The nomadic nursing life has, without a doubt, lots of fun perks, side effects, and benefits.
In fact, so many that we might often forget that we still need to take care of #1.
The truth is that many of us already have a healthy lifestyle, so keeping ourselves in tip-top shape is simply a continuation of our habits. But if you have not implemented healthy habits because you don’t have enough time, travel nursing is the ideal opportunity.
Pro tips on staying mentally sharp
A travel nurse can become easily overwhelmed if we really think about it.
From accepting a travel assignment, to actually packing and then physically moving to a whole new city is potentially stressful. So avoiding or minimizing these stress factors is the name of the game. So as a seasoned travel RN myself, my best nuggets of wisdom are to take the time to sit down and map it all out. In other words, PLAN!
A few things you should really think about are:
- Research: it sounds silly, but actually, Google a bit about where you’re headed and pre-plan some excursions for your days off. It’ll give you something to look forward to.
- Be friendly: you’re likely just a wee bit extroverted, or you wouldn’t be traveling, so be open to making new friends. Not only at your orientation but especially as you integrate into your new unit or floor. Social media is a super-easy way to connect t.
- Work: like as in pick up extra shifts or do some OT. For some travelers, they’re just there to work, and additional shifts keep your mind focused on the job versus pondering stressful “what ifs.”
- Be flexible: You’re the traveler, and you may be the first to float. So be open-minded and stay flexible. Look on the bright side…you may get to make a whole new set of friends on different units.
- Exercise: don’t want to work extra? Then your days off are the perfect opportunity to start an exercise program, do some CrossFit, take on pilates. You get the hint. Start something new that benefits your body, mind, and soul. But especially something that takes your mind off work.
Pro tips on staying physically fit
A good sweat is a great cure more many of life’s stresses.
Even if it’s just walking the stairs at lunch or break. Get the body moving, blood flowing, and maybe even a little heart rate bump. Exercise is a fabulous way to alleviate stress.
You may already have a regular fitness regimen and if that’s the case, keep the streak going.
Look into local spin studios. Seek out that 24-hour fitness center, look into social media groups and scope what folks are doing. The more significant point here is to continue your fitness regime. Don’t let travel nursing be an excuse to NOT work out.
Plus, getting involved in groups while on the road is also a good way to meet people!
We like to get outside and hike on my current travel assignment here in New Mexico. There are some gorgeous trails here in the mountains, and the weather is perfect. Consider your location and what surrounds you as well.
Make it a point to find something you like to do, then do it!
Pro tips on staying fiscally sound
This is also known as “keeping your wallet happy.”
But before I go on, please know that the following is not financial advice, simply what’s worked for me and that I’m sharing in this article.
Keeping your stress in check ad managing your health and fitness is of supreme importance. But we cannot forget about our financial health as well. As a travel nurse, you will likely make some pretty decent money, so part of the puzzle is not only making it but keeping it.
Do you want to know one of the biggest money pits while experiencing the nomadic life? Food. Seriously. Not only does food impact your mood and stress, but it literally impacts your health and fitness. And beyond that, it has the potential to make a big dent in your pocketbook.
Think about it. You’re on the road, and we often first head for fast food, take out, or to the cafeteria, and none of these options may be the best.
So what do we do as travel nurses?
It’s funny you should ask because here’s what I’ve found to work for me and I hope they’ll work for you as well.
- Keep snacks. A 12-hour shift can seem might long, especially when you’re running and gunning on the unit or floor. So my trick is to keep snacks like healthy energy bars, cold brew coffee (sugar-free, of course), or other quick munchies that are nutritious and healthy. Not only will this impact your energy levels but also your wallet. Choose wisely!
- Limit your eating-out time. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll only grab take-out once or twice a week. But the trick isn’t making the promise; it’s keeping it. Stick to your guns!
- Partying with the crew. If you’re going to head out with your peeps, be sure to eat something first. Not only so that you don’t go hungry, but also to keep you from spending too much on food later that night.
- Follow a diet that works for you. Some say Paleo, others are Vegan. A few nurses are Keto, and yet others are Intermittent Fasting. The point is to find what works for you and stick to it, even when you’re living the travel nurse life. For me, I’m finding it simple to stay Keto, and it works.
The biggest takeaway I’ve discovered is that it’s essential to stay on top of your health and fitness while you’re traveling. If you can do this, you’ll be better able to keep up with all the demands of travel nursing – both mentally and physically. It will also help ensure that you don’t feel like a giant pile of goo when your assignment ends!
The following are some quick tips for keeping healthy on the road: make sure to get enough sleep; exercise regularly (even if just by taking the stairwell at work); pack snacks so that hunger doesn’t drive us towards unhealthy or expensive food choices; limit eating out or take-out sessions; follow a diet plan that works for YOU.
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.