How to find work-life balance with travel nursing?
Travel nursing is a rollercoaster ride between the hype of flexibility and the woe of burnout.
A balance of both is what we call a work-life balance in travel nursing.
Typically, work-life balance is a state of equilibrium between personal and professional life. However, it differs from industry to industry and from person to person. No one-size approach fits all.
When I think about work-life balance, I don’t imagine it as a perfect day where I got to spend the exact right amount of time having an impact at work and snuggling with my kids at home. I never achieve that. But over the course of a month, or a quarter, or a year, I try to make time for the people and experiences I value.
– By Jane Park
You’re overwhelmed by the flexibility offered by the travel nursing career. Fast forward a few months; you’re burned out by the continuous demand for your support by patients.
You feel lost, but you’re not alone!
So many people go through this. Consequently, they try to achieve a work-life balance.
A good work-life balance is not an achievement; it’s a cycle!
Around two-thirds of Americans feel they don’t have a work-life balance.
Therefore, let’s talk about how travel nurses can find the right work-life balance to ensure these numbers get better moving forward.
- Volunteer for a group, club, or organization.
If your mind clicks, volunteering for a group or organization will burden you more – you’re wrong!
Here’s the thing –
To unplug and switch off your work mode, you need to shift your mind towards something else. Your mind stays in work mode due to inertia. Returning home and resting in bed won’t turn your mind.
Let’s be realistic, does your mind automatically stop thinking of work-related things once you get home?
It’s a big NO.
Therefore, to switch off the work mode, you’ll need some fun and interesting opportunities. Hanging around like-minded people and passionate communities will make you good connections which you can utilize further outside.
Here’re a few websites to find great opportunities to volunteer for the work of your interest.
You can also get on these websites to connect with friends, partners, business persons, and other like-minded people.
Pro tip: Take the help of some facebook travel nursing pages/groups like The Gypsy Nurse to grow.
Make friends, hang out for the weekly meetings, and explore new things!
- Choose the assignments that fit your parameters.
Most of the time, we take assignments that don’t fit our requirements, but the pay and perks draw our attention.
These assignments are the real reasons for burnout.
Build your boundaries. Don’t take the opportunities that don’t fit your parameters, no matter how profitable they seem.
Incomplete and unsatisfied assignments contribute to poor mental health and self-doubt – hugely affecting your work-life balance.
Here’s the list to check –
- Define the nature, tenure, and requirements of the assignments you enjoy.
- Keep your terms and conditions sheet ready.
- Also, mention term requirements in the contracts.
- Clearly state the additional payment terms on any work outside the scope of the contract.
- Be clear and transparent regarding the working hours.
- Keep the personal needs sheet handy so you don’t fall out later with the contractor.
- Learn to say NO.
The work-life balance of travel nurses suffers because of the habit of saying yes to everything that comes their way.
It always feels rewarding and fulfilling to help others, but very soon, it becomes your most hated quality because of the disharmony it brings to you.
Knowing when to say NO is a crucial skill you need to cultivate. Balancing doesn’t mean playing hard; instead, it refers to working diligently.
Don’t be afraid or ashamed of saying NO.
It can be a little discomforting strategy but remember you can’t help others if you’re burned out. Therefore, it is better to rest and come back with healthy and productive work energy.
The Bottom Line:
There’s no perfect work-life balance – A word from ExpTek.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. There’s nothing like a dream life or perfect work-life balance.
People go for different strategies to achieve peace and harmony. And that’s the way to balance your personal and professional life. It’s a journey of becoming better at balancing life aspects each day. Therefore, know your priorities.
The secret to good work-life balance – Pause, analyze, learn, and again implement