Traveling for work sounds exciting. The prospect of going to another place, especially one that you have never been to before while being paid for it is a privilege that many people want and look for their employment. However, it is never all fun and games. You still will be working when you get to your destination and, after a while, having to move constantly will create a negative impact on your mental health.
One study found that adults who travel for two weeks or more per month have a higher risk of anxiety and depression. They also are more likely to smoke, drink, have a sedentary lifestyle, and experience problems sleeping.
Moreover, previous research also found a link between traveling for work and high blood pressure as well as obesity.
Traveling is good for mental health, but doing it for business reasons and being away from home too frequently is creating a reverse effect. It is not good for mental health.
People who travel frequently for work should prioritize their well-being, especially when they are away from home. Here are a few tips.
Get Some Sleep Whenever You Can
One of the common complaints among business travelers is sleep. Getting some shut-eye when you are jetting off from one place to another constantly means your body has to adjust and readjust across time zones. Not to mention, the quality of sleep you get while on an airplane, if you can sleep at all, will never be the same as if you are at home. Turbulence, noisy passengers, uncomfortable seats, and others can disrupt your sleep when you are on the air.
If you happen to be passing by Singapore, there is an airport hotel right inside Changi, the best transportation hub in the world. You can grab a few hours of sleep while on your layover. It will be quiet, it will be comfortable, and it will help you feel refreshed when you get to your destination.
Moreover, be prepared for all possible disruptions. Purchasing noise-cancelling headphones, sleep masks, a neck pillow, a comfortable blanket, and a few tablets of melatonin can lead to a peaceful sleep while on a plane.
Include Self-Care in Your Schedule
Business trips usually involve a dozen meetings and inspections which can take up all of your time. However, in between appointments, designate time for self-care. It does not matter what you do for that period; you can meditate, write in your journal, read a book, soak in a warm tub, or exercise.
Adding self-care into your itinerary ensures that you will have time for yourself despite the busy schedule, improving your overall well-being. It also prevents you from accepting more work than you can handle.
Keep Regular Communications with Loved Ones
Being away from loved ones is also a common challenge for people who travel for business purposes. When you are far away from people you care about, you feel isolated and lonely which can lead to mental health disorders such as depression. It also manifests through physical symptoms such as body pains or a sensation often romanticized as a “broken heart.”
In addition to having time for self-care, business travelers also have to plan when to call home. Planning it allows both parties to ensure that they have the time throughout their respective busy itinerary to sit down and talk. Making a phone call only when you do not have work scheduled will not always be ideal because you have to factor in time zones.
It also guarantees that a call will take place. Sometimes, when a person is busy, they forget to do certain things like call their spouse or children. If it is in your itinerary, you are more likely to do it.
Care for Your Physical Health, Too
Your physical health also has an influence on your mental well-being. If you neglect your physical health by being sedentary or eating unhealthy meals, which happens when one travels, can lead to mental health conditions.
Exercising is good for your mental health. In fact, it boosts your mood by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Eating a balanced diet, on the other hand, can aid in the prevention and management of depression and other mental health conditions.
Traveling for work does not have to lead in immense levels of stress and other negative feelings. You can avoid it by creating healthy habits and routines that include connecting with your loved ones, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, aiming to sleep better, having time to connect with family, and having time for yourself.