Traveling for business is exciting, especially when you’re making new potential connections and exploring new cities. But it can be stressful, too, if you’ve got a big presentation to give or you have a tight travel schedule. If you tend to experience anxiety at the office, then it’s going to be even worse when you’re on the go, in a new environment, keeping track of all your responsibilities (not to mention all the business cards you get handed at meetings). That’s why it’s so important to use the right strategies to keep your stress level as low as possible.
By using these strategies, you can be less stressed while traveling for business, which means you can focus on what really counts: making connections and getting business done.
Make a thorough packing list
When you’re going to the office every day, you’ve got all you need right there at your office. But when you’re traveling on business, you need to create a portable office. A week before you leave, make up a list of all the documents you might need (especially any that require a signature from anyone at your office) as well as what technology (such as video editing software) is needed to get your work done. All of this should come with you in a small bag you take on the plane.
And then make a list for travel essentials. Any medications and chargers should go in a bag that won’t be gate-checked, and any clothes you absolutely need for your meeting. If you can, check in with the hotel beforehand to see if they offer travel essentials so you won’t have to bring those with you. The more thorough you are with your lists, the better: the last thing you need is realizing you don’t have what you need the minute you step into an important meeting.
Considering that, in Everyday Health’s United States of Stress report, 57 percent of survey respondents said they were paralyzed by stress, you should definitely take some extra time to write up a list of what you need.
Give yourself plenty of extra time
No matter how much of a good planner you are, always give yourself extra time for problems such as canceled flights and traffic. If you’re rushing while packing in the morning, or running by airport gates, it’ll not only stress you out, but also make it likely that you’ll forget something important in your business meetings. Have your departure schedule be prepared for anything going wrong, and as for arrivals, plan out the easiest way to get around where you are.
The same goes for your schedule the rest of the week. If you have meetings packed back to back, know exactly where they are and how to get there. You don’t want to show up sweaty and breathing heavily to a panel you’ve spent months preparing for. It’s stressful enough to know that eight in ten Americans were afflicted by stress according to a 2017 poll!
Eat well–and don’t drink too much
When you’re traveling, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits. Especially if you’re staying at a hotel where you don’t have the amenities of home, it can be easy to eat fast food all the time or the free donuts offered by the partners you’re visiting. But body well, and you’ll feel better.
The same goes for drinking. Even if you’re visiting the UK, where the drinking culture is strong and where 80 thousand were treated for problematic drinking alone in 2016/2017, you should be careful about how much alcohol you consume. In addition to being physically bad for you, you might end up doing something embarrassing or not looking so hot the next morning.
Make time for rest and exercise
Finally, don’t forget the importance of relaxing. Before your trip, get a good night’s sleep. Once you’ve arrived at your hotel, relax if you can, by doing some yoga exercises or reading a book before you even start to think about work. Considering that over 60 percent of adults considered work a stressor in a survey released by the American Psychological Association in 2018, giving yourself a break is a smart idea.
Another great way to lower your stress is simply by exercising. Use your gym’s hotel, or explore the new city you’re in. This will leave you feeling refreshed, and you’ll be glowing with confidence when you show up to meet those new reps.
These are some of the best ways to lower your stress, even when you’re traveling on business. Are there any other ways you lower your stress when you’re working, whether that’s at the office or while traveling?