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We thought we would offer some tips on how to stay sober while you travel, be it for business or pleasure.
Traveling can be extremely hectic, so make sure to plan out your itinerary ahead of time. Figure out when and where you can attend a meeting. This is an easy thing to do. In addition to finding recovery meetings near you, you can also monitor your moods and activities, track daily progress on stress management, nutrition, sleep, and relationships.
When you're traveling, it's easy for your body to fall out of it's natural rhythm based on a number of factors. Being in a car or plane for an extended period of time, eating food you're not used to in airports or fast food restaurants, and not sleeping under your usual conditions are just some of the disruptions you may experience. There are ways you can take care of your body in order to make sure these disturbances don't have a negative effect on your recovery. Make sure you are eating right. This means eating the standard three meals per day, avoiding junk food snacks in between meals, and skipping the tempting fast food that is ever present on the road. Don't skip any meals and, if you only have access to a convenience store, pick out something on the healthier side, like peanuts instead of chips, or a protein bar instead of a candy bar. Shops inside airports and gas stations are starting to offer fruit too, so don't forget that apple or banana.
Get the right amount of sleep. For adults, the recommended amount of sleep is anywhere between 7-9 hours, based on the individual. Many people miss out on the correct amount of sleep because they think it's unnecessary. In reality, sleep health can have a huge effect on your entire life. It helps to restore your mind and body after a long day of being awake. Things like coffee, energy drinks, and electronic devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or natural sleep/wake cycle, leading to stress, health issues, unproductiveness, and other ailments. Try to fit some exercise into your schedule. Try taking a walk during your breaks, even if it's just to and from a restaurant or coffee shop. Make sure your body is moving at an active pace to keep your energy level up. When you're in meetings or working all day, taking a quick break helps—but will be much more effective if you get up to stretch and get outside. Fresh air and forcing your brain to focus on things other than a computer or projector screen will give you a burst of energy.
While you're away for business, your life is filled with work. At the end of your day, find some time to do something fun for yourself. Maybe there's a local town you'd like to check out, or a new restaurant. Make a plan to avoid that temptation of having a drink at the hotel bar, a possibility that may pop up when you're alone in your room. In addition to having fun, make sure you take adequate time to relax and wind down from your day. Try staying away from technology—or at least leaving devices alone for a specific period of time. Put the “do not disturb” sign on your room's door knob, turn off the TV, and pull the curtains. Meditation and yoga are great ways to pass time, help destress, and relieve tension in your body as well.
Block off time to reach out to family and friends you would normally talk to when you're home and in your normal routine. This will help keep you in the loop and feel like you're in touch with what's going on outside of your work life. Isolation and loneliness are two of the the most intense triggers that cause relapse. Prevent those feelings from coming up in the first place and you'll feel much better.