TheraEx Staffing Solutions provided this article.
You’ve probably experienced it before. You’re away from home on assignment during the holidays while scrolling through Netflix feeling anxious and envious instead of stress-free and self-assured, all because you glanced at your social media feeds and saw the proof that your friends and family from back home are spending time together during the holidays. So much for enjoying a rare night of rest and quiet, much-needed for mental restoration.
While travel nursing is equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking, it can also be enjoyable and invigorating. With these tips, you’ll be able to focus on enjoying your new home and surroundings without feeling like you’re missing out on life’s milestones.
How to combat feeling like you are missing out during the holidays while travel nursing:
Lean Into Nostalgia
By embracing your feelings of homesickness and learning how to cope with them, it will help you protect yourself from future cases of it. Working to address your feelings will make it much less likely to happen with your next assignment. If you’re feeling particularly down or yearning to be with your friends and loved ones, bringing mementos on your travel nurse adventures is a great way to bring a little piece of comfort and familiarity with you. It can be a box of photos, candies from your favorite hometown shop, or a significant other’s sweatshirt. Keeping these items close can stop a case of homesickness in its tracks and help you feel more at ease.
Embrace Your New City
Whether you’re exploring amusement parks in sunny California or are snowed-in in Colorado, picking up a few local traditions can put a fresh spin on your holiday traditions and help you to create new ones for when you’re back home. Send locally inspired gift cards or memorabilia to your loved ones to let them know you’re thinking about them and hold them close to your heart even when they’re not nearby. You can also collect ornaments or other trinkets that represent each assignment you’ve taken and use the items to decorate your home throughout the years to come.
Spend Time with Other Travel Nurses
One of the great things about travel nursing is you will always be surrounded by a supportive group of caring people that understand what you’re going through and have most likely felt the same before. Consider getting together and having a holiday celebration, where each person brings a signature family dish that reminds them of home. You can also rally everyone together for a white elephant gift exchange where the goal is to find the most outlandish and hilarious present.
Decorate Your Current Living Space
If you’re feeling homesick during the holidays, try decorating your current living space to make it feel more festive and as close to home as possible. Buy a few holiday decorations from the Target dollar spot or a local craft store that is having a sale, put up a holiday wreath on your door, or even decorate a mini tabletop tree. You can also get creative with your holiday decorating and look up easy DIYs on YouTube or TikTok – the options are limitless.
Check Out Local Events
The most exciting way to have fun and experience your new surroundings during the holidays is to attend local events. From tree lighting ceremonies to festive holiday markets, there is usually an abundance of activities happening in most communities during the season. If you’re in an area that is more rural, you could also drive around town looking at everyone’s Christmas decorations with another travel nurse and stop for some local hot cocoa.
From leaning into nostalgia to connecting and checking out local events, there are many ways to make this a holiday season to remember–regardless of where your temporary home may be. We hope these tips help you feel a little less like you are missing out while travel nursing this holiday season. Are there any other tips you would give travel nurses to help them from feeling like they are missing out during the holidays? Comment them below.
Our job board is a great place to search for your next travel nurse assignment. We have you covered with our housing page if housing is an issue. You can search for what you are looking for.