Summer can be a real energy-drainer for nurses. We work during the week, so we have to struggle with childcare while our kids are out for the summer. But if you do a few things and finagle a few shifts, you could possibly have the best summer ever.
1. Plan ahead. Too late for this year, but there’s always next! One thing you have to do is plan ahead, since so many hospitals have restrictions on how many nurses can ask off at one time during the summer. As early as allowed, you should try to ask for the weeks you want off during the summer.
2. Do nothing. Sometimes it just takes clustering your work days together to get a long stretch off for you to do absolutely nothing in order to have the best summer ever. Sometimes exactly what you need is to literally take some days off and do NOTHING.
3. Take a long weekend with your closest coworkers. When you can’t get a whole 2 weeks off, you can usually swing a long weekend. Grab your closest coworkers and plan a little trip. These trips are often the best to renew your spirit and give you added energy to survive the whole summer!
4. Arrange for a coworker’s high-school child to babysit. Someone at work has a high-schooler just dying to make a little extra money. Secure them early…ask them to baby-sit on a routine basis, whether that means once a week so you can have dinner with your friends, 3 days a week while you’re working, or just to help out around the house when you’re off. Trustworthy, inexpensive, and indispensable!
5. Go somewhere cold. In Texas, it’s hot as hell during the summer. If you live somewhere hot and humid, to have the perfect summer you need to go somewhere to cool off…
6. Go somewhere hot. To have the perfect summer you also need to go somewhere hot, preferably by water! Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to make a good summer great!
7. Leave the kids behind. It may surprise you, but leaving the kids behind is sometimes worth its weight in gold. Summer for nurses (at least, for labor and delivery nurses) is brutal, so a few days sans kids won’t do you any harm.
8. Take the kids to a beach. You will actually have to watch your kids, you know, since there’s water…but there’s something about the sun and the sound of the waves crashing and the sand between your toes that screams RELAXATION. It makes me want to go hunting for sea shells as I type this.
9. Enjoy not having to put the kids to bed early. The one great thing about summer is that you don’t have to kill yourself trying to get home to put the kids to bed at a descent time for school the next day. So go ahead and plan that dinner after work with your friends or with your husband or even with your whole family. Relish the idea of ordering another glass of wine and not having to watch the clock—the only consequence might be that your children may nod off in the car on the way home.