Planning Your First Work Trip? Here Are 4 Practical Self-Care Tips

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Many millennials try to keep their work time and personal life separate, especially when they overlap. Making designated spaces when working from home is a good way to create that division, but if you have your first work trip coming up, it’s natural to wonder how to get through your workday and rest.

Fortunately, lots of people juggle both aspects of their lives while away from home, so you’re not alone! Whether you’re planning to get your laptop out in an Airbnb or just temporarily work in an area you’ve never been to, it’s possible to think ahead about your self-care course of action.

Work-Trip Hindrances

The thing about being on a work trip is that indulging yourself can feel a little odd, as it’s not a vacation. Whether you’re traveling alone or with coworkers, there’s a focus on fulfilling your duties and responsibilities.

In a study examining how business travel may affect one’s mental health, researchers found longer trips disrupt sleep and prolong inactivity in work travelers. Those who take work trips that span two weeks or more can also experience anxiety and depression symptoms.

The National Institute of Mental Health defines self-care as activities that can improve your quality of life and overall health. In case you struggle to think of what counts as self-care, try to picture what makes you happy and energetic. For some people, it’s preparing a grand bubble bath or going on a nature hike.

On a work trip, no one reminds you to take a break and says working non-stop can deplete your energy. However, self-care is necessary for you to function. Identify the moments when you can take a step back and take a deep breath. If they don’t seem available, set some time aside from your work trip and create those instances.

Practical Self-Care Tips

Since traveling and working can keep you busy while you’re on your trip, how exactly do you integrate self-care? The answer is in trying to keep things practical.

  1. Talk to Your People

When you’re on a work trip, investing time in speaking to your support system is an essential self-care step. Try to talk to someone about the struggles you’re facing. It’s even more helpful if they understand your line of work, as they can empathize with you and offer advice.

  1. Know When to Pause

Regular work typically takes up eight hours of a person’s day. It’s harder to gauge whether you’re working too little or too much while on your work trip. Know that self-care is as simple as figuring out when it’s time to clock out and let yourself rest.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Body

Going on a work trip can make you sluggish, especially if a flight is involved. Listen to your body and get as much sleep as you can when you can feel yourself getting groggy. If you feel a little tense, try out flexibility workouts during your downtime.

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  1. Prep a Treat for Yourself

Self-care is an activity a person looks forward to when they’re done with being productive. Practice preparing a treat for yourself when you’re done with work on your trip. Have a nice meal out at a restaurant you’ve been eyeing or a make quick visit to a local museum in the area before heading back home.

  1. Continue a Familiar Routine 

Try to take at-home comfort routines with you on your work trip. For example, maybe you always get Chipotle at the end of the week. Doordash your order on a Friday night when your work hours end to enjoy that sense of familiarity.

  1. Bring Mini Skincare Sets

Travel-sized skincare products are available at many retailers, so consider packing them for your trip. Even a tiny cleanser, toner, and moisturizer are suitable for keeping your skin happy and hydrated after a work shift.

Practice Work-Life Balance in One Go

You can save more elaborate self-care plans for when you finally find yourself back home, but it’s still good to have a few nuggets of relaxing moments while on your work trip. Try these tips out and enjoy!

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