Happy New Year! Now that we’re officially getting settled into 2021, we wanted to share some tips and ideas for journaling and setting goals. While this isn’t necessary and people can have mixed feelings on resolutions, the new year presents a great time to reflect and reset (especially after 2020). Check out our recruiter reflections on 2020 and scroll down to get started on your own!
It’s helpful to start off with a self-reflection. Last year was a year like any other – ESPECIALLY for nurses and healthcare workers. One big feat we can all be proud of? Surviving a pandemic AND working through it on the frontlines.
Questions to ask yourself
How have I grown?
What have I learned about myself?
What is one thing I gained? One thing I let go of?
What is an obstacle I overcame?
What were my highs and lows of 2020?
Draw, paint, write out, or print your top 3 moments of the year!
Now let’s take our learnings and reflections and put 2020 in the past. 2021 will continue to prove challenging, but there is one thing is different – there is hope.
Questions to ask yourself
What brings me the most happiness?
What can I do this year to bring me closer to my ideal life? In what ways can I start living that life right now?
What goals can I set to help me have the kind of year I want?
How can I take those year-long goals and break them down into manageable pieces? What can I do this month? This week? Today?
Draw, paint, or write out your top 3 goals for 2021. These can be anything from something tangible like taking a travel placement you’ve been dreaming about to being more positive at work.
Pick a word
If you’ve read through all of this and don’t feel like setting out goals and reflecting, this one is for you. Pick one word and then throughout your year when you are in moments of uncertainty remember that word. For us that word is optimism!
We’re excited to announce our new Nurse of the Month series, where we highlight Stability’s rockstar nurses. Starting with OR nurse Marissa Cascio!
Marissa has always had an adventurous spirit. In her free time, she rock climbs, sails sailboats or scuba dives off the Southern California coast. As a travel nurse, when she drives from placement to placement, she brings a large hiking backpack with her full of supplies to stop anywhere in the country and camp, hike, see the sites.
Last Spring, a dangerous adventure presented itself in a way she didn’t see coming. The Los Angeles hospital where she worked as an OR nurse became flooded with COVID-19 patients. She said that over half the staff contracted the virus. But, just like she would for an off-roading trek through a canyon or desert, Marissa prepared herself. The hospital was drastically short on PPE, so each day she brought home her own mask and sterilized everything, and woke up with a fresh mask in the morning.
During the chaos, she had put in a request with her Stability recruiter to work somewhere she had been dreaming of living: Laguna Beach. This summer, a position opened up at Mission Hospital Providence, and within a few days, Marissa says she went in for an interview.
Now, after surviving the worst of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 surge, she says she essentially works on the beach.
“Every single patient has a beach view of the ocean,” Cascio said. “I just wanted to work somewhere that was actually… paradise.”
We caught up with Marissa and asked her some questions about travel nurse life:
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Pennsylvania. From a town called Greenville. It’s a really small town, a rural area. Like I lived on a dirt road.
Did you always want to go to the West Coast?
I always knew I wanted to travel. I never knew exactly where, but I always wanted to go to California.
Were you always aiming to be a travel nurse?
No actually, I wanted to go to medical school. And so at first, my bachelor’s was in nutrition and dietetics. And then I took all the prerequisites, all the courses, studied for the MCAT. And then last minute I changed my mind. I was dating someone who was already in medical school, and I was like, This is not what I want. So I finished out all my courses and then I went to the accelerated RN program. I got my bachelor’s in one year at Rochester University in New York. I didn’t know until afterward, but it’s the top 3% of nursing programs in the nation.
So eventually you became a travel nurse… what made you want to work with Stability?
I signed up with Stability because I have been traveling for so long. It has been five years now. And I kind of just heard word of mouth, what are good companies and what are bad companies and what are like companies that, you know, stand up for their staff, and their nurses. I was so unhappy with my other agencies, I decided to make this change and I’ve been happy ever since.
What’s the travel nursing community like in general?
