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As a traveling healthcare professional, there can be constant change around us. One day we are driving through snow in New England, and the next we are in the heat and humidity of Houston. When so much is changing, it can be important to have some routines that we stick to in order to help our mental stability. I do a lot of speech therapy with routines for my patients with brain injuries or neurological deficits. The reason I do that treatment and advocate for routines is
Having A Morning Routine
Starting a day with a routine starts with having a routine in the morning. Even though I rise fairly early, I know that I need a prolonged routine to feel comfortable leaving home in the morning. Wherever I am in the world, I tend to have the same routine in the mornings. Every day I wake up, have a cup of coffee, get ready, catch up with current events and emails, make myself breakfast, and leave home. This routine doesn’t change and it takes about an hour a half. I always give myself time to complete that routine before I leave home.
Pack Lunches With The Same Dishes
I get stressed out if I don’t know where my food is coming from. As somebody who likes to eat clean, whole foods, I can’t leave my nutrition up to fate. I make it a priority to pack my lunch daily, the night before work. Oddly enough, I noticed recently that I always pack my lunch with the same dishes/Tupperware containers. This is important to me because I know with the same dishes that I pack the same serving sizes, which is what I prefer. So now, with every assignment I make sure to pack my lunch box, Tupperware, and water bottle so I can use the same stuff.
Cooking Go-To Foods
Along with packing my own lunches, I also like to cook the same foods. Personally, I tend to eat the same foods day in and out with minimal variation. Some people may find that pretty boring, however, I enjoy it. I eat eggs for breakfast, so I buy eggs in bulk and know that I always have some in the fridge. I eat a salad every day for lunch, so I buy lettuce, veggies, avocados, and cook chicken or another protein for my salad. It’s helpful to go into the grocery store, especially on my first visit in a new place, and know exactly what I need to buy. As my assignment goes on, I tend to experiment more with cooking and will try more recipes. However, initially, I tend to be very routine in the food that I eat, buy, and cook.
Hang Clothes In The Same Locations
I don’t know about you, but I get really stressed if I can’t find my clothes. As a traveler, I don’t need that kind of stress in my life. For this reason, I hang my clothes up in my closet pretty much in the same location in every closet that I ever put my clothes in. Starting from the left to right, I put my clothes in order by type. On the far left I have my long sleeve shirts, next my pants, then my scrub pants, then my scrub tops, followed by my tank tops, short-sleeve tops, and finally my dresses. Having that same routine and structure helps me keep my mind calm when doing laundry, hanging up clothes, and selecting clothes to wear.
Have Familiar Candles Or Scents
A smell triggers a lot of emotions and can become a part of your routine. Burning a familiar candle can help to make your space feel like home and create a calming routine when you enter home. Even though candles can be bulky to pack, consider bringing one, or buying one on assignment, to add to your routine. You can light it when you come home from work to help you decompress and relax.
Schedule Out Your Week
Creating a routine for your week can help to keep you focused during your assignment. Try setting up days to do certain things, like laundry on a certain day of the week, grocery shopping another day, etc. Setting up a weekly schedule for errands, chores, and exercise can help to keep you focused. As a traveler, you probably want time to explore your new area, so that can be hard to fit in if you don’t schedule out your time in advance. With all of the changes and unknowns of travel, having a routine can help you stay focused and adjust to your new surroundings. Whether you create your own
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