Travel Nurses are constantly on the go during their assignments, making it difficult to stay on top of mental and physical health. Whether you’re hitting the road for the first time, or looking to adopt new healthy habits, here are some tips to keep you healthy while on your next travel nurse assignment!
Maintain Your Physical Health
As a travel nurse, it can be hard to make your physical health a priority. You come home from a long and exhausting shift and the last thing you want to do is fit a workout in. A great way to work on your physical health includes joining a local gym that you can attend on your days off or when you just need to relieve the stress of work. Make sure to do your research to find the best fit for you. Don’t want to join a gym? No problem! Order a few resistance bands to do body workouts wherever you are! These are lightweight and easy to take with you from assignment to assignment. For more travel nurse packing tips, check out our Travel Nursing Essentials blog.
A great exercise for nurses is going on a walk or hike. There’s nothing better than taking a walk and enjoying the beauty of nature wherever you are. Even the simplest forms of physical activity can be good for you. Whether it’s walking to the local coffee shop you discovered or taking a morning stroll on the beach, keep your body moving.
When exercising, be sure to always stay hydrated! Water is vital for the human body to function properly throughout the day so make sure you have a good water bottle on hand. You can even buy a large water bottle that you can take with you on your travel nursing assignments to make sure you get your full water intake throughout the day.
Get Quality Sleep
Working long shifts every day can be stressful and draining. Sleep is crucial to help you maintain your physical and mental wellbeing, but catching some Zs isn’t always as easy as it sounds for a travel nurse. You can help regulate your sleep schedule by making your space your own. Bringing cozy items on your travel nurse assignment like a pillow, favorite blanket or slippers can help you stay relaxed.
When it’s time to sleep, keep your room dark and cool to help you get quality sleep. You can find a comfortable sleep mask to block out extra light, or if you like sleeping with white noise, sleep machines are a great addition to bring with you on a travel assignment. If you don’t have one you can play white noise from your phone. A variety of apps, like Calm, have different playlists that can help you fall asleep. Calm is an all-in-one app that improves your sleep quality, reduces stress and anxiety and improves focus. It’s key to ensure you establish a bedtime routine, whether that’s reading a book before bed or limiting your screen time. Having a consistent routine every day will help your body prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Being a travel nurse can sometimes mean that you will have time alone or that you might be far away from your friends, family, and loved ones. This could put a strain on your mental health. One way to support your mental health as a travel nurse is to make sure to research the location you’re heading to. If you’re traveling alone, you can fill up your schedule with activities and adventures to keep your mind and body active.
Another good stress reliever is practicing yoga or breathing exercises. Different forms of meditation can be a good stress reliever and the perfect way to stretch and heal your body after working a long shift. If you’re struggling with your mental health, remember that it’s always okay to ask for help. There are many online resources you can use if you are feeling down or just need someone to talk to, and here’s a great place to start.
Eat Healthy and Save Money
While traveling from place to place, the cost of food can add up quickly and expenses may be higher than you expect. As a travel nurse, healthy eating habits are important to improve and maintain your energy throughout shifts. Going out to eat may be quick and convenient, but overspending on food is not the healthiest way to live. There are many easy ways to save money and eat healthy while traveling! If you are staying in an Airbnb or a location where you can cook, take advantage of the kitchen. Meal prepping is a simple way to have food ready to go throughout the week, making life easier when you work 12 hours a day.
If you find yourself wanting to snack throughout the day, opt for fruits and vegetables to help keep your energy levels up throughout the day instead of making a trip to the vending machine. The costs of eating out can add up quickly, so limiting yourself to just a few times a week can significantly cut down costs.
Life as a travel nurse can be tiring at times but is rewarding overall. Not only do you help heal others, but you also get to visit some breathtaking places and experience amazing adventures across the country. Just don’t forget to also take care of yourself during your travel nursing assignments. Practice each of these tips and you’ll be on your way to creating a healthy lifestyle as a travel nurse!
Travel nursing with Favorite Healthcare Staffing gives you the opportunity to advance your career, develop new skills, and experience new things. Take a look at our open travel nursing jobs and start exploring the country with Favorite today!
Looking for other ways to stay healthy as a travel nurse? Check out our blog, “The Importance of Work-Life Balance for Nurses”.
The information in this blog is for general informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalized guidance. The authors and publishers are not liable for errors or omissions, and reliance on the content is at your own risk.