The holidays can bring up complex feelings. Some love the holiday season, but it can be challenging for others. Regardless of how your patients feel about the holidays, it can be particularly stressful if they are in the hospital over the holidays or need a procedure during this season. To help you bring extra cheer to your colleagues and patients this holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of four easy ways to spread joy around the hospital.
The Power of Simple Crafts
There are so many ways to make snowflakes. Consider using a metallic cardstock for a festive touch. Window clings are also easy to find if you don’t want to make decorations yourself. Several holidays happen around the holiday season. But regardless of which holidays, if any, your patients celebrate, snowflakes, snowmen, and other nonsecular creations can bring some extra cheer. And the great thing about nonsecular crafts that focus more on the changing seasons and snow than the holidays themselves is that they can stay up all winter long. Long days that darken earlier can be challenging for anyone. Patients will likely appreciate anything that adds some joy during long winter days.
Some patients may love hearing Christmas and holiday songs. Other patients may not appreciate extra noise. Consider organizing a concert that patients can attend if they’re able. And ask patients ahead of time if they would like carolers to visit their room. A small concert in a unit lobby area can incentivize patients to get up and move. However, some patients may need help to be mobile, require staff assistance to ambulate, or, for infection reasons, not be able to join a group. Checking ahead of time if patients would like carolers to come by their room can also allow them to participate in the festivities.
Wear Festive Clothing
Consider wearing festive clothing during the holidays. Maybe you have some holiday scrubs lying around. Or you could put some fairy lights in your hair. There are several options for fun, such as cheerful compression socks or long-sleeve shirts for under scrubs. And you could switch out your badge reel for something festive, too. See if there’s a budget on your unit to buy multipacks. Or go in on a pack with some colleagues. They can be found for $10 for a pack of 4 on major retail sites.
Put Together a Card Drive
Not everyone has friends or family visit them in the hospital. It can feel incredibly isolating if your patients are in the hospital over the holidays. A cheerful card may help patients not feel as lonely and is a simple way to go above and beyond as a healthcare worker. Ways to collect cards include reaching out to local schools or youth groups. Youth groups such as those associated with churches, 4H, or scout troops may be interested in decorating cards. You could also encourage your colleagues to decorate and collect cards throughout the hospital. Consider talking with unit managers and putting supplies in staff break rooms and common areas.
These are only a few ways to spread cheer around the hospital during the holidays. You can spread cheer to patients and colleagues in many other ways. You could organize a cookie swap among coworkers, hold contests for the craziest socks to encourage participation, or host a self-care item drive and wrap small presents for patients — like soothing coloring books, faux flowers, a plastic mason jar lantern, or other items permitted by hospital policy.