To quote Saoirse Ronan in Ladybird, “I wish I could live through something.” 2002 may have only been a palindrome, but living in 2020 certainly constitutes LIVING through something. We are facing unprecedented times, as the news likes to remind us constantly. And if you’re a nurse working on the front lines, you’re in the eye of the hurricane (yes, I have been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack a little too often since it came out on Disney+).
People journal for a lot of different reasons: to keep record of different periods of their life that they can pass down to future generations; to work out their feelings at the end of a rough day; even just to have something to look back on a year from now and think, “Wow, my life was so different then.” All of these reasons feel particularly pertinent today. And if you’re traveling to different nursing placements, every month can feel like a different lifetime.
If you weren’t an avid journaler before, or if you could never picture yourself putting pen to paper every day, this might be the time to reconsider. Here’s a guide to help you get started.
Step 1: Figure out what kind of journaler you want to be
A lot of people are repelled from journaling because they have one idea in their mind of what keeping a journal is. But that’s the beauty of a journal, it’s yours! You can decide to do whatever you want with it. There is no wrong way to journal, except to not do it at all.
You should find the way that’s most suited to your personality. If you’re a type-A person who loves color-coded binders and keeps track of all your pens throughout life, you might be suited to the bullet journal journey. If you’re someone who is allergic to routine, and whose hand cramps up after a few sentences of writing, start smaller. Write a sentence a day. Think about something you want to log each day, to keep track of, and you can add on as you go.
The most important step to deciding what kind of journal you want to keep is identifying your purpose. Why are you keeping a journal? Is it because you want to have a record of the life you’re living right now? Is it because you want an outlet to express yourself? Is it because your boyfriend is driving you nuts and your friends are tired of hearing about it? Figure this out, and then take into account what kind of personality you have and what is going to be manageable for you. Here are just a few examples of different kinds of journaling.
This may be the most traditional method. You sit down at the end of your day, and you record what happened. For some, this can also be a useful form of meditation. Taking stock of the day behind you and reflecting on it can be peaceful. And you might find out that a seemingly nothing-day held something meaningful after all. The best outcome from keeping a journal like this is you’ll have a detailed record of your life to look back on, either with fondness or with horror, depending on the day probably. But if you’re someone who struggles with your attention-span and you’re questioning whether this whole journaling thing is worth it to begin with, this might not be the best place to start. Just writing what happened moment to moment in your day can feel redundant and mundane, and then you won’t get excited about journaling. If this sounds like you, abort! Try a different kind of journaling first.
Journals can be meaningful but they can also be functional. In this case, your journal is serving your goals, whatever they may be. Maybe you’ve made a goal to meditate or do yoga every day. Keeping a journal logging your meditation hours can help hold you accountable. Some people keep food diaries which can be useful in tracking recipes and coming up with future ideas — these can also just be funny. Maybe you’ve started a new prescription and you’re trying to keep track of how it’s affecting you day by day. The possibilities are endless. But this is a good kind of journal for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time. It’s also an easy place to start for someone who isn’t used to journaling regularly. Sometimes a daily log can be limited to a sentence or two. It’s easy and not as scary as chronicling your whole day.
For the more introspective journaler, sometimes it’s not about writing what happened during your day, but how you’re feeling at the moment you’re journaling. If you feel like it’s cheesy to begin a journal entry with “Dear Diary, today I…,” you’re not alone. But there are ways to talk about your day without recapping what happened. These kinds of journals can be considered stream of consciousness journals. Let your thoughts flow onto the page and don’t worry whether they make sense grammatically or if your handwriting is even legible. It may be odd to think of journaling as a form of meditation, but your thoughts are usually running at a pace much faster than your hand can write. So when you try and capture these thoughts and feelings, you have to slow your mind down, and make enough sense of what you’re feeling that you can formulate sentences. It can be a release to put what’s going on in your head into something tangible. This type of journal can feel a little less like a chore for someone who verges on right-brained. When keeping a journal like this, it’s good to remember that you’re not writing for anyone but you. You don’t have to hide anything or keep anything from your journal in fear of someone else reading it. You could even burn these after you’ve filled them up.
Sometimes your journals don’t have to be about YOU at all. If you’re someone who has always had a knack for writing, but you’re not confident enough to share that talent publicly, a journal can be a great way to hone your writing voice. You could look for writing prompts online and challenge yourself to write short essays or stories before you go to bed. Or maybe this is a journal you keep on you at all times, so you can jot things down anytime inspiration strikes. If you want a really good perspective on how to incorporate writing into your daily life, read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
The Stresser (Mental Health Journaling)
This journal, in some ways, is a cross between a reflection journal and a tracker journal. But with one key goal is maintaining and staying aware of your mental health. Particularly if you’ve taken the step of starting therapy or counseling, these kinds of journals can be incredibly useful. The things that stress us out, make us sad or angry or depressed, can change day to day, but there’s usually an overarching theme, a thread connecting all of these triggers. If you’re seeking professional help, or even talking to friends and family, it can be easy to focus on the particulars, the things that are stressing you out in the specific moment. But if you keep a journal of how you are feeling every day, it becomes an incredible tool for working through the larger challenges in your life. Try taking 30 minutes every night to write down anything that hurt you or upset you during the day, and even the things that made you happy. Then read what you’ve written at the end of the week or month and see if you can begin to see patterns forming.
