Self-care is always a hot topic at the beginning of the year. It’s a laudable goal with countless personal benefits, especially for a multitasking professional. Self-care can be somewhat easy to incorporate into your daily routine until your routine is thrown off track. How do we practice self-care when traveling?
In today’s busy world, it’s not uncommon for professional demands to put you on the road a couple of times per month. The Global Business Travel Association estimates the number of business trips taken annually in the US at 488 million. Traveling is commonplace in many professional realms. So, it’s imperative we know how to take care of ourselves without the comforts of home.
The concept of self-care doesn’t change from your home to a hotel room. Your body still needs the same things: nutrition, exercise, rest, etc. Taking care of ourselves just becomes a little more difficult and requires even more effort on our part when we step outside our comfort zone. What’s the trick to holding onto our healthy lifestyle goals while we juggle work and travel? We’ve found some tips for you.
Investigate your surroundings ahead of time. If working out is important to you, check out the gym or pool situation on the hotel’s website. Is the hotel located in an area ideal for a quick walk to get some fresh air? If you’re focused on nutrition, see what meal options are available within the hotel or within close walking distance. You may need to pack a few items to supplement what might be a less-than-healthy breakfast buffet.
When traveling for work, we often try to cram as many meetings, working lunches, or networking dinners into our schedule as possible. This isn’t bad – our company has probably paid a lot of money for a plane ticket or a hotel room, and we want to make the most of our time. However, if we don’t slow down and carve out a little time for ourselves, we burn out and don’t do our job as effectively as we could.
We often find ourselves run down and feeling pretty gross by the end of a work trip. If we look back at the trip, we probably ate lots of unhealthy food, completely messed up our normal sleeping schedule, and altogether stopped paying attention to the signals our bodies give us throughout the day. The things that make us feel lethargic and unproductive at home have the same effect when we’re on the road: vending machine food, lack of sleep, not enough water, etc. A few healthy choices throughout the course of your trip can make all the difference.
These are some overarching ideas to make your work trips a little more bearable and help you bounce back into your normal routine when you get home. We’ve also found some even more specific tips here, here, and here.
As travel seems to become increasingly part of our everyday professional life, let’s learn how to adapt and continue to take care of ourselves while excelling professionally.