We talk about work-life balance like it’s something that we can attain and then keep, but it’s something that is always in flux, constantly shifting. You got into being a healthcare traveler for various reasons. Enjoying your life should be one of them. Therefore, for anyone needing a reminder to take a step back and breathe, here are five things to remember while working toward balance as a healthcare traveler.
Take assignments that fit your goals & needs
Choosing an assignment for financial benefits is always going to be tempting. However, take time to evaluate the assignment as a whole before applying. In theory, working in a city like San Francisco earns you more as a traveler, but if the cost of living outweighs the pay, so you’re left with little disposable income, is it worth it, or is it just causing unnecessary stress? For you, the answer may be yes. If not, talk to your recruiter regularly about finding assignments that fit your needs.
Create a list of what matters the most to you for the short and long term. Is it to make money to pay off student loans? Explore new, fun, and exciting locations? Further your skillsets by working in specific facilities or earning certifications? Choose assignments that will help you achieve these goals by creating smaller, more measurable goals to get you there.
Just because the term is cliché doesn’t mean it’s any less accurate. However, you may need to focus on different types of self-care. After all, humans are complex, so there may be areas of your well-being that need some TLC that you haven’t thought about.
Some types of self-care include:
- Mental self-care: Mental self-care helps encourage intellect and challenge your brain to keep you sharp.
- Emotional self-care: Emotional self-care helps you identify and healthily express your feelings.
- Physical self-care: Physical self-care helps you care for your body and physical health.
Mental, emotional, and physical are the golden trio often mentioned when discussing care, but there is also:
- Social self-care: Social self-care is cultivating and nurturing your relationships with friends, family, colleagues, and others.
- Spiritual self-care: Spiritual self-care helps you find inner peace and think bigger than yourself. This type of self-care doesn’t have to be religious, but it may be for some.
- Personal self-care: Personal self-care fosters your interests outside of your career and usually involves doing things you enjoy and find fun.
- Professional self-care: Professional self-care helps you respect your needs at work and achieve your professional goals.
Consider which areas of self-care you’re practicing and which you may have been placing on the back burner. Self-care looks different to everyone, so it may take some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort because you’re worth the effort.
Set healthy boundaries and establish support systems
Setting boundaries is a form of self-care that doesn’t get the shoutouts it deserves. Healthcare professionals— traveling or not— get into the industry because of their desire to help people, right? You’re an empathetic problem solver, and some days will be hard to leave “at the office.” We’re not saying block out the bad days or moments (hence the emphasis on healthy boundaries) but try creating shifts that can help quell the anxiety or reenergize you emotionally. Any practice paired with a mental transition from work to home with the physical act of going from work to home will help build a cognitive boundary like meditation, journaling, or a phone call or face time with a loved one if needed.
On a similar note, routines can significantly create balance in your hectic life. The definition of stability is different for travelers who are moving from place to place and constantly adapting to new environments and teams. So, routines give you less to think about in your day and can be taken anywhere. A simple wake-up or before-bed routine can help establish a feeling of control and steadiness, which can be highly beneficial in a profession where every day is different. This can be anything from slowly drinking a glass of water when you wake up, a brisk 15-minute walk outside every day, or even visiting a coffee shop or other establishment regularly. Treat yourself to something you enjoy by not having to think about it as much.
Prioritize your passions outside of work and try new things
You are more than your job title— never forget that. Celebrate things that excite you by exploring your new environments when you can. Studies found that focusing on a passion that has nothing to do with what pays the bills can actually enhance your performance at work, make you happier, and make you more creative. Stepping outside your comfort zone occasionally is also a great way to break out of a mental rut quickly. In fact, economists at the University of Warwick found that happier people are actually 12% more productive (which, let’s be real, isn’t shocking, but who doesn’t love a good statistic to point to.)
Magnet Medical wants to help you find your balance
A lot goes into healthcare traveling, and the placement processes can get complicated. We want to help with that so that you can focus on other things— like your health. Magnet’s team is available 24/7/365 to support you in any way we can to ensure you’re achieving your goals and taking your career as a healthcare professional to the next level.
Want to learn more about what a Magnet Medical recruiter can do for you? Contact us today.