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As travel nurses, we are responsible for taking care of others and that starts with taking care of ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty glass, right? But, what exactly should we be doing as travel nurses to stay healthy? Is there a formula for doing it right?

Here are some tips for staying healthy as a travel nurse that will always apply.

Eat healthily

Eating healthy food and having balanced nutrition rich in vitamins and minerals is a prerogative for doing any activity successfully, especially a strenuous job that travel nursing is. That is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that medical workers and literally anyone who takes care of themselves and others emphasizes the importance of nutrition.

General advice is to make sure to have a lot of fruits and vegetables included in your every meal, as well as healthy sources of protein such as white meat and nuts.

Being at a new location and travel nursing across the country can be a great opportunity to find out where the local markets are, to take walks while exploring your latest destination and to get immersed in local culture.

Get enough sleep

Doctors recommend that adults get from seven to nine hours of interrupted sleep every night. And that’s for a good reason. We cannot be functional let alone be trusted with someone else’s life if we are sleep deprived. It’s more than a good reason to try to reach this goal, right?

The tricky part can be those travel nurses’ night shifts since the human body is made for sleeping during the night. But fortunately, there are some things that can be done. Try to find a bed that’s comfortable for you and an ergonomic pillow to support your neck. Try some lavender oil or a cup of lemon balm tea before you go to bed.

If you keep failing to get asleep in less than 30 minutes or keep waking a lot of times during the night, it might be a good idea to consult with a doctor. It shouldn’t be a problem to find one, right?

Stay active

We know that medical workers, especially travel nurses, are always on the move. Yet, there is a difference between that kind of physical activity and the one that is aimed to keep us healthy. With the right fitness instructor, we can improve our posture, stretch out those muscles that were clutched during long shifts and held in unnatural positions.

Also, try to go out as much as possible and have a run a quick walk in the park or an outdoor working out area. A lot of these so-called “gyms in the open” became very popular during the pandemic and we’re happy they did.

We especially loved meditation out in the open while social distancing yet getting the best from nature and peoples’ company.

Take care of your mental health

There used to be a stigma involved around mental health but luckily all of that is slowly changing. Stress can affect our body in numerous ways and can weaken our immune system which makes us more prone to getting sick. Mental hygiene is as important as a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet, so don’t wait to feel the consequences and prevent burnout, anxiety, and other disorders.

If you start feeling overwhelmed, sad or irritated for a constant period that is longer than two weeks, seek a doctor’s advice and know that it can be resolved with the right support and personal determination to overcome it.

It is also worth mentioning that in an attempt to prevent burnout more and more employers are granting the right of so-called “mental health” day which is a day off with a goal to take care of one’s mental health. We can definitely see travel nurses benefiting from it.


As travel nurses, we have to interact with a lot of people on a daily basis. We talk to our colleagues, our patients, and people we meet along the way. And it is important that we do so. Exchanging our thoughts and experiences with other people greatly affects our feelings. It makes us feel less lonely and depressed and on the other hand, boosts endorphin and causes happiness. Staying in touch with other people has positive effects on our body and mind, increases the sharpness of the brain, and makes us better at our work.

All of these things are, of course, only guidelines and a draft for leading a healthy life. There are a lot of other factors that can affect our overall health. While, for example, everyone enjoys taking a break every now and then, some people need it more than others. It’s all individual. The same goes for sleeping, choosing the job you love, your earnings, and your personal beliefs. Not even the same food goes down well with everyone.

So, is there a formula for health? Well, yes and no. In conclusion, follow the general guidelines but also rely on yourself and listen to what’s your body telling you. It all starts with you. A travel nurse.

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