Managing an eight-hour block of show appointments in a new time zone while attempting to stay on track with ongoing projects back in the office is hard enough. Doing this juggle while seeking healthy meals, workouts and attempts to go to bed early can be comically impossible. So we go with it – embracing eye drops and coffee for breakfast and vodka sodas and shrimp cocktail for dinner. I did a version of this during my first few years in the travel industry, working as a PR manager for a luxury California destination. Stayed out late, didn’t drink enough water, and told myself that walking a convention center floor was enough activity for the day. Meals were forkfuls of whatever would fill me up. It worked for a day, but tiring after two. And after three I was a zombie with sore feet and dry skin. Each time I would return home feeling like I needed a week-long detox.
So I gradually changed my habits, learning how to health hack in a way that wouldn’t impede my workflow or those few hours of post-appointment fun. There are seven or so health hacks I regularly count on for energy and mental clarity, and thus productivity at these types of events.
Here is a list of my seven most handy event health hacks, ones that make me feel most energized. As long as I’m successfully hitting four or five, I know I won’t come home wondering which new contact can get me into the nearest detox spa.
1. Pack protein powder, and upon check-in, ask my hotel to make me a fruit and veggie-ful smoothie with it each morning, so each day starts with energizing nutrition.
2. Bring a large, high quality water bottle to fill each morning with filtered water and drink throughout the day. I like bkr water bottles because I find them beautiful enough to not forget at each appointment. By the time you get to happy hour, you’re fully hydrated and not missing a beat.
3. Have a workout app or YouTube channel handy for in-room workouts. I used to give myself a hard time for not making it to a local yoga class, until I discovered apps like Alo Moves (formerly Cody App), Tone It Up and Aaptiv. Each has great 15 or 20 minute workouts that require nothing more than your own bodyweight.
4. Pay attention to your plane seat. Even if your company decides it can only afford to send you in Economy, spring for at least an upgrade to the Comfort Plus category using cash or miles to have a greater chance for some in-flight shuteye. And then talk to HR about the productivity benefits of flying employees Business. There are studies.
5. Ask a local to the area what exactly the weather is like and what kind of layers locals are wearing. If you don’t bring enough, or pack the wrong weight of layers it can frustrate at every point there is an event or outfit change. Nothing puts me in a worse mood than being too warm or too cold, especially when there’s not enough time to pop out and purchase something new. It’s a super basic item that does a lot for mental wellbeing.
6. Stick to a two-drink maximum, no matter how late you stay out. The benefits of calling your alcohol intake after two drinks are endless. Be more in control when running into important potential partners or clients, wake up with a clearer head, sleep more soundly, have mental clarity the next day, and fewer calories wasted on non-nutrition.
7. Always order a salad with a light dressing, no matter how much food the rest of the table is ordering and no matter the remainder of your dinner order. Eat the salad first and fill up on leafy greens. No matter what amount of sauces and fried things and questionable carbohydrates you eat after, you’ve filled up your body with a healthy amount of fiber. Good digestion is key to good health.