By Marwa Hijazi
Guest Writer for The Right Solutions
As a travel nurse, you work where you’re needed, providing your expertise and care to patients. Your job allows you to visit new places, choose assignments and live as a local all over the country. You earn a competitive wage, and can take time to explore whichever location you find yourself working in.
Homesickness, however, can be a common job hazard. Even the most experienced travel nurses can succumb to loneliness or melancholy.
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to work through it. Don’t let it interfere with your job or your mental wellbeing.
Break the Routine
Frequent somewhere other than work and home. A locale like a library, coffee shop or park can help diversify your environments and ingrain you into the local culture. If the only two places you experience are your work and your home, you’re likely missing out on a lot of what makes your new city special.
Interact with the City
Every place you travel can offer opportunities to learn and grow. There are often many things to experience: sporting events, museums, restaurants, monuments and more. Adopt the perspective of a tourist; go and interact with the city and the people. Develop new hobbies. Meet new friends.
Spending time alone, as counterproductive as it seems to combat homesickness, can be a valuable experience. By exploring the city by yourself, it allows you time to reflect on your situation and discover your surroundings on your terms. It can also give you a chance to develop thoughts and opinions about your job, your city and yourself.
Utilize Your Off-Time
Nursing is tremendous work. You might be inclined to spend your weekends recuperating, but making plans outside of your house can open you up for opportunities to meet people, learn things and discover the city around you. Following through on your weekend plans can help keep you engaged and stimulated.
There are many ways to stay busy. Condition yourself to say yes to others. Get up and engage. Do volunteer work, take walks or join a local sports league. Be proactive and stay out of the house.
Capitalize on Connectivity
The world is more interconnected than it has ever been.No matter where work takes you, you’re likely never far from social media or a phone call with those close to you. Take advantage of it. When you’re most homesick, stay connected with your family and friends.
Travel nurses are generally able to lead comfortable and exciting lives. It’s a position often suited for those who are daring and adventurous, and the type of people who thrive on hard work, enjoy exploring new places and appreciate meeting new people.
Homesickness, however, afflicts even the strongest spirits. The cost of travel and living arrangements are typically included in a travel nurse’s job, so you can save money and make your new city into the type of fulfilling and engaging place to keep the loneliness at bay.
Marwa Hijazi writes about topics related to health and nursing on behalf of Bisk Education, a facilitator of education programs online for universities such as Villanova University and Jacksonville University.