2020 has not been an easy year for anyone. Focus on what you have accomplished and what you’d like to achieve in the new year. Take a few minutes each day to be thankful for what you have. Connect with friends and family via phone or video. And take a few days off. You’ve worked hard this year.
Here are a few ideas to give yourself a break:
- Practice gratitude. Focus on the positives in your life and be thankful for what you have and what you accomplished this year. You are not alone in feeling like you missed out on experiences, but what did you get to do? Maybe you’re on a travel contract in a place you’ve always wanted to live. Maybe you’ve gained experience in a new specialty. Maybe you got a new pet that helps you stay active or calms you when you’re feeling stressed. Focus on those parts of your life that are good and be thankful.
- Literally, give yourself a break. Forgive yourself for not accomplishing everything on your 2020 to-do list. Most of us have had to change gears from what we thought this year would be and instead turned to what is possible. If you haven’t taken time off for a vacation or staycation, do it soon. Your mind and body need rest and renewal. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that life can change quickly. Take time to decompress between assignments and reflect on the year. It was a busy one for our travel nurses and allied health professionals.
- Handle stress. If you’re upset about something, allow yourself a limited amount of time to think about it. Write about it. Talk to a friend. Go for a walk. Ask yourself if what you’re upset about will matter in a month or a year. It’s likely it won’t matter. Life is too short to be stressed and angry about situations that won’t matter much in the future. And if it does matter a lot to you, talk to those involved and seek guidance. Just don’t wallow in your own thoughts.
- Find your people. Whether it’s via phone and video calls with siblings or friends who are out of state or friends you’d made while on assignment, it is important to find your people. Vent to them. Get the stress off your chest so you can move on with your life and career. In a work setting, find a trusted colleague with whom you can vent, share stories, and laugh. Your people will get you through the good times and the bad.
- Don’t forget to laugh every day. Laughter truly is good medicine. When you laugh, your body releases hormones that make you feel happier. Stress is relieved. If you can laugh, even at yourself, you will feel a lot better.
- Leave it at work. We know this is way easier said than done, but when you leave the facility, try to leave your work behind. Trust that your colleagues have your back and are taking care of your patients when you are not there. Take a deep breath and find things to do that distract you from what is happening at work. Go for a hike. Spend time with friends. Do a puzzle. Read a book. Worrying is only creating needless anxiety for you. If there are issues happening that need to be addressed, please contact your manager and your AB Staffing recruiter to ask for guidance.
- Remember that you are an amazing and talented medical professional. You are weathering the storm of the pandemic with grace and ease. You are doing the best you can with resources that are available. Rest assured we appreciate your work and so do your colleagues and patients.
- Limit the news and social media. COVID-19 overload is real and stressful. No need to bring that to your home environment; you’re already living it. Distract yourself with music, books, appreciation for the outdoors, and anything not pandemic related. It will help you refresh and renew for your next shift or assignment.
- Get the apps. There are apps for music, movies, meditation, relaxation, audiobooks, and hiking trails. Find what you like and do more of it. If you’re heading outside, which we highly recommend, be sure to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
- Eat immune-boosting foods. You’re on the front lines and in high demand. The world literally needs you to feel your best. You’re taking care of our loved ones during a critical time. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables instead of sweet treats. Include protein at every meal so that your blood sugar and energy are maintained throughout the day. And eat your favorite meal or dessert occasionally.
We thank you for your hard work. Know that we appreciate you and want the best for you in the coming weeks and months. We hope you give yourself a break, relax, and enjoy time off. If you are looking for an assignment now or in the future, contact us to learn more.