Striking a balance between your work and personal life is key to living stress free. Dr Rachna Khanna Singh suggests a few tips
How often have you missed a family event because you were travelling for business? If the answer is quite frequently, it is time to slow things down. Today, most jobs require extensive travel. And constantly being on the road, coupled with long working hours, can have repercussions such as stress, low immunity and fatigue. As much as we would like to, we can neither avoid travelling for work, nor deny its impact on our mental and physical health.
This is where the concept of work-life balance comes in, which includes prioritising between work (career and ambition) and lifestyle (health, pleasure, leisure, family and meditation). Here are a few effective ways to get the balance right:
Exercise releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. Therefore, it is important to remain active even while travelling. And you do not need a well-equipped gym to do so; use the resources at hand. On a long-haul flight, leave your seat once in a while and take a stroll in the cabin.
Once you have arrived at your destination, choose to walk from the hotel to the workplace and back. Think of the additional advantage – you get to see a lot more on foot than from a car. In case you are unable to take a walk due to official arrangements, try to incorporate the activity in your daily life, even if it is for a couple of minutes. Do some deep-breathing exercises too. They will help relieve you of stress, calm your nerves and allow you to function better. Choose a nearby park or an open space with natural light. A healthy dose of sunshine will also keep your vitamin D levels in check.
Make some ‘me’ time
Travelling also gives you a chance to relax and catch up on things you like to do. Make the best of that opportunity by carving out some time for yourself every day. Read a book, listen to music, explore a new place, take a bubble bath or a spa treatment, or just sketch – these are great ways to allow your mind and body to have some downtime to unwind. You can also utilise this time to catch up with an old friend or make that Travelling also gives you a chance to relax and catch up on things you like to do. Make the best of that opportunity by carving out some time for yourself every day. Read a book, listen to music, explore a new place, take a bubble bath or a spa treatment, or just sketch – these are great ways to allow your mind and body to have some downtime to unwind. You can also utilise this time to catch up with an old friend or make that video call you have been postponing. If work keeps you busy for most of the day, use this time to keep in touch with your close ones. A voice call, a video call or even a simple text message telling them you love them, will bring happiness into relationships.
Make friends on the journey
Travelling allows you to meet new people, socialise and expand your network. Besides, a friendly face makes for great company if you wish to explore a destination. And if he/ she is a local, you will be able to get a more experienced tour of the place. Also, if there is a city you frequently visit for work, try to make friends with locals. Alternatively, if there is a restaurant you often dine in during your travels there, establish a good rapport with the staff so they remember you the next time you walk in.
Maintain a healthy diet
Keep track of what you eat during your travels, as most often you end up eating out. Try to adhere to a healthy diet rich in nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, while continuing your regular exercises. If you are unsure of the options that you will be able to avail, consult a dietician or a nutritionist and request a few suitable yet fulfilling suggestions.
Some airlines, like Air India, offer quite an eclectic variety of healthy options to choose from. If you book an international flight ticket on Air India’s website (airindia.in) you can pre-book a meal of your choice, which gives you ample time to choose a nutritious one.
Turn a business trip into a vacation
View work-related excursions as opportunities to travel to new places. It will do wonders for your health. You can kill two birds with one stone by turning a work trip into a vacation. Extend your stay and explore the destination. You can also take your family along and make it a family getaway. This way, you can finish your work and enjoy that much-needed break!
The author is a medical professional and the views expressed in the article are her own