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Ways to Fight Feelings of Loneliness During Assignments
Being a travel nurse not only allows you to pursue your passion, but to explore new cities, meet new people, and engage in new cultures. However, being a travel nurse can get lonely. While most contracts last for 13 weeks, it may seem difficult to make new friends or feel a part of the community. These feelings are normal and should not deter you from doing what you love. We have compiled a list of 9 ways to help fight feelings of loneliness and get the most out of your travel assignments.
Make Your New Place Feel Like Home
When deciding what to bring before traveling to your new town, pack some of your favorite things that remind you of home. Some items could be a candle, blanket, throw pillows, pictures, or books. Bringing these items will help your place feel more like home and can also help reduce feelings of loneliness or homesickness. Placing these items around your home can also make for great conversation when inviting new people over. Your new friends will enjoy learning more about you and what makes those items special.
Bring Your Pet(s)
You may be worried about bringing your pet with you during your travels, but don’t be! Instead of being away from your favorite furry companion, bring them with you. They will not only love being by your side, but will also enjoy exploring the new town with you. Take them on walks around the neighborhood or go hiking. You can also take your pup to the local dog park to play with other dogs and meet new people. Having your pet with you for the journey will help with feeling lonely and can make your travels more memorable.
Join Travel Nurse Facebook Groups
Social media is a great way to meet people. Facebook offers many groups for travel nurses to come together to meet and discuss their journeys. You might even meet other travel nurses who work at your facility or in the surrounding area. For those local, set up a date to meet outside of work. You can also set up a video chat every so often to talk about your current assignment and experiences.
Join Facebook Events
Along with groups, browse Facebook to find local events that interest you. Events such as live music, painting classes, festivals, or craft shows are a great way to get out of the house and be a part of the community. You are bound to meet new people too! Do not be afraid to try something new and go to an event or activity that you normally would not. Invite your friends at work along with you and enjoy the experience together.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and be involved in the community. You already have a passion for helping people, why not put that passion towards helping the community? There are many organizations such as animal shelters or food pantries looking for volunteers. Find one that you are passionate about and spend a few hours of your time off making a difference.
Meet Up With Coworkers
While working at your new facility, take some time to get to know your coworkers. Do not be afraid to make the first move and introduce yourself. Ask them what their favorite restaurants are or things to do in the area. They may even offer to take you there themself or ask them to join you. Forming relationships with your coworkers will make your 13-week assignment more enjoyable and less lonely.
Before heading out to your new assignment, browse the internet to see all your new town has to offer. Check out which sites or hikes they have in the area that you may want to visit. AllTrails is a great site to view photos and information on local trails such as distance, elevation gain, trailhead location. Be a tourist for a day and go shopping downtown or view sites unique to the town. Sign up for a tour to learn even more about the town. Being around people will help with loneliness and can help you feel more at home.
Another way to help deal with loneliness is to video chat with friends or family. Have dinner together virtually every so often to catch up and talk about your assignment or what activities you have done so far. Along with having a virtual dinner, you can also schedule a Netflix movie night to watch together or start a book club. Staying connected with your family and friends while away will also help with homesickness and boost your mood.
Do Not Fear Going Solo
While many events and activities could be more fun with friends, do not be afraid to experience them alone. Being a travel nurse is all about new experiences, and some of those may be even more enjoyed alone. On your days off, go to a restaurant or café by yourself to try new foods and spend time with the locals. Go hiking by yourself to enjoy Mother Nature and spend time relaxing at the destination. Doing things alone will help you be more outgoing and grow as a person.
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