The value of a traveling nurse in today’s world is nothing less than a big diamond ring or a heavy gold bar. What nurses deal with out on the road, away from family, and in unknown, stressful situations is extremely challenging. Nurses are needed and what they do is oftentimes life-changing. So how do they stay healthy? If you are a traveling nurse, here are some ways to develop mental toughness so you can keep making a difference in the lives of your patients.
Make a Commitment
Sometimes the hardest part of doing a job is choosing to do it. Once you have decided to go on the road, commit to giving it all of your energy while you are out there. Programs that can help you maintain focus, like the 75 hard program, supply the encouragement, information, and support to succeed in a mentally challenging situation. You can draw strength from the mental fortitude that commitment brings by using the reasons you committed as motivation to stay true to your path. It may be useful to write down the reasons on a piece of paper to keep in your car or on a small chalkboard you post in your rental space. Whenever you feel your resolve weakening, use this list as a reminder of what you need to stay strong for.
It is easy to crack under pressure when you don’t have what you need to get the job done right, so make sure you are stocked up on whatever supplies you can bring into your job. You are often limited on what you can carry with you, but be as prepared as the situation allows to give you confidence and peace of mind.
Take Care of the Basics
It is difficult to take great care of others when your basic needs are not being met, so make sure you get sufficient sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise every day. Doing this will build and maintain mental toughness, so you can help those who need you. It takes a lot of self-discipline to do these things but sleeping enough will keep you energized, eating well will give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, and exercise keeps you strong and flexible to prevent injury.
Build a Support Network
One of the most important things you can do for yourself to develop mental toughness is to build a strong support network of people you trust and respect who care about you. These people will be a source of comfort when you are mourning the death of a patient or will lift you up after dealing with an ethical dilemma. Family, friends, and colleagues are also important to stay in touch with and nurture meaningful relationships with so you do not feel isolated on the road or lose connections with the important people in your life due to distance.
Keep a Journal
When you are in a situation that you cannot talk about, writing it down in a journal can be a great solution for maintaining mental health. Being on the road can introduce you to things you are not familiar with and therefore not prepared for, so being able to write about it can help you sort through your feelings and express your thoughts in a safe environment.
The demands on traveling nurses today are extreme because of the pandemic and shortages of nurses all over the country. These demands make it important to develop mental toughness for your health and your career. These techniques will help you succeed so you can continue to help your family, your patients, and yourself.