Self Care Tips for Travel Nurses

As travel nurses, you are always caring for others but taking care of yourself is just as important, if not more important. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will not care for those who rely on you. Being on the road while on a travel nurse assignment can make it harder to care for yourself.  Not being familiar with the area may be a concern, but it doesn’t have to be.  To help you while you are on the road, The Gypsy Nurse team has put together a list of 4 self-care tips for travel nurses while on assignment.

Rest and Sleep

Self-care for travel nurses should start with focusing on sleep. Getting plenty of rest as a nurse is sometimes difficult. And working twelve-hour shifts as a travel nurse can make having a typical sleep pattern difficult. Nurses average about 6.8 hours of sleep a night. While it is recommended, they get 8 hours of sleep. It may seem that 1.2 hours of sleep isn’t that much. Looking at the big picture, that is a loss of 438 hours of sleep a year that you are losing out on. Sleep loss directly affects your health as well. We realize that getting enough sleep is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help you fall asleep at night. Make sure the room is darkroom darkening curtains work great to keep out unwanted light, whether during the day for night shift nurses or artificial light at night.  Stay off your cell phone and/or computer. Not only does this stimulate your mind, but the blue light from them isn’t good for your eyes.  Read a book.  Reading helps to reduce stress which helps you fall asleep quicker.  If you have tried all of these and still find yourself having trouble falling asleep or getting good sleep, you can try over-the-counter supplements such as; chamomile tea or melatonin. Your body needs rest to keep it healthy and to function at its best. Lack of rest is also dangerous when driving to and from work. If you haven’t had enough rest, you could risk dozing off while driving.

Eating Healthy

As a nurse, it is sometimes difficult to maintain a healthy diet. You don’t always get to take your lunch breaks and are forced to dine on vending machine options. At the same time, convenient these things won’t keep you going for long. Many of these options are packed full of sugar. Sugar affects the body and brain in many ways, including; the obvious weight gain drains your energy, contributes to depression, and many others. Something as simple as packing a few healthy snacks for your shift could make a difference. Some examples of healthy snacks for the go could include; trail mix, avocado chicken salad, protein bars, jerky, veggies and dip, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, or protein shakes.  These are just a few suggestions. There are many more out there.  You won’t feel the need to reach for the vending machine food if you have something easy at your disposal.

Exercising

Exercising is a great method of self-care. There are numerous benefits you can receive from it. There are some obvious benefits, including helping control your weight and combating health diseases and health conditions. Did you know that it can help your mood, boost your energy, and help you get a more restful sleep at night? You don’t have to get a gym membership to exercise. YouTube is great for workouts if that is what you are looking for. Going for a jog, run or walk are also great options; these can be done anywhere!

Hobbies/ Me Time

Taking time out of your day for your time is important.  It helps to refresh and refuel your mind and body.  By taking time out of your day for yourself, you’ll lower your stress, become more productive, and have more energy.  What better way than with hobbies. They don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive; reading a book, crafting, painting, dancing, or writing.  If the outdoors is more your thing, you could go for walks, hikes or go outside and enjoy the weather.  You can always get me time by going out and getting a massage, manicure/pedicure, or facial as well.

These 4 things are just a few things you can do for self-care. Taking care of yourself should be one of your main focuses to care for others. While you may be able to get away with avoiding these things for a while, it won’t last, and at some point, your body and mind are going to hit a wall. Take time for yourself so you can help those who need you most.

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10 Tips to Help Travel Nurses De-Stress

If you’ve chosen to journey across the country as a travel nurse, you’ve probably hit a few bumps in the road along the way. Long days, challenging patients, conflicts with supervisors, and even bad weather can increase stress levels. It’s important to take care of your health and avoid Travel Nurse Burnout. Everyone will appreciate you more if you are in a fair, optimistic mood.

Here are 10 easy ways to de-stress and even lower blood pressure. Please take five minutes for yourself and give them a try the next time life throws you a little extra anxiety.

