Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away – the holiday season is upon us.
The next 40 days will be a mix of getting ready for Thanksgiving and then eating ourselves into a coma and the crazy busy rush to Hanukkah (12/22- 12/30) and Christmas (12/25). There are parties, so many parties and cookies. Lots of cookies. I’m tired just writing about it.
And in-between all this merriment you have to work and work hard. Buckling down isn’t easy but we have work to do. Patients and our colleagues need us to be focused. You have to fight your instinct to search online for that item on sale, finding a new recipe or checking to see if your favorite holiday flick is coming on.
So how do you enjoy these next 40 days days of festivities while keeping your mind focused on your work?
Here are 5 ideas to enjoy your holiday season:
Plan – having a plan can make a world of difference. It’s easier to balance it all when you know what’s coming. So create a list with everything you’ll need to do – work schedule, parties (office and personal), cooking, shopping, finding new recipes, cleaning, all of it! Then get out your calendar update it with all that will need to be done.
Time off – put in your request early for time off. Bosses want to give people the time off they need, so be sure you ask for in advance and don’t want until the last minute. Use your time off to decompress and relax, even if it’s only for a few hours. Use your plan to get as much done so you have some time for yourself.
You might need to work extra shifts to cover holidays. And people seem to get sick during the holidays, so you might see more patients in a day. Be flexible. Remember your work day and your holidays won’t be perfect. Another way to help you get over these extra hours is to view them as helping someone make their holiday season better. If you have to work Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can rearrange your holiday with your family or make your family dinner a brunch or the following day.
Take care of yourself – it’s a hectic time and eating well and taking care of ourselves gets forgotten. It’s easy to overeat, not exercise and stay up too late. You’re going to cheat but mix it with some clean healthy eating. Something that works for me is to have a piece of fruit or a small salad before a party which helps me eat a little less and be less guilty when I enjoy that piece of cake. And stay on schedule and get at least seven hours of sleep. Sleep keeps your energized and better able to handle the stress. And don’t forget to exercise. Try and do something at least five days a week – a short walk or twenty pushups, doing a few minutes is better than nothing at all.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. Being grateful makes your outlook better and you happier. As Providers you see that for some people it isn’t. Your kindness, empathy and knowledge can make a difference to your patients and you benefit as well. Be grateful that as a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant to you get to make a difference.
Check out our current Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant openings here