01 Apr 5 Healthy Travel Hacks
I recently gave an ergo workshop to a group of employees who travel a ton for work. I can relate since I too, travel a ton for work and for pleasure.
One of the topics that came up is how to manage self-care routines on the road. This is something I have struggled with, but have developed some really helpful practices over the years and am excited to share them with you.
5 Tips to Maintain Your Self-Care Routine On the Road
Nothing can throw off your sleep patterns more than traveling. Maybe you are crossing time zones which invites jet-lag and messes with your circadian rhythms, maybe you have trouble sleeping in new places, or the bed or pillow is uncomfortable, or it’s noisy. The list can go on and on.
If you are crossing time zones that are ahead of your time zone, try to schedule your flights as late as possible so that you can arrive at your destination in the morning. This allows you to fall in line with the new time zone, maybe allow for a short power nap and then go to sleep at night at a reasonable hour and get in sync.
If you are crossing time zones that are behind your current time zone, then do the opposite, try to stay awake until evening and get a good night’s sleep. The good news is waking up will be very easy!
You can also add things to your repertoire like, bringing your pillow from home, getting yourself an eye-mask, ear plugs and bringing a portable white noise machine with you.
I don’t know about you, but for me, exercise is on of the first things to fall off my list. And my list of excuses are vast. No gym here, don’t speak the language, or I do speak the language but I don’t have time, I’m jet-lagged, I have a crazy schedule – and so on.
If your hotel has a gym , or if your gym has a branch near where you are traveling, make the time to get there and get your work out in. It will help you get over your jet-lag faster, help you sleep more soundly and give you more energy throughout the day.
No gym? No problem. Hello YouTube! (Or any on-demand exercise platforms like beachbody.com or yoga sites, etc.) Whatever your fancy, if you have wifi, you have a workout. Short on time? Squeeze in a 15 -20 minute work out.
And of course there’s running, jogging or good old walking.
#3 Healthy Eating
But calories don’t count when you are traveling right? WRONG.
And what you eat counts. Chances are, if you are on the road, you are eating out a lot. And this is where it’s easy to indulge. And once or twice, go for it, but if you are a frequent traveler, be mindful of what you are eating. Keep up the lean or vegetable proteins, fruits, veggies and lots and lots of water.
Find a local market that ideally carries healthy organic products and stock up on things like nuts, fruits and if you have a fridge where you are staying, some light breakfast and snack items like yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), almond /peanut butter, healthy crackers, hummus….you get the idea.
Managing Your Time
I have learned over the years to take charge of my time when traveling for work. Often we squeeze in as much as possible into our day due to limited time on the road, clients to see, work to do, etc. Often we are not at our computer so we can find ourselves in the field all day and then answering e-mails all night.
Instead, look ahead and plan your trip so that you build in some buffer between arriving at your destination and your first set of meetings. Plan what things can be put on hold until you get back as well as things you need to accomplish on the road and make time to be have some quiet focused time to do what you need to do.
And make sure to put your away or travel message on so that you set the expectation with your colleagues and clients. Something like…
I am traveling this week and will have limited access to e-mail. Please be patient if it takes me a day or two to get back to you.
If it is urgent……please contact _________________.
Or, you can say you are out of the office and will return all calls and e-mails on the date you set to get back to work.
#5 Down Time
Many of us, rush to where we are going and rush home. See if you can plan some down time to actually enjoy and visit the place that you are going to. And if you can’t do that due to time or budget restraints, then make sure to plan some down time upon your return so that you can recover from your travels restore your energy and re-adjust to being home sweet home.
Now it’s your turn. What do you do to keep your routines in tact when you are on the road?
Until the next time,