10 ways to de-stress

Play music

While classical music can be extremely calming and decrease levels of stress hormones, the truth is any music you enjoy can increase the flow of feel-good chemicals to the brain and help you relax.

Disconnect

Turn off your cell phone, step away from your computer, look away from the screen. Uninterrupted screen time can actually increase stress. So be sure to take frequent breaks and, from time to time, disconnect completely.

Laugh

Anything that makes you chuckle will work, a joke, funny video, hilarious memory, laugh out loud. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphin that is released by your brain.”

Take a walk

Moving your body or any exercise that you enjoy stimulates blood flow. Helping to de-stress. Staying active regularly helps keep you fit and better prepared to handle stressful situations.

Breathe

Breathing exercises can help. One popular choice is to take a deep breath in, hold for the count of ten, then exhale for a count of ten. In fact, just taking a few deep breaths can reduce tension and de-stress. The extra boost of oxygen nourishes the brain and can lower blood pressure.

Sniff

Escape for just a few moments with essential oil. Aromatherapy has been shown to decrease stress levels, making them perfect for de-stressing; some popular scents include lavender, vanilla, and chamomile.

Plan

De-stressing takes time and planning. No doubt you will have jam-packed days and challenging to-do lists to keep stress at bay and build time between commitments. Don’t schedule every minute to avoid rushing and fear of being late—real stressors!

Eat like a monkey

Bananas are loaded with potassium, which has been shown to help regulate blood pressure and even improves energy levels during stressful times.

Eat

Good nutrition continuously helps keep you healthy, but a treat from time to time in small portions can also boost your mood and combat stress. Dark chocolate is one of the best choices because its flavanols may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Rest

Sleep is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. But not all sleep is created equal. To be rested, you need adequate amounts of uninterrupted sleep. Many times it quality, not quantity, that can best help you de-stress.

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Budget Tips for Travel Nurses on Assignment

Sticking to a budget is important for all of us; however, it is even more important for travel nurses.  As travel nurses, you spend 13 weeks on an assignment and typically move on.  With each of these moves, you need to have the funds to get to your next location and have the funds to pay for a place to stay during your next assignment.  

Below you will find some budgeting tips from fellow travel nurses:

Negotiate monthly AirBnB or VRBO before you book

It never hurts to ask for a discount on housing.  Because you will be staying there for 13 or more weeks straight, they may be willing to give you a discount.  It benefits you to stay for a long time and the person you are renting your housing from.  

One member suggested only renting an Airbnb or VRBO for a week and then asked around at work about potential housing.   Locals may have more insight than what you can find on the internet.  Someone at your new assignment may even have a room to rent that isn’t listed on the internet.   Housing is the largest portion of the money that travel nurses spend. Why not save some money on it along the way?

Meal Prep or Take your lunch to work

Meal prepping is a great option to help with your budget.  It makes taking your lunch to work a lot easier as the meals are ready to go when you need them.   Most hospital cafeterias can be pricey.   You can save a lot of money by just taking your lunch to work. 

The Instant pot is a big hit with travel nurses because it takes up little space and cooks quickly.  There is also an abundance of recipes on the internet and Pinterest as well.   

Dollar Stores and Couponing

You can find many great things at Dollar Stores: cleaning products, toiletries, foods, and many other items.  Many of the cleaning items they offer are name brands in smaller sizes, perfect for a travel nurse who may not need a full-size product.  You can also find dinnerware at dollar stores, so if you don’t feel like packing yours for every assignment, you can pick up a set at your local dollar store and not worry about breaking them or taking them with you on your next assignment.

Couponing can save you a lot of money.   The hardest part of couponing appears to be getting started.  Thrifty Nomad gives some great tips on getting started couponing

Make Your Own Coffee

Buying coffee from chain stores adds up.  The prices vary from location to location, but even at $3-$4 for a small coffee, you are spending at least $21 a week if you buy coffee every day of the week.  By making it at home, you will save a lot of money.  Many people stick to single-serve coffee makers because it creates less waste if you know you won’t drink a whole pot, and as a travel nurse, they take up less space as well. 

