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Staying Healthy as a Remote Worker Travelling Abroad

Establishing a healthy routine can be one of the hardest things you do as a remote worker.

by Emma Bousfield • Oct. 11, 2023 • 4 min read

The three things that I think of when I think of travelling is exploration, relaxation, and food… lots and lots of food. Don’t get me wrong, for a 2-week trip, I say indulge, but as a remote worker you need to be a little more strategic. Sometimes, you may be working abroad for months at a time, and the parties, cuisine, and sunbathing can start to catch up with you, not even just physically, but mentally too. Establishing a healthy routine can be one of the hardest things you do as a remote worker, but we have a couple of tips that can help you maintain that balance without forcing you to compromise too much.

Set a Routine:

The most important thing is establishing a daily routine. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s okay to allow yourself to deviate from the routine some days, but generally, you should determine prime, productive, working hours, schedule in breaks, and also find time to eat and move. Oh, and how could we forget, it’s critical that you’re getting enough sleep. While yes, it’s okay to skip that lunchtime walk you normally go on from time to time, sleep is something you should do your best to remain consistent.

Ergonomic Workspace:

Where you work can be a make or break. Prioritize ergonomics with a comfortable chair, proper lighting, and a large enough desk. This will help reduce the risk of physical strain and discomfort, while also maximizing your productivity (bonus). As a former bed worker, I can honestly say that making the switch to a proper work setup was a game-changer.

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Regular Exercise:

I’m not saying go crazy, but just make a little bit of time each day (or almost each day) for movement. You can go for a walk or run, practice yoga, do home workouts, take up surfing, etc. Find an exercise routine that excites you and that you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like a chore.

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Healthy Eating:

This one could be the hardest… I have a huge sweet tooth, so when I worked abroad in Europe I was constantly drawn to Pasteis de Nata in Portugal, and gelato in Italy, but the sugar made me super tired which made me want to sleep all day. Do your best to plan and prepare balanced meals a few times a week. You’re travelling, so of course going out for food is a give-in, but try your hardest to avoid excessive snacking and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of clean, filtered water throughout the day.

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Take Breaks:

Just like working in an office, it’s normal to take breaks! Stretch your legs, go on a walk, meditate, move, do what you need to do to stay balanced. You should still be able to get up and detach from work, even though you’re technically always in close proximity to your computer. Try the Pomodoro technique, which involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break.

Socialize:

Humans, by definition, are social beings, and even as a remote worker, it's essential to maintain meaningful social connections. Grab coffee with fellow remote workers, check out Facebook groups for expats in the area, or even just schedule Facetime calls with friends and family. By using colivevalues.com, you’re able to find like-minded remote workers in coliving communities around the world. Check it out!

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Travel Safely:

Of course, practice proper travel safety as well. Do your research about any precautions you should take before travelling to a certain area. You can also check your government’s website for any travel advisories to make sure they place you’re visiting is safe.

Self-Care:

Also, just make sure to find time for any activities you enjoy that mellow you out a little. For me, that’s doing yoga, but for you it might be writing, knitting, or cooking. A healthy work-life balance is crucial for overall well-being.

Professional Development:

This may seem like an odd suggestion, but it’s actually proven to really benefit your mental health (as well as your performance in work of course). By investing in your professional work, you find motivation and pride and you rediscover engagement in your work. Knowing that you’re performing well can contribute to your overall sense of well-being.

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These are some things that have worked for me, but your situation is unique, maybe you’re really great at eating well due to dietary restrictions, or maybe you HAVE to be online during certain hours so you don’t have as much flexibility in creating a routine. That’s fine. Adapt these tips to fit your specific circumstances. Prioritizing your health and well-being is essential for maintaining productivity and satisfaction as a remote worker working abroad.

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