Now there are literal dream journals and metaphorical dream journals. Both are really, really fun! If you’re someone who has a lot of whacky dreams that you remember really well, keep a literal dream journal. But also a journal can be a great place to plan your future, to reflect on the person you want to be. Especially if you’re in a placement far from your home and you’re having a tough time at work, keeping a journal where you can visualize what life might be like in the years to come can be calming. Maybe accompany this kind of journal with a vision board of where you want to go next.
Step 2: Find the right journal
Now we’re getting to the fun part: deciding on your medium. A journal doesn’t have to be a leatherbound book filled with blank pages, although if you’re a romantic then it certainly can be. But you want to figure out what medium suits your routine and lifestyle best. For some people, this means the notes page on your MacBook or an app on your phone. Or even a google doc.
Although, there is some evidence to suggest that writing by hand is better. Some research shows that writing with a pen and paper can help us process and understand concepts better. That’s why rewriting all your notes the day before an exam can be a useful studying method. Writing by hand can be cathartic, since in the modern world, we don’t do it very often.
But if you feel disgusted by your own handwriting and putting pen to paper is becoming a barrier, transition to a journaling app. There are some apps or websites that will block all other notifications or websites while you’re writing, so you can have a completely clear headspace.
If you are going the traditional route, don’t be afraid to splurge on a journal that will make you happy aesthetically. It might seem silly, but if you love rainbows and the color yellow, and your journal is yellow with rainbow stickers on it, you might have a more positive association with it. Same goes with pens!
Step 3: Develop a routine and hold yourself accountable
The most important part of journaling is actually doing the journaling. Once you’ve decided what you want out of a journal and how you plan on journaling, it’s time to incorporate it into your daily routine.
Decide what time of day is best for you to journal. Is it in the morning while you’re drinking coffee? Is it sitting up in your bed in the evening? Maybe it’s something you want to log throughout the day. All of that will depend on what kind of journal you’re writing. But find ways to encourage yourself to keep the habit up. Perfection is the enemy of good. Give yourself a break if you miss a few days and don’t worry if you don’t feel like writing much on certain days. The act of doing it every day, even for a short period of time, is good for the soul.
Bonus: Scrapbooking your placements!
While some people’s lives might be genuinely boring during quarantine, if you’re a travel nurse your life is NEVER boring. So even more reason to document all the places you go. Maybe forgo the journal and get a scrapbook instead. Buy a polaroid camera and take pictures of your different adventures at each placement, write notes about your experience on the back and keep them as reminders of where you’ve been and the people you met along the way.Read More
As an increasing number of people start seeing the environment (and their wellbeing) as a priority, cities have no choice but to adapt to this new mindset, and one of the main ways in which this occurs is through the creation of bike lanes.
Citizens want to switch their cars by their bikes, and in order to do so safely, they need to have the right infrastructures.
The question is, which cities are most ahead when it comes to this fast pacing trend?
Discover the answer today, as we list six of the most bikeable cities in America!
1. Minneapolis, Minnesota
In Minneapolis, you’ll find 40 miles of bike-accessible paths, which were once the abandoned railroads of the city.
However, there’s even more to come for cyclists in Minneapolis, as the city is currently working on a transportation plan that puts bike-friendliness as a number one priority.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Divvy is the second biggest bike-share system in the U.S. and guess where it comes from… Chicago!
Although it is a busy city, you won’t have a hard time finding bike lanes and parks everywhere, and hey, cycling by the beach while feeling the fresh breeze on your face doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it?
3. Portland, Oregon
Portland has 385 miles of bike lanes, which are valued at $60 million, and that were used, in 2017, by over 22,000 people to get to work, making it a platinum bicycle-friendly community, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Need we say more?
4. Austin, Texas
In Austin, you’ll find nearly ten miles of protected bike lanes and there’ll be no shortage of people riding around in their bikes, whether they’re commuting or simply having fun.
Chances are that these lanes will grow and become even better over the next few years, as the city is expanding, so we’d say this is a great choice for any cyclist!
5. Manhattan, New York
When you think of New York, you probably picture the busiest city on Earth, which is why you might be wondering…
“How will I ever ride my bike there?!”
The truth is that it is possible, as over the past five years, the city’s Department of Transportation has built bike routes that go on for 330 miles, and the number of people biking there has been on the rise since then.
6. New Orleans
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina damaged countless infrastructures in New Orleans, forcing the city to repair and rebuild them.
During this recovery phase, the city decided to invest in roadways and parks where cyclists could ride safely, and the residents were undoubtedly big fans of this change, as New Orleans became on the most biked cities in America.
Which Bikeable City Will You Move to?
When it comes to turning its cities into more bikeable and accessible spots, America is definitely putting in the work. Now all that’s left is for you to choose where you want to move!
No matter which city you pick, remember that with Stability Healthcare, you can easily find great travel nursing placements. Sign up today!Read More
World Oceans Day is held every year on June 8th to raise awareness of the vital importance of our oceans and the role they play in sustaining a healthy planet. To celebrate, we’re sharing 8 of our favorite Stability placements on the ocean. Now that the sun is getting hotter and the days are getting longer, there’s no better time to take a job on the beach… or at least near a beach.
