Managing Stress When You’re A Traveling Nurse

By Craig Miller


Traveling for work is something that many people must undertake, no matter what industry space they occupy. Now, more than ever, we’re experiencing longer daily commutes to and from work, as well as planning for short and long-haul flights to travel for our jobs. If you’re a healthcare worker, depending on your job, you could ask to go and work in developing countries or provide help and support in another city that might involve flying and living away from your loved ones.

Now, more than ever, we have long daily commutes to and from work and planning for short and long-haul flights to travel for our professions. For example, healthcare workers may be required to go and work in developing countries. In addition, with the increasing number of nurse resignations due to the Covid-19 mandates, nurses travel to different states to fill vacancies.

Even with the assistance of an agency, working in healthcare may be stressful and demanding daily. Even though you’re traveling for business, it might feel like an added burden to worry about, especially if there are numerous daily pressures and challenges. We’ve compiled some tips to cope with stress when traveling for work, including some helpful hints to assist you in your Traveling Nurse career. 

How to Take Care of Your Mental Well-Being While Traveling for Work

Traveling may be more complicated than it appears initially, especially when you must consider doing your work to the greatest of your ability.

Take control of your stress levels by paying attention to them and addressing the problems you can’t avoid. For example, you can’t control extreme weather, people, or unplanned delays. Take a breath, listen to music, or hand out tissue with a few drops of lavender essential oil on it to breathe in.

When you are in an unfamiliar place, it can help to take a step back. However, it would be best if you took some time to breathe before moving on. Make sure you schedule a time to talk to and catch up with your loved ones, as this might help you feel more grounded and less stressed. Even if it’s only a few brief text messages or a phone call home, it may make a massive difference for them and you.

Mind And Body

You’re going to be away from home and family on the other side of the globe. So traveling nurses must stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Exercise helps with that!

Experts say that exercise is essential for staying healthy while traveling because it releases endorphins that relieve stress and boost moods. It also offers relief from jet lag by keeping you active during your travels, so you sleep better when you finally get back home. With all these benefits, it’s essential to take care of your mind and body when dealing with the stress of being a traveling nurse.

Routine Is Key

As humans, we all crave some structure or routine to varying degrees. So think about putting some regular activities at specific points during the week to give you something to look forward to and aim for while you deal with the stress that comes with being a Traveling Nurse. 

For instance, look at starting an exercise routine that will give you some de-stressing time and the chance to unwind, or plan a daily walk to get you some fresh air. Even think about grabbing a coffee or a snack at the same café every few days. If you’re in an unfamiliar place, it can help you get to know where you’re living and help you adapt much quicker.

Fight Your Hunger

You may be delayed or trapped in a meeting, or you might miss out on an opportunity to adjust your schedule because of it. As a result, you can end up extremely hungry and with no acceptable meal options that appeal to you or that you can stomach eating.

Make a small carrying case for your hand luggage that includes items you know you can eat. Consider energy bars packed with protein, nutritious dried fruits, and nuts, or other such snacks. Always keep these supplies on hand because they’re well-packaged and won’t melt, crumble, or expire quickly. Knowing you have a favorite food to comfort yourself

Duplicates Are Your Friend

Consider the things you’ll need daily and leave one in your travel bag and one at home if you know you’ll be traveling a lot. This saves time by not requiring you to pack and re-pack constantly, allowing you always to have the actual necessities.

Consider toiletries, additional sets of clothes you like and need for work, and second phones and laptop chargers. An extra phone and laptop charger are also worth investing in buying several to ensure you always have one.

Back To Basics: Done Right

Every few months, take a look at what you pack for your trips. If you have too many things, throw some of them away.

Anything that isn’t essential to your trip should be discarded. Duplicates of the most critical gear are a good idea, but you may wind up with a lot of backup clothing, batteries, and other technical gadgets you’re sure you’ll need but then never use.

Remember that when packing for your trip, you’ll be dragging, lifting, and hauling those things across various accommodations booked for your trip while convincing yourself that you’ll utilize them but that they won’t help you with your work or journey.

In most cases, anything from clothes to chargers is accessible almost everywhere on the planet, and it’s conceivable that you can acquire emergency backups for just about everything, if not everywhere.

Expect the Unexpected

Having some emergency backup is critical, yet it’s frequently neglected. There are a variety of sorts of calamities that can happen, not just those related to traveling. That is why having a strategy in place for reacting to an unforeseen event is crucial.

If you know what steps to take if there’s an emergency on the trip, you’ll be more prepared to deal with the situation. For example, if your purse or wallet is stolen or you lost your luggage on the trip, does your company have an international breakdown policy?

You should also ensure that you have access to funds for extra expenses during the trip. So put aside a little bit of money each paycheck into an account just for those unforeseen events.

Don’t Burn Bridges

It’s true that giving back is always returned in kind, whether it’s assisting a fellow passenger, having a conversation with someone on the bus, or even in a café or bar.

We’ve all had those times when things don’t go our way, and we get angry, frustrated, or just plain unpleasant. However, it’s also easy to smile and say “thank you” or take the time to express gratitude for excellent service as part of your job. Being considerate to others will give you a feeling of accomplishment and reduce stress levels.

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