Being an entrepreneur with PTSD has its ongoing challenges, not the least of which is my work requiring me to travel at least once a quarter, and often more.
The day trips are not as bad, even if I’m on the road for 12-15 hours, because at the end of the day I am coming back to my home and my bed and what is familiar and comfortable. Overnight trips are a different animal, and I have had to learn to make a lot of adjustments.
I used to be the most low-maintenance traveler possible. If food wasn’t convenient, I wouldn’t eat. If water wasn’t handy I would get dehydrated. If there wasn’t time to sleep I just wouldn’t, and if my bed wasn’t comfortable I would just toss and turn and deal with it the next day. No breaks, no accommodation, no problem.
To hell with all of that.
I can’t do it that way anymore unless I want to spend the following week in bed. I’m already on high alert because I’m out of my zone, I’m already more tired and less resilient and not at my best, and I don’t need to make it worse. Now I know I need to make time to rest, to be in still and quiet places, to be comfortable where I sleep, to not skip meals, to take what I need with me and to go to bed when I am ready to go to bed.
No work is worth my health. None. I don’t do emergency surgery, I design and plan and advise on policy. There is plenty of time for lunch and a nap. And I don’t need to push myself unnecessarily or run myself into a week-long meltdown. I know what I’m doing, I know what I need to do, I have a plan to follow, I have my own needs to address and it will all get done and get done much better if I am taking care of myself in the process.
Plus, when I travel to work over a weekend, I’m not coming back to a weekend off, I’m coming back to a full week of work, so it is that much more important for me to refuse scarcity mindset, to refuse fomo and to take good care of myself so that I am not sabotaging the week ahead. Ultimately, my work is worth that kind of care, and so am I.