Frequent business travel can sometimes feel like a wild night of partying – you wake up in the morning and don’t have a clue where you are. Even though we might not wake up with a hangover while on business travel, but the initial confusion can feel the same.
As someone who spends a lot of time on the road as the owner of a life and leadership development firm, Potential Unlimited, I came to the realization earlier in my career that I can either be swept away by my busy schedule or I can start to have some control over how I live my life, both at home and on the road. Making yourself a priority is best for you and your clients, enabling you to bring your best to each meeting.
Here are my top 10 tips for wellness on the road:
- Pack with purpose – Pack your essentials, without over-packing as this clutters your suitcase as well as your mind each time you have to go through your bag to find anything. I encourage you to pack more than just your business essentials; think about your wellness essentials too.
Bring your running shoes and a workout outfit. Take along a swimsuit so you can check out the pool first thing in the morning or before bed. And, don’t forget to pack healthy snacks.
- Drink up – When you fly in an airplane, you lose 1-1.5 litres of fluid from your body each hour you are in the air. To prevent that dehydrated jet-lagged feeling, drink equal parts water to what you’ve lost in the air.
- Walk it off – Once you arrive at your destination, make time for a quick walk. Heading outdoors will clear your head before jumping into your event or meeting while also helping your body’s internal clock tune into the time change of the place you are visiting.
- Exercise – To keep your energy levels up and your waist measurements down, ensure you exercise 30 minutes to one hour each day. I find the best time to work out on the road is in the morning because then you know it is done and you are ready for your busy day.
- Take time for you – Of course, the main purpose of your travel is for business. But, allow yourself to schedule in some time to explore the area (which is a great way to find new venues for future events) and have fun. Event planners keep a fast pace, both at home and on the road, so giving yourself some time to explore is a reward for all of the hard work you do.
- Breakfast – Start your day off with a healthy breakfast with lean protein and complex carbohydrates. An egg white omelet with vegetables and whole grain toast is a great choice!
- Take a breath – Make time to give yourself breaks throughout your day, even when you are on the road. There is a tendency to pack in as many meetings as possible, but allow yourself time to unplug. Otherwise, you may face burnout by the time you approach your afternoon meetings.
- Limit your cheers! – Sure, we look forward to a drink at the end of a hard day on the road with a great meal, but you are best to limit it to just that – a (single) drink. First of all, when you drink when you are tired, it hits you quicker and no one wants to be “that” intoxicated professional. Secondly, drinking before bed can play havoc with your sleep. And sleeping tends to be more fragmented when away from home anyway so do your best to support yourself in getting a good night’s sleep by not over-drinking.
- Sleep – If you want to maximize the quality of your rest away from home, start to build in some bedtime routines. Taking a warm bath one to two hours before bed, gets your body to the optimum temperature for falling asleep. Also, bring an enjoyable book to read before going to sleep to slow down your busy mind.
- Journal – Sometimes it can feel lonely away from home, especially for those frequent fliers. Making the time to journal is great for your emotional health.