Stay Balanced While on the Road
Updated: Sep 19, 2018
It’s September, and for many it is the beginning of a busy travel season. Travel can be exciting – it can also be challenging. Stop. Go. Hurry to the airport; wait at the gate. Boarding group 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8…how many are there? Excuse me, do you really need to put your jacket in the only remaining overhead space? I have a carry-on. Ahh-chooo! Excuse me. There are three people and four armrests…who gets the middle ones? Oooh – I like her bag!
For some, travel is as “normal” as going to the grocery store, but even for regulars, it can be draining. So how do we maintain some state of balance while on the road? I was just presenting at the Chicago Area Chapter of Meeting Planners International – and we talked about that very topic. These seasoned professionals shared what works for them; and in turn I also shared tips and tricks I’ve used and have seen work with others. We’re all trying to climb the “career ladder” and being mindful about what helps us stay balanced will also help us succeed and get to that next rung.
When preparing for your trip, here are some tips of things to pack/do ahead:
Family Time (pre/post): have dinner together with the family before you leave or after you get back. If your family is a group of friends, get together before or after your trip.
Date Night (pre/post): It’s so important to keep the relationship strong, so plan a date night
Self Care (pre/post): Schedule a massage for when you return; get your nails done. Take a hot bath!
Fuel Box: I like to pack a fuel box – filled with things that will help sustain me when I might not get much to eat one day. I love things like almonds – even the Nutrition bags are easy snacks that will provide some protein to keep me going. Others like Rx bars, granola bars.
Sentimental Item(s) – what will make the hotel room feel more like home? A candle? Photos of friends and family? Bring them for your nightstand.
Water Bottle – a must. And keep it filled – you can throw a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber to add a little flavor.
Music/movie/news app; while you might not watch it, make sure you have a favorite show or movie you can “release” into.
Pack essential oils – lavender, peppermint, lemon.
On the day of travel:
Workout prior to flight: The flight never feels as cramped if I had a good workout ahead of time!
Tennis Ball: It’s a great thing to bring to squeeze, roll under your foot, massage your thighs.
Flight stretches: Even a couple hours in, my body is asking for movement!
Rotate/roll neck, ankles/wrists, and shoulders
Lift your knees
Take an overhead stretch
Seated pigeon, cat/cow
Visualize the conference/meeting/event going well
Meditate (your neighbor will probably think you are sleeping)
While you’re there:
Immediately when traveling overseas
For meetings, early morning walks instead of a meeting room
Take advantage of hotel running maps – it’s a great way to see a city!
Take advantage local fare – try a local restaurant. Don’t tell me you went to Boston and had a chicken quesadilla in your room.
Drink water – easy on the coffee/soda
Find a few minutes to exercise so you can maintain a daily practice
Appreciate times on the road – you may never get to that city again. Get out and visit a museum, famous spot (climb the Rocky steps in Philadelphia, or walk on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the fuel box you packed, instead of the afternoon brownies, coffee and cookies
There’s no reason you can’t set yourself up for success when on the road. Even if you forget to pack your fuel box, you can run to a Duane Reade/Walgreens/CVS to grab the things you forgot. It’s an excuse to get out of the hotel.
“With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side."
– Susan Weiss Berry