San Diego, CA
Miles of sandy beaches, surfable waves, sailboats, and a zoo. What’s not to love about San Diego? Right at the bottom of California, where it’s sunny and warm all year round, it’s hard to find a better beachtown.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
When most people not from New York think of a beach getaway, they might not think of the north shore of Long Island. But why not? Long Island’s gold coast is beautiful and much less crowded than the Hamptons. Grab a craft beer and catch a bonfire on the beach this summer after work, and you won’t be sorry.
There are two placements in Riverhead, and you can see all of our high paying New York placements here.
Fort Bragg, CA
Describing Fort Bragg sounds like you’re making up a romantic little beach town for a novel. In Northern California off the Mendocino Coast, Fort Bragg is best known for Glass Beach, with its shore full of colorful glass stones. The beach is part of sprawling MacKerricher State Park, which supports varied birdlife and harbor seals. If you want a break from the ocean, you can hop onto The Skunk Train, a steam locomotive that weaves through the redwood forests of the Noyo River Canyon. This quiet old logging town is a perfect place to spend a sleepy summer in Northern California.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
A summer in South Florida is certainly one you won’t forget. Even with the restriction of COVID-19, you’re bound to have a fun time on the beach this summer. Eat some delicious Cuban food, take in the palm tree scenery, and gaze at that beautiful blue ocean.
Check out all of our Florida placements here.
This small university town on the north end of Humboldt Bay will offer you some beautiful beach days on the Gold Coast, as well as a relaxed hippie vibe to settle into after a hard day’s work. Arcata is known for its progressive politics and its vegetarian restaurants, but it’s also just outside of Crescent City, where there’s miles of white sandy beaches and the weather is always a little chilly, perfect for those long walks on the beach.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
The Western Gulf Coast of Texas is probably another beach that escapes most people’s minds when they think about where to vacation. But if you’re someone who loves wide open spaces and cheap rent, you might consider it. Brownsville might be the cheapest place in America you can live in and still be only a few miles from the ocean. And Boca Chica Park and South Padre Island boast truly beautiful beaches, with sea turtles and water parks and all.
You can look at all of our Texas placements here.
San Francisco, CA
If you want a scenic beach but you also crave city life, there’s no place better than San Francisco. As long as your calves are well equipped to walk up endless hills, you’ll experience so much culture and beauty in this city. And with Stability’s high paying placements there, you can actually afford the cost of living.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.
We’re saving the best for last, because there is no beach like Venice Beach. Bring your skateboard and your hacky sack, and get ready to embrace the boardwalk lifestyle. Inglewood might be a small town landlocked outside of Los Angeles, but it’s only a 20-minute drive to Venice Beach, and a 20-minute drive the other way to Manhattan Beach. You can have it all living here, including an almost $3,000 a week placement.
You can see all of our high paying California placements here.Read More
Movement and breathing seem like life’s basics. I mean, when are we not moving and breathing? But the truth is, our body appreciates when we take time to do both in a concentrated setting. Yes, we’re talking about morning yoga flows, people! For those who aren’t already dedicated yogis, yoga flows can seem useless and boring. You’re not even burning that many calories, what’s the point? But stretching and creating balance and space in your body can make a huge difference in your workday.
Here are some moves that won’t take you more than 15 minutes at the start of the day.
Your Morning Flow
Fascia, the connective tissue in your body that stabilizes your internal organs, enjoys movement in the mornings. That’s why a yoga flow that really flows is best for right when you get out of bed. You can save sciatic stretches, or more stagnant stretches, for the evening or afternoons. In the morning, you need some moves that will wake up your fascia so that you don’t feel stiff and sore throughout the day.
Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release, in a cat-like stretch. And then on your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — like a cow looking at the moon. Then repeat.
Cat-Cow improves posture and balance. It stretches the hips, abdomen and back. Most importantly, it massages and stimulates organs in the belly, like the kidney or adrenal glands, which will leave you feeling more awake when you’re done. Cat-Cow also lets you come into your breath. You coordinate your inhale and exhale with the movement: Inhale on the cat stretch, exhale on your cow stretch. This will be important to hold onto for your next set of poses: the sun salute.
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
Running through a few rounds of sun salutations is guaranteed to leave you feeling good, and maybe a little sweaty, at the start of the day. You start standing in prayer pose, with your hands at your chest. Inhale as you reach your arms above your head and then on your exhale, fold your body over your knees, touching your hands to the ground. Bend your knees as much as is comfortable to you as you take a deep exhale in.
Hold the breath. With your hands pressed to the floor, step your feet back into a plank pose. Exhale, and bring your chest to the ground. Then as you breathe in again, slide forward and raise the chest up into the cobra posture. Pushing your shoulders away from your ears, look up.
On your exhale, lift the hips and the tailbone up into downward dog. Try and plant your heels on the ground, and push your chest closer to your hips so you can fully sink into the stretch. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and then jump your feet up to your hands and sink into your forward fold, wrapping your arms around the back of your calves.
Raise your arms back up to the sky and bring them back to prayer, and you’ve completed a sun salute.
