12 Ways to Find JOY on Shift This Holiday Season

12 Ways to Find JOY on Shift This Holiday Season

The weather cools, families gather, friends reunite, and hanging lights illuminate neighborhoods — it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year!

We know, it’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us already — 2022 flew by! And while this time of year fosters immense amounts of joy for many of us, for others (particularly healthcare professionals) the holiday season comes with hardships too. Fact is, for the dedicated night-shifters, daytime caregivers, and every nurse, doctor, and student in between, this time of year isn’t always filled with gumdrops and lollipops. 

Still, if you’re a healthcare professional yourself, it’s important to know that no matter what your day or night brings, there are plenty of ways you can prioritize joy on shift. As we’ve been told time and again by members of the healthcare community, it’s incredibly important that you prioritize your emotional wellbeing when working the taxing job you work. So seek JOY whenever possible — you won’t regret it. 

Not sure where to start? No problem! We asked members of The BALA Unit — how do YOU find joy on shift? Here are 12 of their incredible answers:

“I find joy when I see patients getting back on their feet and getting discharged, so they can be with their families!” — Olga (Med Surg. California)

“I created an initiative to have more RNs deliver group therapy. When I watch a nurse I trained lead or co-lead a group and enjoy it, that brings me joy.” — Amanda (Psych Nurse Practitioner. New York)

“To see a patient smile, or to hear a family member thank me for caring for their loved one… THAT brings me joy.” — Vicky (Critical Care. New York) 

“I find joy when I see my coworkers feeling appreciated and proud to be serving our community.” — Ivana (ER. Missouri)

“The kiddos I work with definitely bring me joy! They keep things interesting! I also enjoy the occasional down time I have to read a book. I am super into reading right now and it’s very relaxing for me.” — Halee (Pediatric Oncology. Ohio)

“Even if they don’t always say it out loud, you can tell how calm and relaxed my patients are when I give them extra attention so their experience at the hospital is more comfortable. That brings me a lot of joy. — Sarah F (Critical Care. Michigan)

“I love when patients remember me from previous times I’ve cared for them and get excited to see me. It reminds me that all of the hard and stressful times are worth it!” — Nora (OutPatient Pediatric. Michigan) 

“I recently found joy teaching and orienting new graduates! Watching them become confident, independent nurses was so rewarding!” — Emily (Pediatrics. North Carolina) 

“I find joy when I get to spend time with my coworkers during our downtime. It takes some stress anyway from nursing.” — Courtney M. (Profession, State)

Getting to congratulate my patients when they’ve reached their health goals brings me joy!” — Kendall (Physician Assistant. California)

Greeting my colleagues and being excited to start and end the day helps me find joy!” — Sanjana ( Optometrist. Illinois)

“My co-workers and their endless support brings me joy!” — Courtney B. (ER. Nebraska)

There you have it — 12 incredible ways that healthcare professionals, just like you, find joy on their shifts. Some find joy in their patient’s gratitude, or in their coworker’s companionship, but regardless, every strategy works to bring happiness during even the toughest of shifts. That alone is a beautiful thing!

We’re all here to support each other, and we’d love to share your thoughts too. So, send us ways YOU find joy on shift at mystory@wearebala.com. And of course, happy holidays, all!