How to cut the stress from frequent business travel
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Are you on the road two weeks or more out of the month? If so, there's a pretty good chance you feel more than a little burned out.
A Columbia University study found that professionals who travel for business at this rate suffer more anxiety and depression than their non-traveling colleagues, are more likely to be smokers, tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle, drink too much alcohol and have trouble sleeping. All of these factors will not only make you miserable now, but can lead to a range of long-term health issues.
So how can you regain your equilibrium and sense of well-being? Try these easy and vitally important tips for easing the stress built in to frequent work travel and finding your way back to a healthier, happier state whenever you do need to venture out:
Beat that jet lag
A study from the University of Arizona found that delaying the time you go to sleep and waking up later than normal will worsen your mood and could even endanger your cardiovascular health if you make a habit out of getting less than seven hours of ZZZs.
To get the proper hours in, mentally obliterate any time differences, and go to bed at the time you would at home; get up at the time you would at home the next morning, too.
Enjoy a dark chocolate bar on the plane
Two emerging studies from Loma Linda University found that chocolate containing 70 percent cacao and 30 percent organic sugar can reduce emotional stress and physical inflammation within your body.
Munching this tasty treat can also boost your memory, immunity and mood.
Block out time for a unique workout
Instead of a boring treadmill session in your hotel's cramped gym, head out into the city where you're staying for a brisk walk.
Explore the neighborhood on foot or people-watch — immerse your body and mind in a new and refreshing environment.
Manage your time well
To avoid any unexpected delays on an unfamiliar route — and the stress that comes with them — make a point to leave 15 minutes early to travel to a meeting or work site. Don't work through lunch — take the time to eat something healthy, like protein and a salad, to keep your energy up and steady.
Also, if you have some downtime during your workday, take five minutes to center yourself by just sitting quietly and emptying your mind — no phone check, no conversation, no stimuli. Just rest so you can re-energize.
Try to cut back your trips to 1 to 6 nights a month
The Columbia study says that businesspeople who can accomplish this within their corporate culture are healthier and feel better. Don't overtax your body and mind, and you'll do even better work.
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