Loving your job but hating the guilt you feel of not being at home?
Feeling exhausted every time you arrive back home?
Want to stay connected with your kids while you travel?
I will always love you forever, I won’t always like your behaviour,
and for as long as you are living you will always be my baby.
1. Stay connected with your kids
I remember when I travelled for the first time as a mum for 2 weeks. My children were only 2 and 3 years old and I was going to be in a different time zone meaning I would not be around to speak to them before their bedtime. I was so concerned that they would miss me that I thought about how I could stay in contact with them. So, I videoed myself reading their favourite story books at that time, The Hungry Caterpillar and Giraffes Can’t Dance. I actually quite enjoyed the experience and they responded really well to it. As it was recorded, they could watch it when they wanted, and it created special and positive memories for all of us. That was when they were younger, now that they are 7 and 8 years old, I put ‘love notes’ in their school bags or in their lunch boxes reminding them how much I love them, what I admire about them and how many more sleeps left until my return. Everyone likes being reminded of their positive attributes, even teenagers, although don’t expect any positive feedback in return! Evidence suggests that the more teenagers say they don’t care about or won’t allow actual physical hugs, the more they need. So, it could be a great way to tell them how much you admire and care for them, ‘hugs’ of a different kind.
Oprah Winfrey says “It’s not being selfish its being ‘full of self”
2. Nurture and Nourish Yourself
I know it’s another hotel room, another city and time zone but how do you take care of your needs whilst still delivering your business objectives?
I prepare myself a ‘mum goodie travel bag’ which I keep topped up with my favourite Jo Malone travel candle and lavender bath oil (to aid sleep) plus nutritious snacks like walnuts and almonds to tide me over in between meetings or from a gnawing upside-down tummy clock from jet-lag or when I can’t find food that I enjoy. Invite the rest of your family to buy birthday gifts to add to your goodie bag as it will be even more nourishing knowing your daughter or husband chose items for you to make sure you are taken care of. Purchase a favourite pair of PJ’s that you love and only use them when travelling so you look forward to wearing them. Treat yourself to a silk pillowcase; not only does it have beauty benefits, it feels luxurious. Buy a book, download a movie, app or something new for your trip so you always have something new to read, learn or view making your time away more valued added for you. One of my special treats when I travel is that I take my ‘Dream’ book with me so I can update any dream that has come true, refine or add to my list of dreams and use it as a review, manifesting time too. Great for the plane as you can’t be interrupted and its such fun to think about what else you want to do with your life whilst travelling on ‘work’ time.
“Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be” - anon
3. Give Yourself Permission
Just because you are away from your family doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your trip. In fact, it’s a good time to give yourself what you need so when you return home you have the energy to deal with whatever awaits you…
Find out in advance if the hotel offers a massage, book it and allow yourself to be pampered.
If you have been with the clients all day, is there really added value in joining them for dinner every night too? Carve out, if possible, one night when you treat yourself to room service and a movie, zone out and give yourself some head-space and an early night so you can be even more productive the next day. It takes courage to say no but you are your best asset and the more you take care of yourself the more you have to offer your business and family.
Decide to learn something new about the place you are visiting, eat new food, visit a gallery or listen to different music. Use your travel as an education opportunity, even if you visit the same places, there is always something new to discover.
“Exercising is like telling your body ‘you’re gonna hate me for this
but you will thank me later’”
It’s too easy to use the excuse of not being able to exercise whilst away on business trips but it really does make a real difference to how we feel and how productive we can be. There is scientific evidence to confirm that a minimum of 20 minutes of daily exercise can build your immune system, stop depression and will allow you to get better sleep too. ‘You'll be healthier and live longer. Studies have found that even daily low-intensity exercise can be incredibly beneficial in your overall health, lowering your risk of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases’. Make sure you always pack your trainers/swimsuit/travel yoga mat and download an app that allows you to exercise where ever you are. Even if it’s a walk around the block or using a skipping rope in your room. If you habitually get stuck in back to back meetings, I suggest you schedule in your exercise time in advance, and as a minimum take the stairs rather than the elevator.
“What you appreciate, appreciates” - Lynne Twist
Simply journaling for five minutes a day about what we are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over 10% (Emmons & McCullough, 2003; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). It turns out that noticing what we already have can make us feel more positive about our lives, which makes a simple sort of sense.
Take your Gratitude Journal with you on every trip and every night before you go to sleep write down at least 5 things you are grateful for or if you are just too tired to write say them out loud to remind yourself you are at least thankful to have survived another day!
“In the end I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.” - Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard
You may still feel guilt when travelling away from your children but be kind to yourself. You are doing what you are doing for a better future for your children. Just implement as many of the points above to help alleviate any negative feelings about travel and create some positive memories.
If you need some support please get in touch with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.