Surviving the holidays – Tips for NPs and PAs

np santa hat


Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants can get extremely busy during the holidays. Work and the extra ‘to dos’ of the holidays can add stress to your already stressful life.

So how do we survive what can be a happy jolly and crazy time of the year?  Decide what works best for you.


If you want to survive the holidays, try using these tips:


Stay with your regular routine

There are certain things you always do, keep that schedule. If you exercise every morning, keep doing that, etc. Keeping your routine the same will help keep your stress level .

Be Flexible

You might need to work extra shifts to cover holidays. And more 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 Christmas, you can rearrange your gift giving with your family or make your family dinner a brunch or the following day.


Stressful times calls for decorations and lots of them. Decorate your work space, your car and of course your house. As much or as little as you like or is allowed in the case of work. Holiday decorations can make the season a little jollier for everyone.  Don’t forget to throw a little bit of cheer on your white coat or your scrubs. And an ugly holiday sweater, goofy socks or a Santa hat might brighten someone’s day and make a big difference in a patient’s experience.

Be Prepared

Because we expect the holiday season to be cheery we tend to be a little bit more vulnerable during this time. By preparing we can be ready to take on what comes and be better prepared to handle whatever it might be.

Other things – Lists do help. Gift lists, to do list can be the extra help to get you organized and prepared.

Participate and Celebrate

Join in and be part of it all. Wish people well, smile and hum holiday tunes, do whatever you can to spread the holiday cheer. Others will pick up on your positive attitude and do the same.

Be Grateful

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. But as Providers you see for some it isn’t. Your kindness, empathy and knowledge can make a difference to your patients and you benefit as well. You became a Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant to make a difference and be grateful that you are.

Spreading holiday cheer isn’t hard. Ready, Set – Have a great holiday!

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