There definitely is and it’s more just about the locations you’re in and that’s how you get to like meet people and travel around. I’ve definitely made a lot of friends.
Where do you want to travel next?
Do you have any hobbies you do outside of work?
I scuba dive. I go fishing. I rock climb. I do triathlons. All kinds of stuff. Oh and I’m also an Instagram influencer. I actually just started doing it just like six months ago. And I went from 1000 followers all the way up, like 55,000 followers. So weird.
Do you have a favorite snack in the break room when you’re working long shifts?
String cheese. There’s nothing better than string cheese and playing with it to get your mind off of things.
Is there anything in your nursing life that you just like cannot live without?
Probably my dog. I have a little French Bulldog. His name is Gus. I sometimes call him Gustavo when he looks like an old man. He always travels with me.
Is there anything that you pack (not nursing related) for every move to a new placement?
I have a well, it’s a backpacking bag. And so it’s always ready to go with like five or six days worth of food, fire supplies. It has a pillow, a sleeping bag, everything ready to go backpacking — the shoes, like lines and ropes, and everything like that. So that way if I’m traveling from one place to the other place, and I see something I want to explore, I can just throw on my backpack and go.Read More
Although it’s been roughly nine months since countries across the world have been in various states of lockdown, COVID numbers continue to rise, and precautions are more important than ever. However, it’s still a great time to be a travel nurse. View updated stats relating to COVID and the latest suggested steps to COVID prevention below:
Pay Benefits of Being a Travel Nurse Right Now
- Despite the pandemic, right now is a good time to be a travel nurse. Hospital and the medical field needs plenty of help, a good role for a travel nurse to fill.
- As stated on Nurse.org, the pay for a travel nurse has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. Typically, travel nurses earn around $3000 per week, but as an incentive to work during the pandemic, that pay rate has increased in some places to over $10,000 per week.
- If you have additional questions on how to become a travel nurse, the Stability Healthcare blog has plenty of information to offer.
COVID Cases are the Highest They’ve Been
- On December 2nd alone, The New York Times reported 2,885 new coronavirus deaths and 199,988 cases across the United States. Currently, in the US, there have been over 14 million reported cases and over 257,000 deaths. Keep in mind these are only reported cases, not including those who may have been asymptomatic and went untested or those unable to get tested due to limited testing capability.
- Rising COVID numbers vary by state. Although numbers are high across the USA, there are a few states where numbers are slowly decreasing, such as Maine, Vermont, and Hawaii. Texas has now surpassed California and leads with the highest number of reported COVID cases.
- COVID numbers outside of the United States vary between countries. According to CNN, the US leads the world in the highest number of cases and death, with India following behind with 9.5 million cases and 138,000+ deaths.
Worry Surrounding the Upcoming Holidays
- Multiple government officials and healthcare leaders, including Dr. Fauci, have expressed concern that COVID numbers will aggressively rise due to the holidays. Dr. Fauci has called on self mitigation to help prevent the spread of COVID, however, without any official mandates in place, increasing numbers are still expected.
CNBC stated that “while the CDC warned people against traveling for Thanksgiving, more than 9 million people traveled in airports running up to and after the holiday.”
- As seen during Thanksgiving, families and friends tend to gather during holidays, which poses an elevated risk for contracting and infecting others with COVID. Not only are people more likely to interact maskless with others they do not live or work with, but the longer the time people are together, the higher the probability of contracting COVID from an infected person is.
- If you do plan on gathering with family or friends for the holidays, the CDC encourages wearing masks, being six feet apart from others, and frequently washing hands. There is less risk of congregating outdoors while still wearing a mask while not eating or having a drink. Guests should remain on the quieter side, since taking and singing loudly have proven to pose a higher risk of passing COVID. View the full list of prevention methods here.
