Heading into the holidays as a travel nurse or allied health traveler can be hectic! At baseline, you work a demanding job, juggle an irregular schedule, and do it far from your support system of friends and family. Add the holidays to all of that- and it's easy to see why so many travelers can feel especially run down this time of year.
Feeling well and healthy over the holidays can look different to everyone! At Trusted, your health and wellness are important to us. We encourage you to:
- Eat foods that make your body feel good
- Move and exercise in ways that are enjoyable to you
- Take some extra steps to manage stress
- Prioritize relaxation and sleep
- Make time for meaningful social connections
Feeling fit and healthy allows you to fully participate in everything the holiday season offers. We want you to feel at your best no matter how you spend the holidays, whether on assignment, traveling between contracts, at home, or a mix of these! But it's easier said than done. So, are you ready to hear our easy and effective tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays? We’ll go over healthy eating, workout tips, and more. And it's all aimed at our on-the-go traveling healthcare professionals. Let’s get started!
Tips for Healthy Eating Through the Holidays
Changes in your routine can mean changes in your eating habits. Here are some of our favorite tips for eating to feel your best during these hectic times. They work whether you are on the road, on an assignment, or celebrating at home!
- Front Load Your Day
One of the best parts of the holidays is the food! Rich dinners and delicious desserts at holiday parties are worth looking forward to. On days when you know you will be having a heavier meal (ahem…. potluck, party, etc.) later in the day, make sure you get plenty of fresh fruits and veggies early in the day. Think smoothies, oatmeal with fruit, an egg and veggie scramble, vegetable soups, salads, and sauteed greens as options for breakfast and lunch.
- Load up on Healthy Holiday Snacks
This one is super simple and fun! Having ample healthy snacks around will cut down on buying other foods in a pinch or out of necessity. Nuts, granola bars, whole-grain crackers, and popcorn are crunchy, salty, and satisfying. Stock up on fresh fruit and veggies that go with your favorite holiday dips, or enjoy them alone. Homemade, personalized charcuterie boards that include fresh fruits and veggies are one of our favorites- get creative!
- Pay Attention to Your Body
Take note of how you feel! After filling your plate with your favorite holiday foods, make sure to check in with yourself from time to time. Many people (myself included) have a tendency to eat their favorite foods so fast they feel sick, and that after-dinner slump is a huge bummer when it comes to evening plans. Anyone else? Take a few breaks, and ensure you are eating slowly enough to know when you are feeling full.
Also, note if you are genuinely enjoying the foods you are eating. If it really isn’t that good, try something different. There are so many holiday options to try- you should enjoy every bite!
- Stay Hydrated
One last quick tip- don’t forget to drink water! Drink at least one glass between each holiday cocktail, eggnog, cider, or hot chocolate you enjoy. Trust us- your kidneys, brain, and body will thank you!
Tips to Stay Fit While on the Go
Getting into a good routine while working irregular hours and shifts, traveling, or staying with family and friends is tough. You are so busy over the holidays, your local gym might not be available, and it may be cold and gloomy outside. Here’s how to get that holiday workout in regardless!
- Take Advantage of Our Gympass Benefits!
We know that physical activity is important to your physical and mental health. Because of this, we offer free Gympass benefits to our Trusted Health travelers! This means that you get free access to a large selection of gyms, studios, classes, training, and well-being apps while on assignment with us.
- Think Outside the Box
A workout doesn't always have to be a lengthy sweat session at the gym. Walking with friends and family after a meal, playing with younger family members, or bouncing your sister’s new baby to sleep are all great ways to sneak in a little physical activity here and there.
Take advantage of unique, seasonal fitness activities too. Cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating are all super fun cold-weather activities that you can do by yourself, with fellow travelers, or with your friends and family. Get outside, get moving, and most importantly- have fun and make some memories!
- Pick an at-Home Workout
Are you wondering how to get fit at home (or a hotel) during the holidays? There are plenty of great options. You may have to alter your fitness routine to take it on the go, but the possibilities are endless. There are tons of at-home workout programs available for free or a small fee on the internet- and many of them have free trial periods. Whether you are interested in strength training, yoga, pilates, dance, HIIT, or barre, you’ll be able to find a class that you enjoy.
You can also invest in travel-friendly workout gear. A yoga mat, resistance bands, and hand weights are all super portable items that easily fit in a suitcase and can go anywhere with you. Try waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to sneak in some movement before your day gets going- you’ll feel less stressed, happier, and more energized!
