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Take Care of Yourself, Just as You Do Others

Being a travel nurse has it challenges. You’re constantly taking care of patients, whether it’s emotionally or physically, working long shifts and tireless hours. Once you finally get into the groove of things and used to one location, your contract may be coming to an end and it’s on to the next job. Once you punch out for the day and make your way home, you’re exhausted and just want to rest. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with catching up on much needed sleep, your body will thank you!

But overtime, a traveler might forget something very important… THEMSELVES.

Self-care is crucial and should always be a priority. Mental health is just as important as your physical health. If you’re busy and have forgotten how to even take care of yourself, then here are three reminders of some easy things that you can do to get back on the right track:

1. Exercise
While this ideally isn’t everyone’s favorite form, as a lot of people’s idea of taking care of themselves is relaxing at the beach with a drink in their hand, it is the most effective way! Exercising can be as simple as going for a walk around your neighborhood or going to the gym and knocking out some weights. Any form of exercise is beneficial for you to get those positive endorphins flowing. Take advantage of being in a new area and go explore the beauty around you. If you’re up in the mountains, take on the challenge and go for a hike. Maybe get a little more active at the beach and take a walk. Yes, you can take your drink with you! Exercising can put you in a better mood and relieve some stress that you might have taken home with you.

2. Laughter
Whether you’re heading out to lunch or watching a funny movie, do something that makes you laugh or puts you in a good mood. Give your best friend a call or video chat your family in your hometown. Surrounding yourself with people you care about and can laugh with not only can make you happier, but also boost your immune system by decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells and antibodies. These emotional and physical benefits are important in maintaining a healthy YOU.
Travel nurses need a strong immune system from being exposed to all types of germs and various environments. After all, you don’t want to spend your free time stuck in bed sick. So, don’t forget to have a good laugh every day!

3. Treat Yourself
Okay, now we’re talking! How about a massage? Getting a massage is a proactive way of alleviating aching muscles that you’ve been putting to work on the job. Massages have many benefits including reducing stress, anxiety and lowering blood pressure which can improve your overall sleep and much more. Massages not for you? Maybe do something a little extra to treat yourself. Whatever your idea is of a relaxing day, go for it. Taking the time to unwind gives your mind and body a rest, allowing you to prepare for future days ahead. Allow yourself to enjoy the leisure and freedom of your traveling lifestyle.

All healthcare professionals need to remember to take care of themselves.

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