heck, even working weekends or night shifts or getting home after dinner and having your kids be asleep can be a struggle. It's a nonconventional schedule that often leaves us feeling left out and disappointed.
For a lot of us, this isn't something we can change. If you love your job as a PICU nurse, you'll probably have to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's no matter how long you've worked on the unit because as we know all too well, people needs hospitals 365 days a year.
We know how discouraging this can feel. With today being Labor Day, we thought it a perfect time to share five tips that might take the sting off of working those shifts that have less than ideal timing.
1. Lean Into Your Work Community
When we polled our community online asking for their top tips on ways to make working the holidays more bearable, the number of people who responded "potluck!" was overwhelming. We're convinced that yes, this is because queso and any food out of crock pot is freaking delicious, but also because food brings people together. Recognizing that your work family is a still a version of family can be really powerful on days that you're mentally not your best.
2. Treat Yo' Self
Make your holiday or weekend shift one that you can associate with something positive. Know that waking up for your shift also means also getting your favorite $8 drink Starbies that you usually can't justify buying.
You can even go bigger and plan to get yourself a reward with that time and a half money! Calculate how big that bump in your paycheck is going to be and be specific about what it's for. That way while you're working during a time you wish you weren't, it's still associated with a receiving something you've been wanting.
One of the best things you can do on a holiday is tap into what is creating those feelings of sadness or disappointment. Identify what exactly it is that you're missing - spending time with family? baking? having a cookout? a specific tradition? That way you can replicate those things when the timing works for you.
And you know we're going to have to remind you hear to speak up! Communicate with your family or friends how you're truly feeling and take the initiative to plan something that incorporates those key factors that normally bum you out to miss.
4. Get Festive
There's nothing like creating a festive vibe on the unit whether it's with tees, some mardi gras beads, or a funky reindeer headband. It really brings the "let's make the best of this" energy that everyone needs. Why do you think we made our grinch tees in the first place?!
5. Stay Grateful
Remind yourself how grateful you are to have a family to miss on a holiday. How lucky you are to have beautiful children who you would have loved to have dinner with. How grateful you are for the friends you're missing on a Saturday night.
If you love your job, remind yourself of your purpose and step into gratitude for that fulfillment.
On the other hand, even if you're feeling mildly miserable in your job you can still choose to be grateful for your income that supports the pieces of your life that may serve you more right now. (Like we said - you have to choose it!)
Today, we choose to step into the gratitude we have for this community.
Comment something you choose to be grateful for today below to spread some good energy 🖤