Tag Archives: response to stress

When I started my career in HR I used to like business trips. In those days they were rare and we got to stay in luxury hotels back in the early 2000. Nowadays with cost-cutting, tight security and being over 40 years old, business trips have become less sexy. If you are like me you probably prefer to sleep in your own bed, wake up next to the person you love and eat home-cooked food over anything you get in a restaurant. Maybe you even hate packing.

For all of you I have developed this list of seven hacks to make your business trips more enjoyable:

1) Plan more time than necessary and allow yourself to work from home on the travel day

Instead of rushing to the airport or from the airport back to the office after a day full of meetings tell your staff you will be working from home for the time you are not on your trip. Tell them how they can reach you.

2) Pack the night before the trip with a checklist and use extra shampoo, toothbrush, combs

Pack the night before the trip with a checklist. You should remember that you normally take the same clothes on business trips as well as the same chargers, notebooks, kindle. List everything and have a few business trip outfits that look great even after they have been in a suitcase.

Instead of throwing in your toothbrush last minute or forgetting half of your make-up buy all beauty products twice. Have one travel hygiene kit with airline sized toiletries that can sit in your suitcase and even get lost.

3) Take one extra set of clothes and shoes in case you have to stay longer than expected.

We never know what happens on a business trip and we don’t want to look ridiculous because we are wearing the same clothes every day. Consider to bring at least one set of clothes more than you need in case you have to extend your stay or you are stranded at the airport. Change shoes daily.

4) If you drive with your car drive slowly and deliberately.

Being German I am always amazed at how tough it can be to drive long-distance. There are trains yes, but not every client is accessible by train. I am trying to make car travel easier by taking breaks and driving more deliberately. I try to stay away from my phone and let me thoughts meander listening to music. It’s a great way to download excessive information in my brain. Once I arrive at the destination I allow myself a nice dinner.

5) Take an old-school backup of hotel directions, reservations and airline tickets

In case you love your smartphone like I do and you don’t always have access to a power charger you might want to bring paper versions or other old-school backups of your hotel directions, reservations and tickets.

6) If you travel with different currencies regularly use two wallets / purses

When I go to the EURO-zone I bring a second purse with me as I don’t want to mix up currencies and coins all the time.

7) Once you arrive at your destination unpack immediately

Make yourself feel at home in the hotel right away. Unpack, take a shower and go to dinner. Forget your work for the rest of the day and start with a fresh mind the next morning. If you are like me and like to read in bed, bring the book along. If you love to go to the gym early in the morning find a hotel that offers a gym. Try to maintain your home routine to help your body adjust to the stress. If you do a lot of air travel and have to cope with jet lag I advise you learn a relaxation method.

These are a few tips to make business trips less stressful. When they really annoy me I try to look at the benefits such as having an evening to myself or having someone making breakfast. We all love to be at home but coming home after a few days away can also be romantic.

So what if you had a day where you were really feel „weighted“, where the bulk of your existence weighs on you like a building crashing down. A big building.

There’s that letter from the tax office that you have had anxiety attacks about. The close friend who flips between hopeful and cranky and is a borderline alcoholic. The blood pressure that is too high and should have been watched for about a year. The hair that falls out. The economic situation. The refugee crisis. The helplessness and tears when you read about those children dying on the road. All of this. And your period. And rain.

I’m talking to all of you, not only the ladies but imagine a day where all you want to do is stay in bed. And then you read an email saying that your website has been suspended because once again you did not get the notification that the domain needed to be renewed. Once again neither the email on the system nor your credit card are up to date. The nitty-gritty annoying details of being an entrepreneur with too many ideas and projects to worry about such worldly issues as payment dates, speeding limits, period cycles.

These are the days where I really know why I left the corporate world. Because in the corporate world I would have to drag my lazy ass to my desk, sit there feeling uncomfortable through around ten meetings slash conference calls slash video sessions and finally start to actually get something done at around 5.45 pm. But today, in my life as an entrepreneur I can decide to confront only the dachshunds of my friend and the local neighborhood „Regular Café.

And there while I feel a bit uncomfortable and strange first I find an ashtray from the „Zurich Dolder Grand“ and have to laugh. I laugh because I would never enjoy a rainy day in Zurich that much. I would never sit down and actually write. Listening to Jazz music, not using the WiFi and typing away with a smile on my lips I feel a bit like Carry Bradshaw. Ok, a bulky and enlarged version of Carry. You know I’d like to simplify wardrobe and fitness choices…

It dawns on me that we decide about how we feel all the time.

We decide if we let the rain inside our psyche. I said earlier our “mood dictates our business”. When we feel small our business is small too. When we feel great, we get great clients.

This is not a typical “How to…” post because frankly sometimes I just don’t want to tell you what to do or how to feel. I just would encourage you to review your “feelings” because you might overstress them. I can feel very insecure about the most obnoxious issues such as the fact that my hair was a lot thicker 20 years ago or that I do not write grammatically perfect English. I can stress about having a public appearance weeks ahead of the event and most of the time I worry about someone close to me. I worry about them overburdening themselves, having too many responsibilities, boyfriends, children, debts and kilos. I worry about friend’s emotional states, about my clients being depressed and about loved ones dying.

On a day like today in Brooklyn, I feel at peace with myself though. I know that I work hard to make the world a little better. I know that I have found my purpose of being and that I can only continue to do what I do when I allow myself a break from the world’s issues. When I allow myself occasionally to just have fun and to do whatever I feel like in the moment. This is NYC for me. Enjoy.