In the new year, commitment is all around us. Whether you’re dealing with taking a travel assignment during the holidays, holiday season personal commitments, social commitments, winter travel commitments, commitments to kids’ activities and sports teams, or your single self is halfway through cuffing season and deciding on whether or not you want to commit to someone special… commitment is alive and well in all forms this month.
Commitments To Your Traveler Self
In addition to commitment, we talk a lot about self-care, and for good reason: taking care of yourself means you are better suited to take care of others when you need to. And as a medical traveler, that’s a pretty important aspect of the job! This year, ditch those canvassed statement resolutions. You know the ones I’m talking about…
“This year, it will be different.”
“This year, I’m going to finally change my life.”
“I’m going to lose weight and read 900 books.”
“I’m never going to fail at anything ever again.”
These statements sound great in theory. You might even make these resolutions with real conviction. You write them down, put them on a Post-It on your mirror in January, and here you go, ready to take on the year. Then, the month goes by. You haven’t changed your life, you haven’t cracked a book at all or lost any weight, and your “this year will be different” statement that seemed so strong at first, is becoming the elephant in the room.
Resolutions like these only set you up for discouragement and frustration. You don’t feel good about yourself. Wanna know why? Because they aren’t real core-shakers that lead you to be a happier person. They are “busy work” statements that don’t actually manifest into progress.
How about these resolutions instead:
“I am going to focus on the things that make me my best self.”
“Moving forward, I’m going to make myself happy.”
“I’m important too. I need to think of me.”
No more resolutions! Welcome to it! It’s the year of committing to yourself.
Why committing to YOU matters.
Medical travelers! Most of you have a set routine you get into each time you’re on a travel assignment. It makes sense because, let’s be honest, switching up your plans every 13 weeks can get a little tiring. A routine keeps you grounded, ready to go, and productive in your professional and personal life. On the flip side, the every day grind can make you numb to what’s going on around you every day. Have you ever gotten to the end of a week and thought, “Where did that day go?” “How is it December already?” “This Thursday feels like a Monday!” You kind of end up floating through your days, right? We get trapped in the routine, the daily rituals, and the main pillars of what we do each and every day to keep our lives running accordingly. Keeping yourself in frame of mind can help you step back and take stock in what you’re doing each day, giving you the opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate.
An opportunity for personal growth.
Often when we think of committing to self-care, we think of small, physically tangible and immediate things that will get us instant results. A massage. A yoga class. A time for meditation. Anything that can give us instant gratification from every day stress is a go-to for assessing our self-care. These are important pieces to self-care, but we should also focus our main efforts on are foundational self-care commitments. The ones that build us up and change the way we do things consistently. How can you find way to live your best life in the new year?
1.) Put a positive spin on your frame of mind.
Thinking about things more positively is easier said than done, and it’s not an instant gratification kind of self-care. Positivity takes commitment every day and challenges your entire core of thinking! For example, if you get to a new travel assignment and it’s not measuring up to what you expected, try to reframe your way of thinking. Instead of focusing on all the ways your assignment isn’t measuring up (i.e. - the city is boring, your coworkers aren’t friendly, your housing is kinda crappy, etc.), think about how you can make a positive impact on your situation:
• Maybe the city you’re currently taking an assignment in requires a little more in-depth research to find fun activities? No matter how dull or boring a city appears to be, there’s always something to do, otherwise nobody would live there! Try asking locals what they like to do for fun or take on a new hobby you haven’t tried yet. This is an opportunity to meet new people and try new things.
• So your new coworkers are bringin’ you down? We all know that not everyone is friendship material and not everyone is going to instantly like each other but try to make the best of your time at work together by being friendly regardless. Fighting fire with fire may make things worse overall, and it’s not worth your energy to cater to negative or mean people. Just be your happy, fun-loving self, and good people will gravitate to you.
• Your housing fell through, or you got there and it was not what you were looking for? We’ve all been there—we have great expectations for what we’re getting into and then something throws a wrench into the plans and we’re disappointed. Look at it this way: you’re only there for 13 weeks, and you can spend a ton of the time out there exploring your city, instead of holed up in the living quarters that fell short of your expectations.
2) Focus on what you can control.
Much like pumping up your positive attitude, focusing on what you can control, rather than what is out of your hands, will help reframe your mindset and lend a hand to problem-solving: a great skill to hone as a medical traveler! Not everything is going to go your way, but if you take stock in what is going well and what needs improvement, you will be able to categorize the things you can change and want to change. All that matters is to keep going and move forward to the next journey, career goal, or personal achievement in front of you. By prioritizing what you can control, you gather the motivation to keep bettering yourself. Constant learning and improvement is part of the traveler lifestyle.
3) Reduce your stress by believing in yourself.
Much like bettering yourself, believing in yourself is equally important. Second guessing your decisions causes a lot of internal stress, and while stress is part of life… working in healthcare can be especially stressful. You’re too busy owning your achievements and focusing on your improvements to let second guessing get in the way, right?
When we think of stress-reduction, a lot of people will book a day at the spa and call it good. Breathing techniques, yoga, massage, meditation, and exercise—all of these instant stress-reducers work. But, for long-term stress reduction, make kudos part of your habit. Believing in your achievements, decisions, and self-worth is a big challenge, but I’m telling you to pat yourself on the back and believe in your skills. You’re an awesome medical traveler, making a difference in the lives of others every day. You deserve to relax. You deserve to care for yourself. You deserve a cookie! By giving yourself positive affirmations every day, you form a habit of thinking that puts you back in the driver’s seat of how you want to live your life. Celebrate your achievements.
Travelers, I hope this year is full of self-reflection and recommitting to the things that make you happy. Consistent self-care is redefining what those specific needs are. Make positive habits out of productivity and personal growth. Take care of you and start another chapter of being your best.