Travel Nursing Tips to Live a Healthy Lifestyle During a Job
One of the components of being a travel nurse that people find so attractive about the career path is the regular change up of their geographic location and work environment. Traveling across the country while earning a paycheck seems like a dream come true for clinicians with wanderlust. While it’s exciting to learn a new city, find new restaurants, meet new coworkers, and explore the cultural and outdoor activities, staying healthy can be challenging over time.
All the positive factors about the life of a travel nurse aside, it can still be a struggle to maintain your health: both physical and mental. If you self-evaluate and find your excitement for the job flagging and maybe even your energy levels dropping, here’s a list of healthy travel tips for you to take into consideration.
Research the cultural experiences that are available in the city. Even smaller cities typically have museums or exhibitions available to the public. Make an active attempt to discover what is available instead of randomly stumbling across an event or place without planning. For some people, the intention is helpful mentally as it lends a feeling of control over your circumstances.
Attend community festivals and or fairs, even if they don’t seem to be a topic that particularly interests you. Large celebratory gatherings are positive for us considering that humans, in general, are social creatures. Social opportunities outside of work are healthy!
Making time for prayer or meditation to become part of your daily routine can help with anxiety. If you’re a religious person, find a nearby church and participate in the familiar routine of worship. If you’re not religiously inclined, meditation can be a nourishing way to calm or relax your mind. There are several guided meditation smartphone applications available, or perhaps your destination city has a meditation group you could join temporarily.
Counseling or therapy may be of benefit for you as well. You may be working your dream career, nevertheless that doesn’t mean everything is perfect. Relationship challenges and emotional challenges can still be present, and while previously a traveling nurse might struggle to find the time to commit to a therapist in one city, today’s technology makes virtual counseling a valid option.
Protect your sleep time! A solid night’s sleep is also important for your physical health, moreover our minds desperately need the peace of sleep to recharge as well. Exploring your new, albeit temporary, surroundings can give rise to the temptation of sacrificing sleep in favor of other activities. Don’t make the mistake of becoming sleep deprived, protect those scheduled hours of sleep.
Outdoor activities can be found no matter your geographic location. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be especially gung-ho about nature, our bodies need to be outside. Although the activities available will vary greatly based on your surroundings, you can always take a walk in the morning or evening before you start or finish your day. Check Facebook or other online platforms for fitness groups in the community. You may be able to find yoga, calisthenics, or Zumba classes in the park. Perhaps there’s a local hiking, or mountain biking group.
Gym memberships might be tricky since they typically require long term contracts, yet you can still inquire about day or week passes. Some towns and/or cities will have community fitness centers (YMCA’s) that may offer lower cost fitness passes than typical gyms. You can always check with your coworkers to see if they have a guest pass option.
Of course, virtual workouts are an option as well. With your travel nurse work hours, it may be difficult to commit to workout groups or classes. Virtual workout videos from YouTube or smartphone applications allow you the flexibility to do it whenever you want.
Carry a water bottle with you, wherever you go. Hydration is important and yet we often forget to drink enough water when we’re busy or we buy a sugary soda for the caffeine hit when we’re thirsty instead. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet drink, still we all know that water is best for hydrating our bodies.
Make an effort to eat healthy. It’s a sure bet that you’re going to want to check out the local restaurant scene, that’s part of the experience! However, you’ll be in one place for eight to 13 weeks, and that leaves plenty of time for you to settle into a routine. Focus on healthy snacks that will help your energy levels while you’re at work such as nuts, veggies, and fruits. Consider meal planning for the days you work so that when you arrive home exhausted after a shift you don’t just hit the closest fast food stop since you don’t want to think about cooking. Also, when obliging your restaurant curiosity, look for healthy options on their menus. Eating healthy doesn’t mean cooking is the only option. Plenty of restaurants make the effort to offer healthier options that aren’t only salads. Don’t be too down on salads though either. Several large grocery store brands nationwide offer residents a bountiful and colorful salad bar where you pay by the weight. As an aside, pro tip for these salad bars: buy your own bottle of salad dressing separate.
What do you think? Don’t be overwhelmed by the list, consider instead that there isn’t just one way to be healthy. We are all unique individuals and what works for some will be different than what works for others. Pick and choose from the lists a few that pique your interest, and then give them a try. Much of this has to do with learning about what works for you as an individual, and frequently that requires trial and error. Don’t feel discouraged!