By Aubrey Schieuer
Burnout is an issue for any profession, but it can hit travel nurses especially hard. When you’re a travel nurse, it can feel like you need to be always on and prepared for any emergency. That can take a huge toll on your personal and professional life. If you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically depleted, those are signs that burnout is in your life. Here are some healthy ways to address burnout.
Exercise has been proven time and time again to boost your mood and relieve stress. Going for a jog, playing tennis, or practicing yoga are excellent ways to get your body moving. If you can find a way to exercise outside, even better! Spending time in nature helps relieve stress and anxiety.
Even when you’re in a new city that you love to explore, having downtime is critical. Whatever rest looks like for you, a self-care routine goes a long way towards combatting burnout. That could be long, luxurious baths, reading a cozy book, playing video games, or watching a movie. Or it could be something else entirely – whatever works for you is great. It’s okay to take a break from your travel bucket list and make time for you to recharge.
Our bodies require at least 6 hours of sleep just to function properly. As a nurse, you’ve seen what a lack of sleep does to patients. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, avoid any screens – your phone, your TV, and anything else – 30 minutes before you want to hit the hay. Limit how much caffeine and alcohol you drink in the hours before bedtime.
Your family and friends back home may not be with you physically, but there are so many ways to keep in touch! A video chat once a week with the people you love goes a long way towards feeling connected and cared for. Also, your fellow nurses in your unit can be a great source of encouragement and advice. Ask some of your nurses out for coffee, and see how they deal with the demands of your particular floor. Maybe they’ll have a strategy you haven’t thought of, or maybe it’ll just feel great to talk to someone who gets it.
How do you handle burnout? Are there any strategies we missed? Let us know in the comments below!