Tips for Dealing With Homesickness as a Travel Nurse

July 23 / Posted by Christi Hintz

Disclaimer: The following is not professional medical advice. If you have concerns about your mental health, contact your physician.


Travel nurses get all sorts of exciting opportunities to travel and experience new places. And while these experiences are wonderful, sometimes being away from home, family, or even just things that are familiar to you can make you feel a little homesick. If you’re starting to feel a little homesick, here are a few things you can do that might lift your spirits.


Bring Along Things That Have Sentimental Value


Part of homesickness is feeling like you’ve been thrust into a new place without any familiarity to support feelings of ease and stability. When you travel, try to keep a few things with you that remind you of home. This could be pictures of friends and family, decorative items that you love or that have meaning, or even your favorite pillow. Whatever will make your housing feel a little more like home. A little familiarity can go a long way.


Bring Some of Your Routine With You


The same thing goes for routine. Having a new routine in a new place can make you feel a bit uprooted. So try to bring parts of your routine with you. For example, having a consistent workout routine that you carry with you on your assignments can help give a feeling of consistency between assignments. Plus, keeping up with a healthy routine will help you avoid the type of blues that comes from a lack of healthful eating and exercise.


Don’t Hole Up In Your Housing


When you’re feeling homesick, you might not feel very motivated to get out and explore your city. But this is a mistake. Cutting yourself off and staying in not only means that you’ll miss out on the opportunity to discover a wonderful new place, it will likely make you feel even worse.


Make New Friends


It can be difficult to make friends in a new place at first, but putting yourself out there and getting involved with your coworkers and other people in your new community can help you feel more connected to the city. New friends can help alleviate feelings of loneliness that might come from not being around your friends and family. For tips on how to make new friends on assignment, check out our article on the subject.


Maintain Contact With Friends and Family From Home


The life of a travel nurse can be busy, but don’t let that get in the way of maintaining your relationships with people from back home. Make a point to set aside time during the week to call or skype friends and family, so that you can still feel that closeness with them.


Get Help If You Need it


Sometimes homesickness is a minor inconvenience, but some people may experience more intense feelings of hopelessness that should be explored by a professional. If you have any concerns about your mental health, don’t be afraid to speak to your physician about what you’re experiencing. They should be able to refer you to someone who can help.

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