Because being on the road can get tough and also lonely
I get it; one of our prime motivations for taking travel contracts is to make a decent chunk of change.
But the fact is, life as a travel nurse is not easy. It’s a commitment, and sometimes you may feel lonely with the feeling of homesickness. You leave your close ones, family, and friends for several weeks…even months.
And as lucrative and fun as travel assignments may be, the more you take contracts, the more you’ll be away from home. This means homesickness is probably going to impact you at some point. Just know you’re not the only one.
Here’s a list of the six ways to cure homesickness as a travel nurse.
Let Facetime be your friend.
In this modern era of technology, social media plays a significant role in combating homesickness as a travel nurse.
This is where video calls hugely come into play. Keep in touch with your family or kids, message them or go a step further with a video call. Seeing their smiley faces at just the right moments may be just what the doctor ordered.
Want to take it up a notch? Do a group call with additional family members.
Get outside and “bust a bead”
Not everyone likes to exercise; that’s why I like to call it “busting a bead.”
Basically, that means breaking a sweat.
Exercise might not be top of your “to-do” list, but it sure can help with those moments when you’re missing home. Exercise plays a significant role in releasing endorphins, or naturally good chemicals.
The happy hormones reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
Regular exercise will boost your immune system, increase your metabolic rate, and prevent homesickness.
Make a new circle of friends
Chances are you’re not the only travel RN on your unit.
Even greater chances are that other travel nurses might also be missing home.
So don’t isolate yourself! You can easily make some new friends at work and on shift. Start conversations other than about work, get to know their hobbies and interests and break some ice.
This is a vast and broad topic, so be sure to pick what works for you.
Self-care for me means hitting up a yoga class. And guess what? Yoga class is where I’ve met some really cool folks. And beyond that, I made some great friends in the process.
So find what works best for you. Maybe it’s a 60-minute massage. Perhaps it’s getting to the pool on the weekends. Whatever self-care means to you, just know that it could be what you need to overcome the “missing home” blues.
Plan a movie, dine in a five-star restaurant, or adopts some self-care tips to take the mind off homesickness.
Bring some stuff from home
I always have framed photos with me.
I’ll set them up in my new digs at the start of my contract. And regardless of how tough or long that shift was, I know I’ll get to see my family’s smiling faces.
Some home items will make you feel at home and close to your loved ones, even while at work.
Home is different for everyone, so it doesn’t matter what you bring. Bring pictures, books, a pillow, planters, blankets, and anything you want. Sleeping with your favorite pillow is an ideal way to feel relaxed, even if you are thousands of miles away.
Explore something new
You have to admit that immersing yourself in a new environment is exciting.
If you feel homesick as a travel nurse, try to do something new. Make some hangout plans and explore the places in your new city. Maybe it’s around new foods, or it could be some historic place. The more significant point is to get out and do something new.
Trying new things will significantly fade away your homesickness, and you can focus that energy on a new hobby.
The final word
No one said being a travel nurse would be easy, and homesickness is definitely one of the challenges.
But just like anything else in life, there are ways to overcome it. We hope our six remedies have given you some ideas on how to start feeling better. Remember that self-care is vital, as well as staying connected with friends and family via technology.
And don’t forget to explore your new surroundings!
There’s always something new to see and do.
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.