Now, there are different variations to this. If you want to crank up the heat, you can lift up one of your legs after your down dog, and bring them into the equestrian pose, or bringing one foot outside of your hand as the other leg straightens in plank position. You could even come all the way up into warrior 1, where you’d lift your hands up from the ground and bring your body upward into a standing lunge.
Whether you want to try these trickier variations or not, a sun salutation is the perfect way to start your day. I mean, it’s literally called a salute to the sun. These moves will help you warm up, get your muscles loose, and they work all of the 7 chakras (if you’re into that kind of thing).
Utkatasana (Chair Pose) + Parivrtta Utkatasana (Revolved Chair Pose)
Utkatasana, although very fun to pronounce, is one of the more uncomfortable poses in yoga. It requires a tightness in the core, lower back and quadriceps to allow your body to sink into an invisible chair. From photos, it might look like a prolonged squat, but with your feet together and your arms jetted upward, chair pose is more about firing up your core. It’s an amazing way to generate heat in the body and quickly build energy. It also allows your mind to stay focused and positive, ensuring that you are awake and ready for the day ahead.
But as we said earlier, in the morning, your fascia likes movement. So if you want to maximize the benefits to your body, add a little movement to your more static chair pose by transitioning into the revolved chair pose. All you have to do is bring your hands into prayer position while in your chair pose, and then twist your torso, so that your elbow can rest outside your knee.
Twisting poses are so good for massaging your internal organs. They help streamline your digestive system too, so they’re good for a first-thing-in-the-morning routine, if you’re catching our drift. Wait to drink your coffee until after you do these moves! You might not even need coffee when you’re done.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)
Now you might be wondering, why are we skipping Warrior 1 & 2 and going straight into 3, the hardest of all the warrior poses? Because your mornings are valuable and you only have limited time! And this pose involves SO much power that you don’t have to stay in it for very long to feel the energy effects. The warrior 3 pose is often also called a “standing split.” It requires you to plant one leg to the ground and lift the other back into the air. Meanwhile, you tip your upper body forward with your arms outstretched, so that your torso is almost parallel to the floor.
Warrior 3 is a real challenge. But sometimes starting your morning with a challenge is the perfect way to frame your day. You can accomplish anything. Your body is so powerful it almost defies gravity. What better energy to take into a hospital filled with sick patients? Plus, Warrior 3 is great for firing up your legs and your core, and ultimately, creating balance in your body.
5 Deep Concentrated Breaths
If you wanted to, you could skip all of the moves above and just go straight into this exercise in the morning. Because the truth is, no matter how fun and great it feels to move your body, nothing will leave you feeling better than some deep breathing and meditation. Clearing your mind might seem impossible for some of us, but concentrating on breathing makes it much, much easier.
You’ll want to prop your back up straight, and maybe sit in a cross-legged position if that’s comfortable for you. And then feel your breath normally for a second. Become aware of your surroundings. And then start. Inhale for 1, 2, 3 seconds. Hold for 1, 2, 3 seconds. And then exhale, for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds. Repeat five times.
You’ll notice that you feel energy at the top of the breath, and in the exhale. Keep this in mind throughout your day. You can cultivate that energy anywhere. In a breakroom. On a medical floor. Just take the time for five concentrated breaths.
And you’re ready to start your day!
Right now, healthcare workers are marching on the frontlines of fighting a global pandemic. May 6, commemorates National Nurses Day, and now more than ever, we should celebrate. While many states and local governments canceled events to celebrate the occasion, these businesses are still cheering up healthcare workers by offering amazing discounts and freebies during Nurses Week and the rest of the month.
Nurses Week Deals
Most of these companies are helping nurses and healthcare workers through discounts, donations, and special deals to thank them for their service. This Nurses Week, sales are reaching an all-time high with more businesses joining the party.
Adidas: Currently offering a 40% discount to all verified healthcare workers, including nurses, paramedics, and first responders. All you need is a valid ID and visit: https://www.adidas.com/us/discount-programs.
Mrs. Fields: Through the end of May, healthcare workers can use the code NURSEs and receive a 25% discount on their “Heroes Collection” sweets.
Nursing.com: Are you a nursing student? Then Nursing.com is here to help. They’re currently offering a 36% discount plus a 7-day free trial to their Nursing Student Academy.
Nike: For a limited time, you can receive a 20% discount code to healthcare workers and first responders.
OtterBox: As a thank you to all frontline workers, OtterBox is giving away a 40% discount code to use on all their products.
The North Face: For the rest of the year, The North Face will offer healthcare workers a 50% discount online. For details, please visit their offer page.
Uniform Advantage: To celebrate Nurses Week, Uniform Advantage is giving 30%-50% discounts on nursing scrubs.
Vohra Wound Care: Continue your education and further your career with this FREE Vohra Wound Care Certification Program. Also, to receive 20 CNE credits, use promo code “COVIDNURSE50” for a $50 discount on any educational package.
Nurses Week Freebies
Beyond sales, some companies are helping healthcare workers and nurses by offering free services and products. From coffee to hotel rooms and flights, these are the companies celebrating Nurses Week with plenty of freebies.
Chipotle: On May 6, to celebrate National Nurses Day, verified healthcare workers can receive a FREE burrito. Check Chipotle’s offer website for details.
