This Article is Sponsored by LRS Healthcare ®
Nurse life, in general, can naturally wear a person down. You basically give all day in almost all ways—mentally, emotionally, and physically on top of socially and professionally.
On the rewarding flip side, you’re literally a lifesaver some days and a galvanized link between patients and the care they need to achieve the best outcomes.
Now add travel to the mix. New city, new people, new living space, new work environment—all of which come with a mixed bag of pros and cons, you know all too well.
The life of a travel nurse is a roller coaster, to say the least, and it’s important to acknowledge the real potential for burnout and to be intentional about self-care wherever you happen to be calling “home” for the moment.
Here are a few self-care action items travel nurses can prioritize and some ways to fit them into your exciting yet busy life.
Travel Nursing Self Care Tips
Do Nature Daily
The scientific health benefits of spending quality time in nature have become a big focus over the years, and it’s good to be aware of them.
When we say “daily” here, we’re not just talking about the outdoor adventures many of you love dearly, like ziplining, kayaking, hiking, or snowboarding. We’re talking about the health benefits micro-moments in nature provide the body and mind.
When considering the following, if you can keep your phone or laptop tucked away, give yourself bonus points. Disconnecting and being present will maximize these outdoor micro-moments.
- Walk a few extra blocks on your way to the train or bus stop before or after your shift.
- Bike to work or when meeting a friend for lunch.
- Step outside during a break or have coffee at an outdoor café on your day off.
- Open the windows of your living space to let natural light and fresh air in.
Get Some Zzz’s
Easier said than done, but it’s essential to physical and cognitive functioning—two things you need on the floor and your adventures. The National Sleep Foundation lists seven hours of sleep as the low-end range for adults aged 18–65 and over. Consistency is also key, so try to keep a regular bedtime routine.
For quick self-care, never underestimate the positive impact of a well-deserved nap. According to sleep expert Sara C. Mednick, Ph.D., a 15- to 20-minute power nap can reset the system and provide a burst of alertness and increased motor performance.
There are tons of quick and simple yoga routines out there to incorporate into your week. Yoga can not only relax your body and mind; it can strengthen it too. Plus, you can double-down on the self-care here by doing a few poses in a park or on your rooftop deck.
If following a more guided practice is more your thing, check out these eight yoga workouts recommended by Men’s Journal. Session times vary, some are free, and others offer a free trial.
Feed Your Face
While every 12-hour shift doesn’t come with a quality meal break, you can make the most out of the time you do have to nourish yourself on the job.
- Keep your fresh food cool and more enjoyable by investing in a decent insulated lunch bag.
- Cook in bulk and freeze pre-portioned meals for when you need to grab-n-go.
- Stash energy-boosting snacks in your purse or pocket for a quick nibble (mixed nuts, no-bake oatmeal bites, soy crisps, etc.)
For a few more tips on maintaining a healthy diet as a busy nurse, check out Tasting Table’s “What a Nurse Really Eats in a Week” article.
By spending a little extra time focusing on self-care, this roller coaster life and career you’ve come to know and love can be even more fulfilling, and you can be an even better you for yourself, your patients, your friends, and your family.
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