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As a travel enthusiast and someone who travels for work occasionally, I choose to create habits that relieve me of any stressors I may be holding on to. Mindful travel is something I believe in because it helps bring back joy to what some may consider overwhelming. A large part of mindful travel for myself includes meditating and reflecting on affirmations to help my brain think positively. I’ve previously blogged about how meditating and affirmations have helped me while traveling and even included an affirmation I often turn to. Just like we train our physical bodies to be healthy through exercise and good eating habits, meditation trains our brain and improves our mindset by reflecting on positive things.
Even though I love meditating while traveling, doing so on the road can be challenging if you’re feeling tired and overloaded. However, there are some guiding principles and practical strategies to help you remain consistent with your practice while you travel! Read on to learn our best tips for mindful travel and to meditate on the road.
Best Advice for Meditating While Traveling
1. Add variety to your routine. If being in an unfamiliar place makes it harder to settle down into your everyday activities, create a daily schedule that works for you. Use the gift of change as a chance to experiment with a new way of doing things that may add excitement to your daily meditation routine.
2. Be flexible. Work with whatever you have on hand. Borrow a pillow from the hotel to use as a cushion if your favorite won’t fit into your carry-on bag. If you usually burn incense, apply a roller of your favorite essentials to your neck and shoulders instead. If you can’t pack your yoga mat, check with your hotel to see if they have one in the exercise room.
3. Focus on quality over quantity. If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep or your daily agenda is jam-packed, go easy on yourself. Even five minutes of meditation can help relax and restore you. Pushing yourself too hard can backfire and leave you feeling tenser, which is not what you want while traveling or on vacation!
4. Make obstacles part of your practice. The more you travel, the more you come to expect that things will sometimes turn out differently than planned. I live by the motto, “expect the unexpected.” If you have an unexpected flight delay, or your hotel room isn’t ready for check-in, take a few minutes to relax so you’ll feel calmer as you revise your plans.
5. Let go of expectations. Traveling can teach you many valuable lessons if you use the experiences to remind yourself that external conditions are beyond your control. Even so, you can still protect your peace of mind. Practice remaining calm when flights get delayed or luggage gets lost.
6. Maintain healthy habits. The mind and body are closely connected, so it’s easier to concentrate when you take care of your physical health. Stick to nutritious foods, daily exercise, and good sleeping habits.
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Practical Tips and Tricks for Mindful Travel
1. Bring a familiar object along with you. You’ll feel more at home if you pack a small item that reminds you to practice meditation. For me, its a book of positive affirmations and my favorite essential oil diffuser. Both put me in a great mindset before meditation.
2. Mask background noises. Noise can be a distraction if you have a hotel room next to the elevator or are in a busy airport. We love using the Calm app on our phone for guided meditations and also for calming background noise.
3. Wear eyeshades. Meditation is hard to spot from the outside. If you wear eyeshades, flight attendants and seatmates will assume you’re asleep, and they’ll be less likely to start talking to you.
4. Schedule a meditation session whenever you wake up. The most disruptive thing about travel may be getting off your regular schedule, especially if you’re crossing into new time zones. Scheduling meditation for whenever you wake up will help you stay on track.
5. Find a local meditation center. Having some company around may motivate you to meditate. Search online for local mediation centers at your destination. They’re everywhere – from yoga studios to community centers. In fact, when we’ve traveled to Hawaii, some of the resorts offer free yoga!
6. Meditate outdoors. Travel is much more stimulating if you get out of your hotel room. Go down to the beach or ask the staff at the front desk if there’s a park or public garden nearby.
7. Try walking meditation. If the last thing you want to do is sit down again after a long flight, walk around while you meditate. Just focus on your breath or positive thoughts while you adopt a steady and gentle pace.
Traveling enriches your life with new experiences and opportunities. By working some meditation time into your schedule, you’ll have more energy to enjoy all the beautiful things around you wherever you go.