Groupon for experiences

Groupon is a great place to look for discounts on local experiences.  The discounts may not be huge, but they can and do add up in the long run.  These can include; food, shows, zoos, museums, etc.   Groupon offers discounts in many areas, and you can search easily.    What is nice about Groupon is that not only do they offer discounts, but they also have reviews of everything listed.  Since you may not be familiar with your new location having these reviews is very helpful. 

Look for free local things to do

It is straightforward to find things to do in your new location because of the internet and social media.  You can search Facebook for free events.  If you like the outdoors, the local Parks and Recreation website or the Facebook page might be a good place to look for free events.  Asking around at your new assignment is a good way to find free local things to do as well.

BUDGET

It seems obvious to use a budget, but the first step to sticking to a budget is having a budget. Put as much into your savings as you can.   This is important for many reasons. It will ensure that you will have what you need when you move on to your next assignment. Also, if you are out of work for any period of time, you will have money to live off of.  Having savings on hand is just a smart move all around. 

These are just a few tips on how to budget and save money while on assignment.  There are other ways to save money that you will find along the way.  These are just a few suggestions to help you get started. 

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Great Tips For Reducing Housing Costs on Your Next Assignment

Hey Gypsies – we all know that several different factors can make a huge difference in a travel nursing assignment’s success.  One of the major ones is how you approach housing and housing options.  Travel Nurse Housing Costs can be a major financial factor. Most agencies will provide you with a few housing options, and you will need to figure out what’s best for your and your unique situation.  Cost is always a factor in the travel nursing housing equation, so we’ve pulled together these 4 tips for reducing housing costs on your next travel nursing assignment.

Reducing your housing costs

Cook your meals at home.

It seems like a small choice to make, but this can have a huge impact over the course of your assignment. Eating out is both expensive and unhealthy in comparison to preparing your meals at home. When dining out, the average meal costs $12.75 in the U.S. That’s more than $1,000 a month!

Cooking food in your own kitchen can make you feel more at home while you’re living in a new place. When you’re choosing housing for your next assignment, make sure it comes with a full-sized kitchen, or at least a kitchenette, with the necessary kitchenware to be your own chef.

Especially with rapid response and crisis assignments, sometimes you need to find housing fast. But travel nurses always need to be aware of sketchy rental situations as, unfortunately, there are some housing scams out there.  Stay diligent in vetting every agreement before you sign a lease.
Some common red flags to watch out for include:

  • Any price that seems too good to be true.
  • A property manager who communicates with you only via email.
  • A landlord who doesn’t ask for any background info.
  • A landlord or property manager who says they’re in another country and wants money wired to them.

The easiest way to avoid these scams is to rely on a trusted temporary housing provider or your agency to find and secure your housing. Work with housing experts who have access to an inventory of trusted, vetted properties. You won’t have to stress or do any of the work to find quality housing that you can trust.

Choose the housing stipend

Unless you’re completely new to travel nursing, you may want to consider taking the housing stipend over agency-provided housing strongly. Agencies may choose pricier accommodations for nurses to uphold a quality reputation. But with the flexibility of a housing stipend, you can choose your price point and pocket the difference. This also allows you to set the duration of your stay. Many agencies will match your move-in and move-out dates to the dates of your assignment. With a stipend, you can move-in early or extend your stay if you want to stay longer.

Beyond savings, picking your own housing lets you select which part of town you want to experience and which housing amenities matter most to your lifestyle. You may be able to lower your travel nurse Housing Costs by cutting out conveniences you don’t care about.

Save yourself from the hassle of coordinating a U-Haul rental and moving your needed belongings to each new city. The average travel nurse assignment is 13 weeks, but it can be as short as 4 or 5 weeks. The easiest solution is to rent furnishings and housewares — or find housing with these included.

