Making The Most of The Holidays as A Traveler

by Becky Todzia, Travel RN

One of the many perks of being in travel healthcare is exploring new towns and experiencing all that they have to offer! But for some of us, working a travel contract during a holiday can feel lonely in a town that seems unfamiliar. The missing of loved ones and family traditions might feel overwhelming, but there are some ways to keep the holiday spirit up while away from home.

Look for volunteer opportunities at local food banks, shelters, churches and community centers. Many places are in great need of your physical presence to help with the less fortunate amongst us, especially during the holiday season. The best way to pick up your spirit is to help others. Taking the focus off of yourself and redirecting it to make others smile will do more for your soul than you may realize.

You never know how much a simple word and smile can impact that person’s life with your empathy and attention. You might be the only one to have spoken to that person all day. Spread some holiday cheer!

Here is a list of 21 ideas that will make the holidays extra special this year:

  1. Pick up the phone and call those loved ones.
  2. Put up some pictures of them in your hotel room.
  3. Buy a candle that smells like a Christmas tree or your favorite holiday scent.
  4. Help distribute food at a local food bank.
  5. Treat yourself to a nice dinner out with a coworker or new friend in town.
  6. Host a holiday meal and invite your neighbors.
  7. Do random acts of kindness.
  8. Buy the groceries of the person in front of you at the store.
  9. Pay for the Starbucks order for the person behind you at the drive thru.
  10. Drop off some toys at a local abuse shelter.
  11. Take a walk through a local park delivering blankets, coats and hygiene kits to the homeless.
  12. Invite an elderly stranger to sit down and have a conversation over a cup of coffee.
  13. Keep a giveaway bag stocked with snacks, toiletries, and socks for the homeless.
  14. Take out the garbage for an elderly or handicap neighbor.
  15. Leave an encouraging note or surprise in items you are donating, selling, or returning.
  16. Deliver fresh baked cookies to a neighbor or coworker.
  17. Bring fresh flowers to someone with a kind note or card.
  18. Shovel snow/ice from the driveway or sidewalk of someone in need.
  19. Leave a large tip for your server at a restaurant with a kind note.
  20. Drop off some treats to the local police or fire station.
  21. Help tutor a struggling child through a local volunteer chapter of the Boy and Girls Club.

As nurses, we have empathy inside of us which is a gift to share with others. Someone needs your smile today, they need to know they aren’t alone. When we reach out to those around us no matter where we are, we will feel connected and realize that family is also who you make of it. Partake in the holiday season knowing that you matter and that you make a difference in the lives of others. That is joy! You will be uplifted beyond measure for the blessings that you pour out to those around you in making the world a better place one act of kindness at a time. Small things done with great love can change the world.

You are not alone and you are loved.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your family at MSSI!