- Check Out Local Fitness Facilities & Local Events
Are you traveling to a larger city? They probably have an incredible hot yoga or other fitness studio that you’d otherwise be unable to try out. Don’t forget- use our Gympass benefit to score free access and workouts to local fitness facilities! Pro Tip: When looking for a local gym, look for one with access to a hot tub or sauna! Nothing is better than enjoying a quick sauna or soak after your holiday workout before returning to your busy schedule!
The holidays also provide ample opportunity for local fitness events. Many cities have running events- such as 5Ks, before, during, and after the holidays. These events are usually super relaxed, fun, and casual- so grab your family, friends, or other traveling colleagues and check it out! It can be a fantastic, low-stress way to run your first race.
Tips for Managing Stress & Sleep
Stress and fatigue are an understandable part of any holiday travel assignment and the holiday season in general. Here are our best tips for what to do when the going gets tough.
- Holiday Stress Management Strategies
Make sure to take enough time for yourself this season. You are caring for people at a demanding job, possibly tending to relatives and family members at home, and have a ton of holiday-related events to plan or participate in! Make sure to prioritize some alone time or downtime to rest.
Gentle yoga, a book, and a favorite movie by yourself can do wonders for your soul. How about ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ ‘A Christmas Story,’ or ‘Home Alone’ with a cup of tea? Or maybe ‘Christmas Vacation’ or ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ with a glass of eggnog is more your style- that works too! While the holidays are fun and exciting, they can also be tiring. Make sure to recharge in a way that is effective for you.
As a Trusted traveler, you get free access to Headspace and Spring Health while on assignment. Headspace offers mindfulness exercises, guided meditations, articles, and videos aimed at improving stress, sleep, and relationships. Spring Health is an online platform that connects you with a therapist or mental health professional if you need someone to talk to.
- Get Your Zzzzzz’s
Don't forget about sleep! Eight hours a day is what we recommend to feel your best. If you’re a night-shift traveler, we’re sure you know all the tricks, but for those that need a review- a sound machine, essential oils, taking a bath or shower, and minimizing your screen time for at least an hour before bed all help.
- Remember - Needing More Rest is Natural!
If you don’t feel super bubbly this holiday season, don’t be hard on yourself. Winter is a time for rest! The days are shorter, colder, and darker. It's only natural to need to rest, sleep, and eat a little more than you usually do. Listen to your body and ensure you are getting adequate rest and making healthy decisions so that you can be fully present and enjoy the holiday customs, traditions, and celebrations important to you.
A Few More Travel-Specific Tips
- Homesickness Strategies
Being away from home while on contract during the holidays can be challenging. It doesn’t matter if it's your first time or your tenth- every traveler can become homesick during the holidays. Take advantage of Facetime, WhatsApp, and all the other technological advancements that can make the distance between family and friends seem a little smaller.
And remember, you have plenty of time between contracts to spend with friends and family. Who says Christmas has to be celebrated only on December 25th? If you can only make it home in January instead- have another celebration then!
- Ways to Socialize With Colleagues While Traveling
One of your greatest gifts as a traveler will be meeting and making friendships with fellow travel colleagues. Remember, your fellow travelers are in a new city away from family and friends, just like you. If you are off over the holidays, reach out to them and schedule a traveler holiday party or fun holiday events! And if you are on shift, there will likely be a potluck and other holiday activities to enjoy while at work.
- Join the Trusted Community!
To support you while traveling, take full advantage of our Trusted Community! In this unique space, you can meet and interact with other Trusted travelers. We offer a Facebook Group and virtual, as well as in-person and online events to be a part of! When you join the Trusted Circle, you will have endless opportunities to connect with fellow travel professionals. You can also choose to become a Trusted Community Ambassador!
- Navigating Different Holiday Traditions
Traveling will expose you to many different holiday customs and traditions that differ from your own. Take it all in and enjoy the vast opportunities to participate in holiday celebrations from a wide and diverse range of cultures.
Trusted Health Prioritizes Your Wellbeing
At Trusted Health, your well-being is our top priority. As our travel nurses and allied health professionals give their all to care for others during the holiday season, we're here, recognizing and valuing the tireless dedication you bring to each shift. The joy and comfort you provide to patients away from their loved ones is a true testament to your compassion and commitment.
We understand the unique challenges that come with holiday shifts, and it's our mission to ensure you have the resources to remain healthy, fulfilled, and vibrant during these times. This season, as you pour out so much of yourself, remember to replenish your own well-being too. Our collection of health and wellness tips is designed to support you through the hectic days and to remind you that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.
Consider signing up to travel with Trusted. You'll find a supportive network, resources for your well-being, and opportunities to care for patients across the country.
As the holiday season approaches, we extend our warmest wishes to you. May your days be merry, bright, and above all, healthy.