The price of renting might initially dissuade you, but the potential long-term savings pay off. This option allows you to avoid the risk of damaging any of your valuable furniture or personal possessions. You won’t have to spend time and effort on renting a van and scheduling movers. You also don’t have to worry about your existing items fitting into every space you rent. Every apartment or house you rent has its own available space and room dimensions. Leave that coordination to the professionals and cut your travel nurse housing costs.

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Tips for Flying with Pets

Traveling to a new city is common for a travel nurse, but traveling with a pet is nerve-racking. Pets can respond differently when flying, and it can be horrifying for them. To make traveling easier with your pets, here are some tips for flying with pets.

1.) Book as Early As You Can
Most airlines can only take so many pets per flight, so you should book your tickets as soon as you know you are moving. You should also check before you book your ticket to make sure that the airline has a ‘pet seat’ available. You should try to book with the agent who confirmed the ‘pet seat’ so you are sure that you are both on the same flight.

2.) Buy the Right Carrier
Before planning your trip, you need to buy the right carrier. Your pet is going to be in it for a few hours, so you should think about what would be comfortable for them for that time.

3.) Direct Flight
If you can, book a direct flight with no stops. This will mean that your pet is not waiting hours in its carrier waiting for the flight to take off.

As always, do your own research. You know your pet best. They may need more than what we mentioned in this article. When traveling with a pet, there are many other considerations from housing options, care, and expenses. Don’t take traveling with a pet lightly. Do a little pre-planning and research, and your furry friend can travel with you, enriching both your lives.

Being a travel nurse means that you will be traveling a lot, so you may need to take your pets. Planning is the number one thing that you need to do when you travel with your pets. We hope you found these tips for flying with pets helpful. Do you have tips on flying or traveling with your pet? Please post your suggestions in the comments below.

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Mental Health Resources for Travel Nurses

It’s only been a little over three months since COVID-19 started its sweep of the United States of America and just two weeks of protesting for racial justice. And while coping mentally and emotionally with the combination of current events is difficult for most, there’s a palpable, tangible layer of trauma added for nurses. Nurses expose themselves to trauma daily that often hides behind dark humor and a packed schedule of adventure.

This is different.

In just a few short months, nurses and frontline workers shouldered the burden of caring for an unknown. Bringing on an onslaught of fear, stress, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This stress can be particularly isolating for travel nurses who answered the call that took them away from their support systems.

Mental Health Resources for Travel Nurses

Whether it’s a fear of infecting loved ones with the coronavirus or the trauma of racial injustice, it’s clear a crucial part of nursing the country back to health lies in promoting mental health resources. Below we’ll share options for travel nurses. While availability may vary, we believe it’s essential to find an option that works for you.

1. Support Groups and Webinars

Storytelling and sharing can generate empathy. For nurses, talking about the hard stuff to non-nurses can sometimes turn into comforting listeners rather than releasing trauma. Many nurses find comfort in sharing with people who understand the emotional toll your job can expose you to daily.

  • The Compassion Caravan: The American Holistic Nurses Association started this project as 2020 is their 40th anniversary and Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. Their website states this is a “national project led by holistic nurses for all of the nursing to offer compassion through heart-centered presence, holistic communication, networking and focused experiences in self-reflection and healing.” They will hold virtual workshops and listening circles through October 2020. Learn more here and scroll down to see event dates.
  • Frontline Nurses WikiWisdom: This collaboration between John Hopkins School of Nursing and the American Journal of Nursing provides a space where nurses fighting the Covid-19 pandemic can share their experiences. It allows sharing your knowledge, experience, and challenges about working on a pandemic front line. And they’re committed to keeping this space available 24/7 until this pandemic exits. Learn more and register here.

2. Mental Health Apps for On-The-Go Therapy

Picture this, you’ve finished a long shift and feel drawn to talk to a mental health professional, but you’re in a city you don’t know. So, you’ll search for a therapist and potentially wear another mask to be in a physical office. Thankfully, it’s 2020, and we can do almost everything from our phones.