New Vaccine Developments and Who Will Get it First
- Multiple companies have announced developed vaccines that are reliable and effective, but none are yet officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the CDC, in late November there were five different COVID vaccines that were in large-scale clinicals trails: AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Janssen’s COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. It’s expected that some versions of the vaccine will be approved by mid-December, which will spur a roll-out amongst several states.
- As reported by NPR, the general consensus is that the vaccine “should go to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living.” Due to its expected limited availability, people within those groups might also be parsed through to determine who is in greatest need for a vaccine. NPR points out that the primary goal of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is to “reduce severe illness and death from the disease and to lessen disruptions to society and the economy from the pandemic.” The CDC released a loose plan for vaccine roll-outs which can be viewed here.
- When the vaccine will be made to the general public is hard to say. Those who don’t work in a healthcare position and who aren’t considered high risk might be waiting until spring or summer 2020
Other COVID-related News
- Surprising many, the CDC has revised its quarantine guidelines. Originally, people were encouraged to quarantine for 14 days following a known exposure. Now, the CDC says that a seven-day quarantine will suffice if said person gets a negative test result after being tested no earlier than the seventh day. Additionally, quarantine can end if the exposed person isolates for 10 days with no symptoms.
COVID statistics are continuously updated. Suggested sources are The New York Times, CNN, and any other reputable publications and sites. The CDC is the best source regarding information on how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID.
As a travel nurse, you’re used to being on the road. While everyone goes about it a little differently when it comes to moving and packing, there is one thing that most travel nurses have in common: you have to pack light. You may have seen our tips for finding housing or how to pack, but with the cold months approaching we want to talk about feeling cozy and comfortable in your temporary housing.
Making your temporary housing feel cozy is so important, especially in the midst of a pandemic when we’re spending a lot of time at home. Home should be a place where you feel most comfortable. With these simple tips, you’ll be snuggling up in a homey environment in no time.
Who can deny that a plant suddenly transforms a space. They naturally filter air pollutants, they’re calming, stress-relieving, and overall provide a wonderful mood boost. Plants can absorb harmful gases through the pores in their leaves, filtering the air in your room. Keep an eye on our blog later this month for a guide to which plants are the best, but for now to keep it simple here are some of the easiest plants to keep alive while traveling from place to place: succulents, snake plant, and aloe vera.
As children, everyone had their favorite blanky. It brought comfort, safety, and familiarity. It doesn’t hurt adults to have a favorite blanket that you keep with you to snuggle up with. A nice blanket, whether it be a fun fleece print that you love, something your grandma handknitted for you, or just something so soft you can’t resist, is a guaranteed way to cozy up a space and make it feel more like home.
Did you know candles can increase focus, improve your mood, and even help you remember positive memoreis? Finding a scent that is familiar and reminds you of home is the perfect way to transform any sort of temporary housing you may be staying in into your home. Plus, there’s no better way to set the mood for an evening of relaxation after a long shift.
We can’t forget photos! Nothing beats a photo of a pleasant memory to boost your mood. Print up a handful of your most favorite moments that have been captured and bring them with you on all of your placements. You can hang them on a wall, spread them out on a dresser, or even just have them sitting in a stack on your bed side table. These physical momentos will bring you joy when you need it most.
While some people may find it a bit extreme to travel with art, it can actually be the key to transforming a space. Find one or two pieces of art that you love – a print by your favorite illustrator, an old movie poster you found at a flea market, something that used to hang in your childhood home. When you go from place to place, find a new spot for your art and it will feel right at home and provide a sense of consistency and familiarity.
Ready to embark on your next adventure? Vist Stability Healthcare to book a travel nursing placement today!Read More
Working at a hospital can really take a toll on a nurse’s health with long hours, lots of time on your feet, lots of high-stress moments, and no consistent routine. It’s important to get in a little extra movement to keep you in tip-top shape so you’re feeling good.
Starting the day with a workout isn’t for everyone, but it is a fantastic way to get the day started. The common misconception is that you have to wake up at the crack of dawn and lose needed sleep to squeeze in a morning workout, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier than usual, and get in one of these convenient morning workouts – all under 20 minutes and all can be done out of the comfort of your own home.
