Being a travel nurse is a fulfilling career. You get the chance to travel and use your expertise to care for people who need it. And yet, being a traveling worker can be exhausting at times. With moving, getting used to a new job, and making new friends, it’s easy to get burned out.
You can take specific steps to avoid being overwhelmed as a travel nurse. Below are ways to prevent work exhaustion before it happens.
1. Take Time Off Between Jobs
If possible, take time off between your temporary jobs. You should take some time off before another one starts because it gives you time to unwind.
Taking care of patients may be fulfilling. Even so, you may find it drains you of your energy. Going from job to job doesn’t help matters. You may not enjoy your job as much because you’re not taking time to recoup.
In-between jobs, you can go back home to visit family. Or, you can take time to visit the sites in your current area before moving to a new place. You won’t regret taking time off before throwing yourself into a new nurse position.
So, make it a priority to take time off in-between jobs. You’ll be glad you took the initiative. Then, when you head to your next destination, you’ll be able to give your employer 100%.
2. Schedule Regular Downtime
Scheduling time when you can just chill is essential, especially when giving a lot of yourself to your job.
To relax, there are many things you can do:
- Take a warm bubble bath.
- Read a good book in a park.
- Watch a fun movie while eating popcorn.
- Take a nap (or two).
- Go on a short walk.
You don’t always have to be the life of the party during your time off. Sometimes, it’s best to do nothing. Take advantage of your temporary apartment or the hotel you’re staying at. You deserve to relax and enjoy!
Giving yourself the chance to revitalize yourself is key. Then, you’ll feel completely refreshed and ready to give it your all when you return to work.
3. Care for Your Mental Health
Your mental health should always come first. If you begin to feel anxious or experience depression, it’s a sign to take a break.
You can’t give patients your all when you’re struggling yourself. If you feel too overwhelmed, get in touch with a medical professional. If you’re already on medication, it may need some tweaking. Or, it may be that you need to go on medication.
Whatever the best steps are, figure out a plan of action. The more your mental health suffers, the harder it will be to live a fulfilling life. So it’s best to get treated for your depression before it becomes too difficult to manage.
4. Keep in Touch With Friends and Family
If your friends and family keep you grounded, stay in touch with them. Being a travel nurse can sometimes make you feel lonely. Even though you’re away from friends, though doesn’t mean you can’t catch up with them.
Make a point to check in with them regularly. Chatting with loved ones is easy thanks to Facetime and other platforms like JusTalk.
You may get busy with your work. Even if that’s the case, schedule time to “hang out” with them. You could even watch a movie together using Teleparty (through Netflix), or a Hulu Watch Party, for example.
5. Be an Effective Communicator
You may start feeling run down due to your employer expecting too much. If they want you to work extra hours and it becomes a regular thing, it may be time to have a chat.
Working long hours every week can wear you down. Eventually, you may get to the point where you feel completely burned out. To prevent this from happening, maintain boundaries. Communicate with your employer so that you can continue to excel at your job. It’s best to let them know right away that your hours are too long before they start to expect it.
If you’re overworked, it’ll be harder for you to love your job and mesh well with your employer.
Living life on the go has perks, but at the same time, it can get exhausting. To curb feeling run down, it’s up to you to prevent burnout. Work hard to find the perfect mix between dedicating yourself to your job and slowing down. You’ll undoubtedly benefit from taking the steps needed to care for yourself.