Tips for Travel Nurses: Work Life Balance

travel nurses in scrubs holding notepad

Work life balance: easier said than done, right? There are actually a ton of ways travel nurses can cultivate proper work life balance in their lives. Work life balance offers many benefits for your personal and professional life, so it’s important to take some time to understand what that means for you. Then you can implement changes to help you feel more balanced, satisfied, and relaxed. We have a few tips to help you get started.

Defining Work Life Balance

Work life balance is different for everyone. Your version will likely look a lot different from your friends, family members, or even other travel nurses. Because work life balance looks different for each person, it can be hard to really pin down a definition.

The best definition of work life balance we have found is feeling satisfied in how much time you have to devote to both work and your personal life. Work life balance means neither one is taking over or interfering with the other. This may sound fairly simple, but it is actually a struggle for many people. In fact, about two-thirds of surveyed Americans say they feel like they lack work life balance in their lives.

Do you feel like you’re running on fumes? Feel like you’re always “on?” Are you constantly thinking about work? Then you might be lacking work life balance. Here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to improve this balance, which can benefit you, your career, and your loved ones.

Why Is Work Life Balance Important for Travel Nurses?

travel nurses drinking coffee outside
Travel nurses need work life balance to prevent feeling burnt out.

Many nurses lack work life balance. As a nurse, you help people every day. This is a great feeling and a rewarding experience, but many people fall into the habit of putting work above their personal life because they are helping patients. However, poor work life balance can cause many serious issues for your life. For instance, it can cause increased stress, contribute to poor mental health, create a feeling of dissatisfaction in both work and personal life, as well as contribute to poor productivity at work and burnout. Even though travel nurses get to travel the country doing what they love, they can also experience poor work life balance. However, there are steps you can take to find more balance.

Tips for Travel Nurses to Find Work Life Balance

Work life balance is something personal and unique to each person, but we do have some tips that may help you improve work life balance:

Make the Most of Your Free Time

It is so easy to find yourself using all your free time for things like chores and errands. These things are important, but make sure you save some of your free time for other activities, like talking to friends and family or taking part in your hobbies. Otherwise, it can feel like you’re working all the time even when you’re off duty. Travel nurses have amazing opportunities to explore new places, so make sure you’re taking advantage of that! Also, don’t forget to get plenty of rest and relaxation, even if that means learning to say no to other responsibilities and commitments sometimes.

Many Travel Nurses Make a Bucket List for Each Assignment

Many travel nurses enjoy the excitement of visiting new places for each assignment. There may be many different things you want to do, whether it’s checking out a famous landmark, exploring local restaurants, or enjoying the natural beauty of your home away from home during your assignment. It helps to make a bucket list for each assignment so you can make time to do all the things you want to do while you’re there. It also gives you something to look forward to, which can help you stay positive and focused even during tough days.

Creating a Schedule is Helpful for Many Travel Nurses

A schedule is incredibly helpful for managing and organizing your time. Without a plan, it can be hard to find time to take part in things that make you feel restored and re-energized. If you’re struggling with work life balance, it may be helpful to sit down and create a schedule. This includes mapping out when you’re at work and when your free time is. Then, you can decide how you will use your free time to make the most of it. This way you can set aside time not only for necessary evils like errands, but also schedule the fun stuff from your bucket list and still leave time for exercise and rest. In many cases, creating a schedule can help you start thinking about your time a little differently and using it to optimize balance in your life.

Choose Travel Nursing Assignments Based On Your Needs

The first step to achieving your definition of balance is understanding what that looks like for you. Once you know what work life balance looks like in your own life, you can look for those different elements in your travel nurse assignments. For instance, if you work better at night and prefer to have the daytime for exploring and taking care of your personal needs, then you can work with our travel nurse agency to find assignments with primarily night shifts. Understand your needs and choose your assignments based on those needs to improve work life balance and your experience.

Make a Conscious Effort to Turn Off “Work-Mode”

Being present is an important thing in both your work and personal life. Many people find it hard to transition from work to personal life. Many people find they bring work thoughts home with them. Travel nurses can benefit from consciously “unplugging” from work after each shift to improve work life balance. If you find this difficult, try taking part in a specific activity to help you make the switch. For example, take a fitness class after your shift, relax in the tub, or write in a journal. Promise yourself to use this time and activity, whatever it is for you, to turn off work-mode so you can enjoy your free time.

Travel Nurses Enjoy A Lot of Control Over Their Careers: Use It!

One of the great things about travel nurses is they are completely in charge of their careers. As a traveling nurse, you choose which assignments you take and when. If you’re feeling worn out, you can simply take some time off between assignments. You’re the boss as a traveler, and your travel nurse agency is here to help you achieve your goals. If you’re looking for better work life balance, becoming a traveling nurse may be a great option for you.

AHS NurseStat: Your Trusted Travel Nurse Agency

At AHS NurseStat, we specialize in medical staffing for travel nurses. Our goal is to help travel nurses find opportunities tailored to their needs, wants, and goals. We are more than just a staffing firm; we are a community that understands and cares about you. Our recruiters connect with you to really home in on what you need from each assignment and help match you with the right jobs. We are available to talk 24/7 whether you’re looking for your next placement or just need a little moral support during your assignment. If you’re ready to get started with the AHS experience, you can browse our job board of travel nurse assignments or get in touch with one of our expert recruiters today.