Traveling for work can take its toll on your mind and body - it's important to refresh and spend quality time on self-care (even away from home!). Career coach and therapist Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC shares self-care tips for a successful work trip!
As a career coach, I have the opportunity to work with clients across different industries and required travel commitments. What a lot of my traveling career coaching clients face is the overwhelming reality that travel has a very real impact on your mind and body.
A career that requires you to travel might have sounded fun at first, but if you are starting to notice that the travel is feeling overwhelming you’re not alone.
Your job is important, and with it comes responsibilities and implications that you’re going to get your work done. When traveling for work, there is so much to do before, during, and after travel that you may feel like you are working around the clock with little to no time for self-care.
You can’t keep running yourself into the ground if you plan to incorporate travel into your longterm career commitments. You must find balance with your busy schedule, and with a little practice and some helpful guidelines, you may just find a haven of zen in your otherwise exciting schedule.
Here are my favorite three tips for self-care while traveling for work!
#1. Set Yourself Up for Success
Traveling often requires you to go outside of your comfort zone. The familiarity of home and routine can feel lost the moment you step into travel mode. This means that spending time setting yourself up for success away from these familiarities will ensure that you show up as your best self. To do this, take control of what you can and let the rest go.
You are in control of when you get to the airport, what transportation you take to get there, what food you decide to eat, etc.. If left up to chance, the likelihood of stabilizing yourself for optimal performance at work is already lowered. Take time to iron out these small details; they all add up to help support your ultimate success and enjoyment.
Take your work and yourself seriously so that you can feel confident and competent no matter where your job is.
#2. HAVE and KEEP Work Hours
For most of those traveling for work, new environments and different people will often throw off polished routines and habitual activities. On a work trip, we might use our work to avoid the discomfort of a situational change. This sense of uncomfortableness can lead us to overwork, feel burnt out, and ultimately resent our job in the long run.
In order to prepare against this happening, keep boundaries. Instead of working around the clock, on the airplane, or skipping dinner – take time to go out to dinner or go for a walk in the morning by yourself. HAVE and KEEP work hours even while traveling.
#3. Keep Your Routines
When we travel, we tend to let go of routines. There’s just something about getting in that car or boarding that plane that throws our conventional lifestyle aside. I encourage you to lean into new opportunities when they arise but also be gentle with yourself with change. Slowly change your daily structure instead of jolting yourself into a new and temporary one.
If certain routines really work for you, don’t break them (or at least experiment with ways to adjust them). Exercise is a common routine I hear my clients regularly report breaking on work travel, even though they say exercising brings them joy. Foster your joy while traveling. Your time is valuable time – How you spend it matters.
Trust Me It Works!
For the best self-care while traveling for work, take control of what you can through preparation, routines, and time management. You will feel some discomfort, but all your resources will be well suited to tackle even the longest of work trips if you feel grounded in your ability to control your own success.
Self-care is more than just a face mask at bedtime, it’s a lifestyle.
Take care & enjoy your travel!
Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC
Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC is here to help you create authentic happiness and satisfaction in your life, your relationships, and your career. She supports you to create a deeper connection with others, find clarity and direction, and actualize your life’s purpose.