By Anton Constantinou
Frequent business trips can be mentally exhausting. All that last-minute packing, flying and hopping between meetings takes its toll on the mind, as much as it does on the body. What’s key is keeping a positive mind-set. In doing so, you’ll not only make your time away more enjoyable, but get more out of life in other areas. Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily.
Here are 10 ways to stay mentally healthy in business travel:
Read Motivational Literature
There are plenty of inspiring books out there, from self-help guides to rites of passage novels. You may own a few already. Go for stories involving personal struggles or challenges like ‘The Alchemist’ or ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. For practical advice on how to improve your public speaking and popularity, order ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Achieve that perfect state of Zen with a carefully curated song list. Science shows that music not only improves your state of mind but also reduces anxiety. Choose genres on the mellow side like Easy Listening or Jazz. Or recreate the experience of a summer holiday with some Bossa Nova or Beach House.
Business travel can play havoc with your sleep pattern. To operate at your best, make sure get at least six to eight hours of shut eye a night. Improve your sleep hygiene by taking naps throughout the day and avoiding caffeine close to bedtime. The optimal temperature for sleep is 18.5°C, so, if necessary, adjust the thermostat in your apartment.
Learn Some Basic Meditation Techniques
Meditation does wonders for the brain. It cuts stress, boosts concentration and increases self-awareness. The basic principles of meditation are relaxation and breathing. Start simple by sitting cross-legged in a quiet room for five to 10 minutes a day and focusing on your thoughts. With practice you can progress on to mantra meditation and mindfulness.
A simple walk outdoors is a great mood booster. Natural elements like trees, plants and water are shown to calm the mind and help relieve stress. Walking also inspires creativity. Most cities are jam-packed with parks and nature reserves, so you shouldn’t be short of places to visit. If you’re feeling lazy, book a walking tour.
Track Your Successes
Take stock of your achievements by jotting down three things you’re thankful for and three things you’ve been able to accomplish each day. This you can do using a notepad or the Notes app in your phone. Be honest and original with your answers to get the most out of it.
Traditionally, business travel was all work and no play. But, these days, more and people are taking time to explore the places they visit. So, what are you waiting for? Go sightseeing. Visit galleries, museums, parks and local landmarks. Psychologically, you’ll feel much better for it.
Take Time to Laugh Each Day
Laughter is the best medicine, so don’t skimp on it. Get your daily fix with a funny movie, sitcom or live comedy show. If that doesn’t work, you can always just call up a funny friend from back home.
You’re never too old to learn a new skill. Embrace your artistic side by drawing, writing or trying out a new recipe. Smartphones are full of innovative games for you to download like ‘Dots‘ or ‘Cross Fingers‘, and, with a serviced apartment, you’ll have plenty of room to flex your inner child.
Bring a Memento From Home
If you’re away for any extended length of time, then there’s a chance you may get homesick. Stay upbeat by packing a keepsake like an old letter or photograph. You never know when you might need it.