Feeling good = a successful business trip?
Our series of articles continues with the interview and videos of Maaret Kallio. She is a psychotherapist known for her blog and tv-show in Finland. In this interview, Maaret focuses on well-being and its meaning.
Time differences, sleep disorders, irregular meals and the lack of exercise are typical things that disturb well-being on a business trip. Tight schedules, intensive work and high pressure to succeed mean that your well-being is critical for a successful business trip, says Maaret. "It is so important to understand that one's mind cannot be stressed forever. Excessiveness never provides good results. You must take care on the mental well-being, managing and recovery. Possibilities and places for recovery, pauses and to put your feets up for a while should be available for everyone, abundantly and recurrently during work days", emphasises Maaret.
Prepare for the time difference
Crossing just 1 to 3 time zones may cause jet lag. The effects are worse when you fly east because it is more difficult for your body clock to adjust to the shorter day. For many people, jet lag causes a range of symptoms, including headache, fatigue, insomnia and memory and focus issues.
- When you know you will be travelling to a destination where there is a large time difference, you should start adjusting your circadian rhythm to your destination’s time a few days before departure, one hour at a time.
- You should adjust your sleep-wake rhythm to the destination as much as possible already during the flight.
Nurture your sleep
Sleep deprivation is linked to emotion regulation and the ability to handle stress. After a bad night’s sleep, most people have difficulty dealing with work pressure, meeting new people, speaking in a foreign language and performing in front of people.
- One good way to ensure enough sleep is travelling to your destination the day before, so you do not have to wake up early to catch a morning flight.
- Avoid alcohol, as it disturbs sleep even in small quantities.
- It is difficult to fall asleep with an overactive mind. Instead of working, intense exercise or other stimulating activities, you should ensure that your brain has enough time to wind down. A warm bath, a good book or a cup of herbal tea are good ways to relax before bedtime.
Ensure regular nourishment
On business trips, you may not be able to stick to your meal schedule. Irregular meals are linked to weight gain, sleep disorders, metabolic disorder and cardiovascular diseases. This is, therefore, something worth focusing on.
- Breakfast is the most important meal of your day. Fill your body with energy, and you will have the strength to work, concentrate and keep your mind sharp.
- Lunch is perhaps the second most important meal of the day. If it is too light – just a simple salad or soup – you will have difficulty controlling eating and avoiding unhealthy options later in the day.
- And remember that a bedtime snack will help you sleep. Going to bed hungry will impact the quality of sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Stay active even when you travel
Everyone has the time to exercise when travelling. It is only a matter of scheduling. Walking, running and gym training are the easiest forms of exercise to fit into your day. A pedometer – or a free pedometer app for your phone – is an easy way to track your activity during the day. You should get at least 10,000 steps a day, which means lots of incidental exercise or an hour of active walking.
- When selecting a hotel, pay attention to the exercising options. Does the hotel offer a gym? Are there any good walking or running routers near it?
- Divide your daily exercise into smaller parts. You will also boost your metabolism by briefly stepping outside every four hours, for example.
See also Maaret Kallio's interview on business travel's influence on relationships and family life.
More interviews with Maaret Kallio
Read also Maaret Kallio’s first interview about homesickness and her second interview on emotional skills.
Loneliness affects everyone sometimes - even business travellers
We are committed to combatting loneliness. A sense of community and taking others into consideration are part of our service philosophy. We, therefore, would like to share some tips for avoiding fatigue at work and during travel – for an easier and more comfortable living that also provides inspiration during everyday life. We aim at becoming the best service company in Finland.