Control the Season
(Don’t Let it Control You!)
I thought I would share with our readers some suggestions for controlling the chaos of the holiday season that have worked for me.
1. Don’t overcommit yourself.
All too often, we overbook ourselves with social and seasonal events, especially if we feel guilty for working on special days. Know your limits!
2. Like Santa, make a list and check it twice.
Good organizational skills are helpful now. Making lists can keep you focused, on track with your projects and plans, and more importantly, alert to whether you are overdoing it — see item 1.
3. Be honest about your work schedule.
Explaining in advance that you have to work Christmas Eve/Day or New Year’s Eve can go a long way to soothing feelings of abandonment that your family — especially your children — may have when you are not home on the holidays. Instead, plan special celebrations with your loved ones at “non-peak” times.
4. It’s not just about you.
Remember you’re not the only one who is not thrilled about being in a hospital on Christmas Eve. Your patient probably had other plans as well. So try and think “happy thoughts” and enjoy the holidays with them. You can ease their emotional pain and feelings of loneliness in ways that you cannot imagine.
5. Avoid overindulging at parties.
Don’t let the festivities render you incapable of providing safe nursing care to your patients. It’s irresponsible and unsafe to show up at work with a hangover or overly fatigued from a late party the night before.
6. Say it again: Don’t overcommit!