by John Ayo, wellness expert, author and speaker | May 22, 2019

It's no secret that a meeting professional's job can be quite stressful. Thanks to a detail- and deadline-laden planning process, the need to constantly balance costs, traveling, orchestrating the real-time event and putting out the inevitable fires, a planner's plate generally overflows with responsibility at any given time. The upshot: elevated stress levels. 

The reality is that we cannot control all situations -- no one can -- but we do have a big say in how we respond to our environment and circumstances. With a little self care and healing, stress can be reduced. As a professional speaker and naturopath, I aim to inspire and empower people to stay energized, healthy and balanced while traveling. Here are my tips for maximizing wellness and minimizing stress while on the road for meetings and events. 

Maximizing Wellness While Traveling

Start With Yourself
  • Practice deep breathing when stress bubbles up. Breathe from below the pit of the stomach and focus on 4x4x4 (4-second inhale, hold for 4 seconds and exhale for 4). 
  • Your body craves movement. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and move to get the blood circulating. 
  • Schedule a daily self-care routine. Even just five minutes per day -- doing a face mask or listening to soothing music -- all adds up to make a difference. 
  • Participate in hotel/event-agenda wellness initiatives like morning yoga or swim. 
  • Pack "just-in-case" supplements in your bag to aid help in sleep, illness or digestive issues. 
  • Aim to enjoy at least 15-20 minutes of natural sunlight (on your skin, if possible) per day. 
Arrange Your Hotel Room for Relaxation
  • Dash some cotton balls with a few drops of lavender essential oil to create a more relaxing space. Place the cotton balls in the vent to spread the calming scent.
  • Bring pictures of loved ones and place them around the room to further familiarity. This helps to reduce stress.
  • Pack a portable speaker (or use headphones) and listen to relaxing music.
  • Remove/unplug as many electronics as you can (reduce electrosmog).
  • Sleep with your cellphone at least six feet from your head and on airplane mode to ensure better sleep. 
  • Consider packing your own set of sheets to create a more comfortable space
Eat and Drink Mindfully
  • Aim to drink a total of half your body weight in ounces of water every day, throughout the day. 
  • Drink purified water to help detoxify your body. 
  • When eating, shoot for the 80/20 rule (eat as healthy as you can 80 percent of the time). 
  • Try to eat a Mediterranean diet (quality fruits and veggies, a small amount of whole grains, healthy fats, small amount of protein, etc.).
  • Choose foods that will boost immunity (garlic is one of the best options).