Ever heard of something called career burnout? It is very common among nurses and sometimes traveling can amplify it. It’s very important to prevent burnout, and one of the best ways you can do that is to take good care of yourself on the road. Self-love is extremely important, especially for someone on the road as often as a travel nurse. So, let’s explore some self-care tips for travel nurses that may help you on your journey.
Six Self-Care Tips for Travel Nurses
1. Do You
In order to practice healthy self-care, you have to get over the common idea that there is one perfect way to take care of yourself. Not only is everyone’s body different, but everyone likes different things. You’re going to have a different idea of what self-care is than your best friend, and that’s okay! With that said, the first of the self-care tips for travel nurses: do you. If you’re not doing it for you and you only, then it isn’t self-care.
2. Eat Well
While it seems self-explanatory, eating right can be one of the most beneficial self-care tips for travel nurses. It’s hard to always eat healthy, ESPECIALLY while on the road or on assignment. However, it is doable! Whether it be eating an extra serving of vegetables a day or cutting out some of the unnecessary sugar in your diet, eating right doesn’t have to be so hard! Small steps will help you achieve the ultimate goal.
3. Say No if You Want To
Nurses are typically highly compassionate people, and with this often comes the feeling of obligation. Whether it be staying late one day because someone is sick or going out to dinner because your friend wants to go, sometimes the people around us tend to overlook our feelings in favor of their own. But here’s one of the most important take-away self-care tips for travel nurses: say no if you want to. You are not obligated to anyone other than yourself. If you’re tired after a long shift and want to just take a nap and watch Netflix, do it!
4. Take Time to Decompress
This tip could be life-changing for you as someone who is constantly at the beck and call of others. It can be really hard to get your mind out of work-mode, especially after a 12+ hour shift or after being on-call. Taking a few minutes every day to just sit and breathe without other people around, or without your cell phone buzzing every 20 seconds, is very beneficial to your mental health. Self-care is about physical and mental health. Travel nursing is extremely draining at times, so it is important to take care of yourself- mentally and otherwise.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping often falls to the back burner, especially for nurses and especially while you’re on assignment. However, lack of sleep has a plethora of negative side effects on both your physical and mental well-being. The average American gets about seven hours or less of sleep per night, which can largely impact their day to day life. While it can be really hard to get a full eight hours of sleep every night, try to at least sleep as much as you can. If you get home from a shift at 9 p.m. and have to be at work again at 5 a.m., try not to stay up until 1 a.m. watching Netflix. Your shows can wait. Your body cannot.
6. Plan in Advance
Life on the road is hectic, so scheduling your self-care time in advance is very beneficial! Whether this means a scheduled nap, or planning five minutes in the morning to meditate, having time set aside will leave you with peace of mind while taking care of yourself at the same time.
What are your top self-care tips for travel nurses? Let us know in the comments!