Circle K: Stop by any location and enjoy FREE coffee or tea when presenting your worker’s ID.
Crocs: The shoe giant has been quite the supporting friend to healthcare workers during the pandemic. Every day at 12 p.m. ET the brand offers free shoes to healthcare workers through the offer website.
Delta Airlines: While they’re not offering a vacation, they’re helping healthcare workers get to the cities that need them the most, currently offering FREE services to those going to Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan. Please visit their website for details.
Dunkin’: Vist any location on May 6 and receive a free medium hot or iced coffee and a free doughnut — no purchase necessary.
Hilton Hotels: Working with American Express, the hotel chain is offering up to 1 million rooms to healthcare workers traveling to be on the frontlines of the pandemic. The offer will be valid until the end of May and might be the best solution for travel nurses.
H&R Block: Throughout May, healthcare workers can file both federal and state tax returns for FREE using H&R Block’s Tax Pro Go.
Lyft Scooters: If you’re currently working in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, Metro DC, San Diego, and Santa Monica, enjoy a 30-minute FREE Lyft scooter drive.
Krispy Kreme: Every Monday until May 11, first responders and healthcare workers can receive FREE dozens at any Krispy Kreme location. All you need is to show your identification badge.
Marriott Hotels: Also, in partnership with American Express, the hotel chain will open up to $10 million in rooms for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who have to move during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OYO Hotels: All active medical personnel can request FREE room stays in the U.S. at any OYO Hotel location.
Red Roof Inn: Until the end of the month, Red Roof Inn will donate several rooms to healthcare workers. Plus, they’ll continue to offer a 20% discount to first responders and medical personnel.
Sheetz: Stay awake with this offer from Sheetz. Until June, nurses and healthcare workers can get a FREE coffee kick when showcasing their badge.
Snickers: Treat yourself to something sweet. Snickers is giving out FREE vouchers that can be redeemed at Walmart to healthcare workers and nurses. To get your coupon visit, https://sendasnickersfromhome.com/
Starbucks: Since the pandemic started, the coffee giant has been there for first responders and healthcare workers. Stop by any location and enjoy FREE coffee to help you stay awake and moving.
Talkspace: There’s no doubt that the mental health impact this pandemic has on nurses, and first responders is unmeasurable. Talkspace, a mental health app, understands this very well. The app is offering one month FREE to anyone that signs up using an NPI or a work badge identification.
Tide: The last thing in your mind is laundry. Tide is here to help you keep your and your family’s clothes clean. Until May 9, Tide will offer FREE laundry services and dry cleaning to the families of healthcare workers.
Uber: The giant ride-sharing company is offering medical personnel, first responders, nurses, doctors, and at-home physicians FREE rides, as well as FREE rides for patients with UberHealth, and FREE UberEats deliveries.
Celebrate a Nurse this Week
To all healthcare workers, first responders, and travel nurses in the frontlines of COVID-19, we salute you. Use these discounts, freebies, and special offers to celebrate your greatness and continue lifting your spirit. From all of us here at Stability, we, thank you.
The concept of social distancing during COVID-19 is daunting, but incredibly important. As a travel nurse, you should still be practicing social distancing while you’re not at work. Keep in mind that even though Stability Healthcare offers day one insurance with United Healthcare, you still want to take steps to keep yourself in the best physical shape.
It’s easy to feel sluggish while you’re home, especially in between shifts. It’s important to remember that keeping active will help with your energy levels and overall health. Below, find an overview of what social distancing is, and how to stay active when you have to actively distance yourself.
What is social distancing?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, social distancing “is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.” That’s why upcoming events, such as conferences and concerts, and non-essential businesses, like movie theaters and restaurants, have been closed until further notice. Additionally, the CDC recommends that people stay at least six feet away from each other, preferably more. This applies when you need to go out for necessities, like food or medication.
This does not mean that you should still go to the beach or a popular hiking path. The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay at home. Even though a brisk walk to get a latte from the walk-up coffee shop seems tempting, it’s not worth the risk. Protect yourself and others by staying at home.
Ways to stay active while socially distancing yourself
Use online methods to exercise
Skip going to the gym, whether it’s in your apartment building or on the way to work, and exercise at home instead. Chances are, your gym is closed anyway. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of credible online guides for at home workouts. If you’re lucky, you may have some equipment at home to work with, such a stationary bike or weight lifts. However, don’t fret if you don’t own any workout equipment. There are several bodyweight exercises you can do, or you can turn objects you have at home into make-shift weights. Here is a brief list of a few suggested exercise guides:
The MyFitnessPal app is available online and on most smartphones. In addition to being a useful tool if you’re counting calories and tracking your weight, the app offers different exercise routines. These routines fall in different categories – “Healthy At Home”, “Run Strong,” “Core Strength,” etc. There are also different routine lengths – so if you need a quick workout between your travel nurse shifts or a longer workout for when you have the evening off, MyFitnessPal can be tailored to your needs. Although the basic app is free, you can upgrade for perks like macro and micro counting food, amongst others.
Making household objects into weights
This will depend on what you have available at your house and if you like to lift weights. For decades, people have been turning household objects into weights; cans of beans, milk carton, vinegar bottles, laundry detergent, and more. There are quite a few articles that give suggestions on what to use and how to use them, like Cosmopolitan, Thrillist, and HBFIT. Obviously, this is customizable to what you have in your household.
