Working as a travel nurse or allied health professional can be quite draining, emotionally and physically—you’re spending long hours on your feet caring for patients in a new place where you might not know anyone! That’s why it’s important to have a good work-life balance, so you can feel refreshed and recharged every single day. No matter if you’re traveling relatively close to home or far away, here are five tips that will get you started on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
1. Take an Assignment That Fits Your Schedule
Looking to work as a travel healthcare clinician on a part-time basis? OK with taking on overtime for the extra pay? One of the best things about working as a travel healthcare clinician is that you get to choose assignments that work best for your own personal schedule.
Before you choose an assignment, take time to think about how much you want to work. Express your desired work schedule to your recruiter, because they will help find a job that meets your needs. Be extremely selective in the jobs you choose to take—you don’t have to go for the very first one that comes your way!
By the time you accept a travel job offer, you’ll have a solid idea of how much you’ll be working and when, which will make it easier for you to plan ahead and do things outside of work that are fulfilling and rewarding.
2. Travel on Your Off Days
As a travel healthcare clinician, you’ll likely be working in a state or city you haven’t spent much time in. This gives you a great opportunity to use some of the days you have off from work to explore!
See the local sights, visit a museum, or take a weekend trip to a nearby city. Using your time off to the fullest will give you the opportunity to get your mind off of work.
3. Find (Or Continue) a Hobby
Of course, you probably can’t always find the time to travel. And, there are always periods of time before and after work where you might find yourself bored, which can lead to over focusing on things that might be going on at work.
That’s why it’s important to fill some of your free time doing the things that bring you joy, which can manifest as a hobby. Love painting or doing arts and crafts? Are you an amateur photographer? Make the time for your favorite activities, and your work-life balance will likely improve.
If you don’t already have a hobby, consider using your newfound time to find one! Think about what you like to do, and make a routine in which you do those things every day, week, or however frequently you’d like.
4. Practice Self Care
While all of the above tips are techniques for “self-care,” it’s important to stay kind to yourself and work on your physical health and hygiene when you can.
Find a way to get in a run, go to the gym and lift some weights, or do yoga in your living space. The point is, move your body and release endorphins—doing so will improve your mood and strengthen your physical and mental health.
Self-care also manifests in other ways, like ordering your favorite takeout, watching a favorite TV show, checking out a new movie at the theater, or anything else that makes you happy.
5. Stay Connected with Family and Friends
One of the best ways to feel connected to your personal life while on a travel assignment is by maintaining contact with your family and friends. Set up times to call them every so often—doing so will help you take your mind off of your work. Your friends and family can also serve as a great sounding board for anything that’s bothering you, which can be a major benefit to your mental health and overall work-life balance.