8 Self Care Tips for Travel Nurses While on Assignment
Self-care practices are important, especially for people in the service industry. If you’re a travel nurse, you may not have all the resources available that you might have at home. As you settle into your current assignment, there are still lots of ways you can invest in yourself through self-care.
Here's 8 self-care tips for travel nurses on assignment 🌟
1.) Spend time meditating, stretching, or practicing yoga.
The great thing about meditation, stretching, and yoga is that they can be done anywhere. Meditation is a common self-care practice since it can increase your overall sense of well-being and release stress.
Stretching and yoga can also be a good addition to your self-care routine. Many yoga routines can be done without any added equipment, making it perfect for self-care while traveling. If you aren't sure where to start there are tons of free yoga classes online or via the Nike Training App.
2.) Spend time outdoors.
No matter where you’re on assignment, you can spend time outdoors. Even if you just walk around the block for some fresh air, time outdoors can boost your mood. Many large cities have expansive parks. If you’re nearby, go for a stroll through the park and enjoy nature. If you're on assignment in a cloudy city or during a rainy season, try coupling your outdoor breaks with a vitamin D supplement to make sure you're getting the boost your body needs.
3.) Stay hydrated.
Since you are spending long shifts on your feet, it’s important to stay hydrated. While you can’t always stay hydrated while on the job, it’s important to use your downtime to get enough water.
Not only is water important for our physical health, it also plays a huge role in our mental health. Since about 75% of the brain tissue is made up of water, research has linked dehydration to anxiety and depression which may be contributing to your feelings of being burnt out.
4.) Enjoy some music.
Music is a powerful thing, and taking time to simply listen to music can help you unwind after a long day. When we listen to our favorite songs our brains are flooded with dopamine therefore music is a wonderfully simple mood booster.
Put on your favorite playlist and spend time relaxing. Even if you’d feel silly doing it, get up and dance to the music. Dancing releases endorphins that can boost your mood if you’re feeling gloomy or homesick.
5.) Take time to write in a journal.
Writing in a journal is a great way to process difficult emotions and manage stress. Although traditional journals and pens can be a fun way to journal, digital journals don’t take up any physical space. Notion is a great (free!) program to jot down your daily thoughts in a simple, organized manner.
Journaling apps allow you to reflect without needing additional materials.
Many journaling apps have prompts to help you reflect on your day. These prompts can help you reflect and remember both good and bad things that happened throughout your day.
6.) Express gratitude.
On a similar note, take time every day to express gratitude for the good things in your life. This practice can help comfort and ground you. When you’re on assignment, your days may be packed with work. While this may make it hard to pause and reflect, taking time to express gratitude is an important part of self-care.
Studies have shown that people who regularly express gratitude are happier and more satisfied with their lives. If you’re using a journaling app, take time each day to write down at least one thing you’re thankful for.
7.) Nourish your spirit.
If you belong to a faith tradition, get connected with local religious services in your area. Even though you’ll only be on assignment for a brief time, staying connected to a faith community can be an important part of your self-care routine. These days, most faith communities have an online presence. If you’d prefer, stay connected with your faith community back home through social media and streamed services.
If you aren't religious there are still ways to reflect and connect with yourself. This may look like meditation, spending time outside, reading, taking care of plants/pets, creating art, or even speaking with a therapist or online support group.
8.) Get enough sleep.
Sleep routines are one of the first things to suffer when you’re working long hours. However, making sure you get enough sleep each night is important. Not only will this help you do your job better, but getting enough sleep will help your mental and physical health.
Recommendations vary, but most adults should get between six and nine hours of sleep. Make sure you’re turning off your technology and allowing yourself enough time to be fully rested between shifts. If you're still struggling to shut off brain try a guided sleep meditation, drink some chamomile tea, or take some melatonin to help promote a calm mood.
As a travel nurse, you are especially susceptible to burnout. It's important to recognize that you are human and need rest and self care. As you can see, self-care isn't just about taking care of yourself physically, but mentally too. Nourish your mind and thoughts and you'll find that your mood and body will respond to the care you give your mental health.