  • Talkspace: From a dedicated COVID-19 Instagram channel to therapist-led Facebook groups, the industry-leading app has an option for just about everyone. More than that, they have a special offer for nurses and frontline workers. Learn more here.
  • Headspace: This mindfulness app promotes tools and meditations to relieve stress and help you feel more resilient. And now, they’re offering free services to those affected by unemployment. Learn more here.
  • Youper: This AI platform uses anonymous data to discover trends and short conversations to engage users in healthier moods. It incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and meditation. Learn more here.

3. Resources From Your Agency

Many travel nurse agencies have expanded their benefits programs to fit better with nurses’ needs — including mental health and emotional well-being resources. Whether you’re currently on assignment or considering a new assignment, now is a great time to ask your recruiter what programs are available to you. While you may also see additional programs, like webinars and meet-ups surrounding nursing’s clinical aspects during a pandemic, look at what your agency offers regardless of a crisis. Below are a few offerings your agency may provide.

  • Employee Assistance Programs: EAPs provide a range of different services and/or resources to address personal issues that may interfere with an employee’s well-being. These programs offer assessment and resources that may help employees with emotional issues, interpersonal relationships, legal problems, and financial difficulties. Some top agencies are adding EAPs as a benefit so their nurses can show up for their patients. Oh, and they’re typically at no additional cost.
  • Chaplain Programs: It’s easier for staff nurses to feel comfortable with their hospital Chaplain. Many travel nurses might not even meet the Chaplain at their facility before moving to a new assignment. That’s why select agencies have their own non-denominational Chaplain. A Chaplain primarily communicates over the phone with travelers, but having someone you can quickly contact in times of spiritual or emotional support can be a relief.
  • Benefits Specialists: Does your insurance cover mental health counseling? How do you find out? A great travel nurse agency should have someone who can speak with you to explain your benefits and how they work with your current situation. Your benefits specialist can answer your insurance questions, guide you by selecting the right coverage for you, and send you important info regarding your mental health options.

While it’s easy to say that 2020 has proven tumultuous thus far, there will be a time when we’re on the other side. To prepare for what’s next, it’s paramount for you to prioritize investing in your emotional well-being as a travel nurse. Because elective surgeries will return, assignments will open, and bucket-list adventures will be back on.

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Why It’s Important for Travel Nurses to Take Vacations

While travel nursing has the perks of competitive pay, getting to visit new cities, and adventure, you’re still working. Each assignment you take offers new adventures, but it’s still important to take a work-free vacation as a travel nurse and enjoy yourself without worrying about your next shift. Taking even a short break in between assignments is a great way to arrive at your next assignment refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

Moving Can Be Stressful

Every seasoned travel nurse learns how to be a pro at moving every few months. However, moving into a new apartment, getting used to a new city, getting accustomed to new job duties, and getting to know new coworkers and friends can take a toll on even the most extroverted traveler. Taking a work-free vacation once a year or more is a fantastic way to de-stress and enjoy leisure time before your next assignment.

Vacations Help you Recharge

On assignment, you usually have a daily routine, and it’s easy to lose perspective and forget about life outside your next shift. On vacation, you have time to revisit your goals, explore new surroundings, and abandon your regular schedule to indulge in whatever you enjoy but don’t have enough time for at work. Taking regular vacations also helps prevent burnout in your career.

It’s Good for You

All nurses know the importance of mental and physical health, and practicing self-care is crucial. Nursing is a hard occupation. You’re on your feet most of the day and responsible for taking care of your patients. Stress is a major cause of heart disease and high blood pressure, and studies even show that those who vacation reduce their risk of heart disease and heart attack!

Vacations Make You a Happier Person

Research shows that chronic stress levels release hormones that can lead to depression and anxiety. Taking a stress-free vacation contributes to your mental health and happiness, and the effects will last longer than your vacation.

Vacations Can Improve your Relationships

While it can be relaxing to vacation alone, taking vacations with family, close friends or your significant other can make your relationship stronger. Exploring new areas, enjoying stress-free leisure time without worry about work, and having new adventures together strengthens the bond with the people you care about most.

Taking Vacations Make you Better at your Job

Taking vacations makes you happier, and, logically, happy people perform better at work. In fact, one study showed that for each 10 additional vacation hours an employee took per year, their performance review was 8% higher.

The benefits to vacationing are clear – consider it a self-care necessity rather than an indulgence! It’s easy to say you will go on a vacation and never get around to it. You only live once, so what are you waiting for?

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Items to Collect That Don’t Take Up Space

As travel nurses, you are going to new locations every 13 weeks. Sometimes even sooner.  While taking pictures and making memories are great, sometimes you want something to remember each place.  The key to these collectibles is to keep them small because you are traveling and only have so much space.  Here are some great items to collect from each location that doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Items to collect that don’t take up space

Postcards

Postcards are the first item on our list, they are easy to find in most locations, and they are easy to store. Postcards are great because you can write on them, for example, what was your favorite thing about that assignment or city.  They are also great because they take up so little space; you could buy a photo album and place them in it or store them in a box.

Magnets

Magnets make great collectibles because they don’t take up much room except on the refrigerator!  They are usually easy to find if you visit truck stops or gas stations along highways

Key chains

Again, key chains make great collectibles because they are often small.  While you may not use them for day-to-day use, you can keep them hung on key hooks or just put them away to look at and reminisce on your travels.

Shot Glasses

Shot glasses are great because they are small and don’t take up much room.  Because of this, they can be displayed out as décor pieces.  They are often not very costly, either.

Coffee Mugs

Coffee mugs can be tricky because they can take up some room. However, if you always keep a few with you and rotate the ones you take with you on an assignment, you won’t have to worry about that.  Starbucks even has mugs with each state on them and pictures of landmarks and such from each state.  If there is a state park or visitor center near you, they often carry these as well.

Pins

Pins are great because you can put them on a bag, hat, or really anything that you want to.  You could also take the backs off and place them on a corkboard as a display piece.  The options you get with pins are almost endless.  Pins are a fun thing to collect!

Shirts/ Hooded Sweatshirts

Shirts and sweatshirts are great because not only are they collectibles, but you can wear them.  Again, you can rotate the ones you bring with you on assignment.  They are often found at gas stations along highways.

Key chains

Again, key chains make great collectibles because they are often small.  While you may not use them for day-to-day use, you can keep them hung on key hooks or just put them away to look at and reminisce on your travels.

Charms for bracelets

Another great option is a charm for a bracelet.  While it may eventually fill up, you could get another bracelet.  Bracelets and jewelry take up very little space.  Pandora is just one option for charms and charm bracelets.  This option also lets you be creative because you can pick a charm that reminds you of something you love about a city or state you have had an assignment in.

Remembering your adventures is an important aspect of travel nursing.  These are just a few things that travel nurses have collected along their travels.  There are many more, but these options are easy to take with you on the road and really don’t take up a lot of space.  Some of these things are probably no-brainers, but some you probably never even thought about.

What travel nurse items do you collect? Post in the comments!

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Tips to Make Your Travel Nurse Housing More “Homey”

You have found yourself a new travel nurse assignment and you just arrived at your new “home”!  Yay!  Now to try and make it feel a little cozier and more comfortable since it’s where you will be coming “home” to after every shift.

Making your new travel nurse temporary housing feel welcoming is an essential part of your health and happiness while on assignment. Below are a couple of examples of easy and inexpensive tips to help guide you through decorating temporary housing (without breaking the bank!) and making it feel more like home.

Plants:

Flowers are an attractive and fun addition to your temporary home furnishings. Grab low-cost flowers from the grocery or some easy to care for green plants.  Plants and flowers can brighten any room!

Art:

Not many things are more depressing than dull, generic walls. Grab some inexpensive artwork from discount stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s to spruce up the walls a bit. Wall decals are an awesome (and cheap) way to decorate as well, and the best part is that they easily peel off when you’re done with them.

Candles and/or Diffusers:

The scent is known to trigger memories and feelings.  Whether that smell takes you to a place or reminds you of a person, we’ve all had that experience. If you burn certain candles at home, bring that scent to your new temporary home.  Different smells have different effects, and certain oils or incense can help make your home more inviting and calming!

Add some color:

Whether these colors are homelike themes or you want to go with a bright palette you’ve never tried before, color is a lively way of helping you forget that this home is temporary. If your housing is completely furnished, try buying a vibrant throw blanket to dress-up the couch or substituting the comforter with a crazy quilt. Making your home away from home colorful will help it feel much less boring and bland.

Pictures:

Bring some pictures of loved ones, animals, and family with you and put them up in your bedroom, on the refrigerator or buy some frames and hang them on the wall!  Nothing beats the comfort of a reminder you feel when looking at pictures of people you care about or places you have been!

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Tips for Making Friends in Your New City

So you are on your latest adventure as a travel nurse…you landed the ideal job in your dream city, packed up, and settled in. Now what? All of a sudden, you have some time on your hands and no one to share it with, nowhere to really go, and you’re feeling a little lonely. It’s perfectly normal to go through this type of adjustment stage as a travel nurse. And, with the stressful demands of your job, sometimes it’s better to keep a more moderate schedule. However, that doesn’t mean living like a hermit. Socializing is very important for everyone’s mental and emotional health. To keep nursing and life balanced, you should stay connected with people, feel needed and appreciated outside of work, and look for opportunities to meet new people that can add richness to your life.

Here are a few ways you can meet and win new friends while on a travel nurse assignment. They may not all be right for your particular personality, but keep an open mind and be sure to give some a fair try. Here’s hoping you are on the road to popularity very soon.

Be approachable at work

Clearly, you don’t want to limit all your friends to co-workers because that would leave very little variety to your day. However, it is a good place to start. Grab lunch or take a walk with others in your department. You will learn quickly who is a good fit, then perhaps it can grow into some after-work get-togethers.

Maintain

Once you have done a great job meeting new people and have formed a few friendships, you have to keep them going. Any relationship takes some effort. Try to schedule regular “dates” or activities. Go for coffee, have a monthly movie night, commit to trying a new restaurant regularly, or even have a “call date’ to chat. In a world of instant technology and texting, it is still imperative to have live conversations for a relationship to last.

The fitness factor

Join a gym or sign-up for a class. Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and other fitness classes are all popular ways to get exposed to a group of diverse people. These also provide flexible commitment on your part. You set your time at the gym and usually roam away from a conversation if it’s not working for you. Classes have set time limits, so you know there is a little time at the start and finish if you want to pursue a new friend further.

Start a club

Once you have a few people that seem to fit well with your personality, it can be very helpful to engage on a regular basis to help those relationships grow. Host a book club, regular dinner potluck, or even a wine and cheese tasting to bring people together.

Open up

While it’s not advisable to download your entire life story at a first encounter, it is often helpful to share about yourself gradually to grow a relationship. Showing emotion and confiding in someone you trust can help bolster a casual friendship into something more valuable to both parties.

Network

One of the fastest ways to meet new people is through your existing friends. Ask if they know people in your new location. This can be an excellent source of new friendships because your current acquaintances know your personality and might be able to match you with those who share common interests.

Tread lightly on work talk

Most of your life may be currently consumed by your work and it is no doubt a proud part of your day, however, nursing may not be interesting to everyone. Share on a gradual basis and gauge reception from your audience. And, be sure never to share personal details about your patients, or information that can be linked to a specific person. Privacy and discretion should always be your top job despite how rousing the details may be.

High tech options

Social media is just as the name suggests, a place to foster socializing. It is a great place to look for new friends in your newest city.  Look for Meet-Ups, Facebook pages and groups, and apps that are designed to connect people with similar interests. Always use precautions to stay safe. Never give out personal information online, meet only in well light public places, inform someone about any meetings with location details, etc. 

 

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