I was recently meeting with a client who travels quite a bit for work and personal. She is just starting to get in the groove of a daily meditation practice and shared her frustration in maintaining consistency while she travels.
There is no question that regardless of the reason, travel literally takes us out of our comfort zone, but that is kind of the point. It's good for us to get out of our daily routine. In fact, that is one of the key benefits of meditation, the awareness to be more present in our lives, so we aren't going through life on auto pilot. Below are four tips to help us embrace the dance of trying to stay consistent with our daily practice within the often times unpredictable nature of travel.
1. Power Off -- Try to take advantage of the time before take off and landing to simply close your eyes and be aware of your breath. When the flight attendant tells everyone to power off, that is a good cue.
2. Embrace the Bathroom or Balcony -- In lieu of your typical morning locale, it can be a challenge to find space to meditate, especially when traveling with a loved one. If you'd like to maintain your morning practice, try the bathroom. Bring in a pillow to sit on to set a bit of ambiance. Awkward? Perhaps. Functional? Absolutely. You can also explore if there is an outside space that may feel like a temporary space you can mindfully make your own.
3. Mix it Up -- Because we are often changing time zones when we travel, sometimes it can feel challenging to maintain the same time of day for our practice. I like to embrace this and allow myself to explore different types meditations and times of day -- especially at bed time. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of some guided breath or body awareness meditations or even practicing a loving-kindness meditation.
4. Amp Up Your Gratitude -- If taking time to meditate is simply feeling overwhelming to fit in, substitute it with something more tangible like a gratitude practice that you can still do daily. You can start a log on your phone and every evening before you go to bed, list three things you are grateful. Keep it simple -- ideally one line. One thing for yourself, one thing for a loved one, and one thing for a challenging circumstance or person.
Paige Davis is an entrepreneur, writer, cancer survivor, and certified meditation teacher with the McLean Meditation Institute. She is founder of Soul Sparks where she leads and facilitates meditation and mindfulness programming for companies, teams, and individuals looking to integrate meditation and mindfulness into their busy lives.