Working Holidays, How To Balance Family and a Nursing Career
Ready To Pass, The Chosen Provider for NCLEX® Review Courses, Asks How Are You Balancing The Holidays?
If you have used our NCLEX® review courses to prepare for your nursing career, then you know how valuable that preparation has been. Also important is knowing what you’re in for when it comes to holidays as you begin your new nursing career. Through this article, we will share tips and advice for managing your holiday plans like a pro so you can get the most out of those special times while settling into your new, exciting role as a nurse!
Finding A Way To Balance The Holidays With A Nurse’s Schedule
The holiday season is about getting together with family and friends, whether it is gathering around the Thanksgiving turkey, opening Christmas gifts in front of the tree, or welcoming in the upcoming New Year. However, funny enough, everyone knows it’s hands-down one of the most stressful times of the year. That stress gets multiplied for essential workers like nurses that have to balance all of the pressures of family life on top of their workload.
Figuring out a healthy work-life balance is difficult for almost any occupation, but nursing is one of those occupations that are especially tricky. Demanding schedules that include long hours on our feet, emergency call-ins, and working on holidays can wear us down. However, the silver lining is these aspects of the job don’t come as a surprise so we can therefore do our best to prepare for it. So here are a few tips to help both new and seasoned nurses and medical professionals to enjoy the holidays while being committed to the critical services you perform in your daily work.
Pay Attention To Your Schedule
Remember to always talk to your manager in advance about your preferences when it comes to your holiday schedule so they can take this into consideration when planning shifts. As soon as the schedule gets posted and you find out the days and times you’ll be working, start planning around them in order to get the most out of the holidays.
If you have plans to travel out of state to celebrate or to go spend time with family then this is even more important to know. Also, be sure to communicate with your friends and family about your availability as they may be able to help plan around it too. This could include things like choosing a more convenient travel destination or celebrating a day before or after the holiday on which you work.
TIP: Don’t feel obligated to celebrate a holiday such as Christmas on one certain day. Did you know that many consider Christmas Day to be January 7th, not December 25?
If you don’t already use one, seriously consider setting up an online calendar/daily planner and entering your schedule along with any other important days, events, or activities into it. The beauty of an online calendar is that you can share it with family and friends to make getting together easier. Also, being able to see where obligations fit or overlap greatly eases stress and makes planning so much easier.
Talk to Your Coworkers-Build A Good Working Relationship
If your workplace allows for swapping shifts then it’s a good idea to start asking and offering as early as possible. Not everyone celebrates holidays or the same holidays so it can sometimes be surprisingly easy to find a coworker that would be happy to help out in special times.
Scheduled to work the holiday? No problem, plan a secret gift exchange, share some baked goodies in the breakroom, decorate your workspace, or simply be there to support each other by wishing a Happy New Year! Working holidays can be a bit of an adjustment, especially as a new nurse however, having friends at work can make the time you spend there much more enjoyable.
NOTE: Reminder to always check out the policy for “swapping” shifts and holiday recognition with those in charge first.
Rest, Recharge, and Energize
The holidays are already a stressful time by themselves for a multitude of reasons, but add to that balancing a complex work schedule with family expectations can easily make things overwhelming. You’re expected to be celebrating and excitedly taking part in the season’s festivities while caring for the patients you love and are committed to as well. Trying to satisfy the two contrasting expectations of work and holiday cheer without any R&R only increases the difficulty of both.
To help ease the anxiety relating to balancing career and family with the holidays – or any other time of the year for that matter – it is critical to take time for yourself. Nurses are naturally caring individuals and go into nursing to help and care for others. This positive drive to put others first can lead to the negative outcome of ignoring your own needs if not careful.
Whether it is saying “No” to a request to bake cookies for a child’s class party, asking a friend or family member to take over responsibility for a task, or canceling a social outing, it is important to take time to recharge yourself.
Making the most of days off doesn’t have to mean cramming as much as possible into those days. Take time to do what you enjoy and find relaxation in activities that rejuvenate you. These can be things like spending one-on-one time with family, binge-watching your favorite show, going on a walk through nature, or simply taking a well-deserved nap. No matter what you do, research shows that making time to decompress improves health and well-being.
Find What Works for You
As a nurse, you have so many choices for your work-life balance. Choosing between day shifts and night shifts, part-time and full-time, whether to work at a hospital with shift rotations or a medical office with more normal 9-5 operating hours, the key is finding what works best for your desired career field and family life.
If you’ve taken online NCLEX® review courses in preparation for becoming a nurse then you know how helpful it is to be able to decide what works for you. Soon-to-be college graduates typically have their plates full trying to balance school and work or internships, so a flexible study option is a lifesaver.
Let Our NCLEX® Review Courses and Experienced Nurses Empower You
Nursing is a rewarding career, but it can be a new adjustment to find a comfortable work-life balance, especially during the holidays. Thankfully, there are ways to successfully juggle both a passionate nursing career with a healthy family life.
At Ready To Pass, by using real-life applications to help students think like a nurse, our approach will give you the confidence you need to not only pass but set you up for a great nursing career as well. In addition, you gain powerful insights from REAL nurses who share their hands-on experience of nursing and family life balance. We stand by our mission to train and equip aspiring new nurses with everything they need as they prepare for their careers to be well-educated, strong, and confident.
Ready to learn more? Give us a call today at (516) 408-3696 or fill out our contact form to get started. We can’t wait to be part of your NCLEX ® review course journey!