A Real Retreat: Take Some Time to Renew Yourself On Your Next Business Trip

Business travel doesn’t normally evoke images of rest and relaxation. The hours and travel can be hectic, and in these days of corporate layoffs, the politics of travelling on business can be even more brutal than the physical pace. But you don’t have to let all that stress go to your head. Here are some easy ways to bring the retreat mentality to your next work trip:

Visit the Spa:

Many business hotels often have a spa on site or one nearby that has either early or late hours, so that you can work this not-so-guilty pleasure into your workday. Take time to get a massage or facial and do wonders for your outlook. Often you can opt for an express version if you are short on time.

Just Close Your Eyes and Say Ahhhhh:

If you simply can’t get away for an hour or two, try to get up a little earlier or spend a few minutes before you go to sleep and do a little meditating. You can listen to some relaxing music or positive affirmations, or just sit or lie quietly for a bit and practice slowing down your mind.

Quick DIY Mini Facial:

You can also give yourself your own DIY facial with a few simple ingredients from the hotel kitchen or breakfast bar. Blend oatmeal and honey, smooth on your face, and let the mixture dry on your skin, rubbing to exfoliate a bit when you rinse off. (Uncooked oats make an even better exfoliator.) Other great impromptu facial ingredients include mashed bananas, cucumbers, milk, and raw egg. Be creative and unwind while you nourish your skin.

Get Out and Do Some Heavy Breathing:

Whether you just take a brisk walk or run around the block, download a yoga class on your smart phone, or head to the hotel gym for a few minutes on the elliptical, getting physical on your business trip, is a great way to approach work with a relaxed mind and energetic body. Working out early in the morning is preferable, so that you are revitalized. (Late night workouts can leave you jazzed up and unable to sleep.)

Do a Little Journaling:

While we all have the best of intentions, the fact is that it’s often hard to keep up a daily practice of journaling in the fast pace of everyday life. Bring along a journal on your next business trip and start the habit of taking the time to journal before or after sleep. Just being in a hotel room, away from everyday obligations, offers a chance to recharge, and journaling can be a great way to get back in touch with yourself.

Practice Mindfulness in Between Meetings

Even if you are running 24/7, you can always take a minute to practice some mindfulness techniques. Take a moment before a meeting to sit quietly, even in the hotel lobby. Close your eyes and place your hands on your knees and feet flat on the ground. Focus on your breathing, swallow a couple of times, feel your feet connected to the earth. Clear your mind and become aware of being fully in your body. Even just a couple of minutes of mindfulness can be remarkably relaxing and refreshing.

Add a Day to Unwind  

If you can afford it, add a day to your trip to unwind, treating it like a mini           vacation. Perhaps your spouse or family can join. If the trip begins on a Monday or ends on a Friday, you can tack on a weekend and take a little road trip to explore the area. Business trips can offer an inexpensive way to see the country and world, and visiting a new city or region can do a lot to refresh your outlook.