Hey there, fellow healthcare travelers! We know it can be hard to spend the holidays away from home, but that doesn't mean you can't create a cozy and comfortable living space wherever you go. That's why we've put together some helpful tips and tricks to make your short-term, furnished apartment feel like your home away from home during the holidays, and always!
Our tips are quick, easy, effective, and portable! The little things can make a world of difference in easing the loneliness or homesickness that can sometimes accompany your travel adventures.
Make it Familiar
Having your temporary housing feel like a true home is important! Your immediate surroundings significantly impact your overall mood and mental health. Home should be a comfortable space where you can truly relax and where you genuinely love being. Our first tip is to make your new home familiar. Try to spread reminders of home, family, and friends throughout your new living space.
A Personal Touch
Bring a few personal touches and sentimental items with you. Our favorite things are framed photos of family, friends, and loved ones. Photos and artwork of your hometown and favorite spaces are also great ways to decorate your new space!
Some other good ideas are artwork from nieces and nephews and any other reminders of home. Decorations, dishes, and even a favorite coffee mug all work. If you aren’t already a packing pro, investing in a little bubble wrap and a few sturdy containers to keep breakables safe while traveling goes a long way!
Embrace Your Traditions
Bring a few of your holiday traditions on the road with you! Carefully pack some of your favorite holiday decorations, and get the recipes to make some of your favorite home-cooked holiday meals and desserts while away. Better yet- share some of your traditions and treats with fellow travelers! There are great options for decoration for and celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Yule, or any other winter holiday while on the go.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
If you have serious concerns about feeling alone over the holidays, be sure to embrace the technological advancements that make the distance between loved ones seem not quite as far. Facetime, WhatsApp, Zoom, and other video apps make communication easier over the holidays and all ways. Video call into your families’s holiday celebrations to feel like you are still getting in on the action!
Get Visitor Ready
Be ready for visitors! Arrange for housing with a spare bed or pull-out couch for when your family and friends come to visit. A blow-up air mattress works, too, and is super portable. Being prepared for visitors makes things go smoothly and stress-free when they arrive. Having friends and family visit you when you are on assignment is super fun for everyone involved and one of the best ways not to feel homesick!
Make It a Retreat
Your home (whether permanent or temporary) should be a safe, comfortable space where you can truly be yourself, relax, and de-stress. We know you work a demanding job with long shifts and irregular hours. Here’s how you can turn your temporary home into a cozy and inviting sanctuary.
Add a Little Ambiance
Soft and warm lighting helps a ton! Let's get you out from under the fluorescent lights that are often a fixture of your work in healthcare and many rental homes! Candles are the perfect accompaniment to the colder and darker days of winter.
Consider switching out your standard lightbulbs to a more dim or relaxing variety. Sleep-specific, relaxed, soft, matte and even Himalayan salt bulbs are available. A small, portable, or tabletop fire pit is a fun option for even the smallest outdoor spaces. Don’t forget the bubble wrap to keep these items safe in transit!
Consider investing in a set of high-quality sheets that you love. Extend this outside of the bedroom, too. A few cozy throw pillows and plush blankets help you feel warm, comfortable, and relaxed when you are far away from home. And don’t forget about a heated blanket or heating pad if you are working in a colder climate!
Adopt A Few Travel-Friendly Plants
Who doesn’t love a beautiful burst of green to break up the winter white? It's not just all talk. Studies show that house plants really do have a profound impact on your mental health! Whether you are surrounded by skyscrapers or mountains, house plants boost your air quality, improve your mood, and increase your connection to nature.
Don’t have a green thumb? Here’s a list of our favorite low-maintenance and portable plants:
- Fiddle leaf figs
- Spider plants
- Mini money trees
- Any succulent- such as jade, aloe, or cacti
Other Stress Relief Tips
At Trusted, we know that a challenging job combined with being away from your loved ones can be stressful and impact your mental health. We’re here to support you in any way we can and have several wellness resources available to you from day one!
Stress relief looks different to everyone. If you are feeling stressed, be sure to carve out time to recharge. Whether that's working out, getting outside, yoga, reading, heading to the spa for a massage, staying in, or relaxing with friends or by yourself- we encourage you to take the time to care for yourself this holiday season and always.
Make it Social
Social activities are a great way to create meaningful friendships and connections while working a travel contract. Meeting new people and making new friends is also great for your mental health. Here are our top tips:
Connecting With Other Traveling Healthcare Professionals
While working a travel contract, odds are you aren’t the only traveler in the unit, facility, or area! You will meet other travelers while at work and during your hospital orientation.
Make sure to exchange contact information to plan meals, activities, and other fun outings with your fellow traveling healthcare professionals. You absolutely aren’t the only person new to the area and looking to make friends. Travel nurses and travel professionals are a welcoming, lively, and fun-loving bunch!
Join the Trusted Community
Being a part of the Trusted Community is a great way to share tips and advice and meet and interact with other travelers. We are proud to offer this community to our travelers, and there are many fun options depending on your interests.
- Take a look at our virtual and in-person upcoming events for travel professionals.
- Join our exclusive Facebook group to meet other travelers and stay up-to-date on all the exciting happenings within Trusted Health and the traveling health community.
Finding Holiday Events and Activities in Your New City
As a traveling professional, you will be able to experience many new holiday customs and traditions that are special to your new location. There are a ton of options!
Check out local holiday markets, culinary traditions, cultural gatherings, winter activities, religious services, and more! Shopping for holiday gifts for friends and family is always a fun way to check out new stores and support local craftmakers.
We hope these tips and tricks help you feel more at home, at ease, and at peace when traveling for work. Your immediate surroundings can have a huge impact on your mental health! Remember, make your living space comfortable, familiar, and social. And always carve out time for yourself when needed. With little effort, you can turn your temporary housing into a lovely and relaxing home away from home.
Remember to join the Trusted Community to connect with other healthcare travelers and share your own wisdom, tips, and experiences- we’d love to hear from you!