• Season’s Greetings! And A Big Thank You!

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Whenever I hear that line, I sing it in my head – that version by Andy Williams made ever so popular when it was used in Home Alone 2. And this weekend…IT’S CHRISTMAS! My absolute favourite holiday. I love spreading cheer around the office and at home – there’s something about decorating with festive décor and tinsel that really makes the season well and truly come alive.

    It’s also a time to reflect on how big of a year we’ve had in the last 12 months. As we do that, most of us will be shutting our clinics to spend time with family and friends, rejuvenate, and refresh in time for the new year. Before we get to lock those doors though, here are a few reminders on what we can do to make sure you, your clinic, and your staff, are ready for 2023.

    Spending Time Together

    A great way to ensure you have quality time with your amazing staff before closing up is to have fun! The holiday spirit is in full gear everywhere (and if you know me well, ‘everywhere’ is an understatement!). Decorate together, play Secret Santa in the lead up, have an ugly Christmas sweater day (trust me…this one is absolutely hilarious), host an awards ceremony (with each individual being recognised for something), bring in your favorite holiday foods/treats, or get a photographer to come in and take cheesy Christmas ‘family’ photos.

    Seriously…if you do that, share pictures. I want to see!

    Transparency With Opening/Closing Hours

    With social media everywhere, it’s a great opportunity to really spread the message about your clinic’s opening and closing hours over the holiday season. Reiterate the times, redirect patients to emergency or other resources that you know will be open, and hit those platforms. Printing is also a good idea, so you can make sure it’s on your windows and doors just in case someone pulls up for a walk-in.

    The Best Present: Self Care

    With Christmas Day and New Year’s Day both landing on a Sunday, most clinics are closing their doors for the entire week in-between – meaning self-care is on the cards! Whether your idea of self-care involves going on a vacay with the family, indulging in some retail therapy, spending time catching up on Netflix (I hear Wednesday is the series to watch!) or just sitting back with your favourite glass of wine in the evenings, it’s 100% A-okay to do some self-care this week!

    Getting Ready For The New Year

    If you find the next couple days are a bit quiet around the clinic, it’s a good idea to get yourself ahead of the game and start making plans for the new year. Ensure all your planners and calendars are ready to go, all paperwork is certified and printed (if need be), that any social media posts are scheduled where possible so that you or your allocated staffer don’t have to do it over the break, and that the centre is spotless with cleanliness.

    I can’t stress this enough – your last day open (or when possible) should see teamwork of getting the practice cleaned to its highest standard. No one likes to walk in on the first day back to a dirty floor and crumbs all over the desks; the new year should be about getting on with running a clinic, not vacuuming or dusting.

    Understanding And Empathy

    I’m lucky. I have a loving family who I absolutely adore, and Christmas is when I get more than my fair share of quality time with them. I love it. But this period of the year also grounds me, because I remember that for some people it can be quite lonely. Family members of a staffer might be over east or overseas and they might be in a situation where they’re unable to see one another; there may have been a recent loss in the family circle…there are numerous reasons I won’t go into, but it’s important that if we’re aware of such circumstances, not to ‘rub it in their faces’ that we’re planning on having the most amazing time these holidays. We can empathise, understand, and most of all…invite them to join you for the festivities.

    I love that saying, ‘My door is always open…and there’ll be a plate on the table for you’.

    Spread Cheer To Your Fellow Neighbours

    Christmas cards are going out of fashion thick and fast. What better way than to handwrite a quick note in a card and pop it in the letterbox of your neighbours – both around the clinic and around your home?! It’s an activity you can do with all staff at the clinic or your kids at home, and is so much fun!

    Stay In Touch

    I’ll be around on Instagram, so follow me at @thelifeofapracticemanager for the 12 Days Of Christmas, recipes, giveaways and more!

    Lastly, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an amazing start to the New Year! 2022 has been amazing, and I really look forward to seeing what 2023 will bring all of us! I’d love to hear how you’re spending the holidays and what you’ll be doing!