Recently, I met with a client who travels quite a bit for work and personal reasons. 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's 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: developing the awareness to be more present in our lives so we aren't going through life on autopilot. Below are four tips to help us embrace the dance of trying to stay consistent with our daily practice within the oftentimes unpredictable nature of travel:
1. Power off.
Try to take advantage of the time before takeoff 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.
In a hotel room, it can be a challenge to find space, especially when you're traveling with a loved one. In lieu (pun intended) of your regular meditation spot, try the bathroom. Just bring in a pillow to sit on. Awkward? Perhaps. Functional? Absolutely. If there's an outdoor space, such as a balcony, you can also explore turning it into your own mindful space.
3. Mix it up.
Because we are often changing time zones when we travel, sometimes it can feel like a challenge to meditate at the same time of day. I like to embrace this and allow myself to explore different types of meditations and times of day—for example, swapping my morning practice for bedtime meditation. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of some guided breath or body awareness meditations or even practicing a lovingkindness meditation.
4. Amp up your gratitude.
If taking time to meditate simply feels overwhelming, substitute it with something more tangible, like a gratitude practice that you can still do daily. Just start a log on your phone, and every evening before bed, list three things you're grateful for. 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.