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5 tips for handling holiday stress

Posted by Stephanie Ahlborn on

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but can also be one of the most stressful times for healthcare workers. 


Healthcare does not rest during the holiday season, and as you know, work often gets busier. On top of an overloaded work schedule and increased personal commitments, we’re entering into the time of year that has shorter, darker, colder days. Now more than ever, it’s essential to take care of your mental and physical health.


These five tips can help you to manage stress during the next few weeks, and make the most of  the holiday season:


       1) Plan What You Can

While planning ahead is always a good idea, it’s important to remember that there are some things that are out of your control. Planning ahead can help you visualize your work shifts, holiday activities, and obligations you’ve committed. It’s okay to say no when you feel overwhelmed or overburdened, keep a calendar to help you decide which ones you will truly enjoy.


       2) Be Realistic

As we enter into the season of giving, remember that you give every day in your job - your time, your care, and your patience. While giving in and outside of work can help you feel happiness, it can also lead to burnout. It's important to know your limits. Keeping a realistic approach to the season and what you can take on both personally and professionally can help you manage expectations for the winter months.


       3) Make a List (& Check it Twice)

With so much going on, the last thing you want to do is lose track of time and feel overwhelmed with everything you need to accomplish. Instead of trying to remember everything you need to do, make a list (or two) and check off each task as you complete it. Making a list of professional and personal to-dos, ideas for holiday shopping, or writing down goals for the month will help you keep on top of everything.


       4) Savour the Season

With so much going on, remember to take a step back away from it all and enjoy the charm of the season. Throw on a Christmas playlist, make a cup of hot chocolate, and take a walk around your neighbourhood to look at the lights. 


       5) Remember to Rest

The holiday season brings more stress, more work and more travel, which typically means less rest. On top of taking on extra personal obligations, it’s also the peak of cold and flu season, so its extra important to rest and take extra measures to stay healthy. Keeping active, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest will be essential for keeping your mental health and immune system strong.



Remember you are never alone, ask for help and support when you need it, and recognize the signs of burnout. Our library has multiple resources to support your mental and emotional wellness. 


Give yourself the gift of mental and physical health this holiday season. We’re in this together!


We got this,


- the formation team

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Pulse, Barbie & In Charge - A Perfect Match 💓

Pulse, Barbie & In Charge - A Perfect Match 💓

 

Barbie has proven to be THE biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman after earning a reported $162 million during its opening weekend! Wow.


I had been waiting and waiting to see this movie with my three teenage girls! Of course we dressed up, just like the rest of the moviegoers, fully embracing and creating an immersive experience earlier this week. And it did NOT disappoint. If you haven’t gone, go.

Even if you don’t like pink!

I wore my new formation scrubs in Pulse Pink - which ironically are being released now, at the same time as Barbie!

Here I am with my girls going into the movie:


Pink is a colour that many people have struggled with for a long time. When I was little, it was known that “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” - so I avoided pink, even though I kind of liked the colour. I was known as a ‘Tom Boy’, so I was not about to be pigeon-holed as another girl-who-likes-pink!

Now, I actually love the colour pink and what it means to me and those around me. To me, pink represents unconditional love, which is something that those in health care understand deeply.

It’s unapologetic, it doesn’t waver, and it boldly stands for what and whom we believe in.

Pulse Pink is here to embody that.

Pink now also represents strength, which has been a slow shift over the years. In a way, this also reflects some progress for women as well, as pink is traditionally “girly”.

For those who aren’t aware, I’m a physician, but also an artist. I try to sew in my studio as often as I can. I created this “mini” quilt for a call for entries. (I normally create 8 ft x 8 ft abstract modern quilt pieces). It still speaks to me, and how the world perceives women.

My quilt was chosen to be featured in the publication, here was my artist’s statement:

In Charge Quilt
Which do you want to be seen as?
In Charge, or, you Charge In.
There is a subtle difference, I feel, especially for women, which is why I chose these colours.
Pink for the traditional female, and orange is often seen as a colour of stepping into and owning our vulnerabilities and in doing so healing.


Times have certainly changed since my training days when I’d be one of three women at a cardiovascular surgery conference of hundreds.


I left “Charge” unquilted as it is imperfect. I feel we are all trying to figure this out - maybe you already have - but for myself, every day I am striving to be #incharge 💗


As you step into your Pulse Pink scrubs, remember that you are not just wearing a colour; you are embodying the spirit of empowerment, love, and authenticity. And, you are In Charge.


When Greta Gerwig was asked by People Magazine how she dealt with right-wing conservatives who expressed their disapproval for the film by declaring it “woke” and threatening to burn their Barbies, she said, “Certainly, there’s a lot of passion. My hope for the movie is that it’s an invitation for everybody to be part of the party and let go of the things that aren’t necessarily serving us as either women or men. I hope that in all of that passion, if they see it or engage with it, it can give them some of the relief that it gave other people.”


Pulse Pink is a limited edition colour - when the fabric is gone, we are not restocking. We have left some fabric out of production so you can still get a Bespoke form. We are gender inclusive, honour all forms, and 1% of proceeds support healthcare workers' mental health. You can find your form in our new fitting room on the site, and as always, reach out to me if you need any help or have questions at hello@myformation.ca.


I’d also love to hear what you thought of the movie and see photos of you in Pulse!


We Got This,


Dr. Kathryn Dundas M.D., C.C.F.P.

'tis the season for giving

'tis the season for giving

This holiday season, help give a healthcare worker the gift of formation scrubs! 🎁


We believe in the power of collective action, which is why we created the Pay It Forward program.  


The program allows individuals, businesses, or organizations to give the gift of the scrubs, without needing to purchase a pair. Through community donations, this program facilitates the purchase of a pair of scrubs for a health care worker through anonymous donations. 


Just like finding out at the drive-through window that the kind soul ahead of you has bought your meal, a health care worker will be surprised at the checkout on our website with a message that lets them know someone has already paid for their set of scrubs.


Our hope is that this kind gesture by community members and customers will bring a smile and moment of joy to our health care workers who have been working tirelessly on the frontlines. 


Recognizing your commitment to supporting formation’s community of health care workers, and all that they do to keep us safe and healthy, is important to us. Without the generous contribution from sponsors like you, our Pay It Forward program would not be possible.


Have a healthy and happy holiday!


We got this,


- the formation team