Business travel can be both exciting and challenging. While it offers opportunities for networking, exploring new places, and attending conferences and meetings, it can also be stressful and exhausting. As a result, it’s important to prioritise mental health while on business travel.
The impact of business travel on mental health
According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), more than half of business travellers report feeling stressed during their travels. Additionally, 45% of business travellers experience high levels of anxiety, and 25% report feelings of depression.
The causes of stress and anxiety during business travel are numerous. From tight schedules and long work hours to unfamiliar environments and jet lag, business travel can take a toll on mental health. Moreover, constant connectivity and the pressure to be always available can also lead to burnout.
Lack of social support and the inability to maintain regular routines and self-care practices can also contribute to mental health issues while on the road.
7 Tips for maintaining good mental health while on business travel
1. Prioritise self-care
Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental health while on business travel. Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise, meditation, reading, or spending time in nature. Stick to your regular sleep schedule as much as possible and try to eat healthy, balanced meals.
2. Stay connected
While business travel can be isolating, it’s important to stay connected with loved ones and colleagues. Use technology to keep in touch and maintain regular communication. You may also want to consider joining professional associations or attending networking events to expand your social support network.
3. Manage your time wisely
Effective time management is key to reducing stress and anxiety during business travel. Plan ahead and allow for ample time to get to your destination and complete your work tasks. Avoid overcommitting yourself and prioritise your most important tasks first.
4. Set realistic expectations
While it’s important to work hard and be productive while on business travel, it’s also important to set realistic expectations. Remember that you’re only human and that it’s okay to take breaks and prioritize your mental health.
5. Take breaks
Taking breaks is essential for reducing stress and anxiety during business travel. Take advantage of the downtime to rest, explore your surroundings, or engage in enjoyable activities. Even a few minutes of relaxation can make a big difference in your mental health.
6. Seek professional help if needed
If you’re struggling with mental health issues while on business travel, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Many employers offer employee assistance programmes (EAPs) that provide counselling services. You may also want to consider reaching out to a mental health professional in the area where you’re travelling.
7. Know your triggers
Being aware of your triggers is important for maintaining good mental health while on business travel. Identify the things that tend to cause you stress or anxiety, such as crowded airports or unfamiliar situations, and develop strategies to cope with them.
Business travel can be exciting, but it can also take a toll on mental health. By prioritising self-care, staying connected, managing time effectively, setting realistic expectations, taking breaks, seeking professional help if needed, and knowing your triggers, you can maintain good mental health while on the road. Remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking care of yourself should be a top priority.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.