02 May Mental Health and Business Travel – How To Ease Your Worries
While mental health is important all-year-round, Mental Health Awareness week (13th – 19th May) is a fantastic opportunity to take a moment and step outside the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine. “Am I looking after myself as I should be?” “Could I be doing a little more?” “Do I need a break to recharge?” Here are some mental health tips you can apply to your business travels and help calm any worries you might have.
Breathing? Really? Yes, really. Give yourself a minute to take a slow, deep breath in through your nose. Then, retaining that same control, exhale, close your eyes and repeat. Taking control of your breath allows you to slow your heart rate and, in turn, calm those jittery nerves.
It may seem too simple to be true, but trust us, it works. Usually, your body will be running on autopilot, so think of these breathing exercises as taking manual control of the pace your mind and body is working at. Makes sense, right?
Accepting and acting
Accepting that some things are out of your control is part of the foundation of living a happy life. But some things you CAN control, and you should take them by the reigns. If you’re travelling and it’s making you a little nervous, there are a few things you can do.
Give yourself plenty of time and stay ahead of schedule – that’s one less worry already. You can also get to bed a little earlier than usual. Nerves don’t help you sleep, so give yourself a little more time and wake up feeling fresh. That’s two! Your turn – think of some other things in your control and tick them off. Now look, you’re getting things done. Life isn’t so bad after all.
We all know how positive the effects of music can be on our mood, but did you know medical professionals all over the world actively use music to treat depression and anxiety?
Whether you’re listening or playing, music often triggers your brain to release endorphins and increase dopamine levels – basically, your mood will be improved and so will your sense of well-being. It can also turn your focus away from a stressful or uncomfortable event to something more pleasant and relaxing; if you’re playing the right tracks. Let music distract you from your worries.
Ah, this old chestnut. Well, there’s a reason this one always comes up in discussions about mental health and wellbeing – exercise is a natural and incredibly effective method of anxiety relief.
Of course, if you’re travelling in the name of business, you may rarely get the opportunity to exercise on your trip – but it’s worth trying if you’re feeling those nerves. Nowadays, you can pay as you gym and gym as you go, so it’s worth checking in the area. If that’s not an option, jogging is free and you can do it any time you please. Or you could just stretch for ten minutes and keep those muscles loose and relaxed.
It can be tempting to curl up into a ball and give in to your troubles, but you should make every effort you can to resist. Every little helps.
Talk to friends
Friends, what would we do without them? Whether it’s a chat with your wisdomous parents or an empathetic friend, a quick natter about other ongoings can often serve as a welcome distraction.
Even venting about your worries could help calm any jitters, as long as you’re careful not to wind yourself up further! Use the support around you, it’s what friends are for. And there you have it, five handy tips to keep you sane on the road. If you manage to tick off all of these stress-relieving tips, you’ll be achieving business travel enlightenment in no time.
Remember, if you’re feeling trapped or in need of a helping hand, you should never feel embarrassed or afraid to reach out. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123 – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Happy Mental Health Awareness Week and all the best!