Throughout the holiday season, many healthcare professionals remain at the forefront of patient care, working tirelessly to ensure the health of others. This can be a period of increased stress and demanding schedules, making it all the more crucial for you to prioritize your own health and happiness! In this blog post, we’ll explore 8 practical tips to help you navigate this holiday season while maintaining your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
We encourage you to set aside time each day for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. You must prioritize self-care in order to recharge and stay resilient!
Ideas: Read a book, grab a Starbucks coffee to sip on your way to work, schedule a massage, write in a journal, take a warm bath, disconnect from social media for the day, pursue a hobby, or take a nature walk.
Pack nutrient-rich snacks.
With the holidays comes an abundance of delicious, but not always nutritious, foods! While it’s 100 percent okay to splurge, try to avoid the temptation of too many sugary treats and opt for nutrient-rich snacks instead. This can help sustain your energy and help keep your blood sugar stable. Plus, snacks like these are convenient and require minimal preparation.
Examples: Mixed nuts and dried fruit, Greek yogurt with berries, veggie sticks with hummus, cheese and whole grain crackers, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix with seeds, apple slices with nut butter, cottage cheese with pineapple, edamame pods, or cherry tomatoes with mozzarella.
Long shifts can be dehydrating and with busy schedules, it’s easy to forget the basics like drinking enough water. Proper hydration is crucial for maintaining energy levels, supports your overall health, and can prevent the onset of fatigue.
Tip: We recommend you carry a water bottle with you to sip from throughout your shift. You can even choose a water bottle with a measurement scale to track your water intake and visually see if you’re hitting your hydration goals. If plain water isn’t appealing to you, consider infusing it with natural flavors. Add slices of lemon, cucumber, mint leaves, or fruit. Not only does this enhance the taste, but it can provide extra health benefits as well. Win-win!
Another idea is to schedule hydration breaks or reminders on your smart watch or mobile phone. Whether it’s every hour or at specific intervals, these alerts can help keep you on track!
Get adequate rest.
Quality sleep is so important! Establish a regular sleep routine that aligns with your work schedule and try to prioritize it as a fundamental component of your overall health.
Take these into consideration:
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on days off.
Make your bedroom dark, quiet and cool. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to minimize disturbances that could disrupt your sleep.
Be mindful of your caffeine intake, especially in the hours leading up to your bedtime.
Consider rotating shifts in a way that allows for adequate rest between different schedules. For instance, avoid frequent rapid changes between day and night shifts, as this can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it challenging to get sufficient rest.
Move your body regularly.
Incorporate regular movement into your routine to boost your mood and energy levels. Even short, brisk walks during your breaks or stretching exercises can make a significant difference. Physical activity not only helps combat stress but also contributes to better cardiovascular health, which is essential for those in demanding healthcare professions.
Ideas: Take a short walk or stretch during your breaks, opt for the stairs instead of an elevator, join your local gym or check out group fitness classes, or find an online community like YouTube trainers or mobile app programs – you have so many options!
Utilize stress-relief techniques.
We encourage you to explore different stress-relief techniques and find what works best for you! Taking a few moments to integrate stress-relief activities into your daily life can help alleviate stress and promote a sense of calm amidst the hectic holiday season.
Ideas: Deep-breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, stretching, walking, aromatherapy, journaling, or watching a funny video or movie.
Connect with your peers.
Simple activities that allow you to connect and support each other during the busy season can help build a sense of camaraderie, foster a positive work environment, and create a support system for everyone working together.
Here are some examples:
Plan a potluck.
Decorate the facility together.
Organize a Secret Santa gift exchange.
Coordinate themed dress-up days.
Set up a gratitude board where colleagues can express appreciation for each other.
Set realistic goals for yourself.
Recognize your unique limits and set realistic goals for yourself, both at work and in your personal life. Avoid overcommitting yourself and communicate openly with GrapeTree about your workload expectations. Setting achievable goals will help you manage stress more effectively and allow you to enjoy the holiday season without feeling overwhelmed.
Our suggestion: Take advantage of your ability to build your own schedule with GrapeTree. Assess your current workload and commit to a reasonable number of shifts that allow you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
During this busy time of the year, please remember that your well-being matters, too! Be sure to incorporate these practical tips into your routine to help you navigate the demands of the season while ensuring you remain healthy and resilient in providing the best care for your patients.