The words SAP Consultant and travel have a certain way of finding themselves in the same sentence. It’s a fact of this career choice. Being an SAP Consultant can be one of the most rewarding, challenging, and demanding careers – all at the same time. A hidden truth is the travel lifestyle equally comes with stress and health related issues. Knowing ways to equip yourself for better self-care while traveling will aid you in caring for yourself while you travel plus keep you sharp while consulting with your clients. It’s challenging to be impactful when you are personally rundown.
I’m guessing without too much effort you can name one, two, or three consultants who immediately come to mind that have dropped off the radar from illness over the years. Their illnesses were related to an unhealthy lifestyle while on the road. Just months ago, a dear friend, who is also a SAP Consultant, required a triple heart bypass surgery. It’s vital that traveling consultants take better care of themselves and I’m on a mission to get the word out.
Your Improved Travel Wellness Plan
Being a consultant on the road means making a more conscious effort to take care of yourself. While this can be daunting, you will find by practicing some wellness tips your time on the road can be:
- more manageable
- less stressful
- more enjoyable
Use the following tips to make life on the road more manageable.
Choose Plant-based Nutrition
You need to be at your best to fly on a frequent basis, navigate airports, and walk throughout the city. It’s easy to find yourself working through lunch, ordering pizza solely because of convenience, or eating at all the great eateries the different cities have to offer. But the better choice is to plan ahead. Before you travel to a city check out the restaurants online so you’re familiar with their menus. Also, look up locations of nearby grocery stores. Having this information beforehand will equip you with your options and where these healthy food choices can be found.
Eating more plant-based foods and less meats will heighten your energy level. Avoid the foods that drain your energy and deflate your mood like processed foods or foods with loads of sugar. It has been proven that plant-based diets reverse the effects of disease and chronic illness. If you haven’t chosen wisely in the past make changes on your next trip. It’s essential to stave off disease or chronic conditions for your long-term health.
Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water for virtually all of its functions. Drinking plenty of water will flush your body of toxins, keep your skin fresh, and help you eat less. It will also help you avoid jet lag, symptoms of overexposure to the heat or sun, and junk-food cravings. The unhealthy cravings you experience on the road can be satisfied with a refreshing drink of pure water. Ditch the quick unhealthy energy boosters. Instead of grabbing an energy drink, sugary soft drink, or coffee to give you the illusion you are boosting your energy, reach for a bottle of water. Your body will thank you.
Stop the Clock
Your brain isn’t designed to be intensely focused from 6am to midnight, day after day when you’re traveling from east to west and north to south. Working long hours can (and will) deplete your mind and body. The answer: only work as many hours as you are productive. No more. It’s time to end the cycle of work, work, work, work.
Resist reaching for a pill or energy boost and recognize your body is tired. Too often people say they need a medication to keep going. When you sense yourself starting to drop off at 9pm or 10pm, it’s time to acknowledge your body need rests. Avoid reaching for another cup of coffee, an energy drink, a pill, or whatever to keep performing longer. Ignoring the signals leads to burn out. At that point your body is saying “I’m not doing this anymore – I’m done.” Let’s vow to be observant to your natural productive cycles.
Mindfulness is being present in the moment when you have downtime. If you’re in the habit of working outside usual work hours this bleeds into family and personal time which takes you away from enjoying your downtime. It’s an easy pattern to slip into. Think of the times you’ve attended your child’s sporting event and your mind raced ahead to a work project you wanted to get back to. Or, you went out to dinner with friends and something in the conversation triggered a thought that led you to thinking about something at work. In each example, you found yourself going through the motions with the people around you instead of being in the moment. Guard your thoughts from overstimulation which can lead to burnout.