Fall is drawing to an end and the holidays are swiftly approaching. People are acting crazy and shoving by-standers in shopping malls, tighter than a model’s toes in size 5 stilettos; Lifetime is airing their enormously cheesy Santa Clause themed made-for-TV movies; and Starbucks has released their seasonal peppermint mocha flavor (YUM). It’s safe to say, it is now officially the most wonderful time of the year.
But, while most people have “stationary” jobs and are able to spend their free-time with loved ones this season; people with travel careers, like locum tenens, are not always blessed with the same opportunity. Sure, travel physician jobs have their perks, but it can be difficult for anyone to feel lonely this time of year.
How to Spend Holidays Away From Home
Virtually see your family. If you can’t make it to your family, bring your family to you (virtually.) You can even prepare a meal, decorate the tree, wrap presents or bake cookies alongside your loved ones via videochat. At the very least, it can keep holiday traditions alive when it is impossible to physically travel to one another.
Look to friends for holiday cheer. The holidays are a great time to work on building strong relationships with your co-workers that you meet while on assignments. These people can provide comfort during this lonely time. Share food, drinks and all the holiday festivities with people that are in your visiting area. There’s no shame in admitting that it’s difficult to be alone at a time that most families are spending joyous times celebrating. But, it can be rewarding and enriching doing different things than usual during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or any other special event.
Embrace new traditions. Spending the holidays away from family can actually be less stressful. Think about it: when you’re stuck with traditions that you have been doing since the dawn of time, there’s a lot of pressure to keep them going as good or better than the year before. There’s a laundry-list of things to do like baking 12 dozen cookies for the neighbors, picking out the best tree, etc. Do something new to rock-out this holiday season away from home. Maybe go to a hip Asian-fusion restaurant instead of slaving over a hot oven prepping the old-fashioned holiday bird. Then, for dessert, why don’t you swing by a martini bar or karaoke lounge? Being alone for the holidays may be different than you’re used to, but there’s no reason it should be any less fun!
Chain-Restaurants Open on Holidays:
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Waffle House
- Boston Market
- Panda Express
- Taco Bell
- Burger King
- Jack in the Box
- PF Chang’s
- Cracker Barrel
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Red Robin
Distract yourself. If an altered holiday still can’t bring you holiday cheer, then consider removing yourself from the celebration. Head out on a hike and ditch the bright tree-lights downtown and avoid seeing Santa’s ringing bells for Salvation Army. Or, avoid watching television that will be loaded with holiday specials and themed commercials. Instead read a book you’ve been wanting to or binge watch you favorite series on Netflix. It is your choice whether to celebrate or not. If you don’t like the idea of having a holiday without your family, then don’t.
Celebrate the holiday on another day. If you just can’t get your family to visit or go visit them for the holidays, celebrate it on a day that you actually can. It will be just as special and focus solely on the main reason for the season: family.
Rather than fretting over the thought of spending the holidays away from home, revile in the adventure. Building new traditions, keeping in touch virtually with ones too far to see in person and spending time with friends can make for an equally joyous time.