Travel assignments present some of the best opportunities for allied health professionals of all specialties. You meet fresh faces, explore places you’ve always wanted to see and gain new skills throughout the process! But with all of that excitement, there’s often a certain degree of difficulties. Healthcare workers out of everyone know the struggle of exhaustion, burnout, and even homesickness. If left unresolved, these types of things can lead to depression which is a serious condition millions of people face. Here we’ll talk about some of the ways travelers are beating depression in allied health and how you can too!
As something that affects over 16.2 million adults in the U.S. each year, depression is a serious condition — especially in healthcare. The National Institute of Mental Health’s latest data shows that 6.7% of all U.S. adults experience depressive episodes that impair their ability to carry out their daily activities. Considering the rigorous and often fast-paced nature of healthcare jobs, beating depression in allied health is a serious issue for many. Although it’s not always the easiest thing to address, it’s important to recognize that there are definitely ways to get through difficult times!
3 Ways Travelers are Beating Depression in Allied Health
1. Talk to Someone
This is absolutely easier said than done as many with depression will tell you. Maybe it’s a bit cliche, but it is an essential part of beating depression in allied health. Far too often, working in different states and traveling in general can be a bit isolating. Still, one of the first steps to improving your mental state is acknowledging that your condition can change! You may not feel like bringing up your depression to someone per say, although that’s not exactly what we’re saying.
Making a call to a good friend, loved one, or even your recruiter to talk can really do wonders! Of course, being a travel therapist or allied health professional yourself don’t rule out the possibility of seeking help from someone in your network as well. You’ll be surprised to find just how many people are out there willing to help!
2. Make Time for Exercise
Sometimes the last thing you want to do when feeling depressed is to get up and move but it’s absolutely critical to try! Exercise is one of the best ways to get your blood flowing, blow off a little steam, and help increase your mood. You’ll release some endorphins that will help to counteract some negative thinking along with keeping your body in top shape. You don’t exactly need to be a Cross-Fit junkie to make a difference either! Simply getting out and walking for 30-45 minutes a day can have amazing effects on your physical and mental health. Bonus points if you can enjoy some “forest-bathing!”
If you’re not particularly motivated to just get up and walk or run, it might be useful to schedule classes. Besides, finding a local yoga or kickboxing class is a great way to meet more people and get out of your own head a little bit! Not only will finding time to exercise improve your mental state, but you’ll also be able to withstand long shifts on your feet as a traveling therapist or allied health pro. It’s a win-win situation!
3. Keep a Travel Journal
If beating depression in allied health is something you’ve been focused on for some time now, keeping a travel journal could serve you well. People are incredibly complex things, and our thoughts sometimes require a pen and paper to really take form. Writing down your difficulties at work or in your personal life is another way to really reflect on what makes you depressed and how it can change. Don’t worry about being particularly verbose or poetic, just write down what you feel and read it back. Sometimes it’s enough to air those thoughts out so that they don’t hold power over you any longer.
Sure, it doesn’t work for everyone but there’s something to be said for recording your experience. If you get to the point where you’re really back to a positive state of mind, these writing could serve as a good resource to help others with their depression. Remember, no one is in this field by themselves and there are always others who are willing to help. If you need to seek professional help, don’t feel ashamed and make the most of it!
How are you beating depression in allied health? Let us know in the comments below!