Working the holidays is tough, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. But you will get through it, and you might even find out it’s not as bad as you thought.
5 Tips For the Newbie Nurse: Getting Through the Holidays
1. Focus on the positive
OK, so maybe you don’t get to eat turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving, topped with some football and followed by a nap. But you’ve made some huge strides this year — you’re a NURSE. Holidays are important, but focusing on your accomplishments and your sense of pride makes just one day seem a little less essential. Keep in mind that your presence is very likely a shining light for patients going through a tough time.
2. But allow yourself to be sad
It’s a bummer. There’s no arguing that. For many of you new grads, it may the first time you’ve spent a holiday without your loved ones. If your family is local, you might be able to squeeze in an after shift dinner (or an after shift breakfast for you night nurses!). But if your family isn’t nearby, you may be missing out altogether. Either way, it’s OK to cry. Acknowledge your feelings — they’re valid and deserve your attention.
3. Do something small for yourself
Choose some way to treat yourself ahead of time and then follow through. It doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. What about a real bubble bath with candles and champagne? Make it special and celebrate you.
4. Create a fab holiday re-do
Missing out on you favorite holiday? Create your own re-do and out-do the original! Invite your favorite people and have all your traditional rituals, but add something new. Rules are made to be broken.
5. Share the day with a new kind of family — your colleagues
Your nursing (and physician and admin!) colleagues are the only ones who truly understand what you go through every day. And guess what? Everyone else you’re working with is also working the holiday. So no one ‘gets it’ better than they do. Relish in your new work family and celebrate the amazing group of people you work with.