Maddie Lymburner of MadFit has a goal is to help inspire everyone at all fitness levels to get up, get moving, and reach their goals. This 15 minute morning workout is the perfect combination of stretching and cardio to get you moving.
If you’re in the mood for something more lowkey, then this full-body stretch is perfect. Mady Morrison is a Berlin-based yoga instructor and her workouts aim to leave you feeling balanced in body and mind. This video takes you through a full-body stretch that is perfect to get you ready to head into a 12-hour shift.
If you’re in the mood to get moving, this 12-minute cardio routine is sure to get your heart racing. Dudzz Dimension is a former NCAA Basketball player and current Personal Trainer and his videos are for beginners and pros alike. The best part? This only takes 12 minutes!
If yoga is your thing, this one is for you. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know we mention yoga fairly often This 20 minute full-body flow is the perfect way to center your mind and body before starting your day.
And last but not least, you don’t even have to change your alarm for this one. This 5 minute routine from the Allbengers is just enough to help you break a sweat and keep you feeling strong and ready to take on your shift.
Ready to test out your morning workout routine in a new city? Stability Healthcare offers travel nursing placements all across the country. Find your next placement today.Read More
Travel nursing is a rewarding career and many individuals choose it for a variety of reasons. Like most health professionals, nurses spend the majority of their time taking care of others and not themselves.
However, if you are a travel nurse, it’s essential to start retirement planning as soon as possible. At the end of your time in the workforce, you want to make sure that you have enough funds to enjoy your retirement after many years of hard work and dedication to patients.
With that said, if you’re looking for retirement resources, this article is for you. Continue reading to learn more about nurse retirement and what you can do to secure your future finances.
Understand Your 401k Options
When it comes to retirement planning, one of the primary problems that travel nurses face is setting up a 401k. As you know, travel nursing usually involves working for various employers, which makes setting up a 401k difficult.
Since travel nursing isn’t a conventional job, some companies may not offer investment plans. Thankfully, nurses who work through Stability Healthcare don’t have to worry about that.
Once you’ve worked with us for one year, we’ll provide you with the details on our 401k plan and how you can enroll through our partner ADP. We have an incredible selection for you to choose from and we want all of our employees to secure their monetary future.
Retirement Planning for Travel Nurses
Now that you know that we offer 401K plan options to our employees, you can take the proper steps towards implementing your retirement financial planning.
Although we require one year of work before you can enroll into our 401k, there are other things you can do to ensure that you are protected financially. Below are a few suggestions:
Save 15% of Your Income
Even without a 401k, there are ways that you can jump-start your retirement planning. One of the smartest things to do as an employee is to pay yourself. Saving 15% of your income ensures that you’re putting away a nice nest egg.
In addition to a 401k, using a Roth IRA allows you to invest money that grows tax-free. The good news is, you won’t be taxed once you take the money out for retirement either.
Your objective should be to continually invest for retirement, even while you concentrate on other financial obligations— like paying off your mortgage. By implementing financial strategies that work in conjunction with one other, you can create a stress-free life after nurse retirement. Therefore, after 20 to 30 years of working, you could have a home that is paid for and a hefty retirement savings.
Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan: Yes or No?
When starting your nurse retirement plan, one of the primary decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not you want a tax-deferred benefit. Basically, Tax-deferred means that you won’t pay taxes on your income right now.
However, you will have to pay them on the funds once you withdraw it. It’s a big decision to make, but it’s one that you’ll have to choose carefully. If you believe you are in a position to pay taxes right now, then do so. That way you won’t have to pay the money after retirement.
On the other hand, if you have lots of financial obligations, you might benefit from saving money on paying taxes and waiting until you have a larger lump sum after retirement.
