As a traveling nurse, it's critical to focus on mental and emotional health while on the road. Prioritizing holistic wellness can play a pivotal role in how effectively you serve patients as well as promote personal balance. For many traveling nurse professionals, daily journaling can prove a critical (free) resource in their journey to maintain spiritual strength and well-being while navigating through the potentially significant transition associated with every new assignment.
Why is daily journaling important? For traveling nurses, establishing a journaling routine delivers several critical health benefits including:
Life on the road is exciting – but it can also be stressful. Adjusting to an unfamiliar work environment, familiarizing yourself with your current home base, and remembering all the names of your new coworkers is enough to frazzle even the most enthusiastic road warrior. Journaling can help manage the anxiety felt on an assignment. Studies suggest that expressive writing for even 15 to 20 minutes a day can actually help reduce blood pressure and improve the functionality of internal organs like the liver. Additionally, writing about any stressful encounters or experiences in your day can help you positively process and manage them in a productive way.
Journaling can help you sharpen your objective lens to better understand other people's perspectives. Opening yourself up to other viewpoints can play a key role in driving empathy, an invaluable workplace resource for any nursing professional. On a personal level, empathy boosts resilience, emotional healing, creativity, personal growth, and healthy social relationship.
Improve Problem Solving Capabilities
The left side of our brain is the epicenter of analytical problem-solving. However, creative and expressive writing helps tap into our right brain, allowing us to leverage our more intuitive and emotional capabilities for newer, more effective ways to resolve issues.
Increase Immune Function (Yes, Really)
Many people are surprised to learn that journaling can even have an impact on physical health as well. Dr. James Pennebaker has run several studies that indicate expressive writing may actually improve the functionality of cellular immune-system capabilities. Beyond improving immune system function, journaling can also reduce symptomatic rheumatoid arthritis and asthma as well as combat specific diseases.
Feel Calmer, More Balanced
Consistent journaling is like perpetually writing that disgruntled email or letter when you've been wrong…but never sending it. You'll get an opportunity to express your grievances and disappointments on a daily basis, cathartically releasing any anger or negative feelings. You may find you feel calmer, more relaxed, and more balanced, all vital components to positive mental health and wellness.
Gain Personal Clarity And Insight
Consistently writing about your daily traveling nurse adventures does more than create a timeline of milestones and events – it can also help you reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. The more you journal, the more personal clarity and insight you'll gain as you dig into what makes you happy or sad, what ignites fear, and what grants you peace. Embrace the opportunities and benefits that come with getting to know your authentic self better.
Download the Guide to Holistic Wellness for Travel Nurses for more ideas about how to take care of yourself while on assignment:
Ready to test out the many benefits of journaling for yourself? Contact ARMS today to discuss your next travel nursing adventure with one of our skilled and experienced recruiters.