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Mental health and business travel: 5 ways to keep healthy

We know that even though business trips can be exciting; they can also be mentally gruelling. Research from Rundle, Revenson and Friedman has shown that individuals who travelled for business 21 days or more per month, suffered from anxiety, depression and sleeping issues. In addition, Rajgopal found that, 30%-40% of the sickness within UK workplaces are due to some form of mental illness and is a major cause of occupational ill health, poor productivity and human error.

Here are some tips to keep mentally healthy when you’re out travelling for business.

#1: Keep in Touch

Travelling for business can be lonely, which can trigger negative feelings and emotions. One way to tackle your loneliness could be through connecting with people. The Mayo Clinic states that socialising can benefit your mind and body. Not only does it help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, but it can increase happiness and also cognitive function. So when you are traveling for business try to arrange Zoom calls with your family and friends, or perhaps try websites such as Meetup to meet new friends in your area. Check out the Harvard Business Review’s article on how to deal with loneliness when traveling for work for more advice.

#2: Exercise 

Stress and anxiousness are common feelings which arise whilst on a business trip. After a busy day of meetings and travel, you may find it hard to switch off from work. However is important that after the workday is over that you take some time for yourself. Jog or a walk whilst listening to some upbeat music or your favourite podcast and let the endorphins flow.

Research has shown that exercise has proven to reduce feelings of anxiousness and depression, improve sleep and reduce stress (WebMD). So whether you are an avid runner, or couch potato, any form of exercise before or after your work day can improve your mental health significantly. Read more on how to incorporate more exercise on your business trips in our latest blog.

#3: Organise, organise, organise!

Micro stresses can add up- whether by misplacing your boarding pass or forgetting your laptop charger. These little annoyances can  have a significant effect on your mood, which can impact your attitude in work. The best way to avoid these inconveniences is to make sure you are organised. A shameless plug- Ortharize can help keep all your travel documents safe in one, easy to use platform, so you won’t have to worry about losing your e-tickets, or confirmations. 

Keeping a diary can be useful. Regularly checking your agenda will take the stress away of trying to remember every meeting and date, and can make your life a lot easier, freeing up space in your mind for more important matters. Another way to keep organised is to keep a to do list. Microsoft One Note have a great online checklist which can be very handy to use when on the go! Keeping the little things organised can eliminate those little stresses which can develop into anxiety.  

#4: Go exploring!

There’s more to life than work! After the clock ticks past the 5 o’clock mark, shut off your emails, turn off your work phone, and enjoy your free time in a new city. We know work can be consuming, especially when you are travelling for the sole purpose of your job, but remember, you can enjoy yourself whilst travelling for work too! 

Go to some new restaurants/cafes or take a walk and embrace some of the culture of the foreign city. Try using the AroundMe app which will show all the different establishments within your radius, such as bars, cafes, hotels and cinemas. Don’t be scared to ask the locals for some recommendations-they tend to know all the best spots!

#5: Talk about it

Mental health struggles can often be viewed as a taboo subject, but talking about it can help you significantly. Being away from home regularly can really force you to push those feelings to the back of your mind and leave them untouched, where they will continue to fester until you can no longer cope. This is where talking comes into it. 

If work is causing you major mental health problems, it’s important to speak to your HR or People Operations team, so adjustments can be made to improve your mental health. Alternatively you might consider speaking to fellow colleagues; they may be able to relate to your situation and reassure you that you are not alone. Being on the go all the time can make it difficult to arrange appointments with therapists or counsellors, so maybe try apps such as TalkSpace, which can put you in touch with a licensed counselor for 24/7 online support. 

If you are struggling with your mental health and dont know where to turn, try some of these useful resources:

In Wales, you can also call @CALL_247 0800132737.

In Scotland, you can also call Breathing Space on 0800838587.

In Ireland & N.Ireland, you can also call :

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