Retirement Financial Planning: Invest Long-Term
Retirement planning takes a lot of patience and willpower. One of the biggest challenges individuals face when trying to secure their financial future is the impulse to withdraw money from their 401k.
Things happen in life, and when they do most people panic and become riddled with fear and anxiety. In this state of mind, you might decide to pull all the money out of your 401k, which interrupts the consistency of your retirement planning.
It’s important to remember that investing is a marathon, not a sprint. So before you go tampering with your retirement money, make sure you have other savings funds set aside to help you in case of a financial emergency occurs.
Monetary difficulties are examples of situations when saving 15% of your income comes in handy.
Use Professionals to Help With Nurse Retirement
Sometimes it helps to have an expert financial advisor to assist you with your retirement planning. One of the biggest misconceptions is that financial professionals are only helpful to individuals with large salaries. However, people of all tax brackets can benefit greatly from a monetary advisor.
If investing and retirement planning is too big of a task, let an expert assist you. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re set at the end of your working years. Plus, it’ll provide you with someone who holds you accountable.
A financial professional can also offer tips on what you can do in the event of a monetary setback.
Travel Nursing Made Easy
Retirement planning is essential for securing your financial future. But if you’re at a crossroads in your career and need to find your next nursing job, Stability Healthcare can help.
Our free job search platform allows you to view jobs that pay your preferred rate. You’ll get interviews quicker through our platform and begin a rewarding travel nursing assignment in no time.
For questions about our services, feel free to call 855-742 4767. Also, check out our nursing reviews to learn more about how we’ve helped other travel nurses.Read More
Wearing a face mask at work all day long has become a glum, dreaded reality for everyone, but especially for nurses. While some ERs and ICUs might require you to wear the masks they give you, a lot of hospitals and clinics are loosening to allow staff to bring in their own masks. So as we’re finally getting used to breathing through fabric all day, it’s time to invest in a mask like you would a good stethoscope or a good set of scrubs. You want a mask that’s breathable and that stays in place while you’re talking to patients (if you’re having to pull it up all day, what’s the point, right?). You want your mask to offer you the greatest level of protection, both for yourself and the people around you, because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to remain social distanced with all of your patients. And finally, you want your mask to be comfortable and as attractive as a mask can be. Like most things, if you can make it cute, you can make it work.
That’s a lot of requirements for a small piece of fabric, but here are five mask companies up to the challenge.
Maybe it’s because Mandala is already used to making practical items for those who work in the healthcare industry, but these masks rock! They come in lots of different solid colors, two different sizes and two different styles. They have adjustable ear straps, a wire to fit to your nose, and a pocket insert where you can put filters. Each mask comes with a pack of three replaceable PM2.5 filters, which is a six layered activated carbon filter, designed to effectively block airborne contaminants.
The masks are made with the same anti-microbial fabric that Mandala makes their scrubs with, so they’re sanitary and easy to breath in. And with the adjustable straps, they offer a nice clean look. You can talk all day in them and they won’t fall down your face. We recommend the pleated cloth style, as it offers a little more breathing room than the other style.
Price: $9.99 each
There’s no hiding how much we love Figs and to no surprise at all, they have launched a fantastic mask. Simple with pops of fun color, these masks are comfortable, breathable, and sleek. Made with both safety and comfort in mind, these masks boast features like a bendable nose wire for a close fit, a slot for replaceable filters, and soft elastic ear loops for all day comfort. Made with Figs signature FIONx fabric with Silvadur™ antimicrobial technology, four-way stretch, moisture-wicking, anti-wrinkle, and ridiculously soft properties, this mask is sure to check all of the boxes. The Medium/Large mask can even be worn over an N95 mask for extra coverage!
Price: $12.99 each
The Mandala masks have everything….except fun patterns. If florals are really your thing, these double-cotton face masks come highly recommended by stylish doctors. They come in six different floral patterns and each comes built with two cotton layers and a washable filter in between, as well as adjustable ear straps. Reviews all say they’re cute and comfy.