Blogilates (plus other Youtube channels!)
Blogilates was started by Cassey Ho about a decade ago. Since then, she’s won awards for her social fitness videos, and has amassed millions of social media followers and subscribers. She has hundreds, if not thousands, of videos to choose from, ranging from 10-minute core exercises to full-length at home workouts. She also does 30-day workouts, which include different daily routines. Seeing as social distancing is most likely going to span several weeks, this may be a fun challenge to try. Ho is incredibly easy to understand and is very encouraging, and a great at-home workout guru for beginners.
Purchase at-home workout equipment and guides
If you feel like you need actual weights, try looking online. Even though a lot of websites are backed up due to COVID-19, if you’re willing to wait a week or two, you should be able to get some basic weights online. On Amazon, you can buy everything from dumbells to weight lifting benches. If you’d like to support smaller companies, you can buy their in-house tools, like the Glute Lab’s glute loop.
Why is being physically active important?
There are ways physical activity benefits your overall health; it puts you at lower risk for chronic diseases, early death, cancer, diabetes, and more. Additionally, according to the CDC, higher amounts of physical activity can lower your annual health bills, improve your cognitive function, and help you destress. By keeping active during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can encourage your own personal and mental health.Read More
Spending a few weeks in Music City amid the COVID-19 pandemic? Nashville is known for its bustling music venues, and the Honky Tonks on Broadway, usually flooded with tourists. But on a beautiful Spring day and with a full tank of gas, you can have a perfect day off while still social distancing. Here’s a day worth of adventures, without all the cowboy-boot-wearing crowds.
Have an early morning to-go breakfast at Loveless Cafe
Drive straight down Highway 100 until you see an old sign for the Loveless Motel. There you can have the most delicious Southern Breakfast you could ask for. A global pandemic might be the best time to grab food at this Nashville breakfast staple without any wait time. Try their biscuits with the strawberry or apricot jam and no other biscuit will ever live up. Get grits, or a platter of biscuit sandwiches, chicken, sausage, and a personal favorite, pimiento cheese and fried green tomato. By the time you’re done, you’ll want to take a nap. Explore the grounds of what really was once a classic ‘50s Nashville motel (while keeping a mindful distance of those around you). There are local shops lined along where the rooms used to be. And there’s a Loveless gift shop where you can buy wholesale bags of the Loveless biscuit mix, stock up now so you can keep enjoying Loveless from the comfort of your own home!
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Take a hike in Percy Warner Park
Get back in your car, and head back East on Highway 100 for a few miles. On your right, you’ll see a mound of hills that make up Percy Warner Park. Hiking trails weave in and out of Nashville’s rolling hills. And they’re super easy treks. It’s a great way to take in some nature, and also burn off those biscuits. Hikes can range from a quick half an hour to four or five. Choose a quick one. You have more to do today!
Drive down Natchez Trace and get lost.
Since you’re already on the West side of Nashville, it’s hard not to hit the historic, and beautiful, Natchez Trace Parkway. When your legs are tired of hiking, experience Tennessee’s greenery driving with your windows down instead. Blast the ‘O Brother Where Art Thou folk soundtrack and drive down the parkway, going nowhere in particular. You’ll encounter some fun landmarks on your way. There’s the big white Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. You can pull over and gaze out from the overpass at just how far Nashville’s green hills stretch into Franklin. Or take the exit right before and gaze at the bridge in its entirety. Either way, it makes a good photo op.
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If you’re feeling truly adventurous, take the exit for Leaper’s Fork, a small town just outside of Nashville. You can drive down the historic block lined with old country stores and antique shops. Stop in Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant for a cone of ice cream. Then head back into the city. Hopefully the sun will be setting on your ride back. There’s nothing like a Nashville sunset.
Get a Martin’s Barbeque Sandwich to go
As you get back into the center of town, we recommend you try Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint for dinner. Go to the Belmont location, and try a sliced beef brisket or a pulled pork shoulder. And load up on sides, from hush puppies to mac & cheese. Get it all to go.
Eat it on top of your car in Love Circle
Then head to Love Circle, the hill in Hillsboro Village that offers an almost completely unobstructed view of the city. Eat your bar-b-que on top of your car and watch as the sun goes down. A perfect Nashville day.
Does Nashville sound like a place you’d like to explore? See available positions at Stability Healthcare and get a start on your next adventure!
Traveling by yourself can be intimidating, and if you’re a travel nurse in a new city, it can be especially so! It may seem scary at first, but the opportunities you receive as a travel nurse are certainly worth it. There are several ways that you can be safer while traveling alone. Below are a few tips, plus a few fun suggestions, that will help ease your mind. Remember, if you have any specific questions, head on over to the Stability Healthcare website or ask your recruiter for more information.
Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood
Chances are you’ll be working in a neighborhood that you’ve never lived in. If you have the opportunity to check out the neighborhood prior to moving, you should do so. This way, you can get a feel for the area before you commit to housing. Does the neighborhood feel relatively safe? If you’re taking public transit, is it far from the bus/train stop? Does the neighborhood look taken care of? These are all aspects you want to consider. Depending on which city you’re in, neighborhood safety can also change block by block. A neighborhood at night can seem very different than a neighborhood during the day. Take a walk at all times of the day. Look online to see if you can find any first-hand stories from those who live in the neighborhood. The best place to get factual information is to either experience it yourself or to talk to someone who has.
