April 8, 2019

Top Tips for Destressing After a Hard Day at Work

travel nurse dealing with stress from shift

Traveler stress levels seem to be on the rise. In fact, stress amongst health care travelers is one of the most serious health issues facing travelers today. The job comes with a lot of emotional stressors, decision making, and responsibility. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the stress of the day stayed behind at the hospital? If those heart-pumping, shallow-breathing, muscle-tightening moments of stress couldn’t follow you home? The reality though is, that stress needs to be released.

Stress can lead to decreased productivity, high disengagement, and frequent absenteeism. It causes poor judgment, inability to concentrate, moodiness, frustration, and frequent colds among a litany of other effects. Although there isn’t a magic switch that can turn stress off, you can take steps to release it so you don’t feel it build up. Here are some tips on how to de-stress after a hard day at work.

challenges of nursing

5 Stress-Relieving Activities for Travelers

Deep Breathing

Let your body take the lead to destressing. By breathing deeply, you bring your body into a state of relaxation and encourage “full oxygen exchange.” This lowers the heartbeat and can lower or stabilize your blood pressure.

The opposite of deep breathing, which is shallow breathing, is a marker of a state of stress. When you experience “fight or flight,” also known as the stress response, your body is prepared for danger. Many travelers feel this response frequently during the day. By taking several deep breaths, during which you are slowly inhaling and exhaling, you relieve tension caused by this state.


Meditation, which can incorporate deep breathing, is a do-anywhere, free way to relax. It can give you a renewed sense of focus and release negative emotions.

meditation app

Simply sitting quietly for several minutes a day and focusing on your breath may be enough to release your stress. Some people like to listen to guided meditation audio while lying down. There are many meditation apps you can use to help you calm your mind. Check out this list of top meditation apps.

It doesn’t matter which way you choose; the objective is to take a few minutes each day to be still, quiet, and breathe.


If the thought of bending upside down and twisting doesn’t appeal to you when you’re stressed, think again. Yoga can put your body in the opposite state of fight or flight, which is rest and digest.

tips for travel nurses to relieve stress

Yoga combines deep breathing and meditation as well as poses. There are several poses, such as child’s pose and upward facing dog, which can help relieve the stress of the day. One pose that is guaranteed to relieve stress is bharadvaja’s twist. This gentle seated twist gives your internal organs a massage while stretching the spine, shoulders and hips. It feels like you’re wringing out all the worries of the day and leaving them behind.

Take a Screen Break

Instead of indulging in a Netflix binge (or after indulging in a little Netflix wind-down), give your body and mind a break from stimulation and see how much more relaxed you become by practicing some of these simple, quiet de-stressing methods. Include a few of these practices in your post-work routine and feel the stress of the day melt away.

TNAA Support Services

We understand the emotional burden of traveling can be overwhelming — that’s why we’ve designed our support services with our travelers in mind.

TNAA nurse support services

Chaplain Services

If you’ve traveled with us, you may have spoken with one of our chaplains. It’s important that our nurses know they have someone to speak with for emotional support. Whether it’s personal struggles or a work-related frustration, our chaplains are available. Our travelers receive contact information for Chaplains Janice and Chris, but should you need to get in touch with them, your recruiter can connect you.

Clinical Department

Most of our travelers know our clinical team as the background-operating team ensuring they can stay on contract. From on-boarding to career coaching, our clinical team works to make sure our nurses have what they need to be successful at their facility. They also are travelers. There’s a special camaraderie amongst travelers. So if you’re dealing with anything from bullying to struggling with work-related frustrations and want to talk to people who truly understand what it’s like on the floor, reach out! Read more about how Clinical helps support travelers through the emotional and physical challenges of the job here.

Employee Assistance Program, EAP

There may be times when life’s demands can affect your work, health, and family life — rest assured we’re with you. Our Employee Assistance Program acts as a concierge for support, resources, and information. We want our travelers to be reassured knowing they have access to confidential counseling provided at no charge. Our travelers have access to financial and legal experts, plus discounted services if they need additional assistance. Think of it as a helping hand to help you tackle everyday challenges, like finding childcare. Want to know more about our best-in-class benefits? It’s all here.