There are so many benefits to meditation: reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced self-awareness, and a clearer mind—all of which are especially important for travel nurses. . As a travel nurse, your health is paramount. If fallen by the wayside, you won’t be able to give optimal care to patients in need. Practicing, and employing, mindful meditation can help take care of your mental health so you’re ready to help others.
If you’ve never meditated before, like many of us, it might sound like a complex process that’s hard to navigate on your own. However, that’s not the case; mindful meditation is a simple process that can be done from virtually anywhere! Here, we’ll break down a few tricks and share some great apps to try mindful meditation so you can stay zen through the hustle and bustle of travel nurse life—no teacher or incense required.
Here are some of the physical basics:
To get started, try sitting in a comfortable space with your legs crossed. You can sit on a pillow or small cushion for help sitting up tall. Rest your hands in your lap, laying one hand on top of the other so the ends of your thumbs touch to create a level ‘bridge’. The bridge of your thumbs should remain straight as you meditate; if your thumbs begin to cave in, remember to sit up and engage your body. If your thumbs begin to make a point towards the ceiling, remember to relax and release some of the tension in your muscles. You can close your eyes or relax your gaze towards the floor—whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Now for the mental basics:
Now that you’ve gotten into the optimal physical positioning, focus on the awareness of mind. Let your thoughts float in and out without willing them do so. A great metaphor to remember is that you are a mountain, and the clouds that pass over? the top of the mountain are your thoughts; let them come and go as they please without willing them in any particular way.
If you’d like a little more guidance
There are plenty of meditation apps and resources available if you prefer a more guided meditation session. The Mindfulness App, available for iPhone and Android, offers plenty of guided meditations ranging from 3 to 30 minutes that you can take on the go. With the app, you can set daily notices reminders to take time out of each day to meditate. Calm, also available for iPhone and Android, offers a variety of meditation sessions, including 7 day programs that focus on sleep, anxiety, and happiness. The app features a variety of nature backdrops and sounds to help find peace. Lastly, UCLA Health and the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offer free online audio clips and transcripts for those looking for a guided introduction to mindfulness meditation. The sessions range from 3 to 19 minutes and you can stream or download them and listen offline.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the physical and mental processes of meditation, keep practicing! There’s always progress to be made. When you finish meditating, you should feel a clear, renewed, and fresh sense of yourself—if not, adjust until you get your desired results!
You can use mindful meditation almost anywhere: before or after a shift, during a lunch break, or at home before you get ready for bed. It can be a great tool to help you stay relaxed and feel rejuvenated, ensuring you’re ready for your next shift and able to give patients the care they need.