When you first started your job, the prospect of traveling internationally on a regular basis sounded thrilling. Over time, however, the glamour wore off, and now the constant revolving door of new faces, small airplane seats, and airport food leaves you feeling cold. This busy lifestyle causes many international business travelers to burn out.
Signs of Business Travel Burnout
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re becoming burned out from your frequent international business trips, here are some telltale signs that you’re reaching your limit.
- You’re exhausted. Is it difficult to get out of bed and go to the meeting you flew in for? Are you finding yourself crawling through the day, thinking only of getting back into bed? Do you feel sluggish and like your brain isn’t able to function?
- You’re gaining weight. Are those greasy fast food breakfasts and big client dinners adding pounds to your waistline? It’s possible that the stress is getting to you, and that is causing you to overeat. Not to mention, if you pause your gym routine every time you go out of town, it’s probably not helping.
- You aren’t eating. Too busy to take a break and grab lunch? If you are too preoccupied with work to eat, you’re burning the candle at both ends.
- You’re always getting sick. When you return home from your trip, do you always seem to be fighting off a cold? If your immune system is struggling, it can indicate that business travel is having an impact on your physical health.
- You’re constantly traveling. If you’re always traveling for work, burnout is inevitable. If you can’t remember the last time you spent more than a week at home, you are in danger of burnout.
- You’re homesick. Are you spending most of your trip wishing you were back home? Do you return to your hotel room at night and feel an overwhelming sense of sadness?
- Things aren’t going well at home. The stress of spending extended periods of time away and missing important family moments can often translate into tough times at home. If you are having trouble balancing the needs of your family and your job, it can lead to burnout.
If you identified with any of these signs, it’s time to take steps to prevent burnout.
How to Prevent Business Travel Burnout
- Turn your next trip into a “bizcation.” The reason why business trips aren’t relaxing like vacations is obvious: you are busy with work. You can make this experience a lot less stressful by adding a vacation on the end of it. Add a couple of days to the end of your trip to take in the culture and just relax before you head home. If you’re missing home, you can even have your family or spouse come along, too!
- Try an AirBnB. If spending every night in a hotel room is starting to get depressing, why not spend the trip in an AirBnB instead? This gives you that homey feel even when you’re away from home. Instead of feeling trapped in a hotel room, you can have a lot more space and even a kitchen so you can have a home-cooked meal.
- Work out. Many people neglect their health when they travel, eating out for every meal and not exercising, but this most certainly contributes to business travel burnout. Prioritize working out when you’re away on business. If you’re staying in a hotel, you should have access to a gym, but even if you don’t have this option, you can work out anywhere! Try a circuit of squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and lunges every morning and see how that makes you feel.
- Prioritize healthy eating. Your mother always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this remains true through adulthood. When you have a long day of meetings ahead of you, don’t start off with an empty tank. You don’t need to set aside much time to sit down and eat a meal, so make it a priority to eat — just make sure you are taking in a balance of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
- Follow a bedtime routine. Many business travelers burn out simply because they aren’t getting enough rest. After all, you’re switching time zones and doing something new every day; it makes sense that your body doesn’t understand when it needs to sleep. You can address this issue by following a specific bedtime routine every night. Over time, your body learns that you going through these motions means it is time for rest, which makes it easier to sleep.
- Learn to say “no.” Many business travelers become burned out because they are slaves to their own ambition. They refuse to say “no” to any opportunity, whether it’s a conference, client meeting, or speaking event, and as a result, they are chronically overbooked. This doesn’t help your business, your family, or yourself. Give others the opportunity to set up and attend these events when you can.
- Stay in touch. If you are struggling with homesickness, you don’t have to sit around and mope about it. Be proactive about staying in touch. Make a point to Skype home every night so you can see your family, and consider having them join you for a portion of the trip. If you are concerned about staying in touch internationally, Sapphire has the perfect solution: our wireless internet hotspot! When you invest in our MiFi device, you have reliable internet in more than 100 countries around the world. Try Sapphire Mobile Hotspot today!