The holidays are a busy time for everyone, and it’s so easy to let hustle and bustle rob us of the season of celebration and rest that it should be! I’m looking forward to a break for Christmas, but I know my husband is focused on making it ’till the end of the semester, and the holidays are not on the forefront on his mind. While I’m looking forward to spending time at home to be with family and friends, I also want to make sure that Matt is able to recharge over the holidays as his free time is limited.
From my experience with other breaks or vacations, I know it usually takes about 3-4 days to get out of the routine of constantly thinking about school before he can finally relax. Since the Christmas break offers a little more time, I want to ensure that I do my best to help my student doc recharge to prep for an even busier semester ahead. I reached out to my fellow doc spouses for their input on how they help their student doctor recharge over the holidays, and they had some great tips!
- Let them sleep!
- Encourage them to exercise
- Have low expectations for them
- Give them a day or two to decompress before traveling
- Get away for a bit (if they want to)
- Play games and help them laugh
- Ask them what they want to do with their time off and how you can help them. Brainstorm together or suggest a list if they are too tired to think about it.
- Encourage them to spend time with friends or get back to hobbies they have put on hold
- Don’t bombard them with a to-do list (this is especially hard for me!)
- Help them set a personal goal to do that has nothing to do with school, like reading a book or trying a new recipe they’ve been saving
Regardless of if your spouse is a medical student or not, I think these tips are a great reminder to help your spouse and family relax during the holidays. Speaking for myself, I often don’t feel that I have the time to spare to rest and recharge, but when my husband reminds me that it’s ok to take that time it’s easier to give myself permission to do so. I encourage you to be that “permission” or encouragement that someone else may need to take the time to recharge!