Staying Healthy on the Road: Wellness Tips for Travel Nurses

As a travel nurse, it can be challenging to stay healthy while away from home. You can maintain a healthy lifestyle even when you don’t know where you’ll be from month to month. These wellness resources provide additional travel guidelines, but follow these travel nurse tips to help you stay in tip-top shape physically, mentally, and emotionally while on assignment.

Prioritize sleep.
Traveling can make sleep difficult. You're out of your regular routine (including being away from your bed). Add to that long shifts and new places, and it’s no wonder many travel nurses are tired. Make sleep your top priority when arriving at a new destination, and you’ll stay healthier overall. Pack the following shut-eye essentials:

  • Sleep aids, such as sleeping masks
  • White noise machines (or use a phone app)
  • Favorite pillows and sheets
  • Essential oils (lavender is ideal for relaxation)
  • Portable fan
Develop a portable exercise routine.
While quick fitness tips for travel nurses can be great in a pinch, having a more extended exercise regime can give you better health outcomes over the long term. Consider running apps to help you mark your distance easily and bookmark your favorite yoga or Pilates YouTube videos. 

Tip: Put exercise on your calendar and treat it like a formal appointment. You probably wouldn't cancel a hair appointment or decide to skip it, right? Treat your physical health in the same way!

Maintain a healthy diet.
It’s tempting to grab a quick meal from a fast food restaurant while acclimating to a new area, but too many quick-service meals will negatively impact your overall well-being.

Instead, draft a list of healthy meals you can put together without much effort with a grocery list and necessary kitchen tools. That way, stopping at the grocery store to get the ingredients upon arrival will be easier. Need some inspiration? We put together a quick list of 5-ingredient recipes that can be made right from your hotel!

Include healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and sliced veggies. Don’t forget to stock up on water to help keep you hydrated.

Find ways to lower your stress.

A new place and job can jack up your anxiety even in the best circumstances. Take time each day to care for yourself mentally and emotionally by meditating, reading, relaxing, and stretching. Also, schedule regular times to connect with loved ones and friends.

Carve out time for leisure.
It’s essential to take frequent breaks from your nursing job. It can lower your stress and prevent burnout. Explore your new surroundings. Find new places to eat, visit local historical sites or museums, or attend local events. Check out the area’s community center for more ways to fill your off time, or better yet—ask your new co-workers for ideas.

As a travel nurse, your life can be chaotic and exhausting but, at the same time, rewarding as you help patients and new co-workers. Make self-care a top priority, along with doing a great job, and you’ll be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance as a travel nurse.

Try a meal kit delivery service.
If you've got a kitchenette, consider purchasing a meal kit service for a few weeks. Choose from a variety of recipes each week, and get a box of temperature-controlled ingredients (and instructions) sent to your door.

For a complete list of meal kit services that offer discounts to nurses and other healthcare providers
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