Don't make your business travel trip a stressful period. Photo by nappy from Pexels.

Does the idea of heading back to work for another year filled with busy schedules, high targets and business travel having you feeling a little down? You might need to make some changes to ensure you keep your stress levels in check.

Leon Meyer, general manager at The Westin Cape Town, said most business travellers tend to skip exercising, sleep less and forgo healthy eating for the duration of their trip. 

“These bad habits end up impacting on their health and stress levels,” he said. Research survey carried out by an independent research company on behalf of The Westin Cape Town hotel, revealed that only 18% of travellers exercised while on a business trip, with another 40% reporting that they occasionally exercised while away.

“The overwhelming majority of respondents (82%) were sleeping for less than six hours a night. Of the respondents, 62% slept less than when at home. The survey findings were very clear: Business travellers experience high stress levels which are exacerbated by a poor lifestyle when travelling,” said Meyer.

Meyer shares 4 easy travel tips to help you stress less in 2020

Map it out

Most of the stress related to travel comes from planning or a lack thereof. Start early to ensure there’s no last-minute rush to make bookings or secure flights. If you’re in a pinch for time, consider working through an agent. It’s useful to plan your meetings and events well in advance and ensure you have enough time to travel to each venue. It’s also important to schedule in some time to allow you to catch up on your admin and emails, or to take some time for yourself to kick back or explore the area. All this planning and preparation will leave you feeling on top of your trip’s details.

Hit snooze

Sleep is one of the most important parts of one’s day, yet it is the first thing most business travellers skimp on. The World Sleep Society has found that there is a direct correlation between your sleep and your overall well-being, and it will leave you feeling mentally and physically rejuvenated for your busy day. Ensure you get your full quota of sleep, which includes booking at accommodation that prioritises quality beds and linen.

Order those greens

While the occasional takeaway might be fine to incorporate into your daily meal plan, it’s best to avoid fast food while on your business trip. You’ll want to be at your best during your meeting with clients, and that heavy, greasy meal will not only disrupt your sleep, it will also create sluggish thinking and more than likely increase your stress levels. Ensure you have healthy meals and superfoods to give you a mental boost, alongside stress-busting options such as herbal tea.

On the move

You’re likely to have a busier than usual schedule during a business trip, but it’s vital to schedule in some time to stick to your regular exercise routine. Not only will exercise reduce stress levels, but it will also boost your mental performance and improve your sleep. Look to stay at hotels that offer gyms or spas, to help you unwind after a day of high-pressure meetings.