Homesickness is one of the many challenges that travel nurses face during their assignments. Being away from home can be rough, even for the most experienced traveler. New places can be exciting, but you can start to feel nostalgic for the comforts of home. If you’re starting to feel homesick, here are six tips to help you out.
Bring Home With You
You may be staying in a new place, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave everything behind. Decorate your new residence and surround yourself with fun memories that remind you of your family, friends, and actual home. Cook some family recipes or your favorite homemade meal to honor your memories. You can also combine what you love about your new place with familiar things that make you feel closer to home. For example, if you have a favorite restaurant back home that you miss, try finding a similar one in your new town.
2. Stay Connected
Stay connected with the people you care about by scheduling consistent calls or video chats, even if it’s only once or twice a week. Hearing a family member’s voice can be incredibly soothing and can relieve any built-up stress. Social media is another great way to stay connected too. You can see what others are doing, and they can also know your activities in your new location. Keeping up-to-date with the events and news in your friends and family’s lives will make you feel more connected.
3. Take Assignments Near Family and Friends
To feel more at home, plan your next travel nurse location near family and friends. Having at least one personal connection can go a long way towards preventing homesickness. Depending on the place, it may be competitive, so be sure to let your advocate know immediately. If there are no locations available with familiar faces, look somewhere they can easily come to visit. Your loved ones will get to join in your adventure for a few days, and their visit will give you something to look forward to.
4. Initiate Social Outings
Get the ball rolling by suggesting an outing with your coworkers. Fellow nurses, travelers especially, can be a great support system and help shake off that lonely feeling. Invite them out to dinner, drinks, coffee, or go exploring as they will be happy to show you around if they are locals. As you meet people and form friendships, you’ll start to feel more grounded in your new place, which will help homesickness to fade into the background.
5. Explore Your New Home
Whether with your coworkers or by yourself, exploring your new home can help clear your mind and get you back to normal. Travel nursing allows you to explore places you haven’t been to before, learn new things, and make the unfamiliar familiar. Exploring is a good excuse to try new things and cross items off of your bucket list. Doing something new can help take your mind off being sad and focus that energy on a new hobby.
6. Take Care Of Yourself
Nurses should know better than anyone that self-care should be a priority no matter where you are. With hectic schedules, you need to find ways to set aside time to treat yourself like getting cozy and reading, having a massage between shifts, or dedicating some time to a favorite or new hobby. Homesickness can increase when you’re stressed, so these self-care strategies will help to combat stress and homesickness at the same time.
It is also important to note that part of taking care of yourself is acknowledging that feeling homesick once in a while is natural.
Travel nursing offers an abundance of opportunities, but it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re missing out on something back home. It’s okay to feel a little homesick, but it can feel a little easier with these six tips. Reach out to our travel nurse jobs.