3 Ways to De-Stress from a Stressful Travel Nurse Shift

Tips to destress from travel nursing shift
Cross Country Nurses
July 02, 2019 04:41 AM (GMT-04:00)
CCN Travel Tips

Three Ways To De-Stress Quickly After A Stressful Travel Nurse Shift

Most people think travel nurses are always living their best lives, traveling to exciting destinations and never being in one place long enough to be affected by office politics. But travel nurses know this simply isn’t the case. Travel nurse assignments may have different stressors, but they can be just as challenging, especially when you have a tough day. Whether it’s from adapting to a new and different environment, being away from friends and family, or an unusually difficult patient situation, there will be days you’ll wish you hadn’t gotten out of bed. And as a nurse, you’re used to making other people feel better, but when it comes to yourself, not so much. This is why it’s important to arm yourself with a few stand-by destressing options, just in case. Here are a few you might want to consider trying.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

When it comes to techniques for destressing, many people throw out the word “yoga” as sort of an end-all be-all solution. And while it’s true that yoga has comprehensive benefits for both your mind and body in both stressful times and everyday life, changing clothes and heading to a yoga studio may be the last thing you feel like doing after a tough shift. There is a yoga shortcut for times like this, and it involves a simple breathing exercise that can lower your blood pressure and clear your mind in just a few minutes. It’s a yoga breathing technique called alternate nostril breathing. There are a number of videos online that will show you exactly how to do it properly, but here are the basic steps: Make sure you are sitting up tall, preferably in a quiet space, and cross your legs if possible. Rest your left hand, palm up, on your left knee. Place the index and middle fingers of your right hand on your forehead and use your ring finger and thumb to open and close your nostrils one at a time. Use your thumb to close off the right nostril and empty all the air in your lungs out the left. Inhale deeply, and then use your ring finger to close the left nostril, and slowly exhale through the right. Repeat this patter for at least three rounds on each side, or even longer if possible.

Reflexology Foot Massage

Travel nurses already suffer from tired, achy feet from standing on them all day, so a good foot massage should be a no-brainer whenever you can squeeze one in and is particularly beneficial after a stressful travel nurse shift. A foot massage can instantly help lower your blood pressure, improve circulation and help you sleep better, just for starters. Regular foot massage and reflexology techniques have been shown to do much more, from improving nerve sensitivity and liver function, to treating migraines, depression and even arthritis. Most neighborhood spas and massage parlors offer some type of foot massage, and a number of cities are even seeing business that specialize in just foot massages pop up because of their benefits and extreme popularity.

Epsom Salt Bath

One of the easiest ways for travel nurses to de-stress after a rough day on assignment is with an Epsom salt bath. Many of the “bath bombs” that have been growing in popularity in recent years are Epsom-salt-based, and for good reason. Epsom salt, even if you just pour it into the tub from a box you got at the corner drug store, has a number of immediate calming and beneficial effects on your body and mind. The magnesium in Epsom salt helps rid the body of toxins that can cause inflammation, which can help reduce swelling, stiffness and pain. You should begin to feel relaxed almost immediately after you slip into an Epsom salt bath, and the experience can be enhanced with some scented candles and soft music. In addition to soothing your muscles and giving you an overall feeling of deep mind and body relaxation, Epsom salt baths have been used to treat arthritis, insomnia, Psoriasis, Fibromyalgia and even ingrown toenails.

Of course, the best defense against stress is a good offense, and that means picking a travel nurse assignment that will inspire happiness.

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