Keep your belongings on you safe
If you’re walking alone, make sure that whatever bag you’re storing your items in is secure. Refrain from using open-top bags like tote bags. Instead, use a backpack with a zipper or a side bag that you can fasten. Keep all of your valuables in the main pouch of a backpack, and at the bottom of your bag. Instead of carrying your wallet or cellphone in your pocket, make sure it’s also secure in your bag. Overall, pack light. This will help prevent any pickpocketing.
Always carry your cell phone and have a portable charger
Sometimes it’s tempting to leave your phone at home to disconnect from the world of social media or to clear your head, but it’s always safer to bring it with you. You never know when you may need it, like in case of an emergency or if you need to Uber home instead of taking transit. It’s also incredibly helpful for directions. A portable charger will help ensure that your phone is always able to be used. It also comes in handy if you decide to adventure after your shift and you need to be able to get home in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Pack smart, not heavy. This especially rings true if you’re traveling for a shorter amount of time. Instead of traveling with valuables – like televisions, other large electronics, expensive jewelry, etc. – leave them in a trusted area or with a trusted person. This will not only help you be less of a target for burglary, but it will also help you move easier. Only take the necessities. If you’re working in the summer in California, you most likely won’t be needing that heavy down jacket or mittens. If you’re in Maine in the winter, you won’t be needing those flips flops. Look ahead and plan out what you’re bringing so you don’t over or under pack.
Plan out a budget
Sitting down and looking at your finances is extremely important when it comes to being a travel nurse. You want to accommodate for all of the necessities – housing, food, activities, insurance, etc. It’s best to sit down and write everything down so you know what to expect and how much you can spend. Account for more spending than you think you will. Surprise expenses always pop-up, and since you’ll be alone, you’ll have to hold yourself accountable.
Take advantage of traveling alone, but when you do, let someone know where you are going
One of the biggest benefits of traveling alone is the ability to do what you want to do. Try that funky restaurant down the street, check out that movie you’ve been meaning to see, or visit that national park a short driveway. Your time outside of your shift is yours and only yours to use! Just make sure to let someone know where you’re going if it’s for an extended period of time. On most smartphones you can share your location with someone, allowing them to check on you periodically. This is beneficial when you’re traveling alone, or in case something happens and you need help. In particular, sharing your location is important if you’re doing a physical activity that will place you out of your comfort zone, like hiking or camping.
Scared you’ll get lonely? Consider a pet
There are many opportunities for a travel nurse to bring a pet. If you’re worried that you’ll be lonely or feel like a pet (like a dog) might make you feel safer, consider bringing your furry friend along with you! Just make sure that your position and housing will allow you to travel with an animal beforehand.
Meet other travel nurses and friends along the way
If you’re looking to adventure while you’re a travel nurse, make friends! Just because you may be traveling to a new city alone, doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. At the end of the day, the safest option is to do activities with others. While you’re a travel nurse, you have plenty of opportunities to meet people, whether they’re other travel nurses or if they frequent the same café down the street like you do. Be smart about meeting people, but be open to it.
Are you feeling inspired to pack your bags and hit the road on your next placement? Stability Healthcare can help you find your next placement!Read More
Perhaps, the biggest perk of being a travel nurse is the flexibility to choose your schedule. Travel nurses get to explore the world while fulfilling their career and passion. If you’re looking for your spring assignments, why not pair your destination with the right city to visit during this season. Check out these top-ranking cities to visit during spring, and whether you’re going on an assignment or as personal leisure, you’re bound to enjoy these cities at their fullest potential.
1. Manhattan, New York
Let’s start with New York City. During spring, you get a quieter time in the city, with fewer people overall. Not to mention, the weather is divine, not too hot or too cold, just between the 50s and low 70s. Walk around the bloomed city and embrace spring at its finest by taking a stroll down Central Park.
Don’t miss the orchid show at the New York Botanical Garden, when thousands of orchids from around the world transform the garden into a majestic tropical jungle. In the subject of flowers, stop by the Macy’s flower show and see close to a million flowers perfectly laid out around the store.
Enjoy the weather and take a short trip to Conney Island and explore New York from a different point of view. Finally, take advantage of the multiple spring festivals, and art shows happening around the city for a complete cultural experience.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado
Known as one of the most charming small towns to visit in Colorado, this ski-season favorite is also a must-visit in spring. Not only will lodging be at its cheapest, but you’ll also get to enjoy the beautiful weather as you explore this town.
Don’t miss the Breck spring Beer Festival for a unique artisanal experience. And enjoy some music with the Bud Light Concert Series, usually happening throughout spring.
If you want to live a more adventurous vacation, consider X-country (Nordic skiing), a type of skiing in which the toe of the boot is fixed to the binding in a manner that allows the heel to rise off the ski. Spring-time is the best time of the year to practice this style.
