By Susan Whitman, Executive Vice President at Freedom Healthcare Staffing
There’s no denying that travel nurses work hard. And, with the added pressure of adapting to new environments, family, and social life on top of taking care of all your patients, it’s natural to get a little stressed every now and then. But, in order to be your very best, it’s important to not let the stress take control of your mind and body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can affect everything from sleep, anxiety, and even your mood. When working in the healthcare industry, this is exactly what you don’t want. So, it’s key to find ways to help you de-stress after a long travel assignment or even just a tough night shift.
Here are some things you can do to relax and feel rejuvenated again:
Heat it Up
Nothing is better than a nice hot bath after a hard day’s work, maybe even paired with a tangy glass of wine. But, baths aren’t the only way to decompress with the help of a higher temperature. Take advantage of your surroundings! Is your travel assignment in Colorado or Utah? Is there a spa nearby?
Use this opportunity to research what is around your area and look for local hot springs, saunas, or even mud baths. These offer the perfect chance to fully unwind, relax those aching muscles, and leave feeling like a new person. Not to mention your skin will reap all the benefits.
Get Mineral Rich
Speaking of hot springs, did you know they are rich in essential minerals such as iron, sulfate, chloride, sodium, and calcium? These help with things such as blood flow, digestive functions, and more. If hot springs aren’t your thing, consider adding these minerals by taking dietary supplements. Giving your body the resources it needs to be its very best is a great start to getting rid of and fighting stress. If you are fully nourished, you’ll perform better.
At the very least, ensure you’re taking a daily multivitamin and eating foods that provide you with all your body needs to produce the energy you need to keep up your knockout work ethic. Spinach, sweet potatoes, quinoa and blueberries are all superfoods that can help you get the vitamins and minerals you need.
Take A Vacay
Sometimes you just need to get away. Even those who “get away” as part of their jobs like travel nurses, need an escape every now and then. Use your traveling opportunities to your advantage. Don’t stay cooped up in your apartment all day. Get out and explore the local attractions. Or, better yet, take an actual vacation. Travel somewhere just for fun, or take off a few days to spend some time at a local retreat. When you work as a travel nurse, the world is your oyster. Do everything you can and use it as a way to escape from the stressors of everyday work.
Adding meditation into your daily schedule can truly do wonders, even if it’s only a 10 minute session. During this process the body decreases its production of cortisol and adrenaline, while increasing neurotransmitters associated with calm, including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Besides these obvious health benefits, recent studies have shown that regular meditators experience more happiness, less anxiety, and greater feelings of purpose.
After a long shift, exercising is probably the last thing you want to do. But, it’s a great way to get your mind clear and decompress. Whether a nice run or just a quick walk around the facility you work, moving around helps send energy throughout the body while also increasing blood flow to the brain. Like anything, this can differ person to person. But, when stress has a hold of you, it’s important to try a variety of things so you can relax and perform at your very best.
As a travel nurse, stress doesn’t have to run your life. It’s important not to allow it to affect your mood, and energy; especially for the sake of your patients. Try these 5 ways to see what works best for you! Always remember, as a nurse you do a lot for the people around you so take the time out of your busy schedule to do something for yourself, too.
Susan is the Senior Vice President & CFO of Freedom Healthcare Staffing, a staffing agency for traveling nurses across the U.S. based in Aurora, Colorado. Susan has over 20 years of experience in the hospital & staffing industries beginning in 2001 as the Vice President of Fastaff Travel Nursing. The Freedom Healthcare team and Susan take pride in helping their travelers find the healthcare jobs of their dreams, providing support, outstanding benefits, and unbeatable compensation. Learn more about Freedom Healthcare: http://www.freedomhcs.com/