Gobble, gobble! Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is rapping at the door and you know what that means. STRESS!!! There’s so much to do and it seems like there is never enough time to get everything you want done, whether work related or not. Like most of us, we have to do a lot on our own, especially if you are a traveling nurse away from home and stationed in an unfamiliar city. So what can you do to ease the pain that is, getting ready for the holidays while you’re on assignment?
Every year when the Christmas season approaches I always say to myself I’m going to get the shopping done early and blah, blah, blah! Never happens… But I think I like it that way. It’s hard to get in the mood to shop for gifts when Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened. Then after Thanksgiving has come and gone I tend to stay away from the malls and other stores because of all the chaos, but will eventually have to dive in and this to me is what makes the holidays for me. The hustle and bustle and brain drain of trying to come up with the best ideas in such short time. Of course, this means I’m putting off everything until the last minute and my stress levels are at their peak. Not good, not good at all. I wish I had the money to just let my butler or concierge do all the work for me. Maybe that’s what I’ll ask Santa for?
Here are 10 things you should try to make your holiday season a little more bearable.
1. Set attainable goals – What can you do right now, what can you do without the help of others? Focus on getting done what is within your grasp, and, if you can, put off what you need others to help with.
2. Gameplan – Make a list and figure out what can done first and so on? Organize your goals into a plan, that way you have total control of what needs to be done and who can help.
3. Break it down – You want to buy Christmas gifts for everyone you work for on the floor right? Well you need to be more specific when it comes to that. You can’t just wander the mall aimlessly and try and accomplish such a task. Instead give it some thought. “For the girls I’ll get…” and so forth. Go shopping with a list.
4. Track your spending – Start with a budget and try and keep to it. Keep all receipts and records in one place and then come back to it once a week and make sure you are on pace. As a travel nurse you should be use to keeping track of spending and budgeting, so this should come pretty easy.
5. You can’t do it alone – ‘Tis the season for giving, right? So why not ask for some help? We can all use it and what better source than that of family members. You might be traveling back from your travel nursing assignment and already have enough to prepare for so perhaps they can help with your gift list and help you get a few crossed off.
6. Procrastinate, in a good way – We all have priorities, but some you can put off some until you have more time to tend to them.
7. Use technology to your advantage – With all the smartphones, iPhones and what have you, it’s become easier to find places and things, locally and not so much. You can keep notes, track receipts and so much more. I’m sure you also have a computer with this new thing they are calling the internet. Shopping online is so easy and can really open up your options than that of the run down mall down the street with more vendors in the food court than there are shops to be shopping at.
8. Take a break – You’re trying to accomplish a lot in just a little time, but you shouldn’t just go without stopping. Reward yourself periodically throughout the day and especially when the day is done. Stop, breathe, look and listen to all that is around you. Soak in the atmosphere – despite the chaos that the holidays can sometimes bring, there is much good to take away from it too. When your day is done take a nice hot bath, wind down with a nice hot cup of cocca
9. Say “Thank you!” – As we all know, the holidays can be quite hectic and a lot of the time we all get caught up in the consumerism of it all. Let’s think about what this really is all about. We are all on death’s timeclock, so take a moment and hold the door open for someone, give up your spot in line, any little thing can go a long way in making someones day a little brighter. And like you mom always said, don’t forget to say “thank you.”
10. Giving back – There’s no greater feeling than giving. Whether it be dropping your change in the red bucket at the grocery store, taking a couple hours out of your week to help with a local charity, or simply making a donation. What may seem like a little to you can mean a great deal to others.
If you take a few of these suggestions to heart, you can make your holidays a little happier. Not only for you, but to those that are close to you as well.