3. Sedona, Arizona
Get ready for a vacation that will blow your mind. Explore the openness and serenity of Arizona and get lost in its trails and canyons. With over more than 100 hiking trails, there always something exciting to try around here. Spring-time is peak season in Arizona thanks to its gorgeous weather, so make sure to plan your stay.
For baseball fans, Arizona is also home to Spring Training practices and games, making it the perfect city to visit during this time of the year.
Overall, you can choose from hiking, horseback riding, or just basking in the amazingness these natural mountains have to offer. Ask around and get an extensive list of all the national parks worth visiting in the area — none will disappoint.
Finally, take some time to relax! Sedona is home to celebrity-worthy spas and retreat hotels. Unplug from everything and enjoy a well-deserved vacation at one of their famous boutique spas.
4. Washington, D.C.
While Washington is a city you can visit year-round, spring is mainly a beautiful season to do so. First of all, the entire town is covered by blossoming cherry trees all over that give this ethereal and magical background to a somewhat cold-looking city. Not to mention, the weather is divine during this time of the year, usually in the high 50s and low 70s.
While you’re there, give yourself a few days to stop by and visit the dozens of historic landmarks. Honestly, it might seem that everywhere you look, you’re staring at a bit piece of history. From the White House to the Capitol and every other museum in between, there are countless opportunities for you to get in touch with your cultural side while visiting Washington.
Before you leave, make sure to stop by Georgetown. This small but crowded area is a must-see while in Washington. Experience a more youthful vibe to the city and bask in the beautiful colorful-painted doors that line up the streets. Stop by a few local bars, and don’t forget to enjoy some shopping at some of the local boutiques.
Remember to reach out to Stability to see if we can help you schedule your assignments during spring at one of these must-visit cities. Make the most out of your role as a travel nurse by exploring the world at the same time.Read More
After working a long shift, you’re going to want to put up your feet and relax in a comfortable atmosphere. Luckily, there are several ways you can find the perfect housing for yourself. When looking for housing, you should write out a list of must-have features, such as your desired distance from the facility you’re working at, amenities you need (laundry on-site, a dishwasher, etc.), how much space you want, and whatever else you consider to be necessary for your living space. After you curate a list, you can turn to these methods of searching to find housing that checks off all of your must-haves:
AirBnB is a great option for housing, especially for a shorter-term placement. The website is easy to navigate, allowing a user to select a city (worldwide!), designate price range, view photos of the unit, and more. Their search tool is extremely customizable. It includes options to narrow down specifics, such as property type, extra amenities like a full kitchen, wifi, parking, and more. You can also choose to rent a full unit, like an entire house, or just a solo room. Additionally, for travel nurses looking for even more adventure on top of their traveling, more recreational-oriented stays are available from bungalows to tiny houses.
Craigslist is one of the most common search engines to find housing. There are plenty of gems posted by users, including long term rentals, short term sublets, and singular rooms for rent. Craigslist is worldwide and you can narrow your search down by city. There is an interactive map which shows which neighborhood the listing appears, usually on the street that the unit is on, so you can get a broad overview of where the unit is in relation to other places in the city. This makes it easier to see how far your rental will be from the facility you’re working at or the distance from places you frequent. There is also a list view if you prefer to view your options in that format.
HotPads is geared towards those looking for a more straightforward rental. Although it’s mostly used to find apartments, more traditional homes are also available. On their website, there are a ton of unique, helpful tools, such as a commute time calculator. HotPads was created by three college students looking for housing themselves, so you know it’s focused on making things as easy for its users as possible.
Furnished Finder is a very common search tool for travel nurses and medical staffing companies. Furnished Finder is made specifically for traveling professionals, and excludes those who are looking to vacation. If you don’t want to manually search yourself, you can simply submit a housing request with your living space must-haves. Furnished Finder will alert property owners that fit in your criteria and directly connect you. As an added benefit, their Resources tab provides a significant amount of information, like how to stay safe and avoid scams while searching.
Overall tips and tricks to finding housing
- If you’re worried about moving costs, keep in mind that Stability Healthcare provides up to $600 in travel reimbursements for your assignment. Additionally, if you find your own housing, you may be eligible for a lodging subsidy.
- Stay safe and trust your gut. Most often, your instincts will be right. If a unit seems too good to be true, it’s best to look at other options. If you are able to check out the unit before moving in, view the unit with a friend or partner. Never meet with a stranger alone.
- Don’t forget about hotels! Some hotels offer discounts for those who are staying for an extended period of time. Most hotels have wifi, restaurants, a room-keeping service, etc. They also tend to be more flexible if something comes up and you have to cancel your stay.
- Check to see if the unit comes furnished or not. If you would prefer to skip the heavy lifting, see which units come fully furnished.
- If you are able to, check out the neighborhood before moving in. Does it seem safe? Is the street quiet? Is there night-life nearby that you’d like to join in on? Not only is your actual unit important, but the atmosphere it’s in is also extremely important. If you can’t physically go check out the neighborhood, check online to see feedback from those who have lived there or who are currently living there.
- Ask other travel nurses. The best way to get reliable information is from people who are currently working in your position. If you’re able to, ask them for advice or recommendations.
Stability Healthcare is an industry leader in travel nursing. If you’re looking for more resources, read more on our blog. You’ll find everything from Tips for Surviving the Night Shift to How to Navigate Health Insurance.Read More