Helpful Self-Care Tips for Travel Nurses During the Pandemic
Nurses’ heroic and critical contributions to patient care and the nation have been highlighted in recent months. The incredible people who work in healthcare continue to inspire us.
There’s also no denying that nurses put in a lot of effort. Nurse burnout was a common issue prior to the COVID-19 crisis, but it has now come to the forefront. With the pandemic putting a strain on healthcare professionals everywhere, it’s more important than ever for nurses to develop self-care strategies while spending so much of their time caring for patients.
During these stressful times, we’ve compiled a list of ways for registered nurses to practice self-care and avoid physical and mental burnout. Continue reading to learn how to look after yourself after looking after others!
Ways to Take Care of Yourself During COVID-19
- Go “Off the Grid” for a While
Make a point of disconnecting from social media, email, and television every day. According to research, “technostress” – stress caused by social media information overload – is very real.
Our brains aren’t wired to handle the constant, overstimulating streams of content that modern technology provides. Social media and the internet present challenges to the human mind, causing uncertainty and anxiety, which has a negative impact on both our professional and personal lives.
Unplugging will protect you from this. Plan to put away your phone, close your laptop, and turn off the TV for as little as one hour every day, and stick to it.
- Exercising and Physical Activity
Moderate physical activity and exercise are another ways to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve your mood. Physical activity releases endorphins into the bloodstream and improves circulation, resulting in a general sense of well-being.
But don’t force it; instead, find something you enjoy doing. There are numerous ways to exercise and have fun at the same time. Yoga, spinning classes, tennis, swimming, and even a brisk walk around the neighborhood are all excellent ways to relieve stress.
- Enhance Your Sleeping Habits
Your sleeping habits are inextricably linked to your health. For example, studies have shown that people who suffer from insomnia are 10 times more likely to suffer from clinical depression and 17 times more likely to suffer from clinical anxiety.
Despite the fact that nurses frequently work long hours or night shifts, getting enough sleep will significantly improve your mood.
For most adults, 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is ideal. There are numerous ways to improve your sleep habits if you are having difficulty falling or staying asleep at night. Taking time to unwind, avoiding screens before bedtime, and developing a consistent sleep schedule will all help you get better sleep.
- Take a Deep Breathing Session
Deep breathing techniques have been shown to aid in the restoration of feelings of well-being in the short term.
When people are stressed, they tend to breathe directly from their chest, also known as thoracic breathing, which raises their heart rate and causes muscle tightness. However, breathing from your abdomen, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, can be soothing.
- Make Dietary Decisions Wisely
Eating high-sugar or high-carbohydrate foods may provide a short-term boost, but it will always result in a crash. If you’re exhausted after work, you might begin to believe that you don’t have time for yourself. A mid-shift snack of dried fruit, almonds, or a turkey sandwich will give you the boost you need to finish your shift with plenty of energy.
When you eat is also important. Make sure you don’t skip meals because low blood sugar levels can cause anxiety.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help if You Have Anxiety, Depression, or Mental Illness
Based on Anxiety.org, “anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations.” Our capacity to feel small amounts of anxiety keeps us vigilant and able to react to truly dangerous situations, but anxiety levels can reach unnecessary and uncomfortable levels for some people.
The various types of anxiety, on the other hand, can be managed or treated. As a travel nurse, you must be extremely hardworking, courageous, and compassionate – so don’t let anxiety prevent you from living your best life.
Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States, accounting for nearly 20% of the population. There’s no need to feel isolated if you’re one of them.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. It is also up to you to determine what “assistance” entails. Asking for assistance could simply mean informing a friend, family member, or loved one that you are suffering from anxiety. Chances are, someone you know is dealing with or has dealt with anxiety or mental health issues in the past.
Inquiring for assistance may also imply seeking professional treatment. There are numerous types of therapy available, as well as medication.
- Make Time to Do Something You Enjoy
You don’t have a work-life balance if you’re not enjoying your time off.
Make time in your schedule to do something you enjoy, even if it is difficult. It could be 30 minutes, a few hours, or a whole day – but stay focused and avoid distractions. It’s important to give yourself some “Me Time,” whether it’s a personal hobby, spending time with your family, or reading a great book.
You devote your professional life to heroically caring for those in need. You, too, deserve to be looked after!
Total Nurses Network will help you succeed in your nursing career.
Our mission is to assist nurses and healthcare professionals by providing them with the opportunities and resources they require to thrive.
Begin your journey with Total Nurses Network today!