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The holidays are a magical time of friends, family and traditions. If you are on a travel nursing assignment and can’t make it home during the holidays, you may miss out on many of the familiar things that make the holidays special. If this is your first or your fifteenth time being away from home during the holiday season, learn how to survive the holidays with these tips.
Create Your Own Tradition Away from Home
Even though you won’t be with friends and family during the holidays, you can create a new tradition with the people around you. Dine at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, host a potluck at your home or get together to bake cookies, listen to music and watch holiday movies. The planning, prepping and activity will surround you with people and give you something else to be happy about.
Send Gifts and Letters to Family at Home
Everyone loves to receive gifts and letters in the mail and the act of giving to others always feel good. Buy gifts that are all about the new city you’re in, write a handwritten letter, and package it beautifully. The joy of sending gifts to your family is exciting for everyone.
Allow Yourself a Digital Detox
Constant reminders on social media of people with their families can make it more painful to be away. Turn off your phone for a while and avoid the computer. Give yourself some time to unwind and read that book you’ve been meaning to finish. You don’t need daily notifications reminding you of being away when you could be finding ways to enjoy it.
Arrange a Video Call with Friends and Family
Aside from your digital detox, set up a time to Skype or Facetime with your family when they are opening gifts, before they have dinner, or at another special time. Set aside at least 10 minutes when you are not busy or distracted and ask them to do the same. This time is perfect for feeling close even though distance is keeping you apart.
Have a Secret Gift Exchange with Other Nurses
Just because you are away from home doesn’t mean you can’t give and receive gifts. Set up a secret gift exchange with your coworkers and get into the holiday spirit. Make it extra fun by hosting a mini-party at work where everyone wears ugly sweaters. The more into the season you get, the more you will help others to do the same.
Plan a Trip to Somewhere New
Even though you can’t go all the way home doesn’t mean you can’t travel. Plan a trip somewhere you’ve been meaning to explore. The planning and excitement of traveling will keep you occupied. If you spend your Christmas hiking a mountain or treating yourself to a staycation in a luxurious hotel, you will make it a holiday to remember.
Give Your Time to Those in Need
One of the best ways to forget about your worries during the holidays is to give to others. Sign up to volunteer at a local charity so you can donate your time and effort to helping people who need it most. There is nothing more humbling than being in service to people who are struggling during the holiday season. It will remind you of everything you have to be thankful for.
Being away from home during the holidays isn’t all bad. Think of all the things you won’t be missing — delays at the airport, fights with family and dishes to wash — and create a holiday that you will love. Make new memories around the holidays that you can share with your family years from now. It will be different, but special nonetheless.