Anxiety is our natural way to protect ourselves from situations we’re afraid of or uncertain about. The first time going or doing anything new is a big opportunity for our anxieties to come and ruin the excitement of a wonderful and exciting journey. Don’t let the fear of a new day ruin this for you. Begin your endeavor with a steady and calm head on your shoulders with these 4 sneaky ways to avoid an awkward first day on your new assignment.
Make your first day on the job the best day with our trusty first-day checklist!
Bend so You Don’t Break
Yoga is a simple and versatile practice that can be done virtually anywhere, anytime. Yoga helps calm nerves, relieve stress, improve your attitude, steady your breathing or just flow through the motions to pass the time. Yoga is great for travel nurses because the materials are minimal (check out these minimal essential yoga materials for frequent travelers) and the practice can be done literally everywhere!
Don’t ever be ashamed if you need to #StopDropandYoga. Join the movement.
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Quick Tips: Before leaving for your next assignment, practice yogic breathing to get yourself familiar on the effects and your favorite positions and techniques. This helps calm your nerves when you feel like you might start to spin out of control.
Try these breathing techniques and sitting positions provided by the Yoga Journal to get you started!
Go to Bed Early
Just like sleeping in a new place that isn’t home, the night before anything big consists of lots of tossing and turning. To keep your mind from racing through hundreds of “what-ifs” set yourself up for a quick and easy morning so you can get ready and out the door without running around in a panic.
Quick Tips: Lay out your travel outfit with a sweater you can tie around your waist for changing climates and room temperatures. Line all of your bags up by the door and write out a morning checklist of things you need to pack in the morning (i.e. toothbrush, chargers, snacks, and water bottles).
Terrible packer? Download our 13-week packing checklist (bonus: pets are included!)
Be Kind with Others
When you’re nervous about making a positive impression on new people, it’s hard to keep yourself from blabbing too much, too fast. Remain neutral and work on getting to know everyone’s name you come across or work with often. Don’t weigh in on topics like, “this facility is way better than the last” or get stuck in conversations with people who are trying to clue you in on “policies that suck” or “certain co-workers to avoid because this, that and the other.”
You came to a new facility to help people, explore new environments, and meet new people. Don’t go in with an axe to grind right off the bat. Keep your fresh start exactly that, fresh.
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Quick Tips: Make a point to take regular lunches and find a new table to sit with every day you’re working. Many nurses get caught up in a busy shift and skip lunch. Social hour in the middle of the day is useful to get to know the area, give your brain and feet a break, and meet important people you might not run into otherwise.
Learn more about how Freedom Healthcare maintains a drama-free workplace!
Internal Pep Talks
When we’re feeling unsure about what we’re doing or worried we’re going to goof in front of new supervisors and co-workers, we become our own worst advocate. We beat ourselves down before we’ve even had a chance to try to succeed. When you’re scared are you filling your brain with: “This is impossible, I suck at this, why did I do/say that?” These negative mantras bog down our confidence and turn our self-esteem into nervous wrecks.
Quick Tips: Instead of negative thoughts, give yourself a daily positive mantra to chant over and over in your head. Mantras are positive affirmations built in Hindu and Buddhist religions that are meant to be repeated mentally to help concentrate. In fact, there are many mantras just for nurses.
Build a custom list of nursing mantras to chant in your head for every situation you can possibly run into at any point in your new assignment.
Mindfulness and self-confidence are your two confidants to get you through any roadblock on your new traveling nurse assignment. Fill your mind with positive affirmations, #StopDropandYoga before you stop, drop, and break down, and get to know the other amazing caregivers around you for a #NoDrama workplace.