Make Your Health Your First Priority While on Assignment

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By The Gypsy Nurse

February 17, 2018



Make Your Health Your First Priority

The following is a Guest Post via Elizabeth Scala

Now, I’ve never been a travel nurse but I am imagine it can be just as busy- if not busier- than being a nurse who stays in one location.

Prioritize your health

I bet that when you move to a new place, where you’re less likely to know anyone, the temptation to work all of the time creeps in. You’re lonely, in a new place, with nothing to do- so why not work when they need help, right? What better way to spend your time than making money and helping out the organization your working at?

Great idea? Well, in theory, overtime and more money sound great-but I have to say: wrong! This can be a very, very bad idea.

Being a nurse is a nurse is a nurse. Whether you travel or not working all of the time is not good for our health. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even socially- this is not good for our well-being.

So what can you do if you’re on the road, looking to make some extra cash, and trying to fit in and make new friends?

Do what I always advise: put yourself first whether you are at home, on an assignment, at work, or not- see yourself and your health as your priority.

What are some tools and techniques that you can do to strengthen this ‘I am #1 muscle’? Here is a list of things I teach and work with my clients on:

• Balance your ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ responses. We are all nurses. Many of us went into nursing because there is something about our personality that likes to help, nurture, and care. So when I tell you to say ‘No’ from time to time, I’m not at all suggesting that you become this mean-hearted, selfish person that doesn’t help anybody out. No way! I’m totally into playing for the team, and when we do this, it makes nursing that much better. But make a list. On the top of the page, put your header. So let’s use ‘Being Called into Work Overtime’ as our header for this example. Under the header, make one column ‘Yes’ and the other column ‘No.’ And each time work calls- make a little mark in the column associated with your answer. Observe your behavior. Is it balanced? Are you putting yourself first, or are you always letting work win out?

• Value yourself. This is a hard one. For nurses, for everybody, really. We are typically our own worst critics. When everyone else can congratulate us and tell us what we’ve done well, we can usually find the one flaw out of all the good we do. Start slowly with building up your own appreciation for yourself. Each night before bed, write down 5 things you did well that day and 5 things you love about yourself. Place a little notebook right on your pillow so that you don’t forget. When you begin to appreciate yourself more, you will value your time. You will put yourself first and stand up for your own health.

About The Author:

I’d love to hear how either of these tools worked for you, or if you have any others you’d like to add to the list. If you’re interested in finding out more, come visit me at Sign up for my newsletter and receive my special gift, a 3-Part Video Series, “Here’s Time for Your Health”.

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