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What are your self care habits when you’re away travelling with work?
Many people have great self care habits. But these same people fall short with their self care habits when away travelling with work. Why? Usually its because self care habits are left at home when travelling. Work takes over. Things are prioritized. People are demanding of your time. There’s no time to take care of your self, or to manage those emotional storms that work can create. Or so you think.
Self care can happen while you are away working. Self care doesn’t depend on where you are, but on what you can do or are willing to do to take care of yourself. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself. Self care is self love. By taking care of yourself, you are also making sure you are in a good position to take care of and love others.
Self care habits are portable. You don’t need to take along stuff to make you feel good. Self care can be as simple as daily meditation, prayer, or taking a long bath. It’s a good idea to create a self care tool kit that is personalized with all your self care accoutrements. This self care tool kit should be easy to take as luggage. For example, you might have a beautiful bag filled with self care tools like mp3 players, lotions, essential oils, candles, portable massagers, or a journal. Self care can be easy and cheap. Here’s some self care habits you can do when you’re away travelling with work.
Take time out.
Taking time out is important. It might even be the most important self care tip for travelling with work. Time in your room is yours. Use it to unwind. Use the gym or pool to physically unwind.
Emotional time out means recognizing the emotions the day has left you holding. Those emotions need to be sorted out. If you feel like screaming, do it. At the worst, you’ll have to explain to a hotel attendant that you were just releasing some pent up emotion.
Be aware of your self talk. Self talk is usually negative, so it’s no surprise that after a work meeting you’ll come away even more negative about yourself. But are you really that awful, or is it someone projecting their own insecurities, failures, and illusions upon you? Recognize the negative people in your meeting and realize that, while you can’t avoid these people, you can certainly ignore most of their personal attacks.
Create a sense of the familiar.
Work travel can take you to all sorts of exciting and new places. But, if you do a lot of travelling, you might be going back to the same places over and over. Being familiar with your surroundings is a great stress buster. Knowing the city you are going to helps take down anxiety levels. Know your favourite hotels, even rooms. Book the hotels and rooms you know you like. Visit the places in the city you liked. These give will give you comfort and a sense of the familiar. It adds to a sense of routine.
Hotel rooms, however familiar, are designed to be generic. Make that cookie cutter room feel a bit more like a room you want to go to at night. Have some familiar magazines in your room. Take a precious photo and put it on the desk so you can easily see it. If you journal, have your book waiting for you like it does every night at home. Play music that is familiar and relaxing. Take your shoes off and put on some woolly socks or comfy slippers.
Continue with routines.
Routine is important when travelling. Unfamiliar places naturally create stress. Work related travel creates extra stress that can lead to anxiety and depression. If you maintain a routine, you have something familiar in your life that you can relate to when the day gets stressful.
Routines don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Do you have an exercise or meditation you do every day? Keep up with your yoga, prayer, walks, or jogs. Continue with routines that you would do at home and can easily fit into your work schedule abroad. Do you eat a healthy snack before going to bed? That little action will give you great comfort when you’re alone in your hotel room. Do you read a book before going to sleep? Have a mp3 player with some of your favourite music or meditations. Relax with some essential oils, or a calming fragranced candle if that’s what you normally do when stressed.
Stay connected with family.
It can be emotionally hard leaving family for work related travel. There are anniversaries, once in a lifetime events, and family get togethers you may be missing by going away to work. A self care habit includes staying connected to your family while you are away. Family reminds you that you are loved, that people care about you.
Staying connected with family can be easy. Family routines are wonderful for balancing your day of work related stress. If your used to talking to your kids and wife each night, or sitting down together for dinner, try to put aside some time in the evening when you’re alone in your hotel room to call your family. You can share a video dinner together. Or read your child a bedtime story. There are plenty of apps and social media platforms to stay connected and keep the family routine going.
You can also share your day by sending texts or photos of what you’re doing. Gifts are always a good idea because the act of shopping focuses your mind on the people your heart loves.
Treating yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be as cheap as a chocolate bar, or sitting outside on your hotel balcony and enjoying the fresh air. Take that walk on that hill you saw. Enjoy a spa treatment or massage. Maybe get some reiki. Been wanting to try that lobster meal? Have one and enjoy it!
The idea of treating yourself helps you learn to accept gifts from yourself. Throughout your life, you’ve given others gifts. Now its time to give a gift to yourself. The best gift you can give anyone is love. Love is the best gift you can give yourself. Be kind and gentle to yourself after a hard, stressful day. You don’t need to repeat the mean words you heard spoken about you, or relive in your mind’s eye the day’s events. Find something that will give you a bounce. A feeling of happiness or love. That is your treat to yourself.
Love your body.
Remember to take care of your physical body. Skin gets dry in hotels. Your skin is your largest organ and needs TLC. Dry skin creates an irritable feeling you don’t need on top of a stressful, busy day. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water during the day. Have water by your bed at night so when you’re thirsty you can quickly hydrate yourself. Go to sleep at a reasonable time.
Eat wisely. It’s easy to indulge in sweets or to overeat because of stress. Choose meals that are high in proteins and carbohydrates, low on saturated fats, and won’t dehydrate you or put too much sugar into your system. Vegetables and fruits are great sources of water to keep you hydrated. Try not to drink too much alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates. Drinking too much can create its own ugly mess. It can be difficult to abstain, as many business lunches seem to require the obligatory drink with co-workers. But it’s your right to refuse alcohol and choose to drink water.
You don’t have to sacrifice or neglect your self care habits when you’re travelling with work. Self care doesn’t depend on where you are, but whether you’re willing to invest in yourself. Self care is self love. Take time out after your business meeting to emotionally, mentally, and physically recoup. Beware of any negative self talk or negative thought patterns. Stay connected with family and loved ones. Routines are great to keep you mentally and emotionally balanced when you’re in an unfamiliar setting. Treat yourself well, and enjoy some relaxing moments. Take care of your physical body. Most of all, love yourself!
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