It’s that magical time of the year again. Towns are glowing with holiday lights, festive music is playing everywhere you go and there is certain anticipation in the air. The winter holidays are here! It’s a time for visiting with family and friends, gift giving and indulging in delicious food.
It can also be a stressful time as we prepare for our celebrations. There is so much to do! Many of our lists include decorating, shopping for gifts, cooking, baking, entertaining or traveling to visit family. As nurses we are already very busy providing the best care for our patients. We can also be challenged by a busy family life. While caring for our patients and families we need to be mindful to take care of ourselves as well, especially during the holiday season. Here are some ways to keep it all in perspective and enjoy this wonderful time of the year.
What is important?
Sometimes we think we can do it all. That’s when we become overwhelmed and feel stress. What is important to you this time of year? Set reasonable expectations and don’t be afraid to say no. Declining an invitation to a party or event is ok. Make time for the family traditions as they provide a sense of identity and belonging.
Only have a couple hours but many stops to make? Take a few minutes to get organized by making a list and planning a route before you head out to complete your errands. Ask for help. Get the family involved in decorating, baking and gift wrapping.
Remember your health
Don’t let healthy habits go by the wayside. We all need daily exercise, healthy food and adequate sleep. This is especially important to be productive and feel good. Holiday treats in moderation!
Be mindful of the sights, sounds and smells of the season. Take a moment for yourself. Put aside some time to read, visit with a friend or schedule a massage.
Check in with yourself on occasion. Start the New Year by reflecting on what you are most grateful for.
Don’t forget to continue taking care of yourself in the New Year. The better we take care of ourselves the better we can care for others.