Not Home for the Holidays

Not all travel nurses will be away from home on the holidays, but many of you will be! Being away from what is familiar during the festive season can be difficult for a lot of people because for many of us, traditions, family, and their food make our holidays special. With the holiday season fast approaching, let’s discuss some things travel nurses can do to ease the pain of being away from familiar celebrations.

Stay Home or Nearby

This solution might not be possible for this year, but if you are away from home and already getting homesick for holidays with loved ones, you may want to consider planning your work schedule around the season. One of the benefits of travel nursing is its flexibility. Your recruiter can help you plan ahead to make sure that you are home for your traditional celebrations and have a new position lined up for when you are ready to get back to work.

Remember, there may be travel nurses in your area that are away from home. Don’t be afraid to seek out your cohorts on your favorite travel nursing forum who may need a place to celebrate.

Stay Festive

Just because you might not be home for the holidays, does not mean you can’t embrace the festive season from wherever you are. If you usually decorate, find a way to sprinkle some holiday cheer around your new, temporary home. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but,of course, by all means, go all out if you want to! It could be as simple as getting a small Christmas tree, candles for Kwanzaa or a menorah and dreidel. However you celebrate, do not be afraid to bring a little of that tradition to where you are.

Another easy way to participate in the season away from home is by cooking one or two of your favorite holiday dishes. Call Grandma and see if she will give you that pecan pie recipe or if Dad will tell you how to make his famous green bean casserole. It will give you an opportunity to connect with family and tradition while away from home.

Create New Traditions

Being in a new place for the holiday season can be the perfect time to create new traditions. Maybe you make your own celebration where you are and invite others like you, coworkers or other travel nurses in the area that also do not have their normal activities and traditions to turn to. You may have to be prepared to celebrate on a different day because many travel nurses may have to work on the actual holiday. But, it’s okay to move your celebration. It’s not about what day you gather, it’s about making memories, good eats and good company enjoying the spirit of the season.

Check out Local Activities

Most places have a lot of different ways to connect with the community during the holidays. There are festivals, Christmas light shows, community celebrations and more during this time. Be sure to check out the local festive scene and find ways to engage in celebration with the community around you.

Go Digital

If you are missing home, do not forget to take advantage of the amazing technology we have these days. Video calls can allow you to spend time with your family and friends during their celebration. If you want to do this, we suggest planning a head. Ask mom if she can conference you in while she is making your favorite fried desserts, ask your cousin to take your video call around so you can say hi to everyone or make sure you are on the phone with your favorite aunt while she critiques the acts in the Macy Thanksgiving Day parade. Get creative and participate how you can!

Give Back

Embracing the holiday season may not necessarily be the right decision for everyone. Being on a video chat for Thanksgiving dinner, cooking an old family recipe, or even being with others might make some people miss home more. If this sounds more like you, we suggest trying volunteering. Helping others can take us out of our own sadness and can end up helping us just as much as we are helping others.

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