Business Travel: Tips for Relieving Stress
If you’re a business traveler who’s constantly on the go, you know that the schedule can be demanding. And you’re not alone in feeling stressed out at times.
According to a recent survey reported by Business Travel News, 22 percent of respondents indicated that business travel had a “very” or “somewhat” negative impact on their mental health, citing problems with sleep, personal relationships and job satisfaction.
Here are some tips for staying mentally fit while on the road.
See if your company is flexible in letting you choose options for booking flights and hotel rooms. You may have different priorities when it comes to transportation and lodging. The more in control of your preferences you feel, the happier you’ll be while away on business. For example, you may be willing to take a less desirable flight and use the savings in your travel budget to get an upgraded hotel room.
Getting a good night’s rest is important, too. The National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations include avoiding alcohol, nicotine and heavy meals close to bedtime. While it may be difficult if you have business-related dinners, meetings that go late or work to do in the evening, try to stick to the same sleep schedule you have at home. Your bedroom should be cool, between 60 and 67 degrees, and free of noise or light. If your hotel room has heavy drapes, make sure you draw them completely shut. Think about bringing eyeshades, earplugs, or downloading a white noise machine app to your smartphone. If you have a problem getting comfortable due to noise, light or temperature, don’t be shy about ringing the front desk to ask for assistance.
Of course, staying mentally fit is related to staying physically fit. You want to eat healthy and exercise whether you’re at home or on the road. But those things can be difficult when you’re living out of a hotel room. Research healthy meal options at restaurants near your hotel. Make sure you have healthy snacks if you get hunger pangs at night. Try to take a short walk at the end of the day, even if it’s just around the block. It’ll help clear your head and get your heart pumping. To stay healthy, it’s also a good idea to use hand sanitizer whenever possible. Pack a couple of travel-size bottles in your carry-on.
It’s difficult to be “off the clock” when you’re traveling for work, especially if you’re operating in a different time zone from the home office. Setting aside some time to recharge can help you feel mentally fit and ready for the next business trip. Check with your company about its policy for “bleisure” travel, giving you a few days off at the end of the business portion of your trip to relax or go sightseeing. See if you can bring family members along to enjoy that free time with you.