How To Prioritize Self-Care During Your Nursing Assignment

As you settle into your new travel assignment, practicing self-care will help you transition to your routine and give you the energy you need to take on your new clinical environment and explore your new city! Self-care is also an essential part of fighting burnout and fatigue so read on to learn some tips that will help you thrive on your assignment.  

 

1. Step outside 

Don’t let working long hours affect your mental health. Try to incorporate outdoor breaks while working, even just for a few minutes to get fresh air and reset your mindset.   

There will be shifts that are too busy for breaks and this is when it is crucial for you to incorporate time outside, either before or after your shift, to fight mental fatigue. Take a short walk to decompress from the day or prior to your shift to walk in feeling fresh.  

When finding time to get outside on a day you work becomes challenging, take advantage of your days off and try to spend a more substantial amount of time outside. Explore nature in your new city with a long hike or yoga in a park. This time will help you remove yourself from the stress of your workdays.  

2. Meditate before bed 

Sleep is crucial for your body and mind when working long hours. It might feel easier at times to fall asleep to the TV but set yourself up for a fully restful night’s sleep by meditating instead. There are meditation apps such as Calm that are easy to access and use before bed.  

While you’re at it, set up your room to help improve your sleep. Blackout blinds or an eye mask can help you sleep through the night, or day, without disruptions. White noise is another helpful tool to block out the world and allow your body and brain to rest.  

3. Eat something green  

Our diet has more of an effect on our body and mind than we often acknowledge. One small way to prioritize your self-care is to have one green item a day. Eating a salad at lunch or making a smoothie before your shift is important because you often have no idea what you are walking into. No matter how your shift goes, at least you had one healthy food item that will help you feel good and fuel your body.  

4. Set aside time  

Self-care is easier said than done. It is easy to say that you will do a face mask every night or read before bed, but the things you want to do each day might not happen every day. Find time to set aside for the things that take care of you.  

Scheduling this time and holding yourself to it will help you focus on the most important ways to take care of yourself. You take care of others all day long so take the time out of your day to put your needs first for a bit.  

5. Schedule a friend date  

Time alone is a great way to regroup in between shifts, but sometimes so is a date with a friend. If your new assignment has created distance between you and your friends, actively arrange FaceTime dates to feel connected and share your day with someone you love. This is incredibly helpful if you are on your first-ever travel assignment or in a brand-new city.  

6. Do the thing you have been avoiding  

It’s not what you want to hear, but sometimes doing what you have been avoiding is a form of self-care. So, make the dentist appointment, file your taxes, clean your bathroom, pay that parking ticket, fold your laundry, or whatever it is that you just don’t want to do. Checking the annoying task off your to-do list will feel better than allowing it to burden your thoughts and keep you up at night.  So put on your favorite music and jam out while you fold your laundry and clear that task from your mental running list.  

Time to THRIVE 

We are here to help you thrive while you focus on your patients’ care and take time to explore your assignment city. Utilize these tips to fight burnout and if you ever need to speak to someone, reach out to your GIFTED recruiter for support.  

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