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Eight Tips To Get You Through A Holiday Shift At The Hospital

Get your holiday shopping done early.

Those pesky holidays sure creep up fast! Start your holiday shopping earlier than you have in the past, and the more you prepare now, the better shape you'll be in come the holidays. If you're working a late-night shift around Thanksgiving, take advantage of any early Black Friday deals that you'll be the first online to snag. Or if you're working one of the December holidays, use that as an excuse to get your holiday shopping out of the way sooner so you can cross it off your list before you have to deal with a wacky holiday work schedule!

Don't overcommit. 

With holidays activities every weekend and the inevitable quality time you'll be required to spend with family around this time of year, be careful not to say yes to every single party, activity, or gathering you are invited to. You'll find that it's easy to become overextended during the holidays and staying focused on work means that you sometimes have to say no to save your sanity.

Reschedule your holiday.

If you can't reschedule your work shift, try rescheduling the holiday! Ask your loved ones if they’re willing to reschedule their holiday plans to accommodate your work schedule, or have a post-Thanksgiving leftovers potluck with your friends and family. After all, what matters during this time of year is cherishing time with those you love, not the specific date on the calendar. 

Get in the holiday spirit.

As Buddy the Elf famously said, "The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear". Okay, singing might be a bit over the top in a work setting or hospital. But you can keep your spirits high by incorporating your favorite holidays into your work in other ways, like office decorations and festive snacks. Just make sure that you are being appropriate and respectful of others you work with.

Reach out to your coworkers.

They're in the same boat as you, after all! See who you'll be working with around the holidays and brainstorm ways you can bring a little festive cheer to your workplace, or organize a work potluck for everyone to enjoy. Make the best of the time you have with the people you work with, and you will find working the holidays to be much more enjoyable. 

Spread cheer with a positive attitude.

Avoid negative thoughts during your holiday shift. Instead of comiserating over the fact that you are at work instead of relaxing or celebrating at home, be grateful for this opportunity to help others. Remember that to work with patients is a privilege, and your positive attitude can turn your patients' day - and your own - around. 

Stay off social media.

The siren song of social media is only amplified during the holidays, which are filled with photogenic moments and Boomerang-worthy backdrops. But when you have to work during a holiday, it's more likely that seeing your feed filled with pictures of everyone celebrating with their familes and friends is only going to make your mood worse, not better. Save yourself the FOMO and the time wasted by designating just a couple times per shift for checking your social media.

Treat yourself to a little something special.

You've been working hard all year, and now you're working during your favorite holiday. Go ahead and splurge on a little holiday gift for yourself. Maybe it's that sleek new stethoscope or the custom embroidered lab coat you've been eyeing. Maybe it's just a few extra marshmallows in your hot cocoa or an hour of designated "me time" to relax. Whatever it is that gives you joy, you've earned a little pick-me-up this year.