Price: $14.99 each
If you’re looking for a more casual, athletic look in a mask, these Casetify cotton masks look simple and light, but still offer you all the protection you need. Just like Mandala masks, these come with two filter inserts. They don’t have the wire at the top of the nose, but they fit snugly enough for it not to matter.
Price: $12 each
These are made with three layers of thick cotton t-shirt material, but they’ve also been treated with an anti-microbial layer, giving even more protection from bacteria. The Buck Mason masks are unique because they tie around your head, like a real surgical mask. It gives you the freedom to tie them comfortably so they stay in place all day.
Price: $30 for a five pack
For an everyday selection of face masks, you really can’t go wrong with Old Navy. They offer limitless bundles of different patterns, and all of them are three layer cloth. They have ear adjustable straps, and they’re SO affordable. You can buy a 10 pack for $25. You could wear a different mask every day of the week without having to wash. Amazing!
Price: $25 for a 10 packRead More
It’s always an asset in any career field to be fluent in more than one language. But for nursing in particular, where so much of your job depends on being able to communicate and connect with people from all kinds of backgrounds, being bilingual is a major plus. Here are five reasons that speaking two or more languages at least semi-well could make your nursing career soar.
Exciting foreign job prospects
If you speak another language, especially a romance language, you will be at the top of the list of applicants to go to all kinds of exciting places outside of the United States. COVID-19 may have put a bit of a complication on international placements, but a lot of countries are opening up their work visas again, and it might be nice to go somewhere with a lower case count than the U.S.
You can be more accurate with keeping records, and give better care
Even if you’re not going abroad, hundreds of languages are spoken throughout this country, and there are many families who don’t speak English very well. Especially if you’re working with vulnerable populations, it can be a huge asset to be able to speak with someone in their native tongue. Doctors and nurses get things wrong all the time when there’s a language barrier. You could be the person that steps in and saves the day.
Right now especially, if you’re trying to go where you’re needed most, it can be essential to speak another language. There are all kinds of neighborhoods in cities around the country where English is not the dominant language spoken, and if you want to work in the clinics and hospitals in those neighborhoods, it’s important that you can communicate with patients. Whether it’s Little Havana in Miami or Little Saigon in Seattle or even the Bronx, speaking a second language will make you a treasured nurse to those patients in need of care.
The ability to connect
There’s nothing harder than having a language barrier with someone who is fighting for their life and really needs the comfort that nurses so often provide. Sometimes it can leave nurses themselves feeling helpless and like they can’t perform their job as well as they’d like to. Taking the effort even just to speak basic sentences in other languages like Spanish or Mandarin could make a world of difference for your patients. Think about it — if you’re in pain or you’re about to go into a frightening surgery, or even if you’re just in a room full of strangers, it’s stressful enough as it is. Imagine having the added stress of having to translate all of your thoughts and questions into a language that isn’t your own. And imagine how relieved you would feel to know that someone who works there can speak to you in the language you’re most comfortable in. It really is a huge thing
Want to find a new placement to practice your Spanish, French or Mandarin? Check out our list of placements here.Read More
For most people, fall means orange leaves, pumpkin-spiced lattes, cute knit scarves, and scary movies, but for nurses, this is the season of crowded emergency rooms and clinics filled with folks running fevers and coughing. That’s right: it’s the dreaded flu season. And this year will invariably be worse than most flu and cold seasons we’ve experienced in the past. With the drier air comes a faster spread of both the regular seasonal flu and COVID-19. It will undoubtedly be a busy season for travel nurses, who are already in high demand around flu season.
Here’s what nurses should be prepared for as we head into the colder weather.
First, a little bit of hope: If COVID-19 restrictions stay in place (or tighten) it’s possible we’ll see fewer cases of the flu.
