When it’s literally your job to care for others full-time, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of neglecting your own needs and well-being. That’s why we put together this little guide for our travel nurses – just a few small changes can make all the difference in how you feel, both mentally and physically. Try out these tips this week!
- Sleep with a sound machine
This tip is especially helpful for travel nurses who have night shift and must catch their zzz’s during the day. Your mood can go from zero to rage if a barking dog or lawn mower interrupts your sleep; a sound machine can drown out the noise.
- Use essential oils
This may come in the form of a diffuser, but a more portable option you could try is a pillow spray. You might not believe in aromatherapy mumbo-jumbo, but we are totally here for it.
- Meditate before your shift
Whether it’s meditation, prayer or attempting to block out any thought at all, sitting in silence is a great habit to practice every day. Even if just for a few minutes, you’ll feel renewed and ready to take on your day.
- Keep a list of “small wins” throughout the day
Maybe a patient complimented you. Or perhaps you helped a patient make progress (whether or not you get a “thank you”). Could be something as small as getting the last donut in the break room. Write down the things that made you smile or feel proud. At the end of the day, you can use this list to override any negativity from the day.
- Write yourself a note listing your accomplishments
It might feel a little silly at first (Dear Sally, you are awesome…), but once you get writing, you may find you have done more – personally or professionally – than you ever realized.
- Yoga flow
Stretching feels good, especially for a weary nurse who spends the day on their feet. Yoga doesn’t have to be strenuous, and you can do it from the comfort of your living room thanks to YouTube.
- Put pencil to paper
Break out your colored pencils and do something mindless (like a coloring book) or thought-provoking (like a crossword puzzle or Sudoku).
- Don’t be so hard on yourself
Things don’t always go as you plan: maybe you didn’t eat as healthy as you wanted, or perhaps you felt you could have performed your job better. Instead of beating yourself up, try only treating yourself the same as you would a close friend.
- Call the person you can vent to
As someone who travels, it might get a little lonely sometimes – that’s why it’s best to let things out instead of keeping your emotions pent up inside. This might be your significant other, a sibling, BFF or even your recruiter. Getting things off your chest can be a great way to flip your perspective.
- Cheer on other people’s achievements
It might seem counter-intuitive, but this can be some of the best therapy there is. Feeling genuinely happy for your work colleagues or even your patients (no-brainer) can lift your spirits.
If these Zen tips make you feel ready to take on a travel adventure, call us to find your next (or first) travel assignment at 800.299.8132, or browse our open travel nursing jobs.