6 Small Things Travel Nurses Can Do to Feel Good After a 12-Hour Shift

Posted On September 25, 2017

6 Small Things Travel Nurses Can Do to Feel Good After a 12-Hour Shift

In an ideal situation, the best way to recuperate after a 12-hour shift is to get some sleep. But we all know that we still have to face the reality of other responsibilities, preventing us from heading straight to bed after a long day.

Nobody knows how tired feels like a travel nurse, meaning you may need to take extra steps to ensure your health and well-being (ever started a 12-hour shift right off a cross-country roadtrip?).  The following tips can be implemented throughout your day, helping you to recharge your mind and make your life as a travel nurse more enjoyable despite your busy shifts.

  1. Drink a lot of water
    As simple as it may sound, drinking water is an essential part of recharging the mind that most of us forget to apply. Besides oxygen, water is the next most important resource required by our brain to work efficiently. While giving our attention to many of our patients, it is likely that we forget to drink water. We need to make it a priority after a busy shift in order to recharge our minds. In addition, sufficient intake of water is also essential to the proper functioning of the body.
  2. Eat healthy
    Good nutrition plays a very important role in our mental health. We also need to consider the fact that our brains require regular supply of nutrients just as our heart, muscles, lungs, and other body parts do. However, when we are focusing on recharging our mind, we also need to understand which foods are essential to our brain. Did you know that whole grain meals are a good source of energy? The best part is that they release the required glucose in small amounts, keeping your brain energized throughout the day. Your brain also requires a good supply of essential fatty acids such as omega 3, which are readily available in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, or herring. Other healthy foods for your brain include blueberries, nuts, broccoli, and tomatoes.
  3. Power nap
    A power nap lasts for 30 to 50 minutes. Some of us have the problem of hitting the pillow and not being able to get up. It is important for a power nap to only last 50 minutes at the most. Ask a co-nurse to wake you up in 30 minutes or set an alarm. Taking a short power nap is more effective than sleeping for a few hours, which is likely to disrupt your sleeping pattern (making things worse). It’s a good way to refresh your mind and give you time to re-energize.
  4. Take a hot bath
    Taking a hot bath after a shift will help you soak away the stress you accumulated through the day. Fill the tub with hot water, light some scented candles, and put on music. This will create a perfect environment to clear your mind.
  5. Meditate
    Take some time to put everything aside, and just do nothing. Your mind also needs to take a break and relax. Use this time to meditate and focus on your breathing while relaxing your whole body. Find somewhere private, away from disturbances and just relax.
  6. Exercise
    Just like your body, your brain also benefits when you do physical activity. Participating in a 30-minute aerobics class helps to increase your heart rate, which in turn provides sufficient supply of oxygen to your brain. Find a gym at your current location where you can take classes without becoming a member; you’ll probably even meet new friends who can show you around the city!

Author Bio: Marion Johnson is a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, Online Contributing Writer, and a Clinician. Her experience through the MSN and DNP journey has allowed her to carryout extensive research on various nursing issues. Her admirable nursing skills have seen her transition from roles such as nursing assistant, nurse supervisor, assistant director of nursing, to an online nurse instructor.