Considering how well the U.S. is doing with containing the spread of COVID-19 (not great, considering we have 4 percent of the world’s population and 21 percent of its coronavirus deaths), this might be a little optimistic. However, countries in the Southern Hemisphere who are already well into their flu season have reported fewer flu cases because of travel restrictions, social distancing, and wearing masks.
But as the weather gets colder, outside gathering options will be limited, and likely more people will be inside together. So the latter could cancel out the former. It remains to be seen.
Get your placements in order now.
Hospitals are already working to bulk up their staff in anticipation of a hectic cold and flu season. If you specialize in ICU or the Emergency Department, you’re in extremely high demand. Now is the time to figure out where you really want to be right now as a travel nurse, because it’s likely that there are spots open almost anywhere. That might not be the case a month or even a few weeks from now as spots fill up, so start putting in for the placements you want now.
Your patients can be infected with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
The CDC has confirmed that, yes, it is possible to contract two viruses at once. This will mean patients will need careful treatment from healthcare professionals who can diagnose symptoms of both viruses. It also means that several people will likely have to be hospitalized more than once, making emergency rooms and ICUs even more crowded.
Don’t forget to vaccinate!
While we might not have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet, we certainly have one for the flu this season. If you haven’t already, get yours now! According to the CDC, everyone should get their annual flu vaccine by the end of October. And keep in mind that it takes about two weeks after getting your shot for antibodies to develop. So don’t go thinking you’re immune right after getting vaccinated.
Want to secure your dream placement as flu season begins? Check out Stability’s list of high-paying placements here.Read More
There’s nothing more infuriating than getting home after a 12 hour work day on your feet, getting into bed, and then realizing you can’t fall asleep. It doesn’t make any sense! You were yawning for the last three hours of your shift! You are mentally and physically exhausted. But your brain says tough luck and starts racing instead of winding down.
This can happen for a number of reasons — if you had that last cup of coffee a little too late in the evening, if you waited to eat dinner until 9 or 10 p.m. But when you’re a nurse trying to stay awake for your shift, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. There are some easy nighttime rituals that will make it easier to go to bed after a rough shift. Believe it or not, yoga is a great way to help your mind and your body wind down after a hectic day. A national survey found that over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress. Here are five moves, recommended by the Harvard Health Blog, to try before you crawl into bed.
Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)
A fan favorite, child’s pose can help promote a sense of stability and calm. It gently stretches your back and your hips, but is static and secure, so you’re not getting those nerves in your neck and spine fired up. Put your feet together on the mat, and widen your knees hip width apart. Exhale and just fold your torso over your thighs. You can relax your hands, palms up, stretching back by your feet. This is better for nighttime than reaching your hands forward on the mat, which is a more active pose.
Just rest your forehead on the mat and take as many deep, concentrated breaths as you want.
Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Staying on the ground for this move, you can lie flat on your back and give yourself a good hip and groin stretch. Make the balls of your feet tough and let your knees fall away from each other, as close to the ground as they’ll go. Relax your arms on the floor about 45 degrees away from your torso, palms facing the ceiling.
Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani )
This one is especially good for nurses, as it helps recirculate the blood flow in your feet, knees and ankles, which can get swollen and inflamed after a day of working on your feet.
Bring your mat up as close to the wall as possible, lie flat on your back, and gently place your legs up the wall. Try and keep them as straight as possible. Relax your arms by your sides and take a few deep breaths.
Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana) at the wall
You’ll also need a wall for this one. Stand about a foot away from whatever wall you choose, and with your feet hips width apart, press your hands against the wall with your palms spread at the height of your hip. Step back enough so that your back becomes flat and perpendicular to the floor. Keep your feet hips width apart and press your hands into the wall to lengthen your spine. You should be making a backwards L shape with the wall. Your back will feel soooo much better after doing this pose.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
Finally, the perfect pose to do right before getting into bed. Lie on your back, take your knees into your chest and take in a big inhale, then exhale and press your legs straight, touching the floor. Lie with your hands relaxed at your sides, palms up. And practice a few deep, concentrated breaths.Read More