I’ve been doing yoga for about 20 years now. When I first started going to classes, I couldn’t believe how quickly I toned up, but now it’s not really about what it does for my body, but what it does for my mind. It makes me feel so much calmer.
Just being in a room, in the present, breathing properly and not being able to do anything else is just amazing – there really isn’t anything else like it. Apart from yoga, I walk with weights at home or take my dog Rory out for a walk. Thankfully the routine of yoga and enjoying a long walk doesn’t change when I’m travelling for work.
Walking is just the best way to get to know a new place, while all you need is a travel yoga mat and you can literally practice yoga anywhere. Travelling with work doesn’t always allow for much downtime but when I do get some, I’ll be doing either of these things – it’s exactly what I did when I travelled to Cannes on a work trip. It always proves to be the best way to de-stress after a hectic day. You’ve got the perfect recipe for keeping your brain and body balanced.
I’m so lucky that I get to see the world as part of my job. I still love travelling with work but it’s a constant juggling act, especially when you have a family. The difficulty for me is not just the actual travel, but balancing that with how to change gear when you come back. You go straight back into your family routine – school runs, tantrums, household chores – and it can be a shock to the system, especially if you’ve been away for a while.
Sleep is the one thing that I find helps with this adjustment. Getting enough sleep really helps with a balanced approach to life, especially when changing time zones are thrown into the equation. Hotel beds are the often the best place to catch up on those much needed ZZZs!
Self-care is a really big thing at the moment – my friend and yoga teacher Nadia Narain has written a great book called Self Care For The Real World - and it’s something that I really try to practice, especially when I’m travelling a lot for work. As you get older, you want to be there for your children and be healthy and happy so I make sure I get enough sleep, don’t drink too much alcohol, drink lots of water and breathe deeply – it’s not always that easy though!
What you put in your body is so important in helping create balance. When I’m on holiday I eat whatever I want, but when I travel with work, I need to remind myself that I’m not actually on holiday. Just because it’s sunny, I try not to reach for an ice cream or beer! I’m a real foodie but I eat regularly and small amounts. I was working in Spain recently and I was lucky all the food was so healthy as it was just too delicious to resist!
Reading is one of my favourite ways to relax and keep calm – it’s a great de-stresser. I take my Kindle and books whenever I go away, whether for work or pleasure. I really love books – the smell and feel of them cannot be beaten – but for practical purposes, my Kindle is easier as I’ve got as many books as I want. I read all the time, especially when I’ve finished a hard day working. If I’m travelling on my own, reading helps me fall asleep easily as I find it so relaxing.
I always take photos of my loved ones with me when I travel, and put them alongside John and Billie’s T-shirts so the smell of them is always with me. Smell is such a powerful sense – and I keep their T-Shirts with me so I can feel close to them at night. It really relaxes me.
I take lavender oil with me as well. I rub it on the soles of my feet and it just really calms you down. It helps with getting to sleep in strange places and chills me out at the end of a busy working day. And I never travel without my trusty slobby PJs. Being able to change out of my work clothes into those really signals that it’s my time to unwind.
Crowe Plaza’s Sleep Advantage® programme provides comfortable bedding, aromatherapy kits to help guests unwind, quiet zones in our hotels, plus guaranteed wake up calls – so guests wake up feeling at their best and ready for a productive day ahead.
When you need to stay energised and focused, or don’t have time for a leisurely lunch or dinner, the Crowne Plaza Fast & Fresh healthy menu options are available and delivered swiftly. It means you can enjoy a nutritious meal and stay productive when you’re pushed for time or wanting to stay healthy while on the go.
To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly.