How to Practice Meditation While Traveling for Business
You know the drill: Touch down in your destination, immediately bring up your Uber app to get a ride to your hotel, set down your suitcase and get right to work. Between site visits, responding to emails, answering incessant phone calls and putting out all the fires that go along with managing a meeting, you barely have time to eat, let alone meditate.
Yet when you’re on the road — perhaps with elevated anxiety levels from the stress of your job, and guilt over missing out on family life for a few days — taking time to pause and hit your own personal reset button can make a big difference in your mental health.
“Practicing gratitude and reminding yourself of what brings joy to your life can help lift your spirits when you are feeling down from being far from home,” says Julie Campistron, co-founder of the meditation app Stop, Breathe & Think.
We talked with Campistron to get her actionable tips for making meditation a habit while traveling for business.
Associate it with a daily habit.
The easiest way to integrate meditation into your routine is to associate it with an existing daily habit. For example, maybe it’s spending five minutes alone in thought as soon as you wake up, or carving out a few moments to meditate right after you pour your first cup of coffee.
This becomes more difficult when traveling because your routine is changed and rearranged, so even the best-laid plans for wellness (including meditation) can be derailed. Try to choose a daily habit that doesn’t change when you’re on the road, such as brushing your teeth at night, to signal that it’s time for meditation.
As with any other habit (like your New Year’s resolution to hit the gym every morning, perhaps?), you should introduce daily meditation in short doses to make it actually achievable. To start, plan to meditate for 3 to 5 minutes max, focusing on the consistency of the habit rather than the length of time.
Choose a mantra.
A mantra is typically a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself to help you get into a meditative state. For example, you could compose a few sentences in your mind about sending kind wishes to your loved ones, as well as yourself, and repeat those to yourself to get in a positive frame of mind.
Leverage travel times.
A few hours on a flight or on a train can be a great time to practice meditation, replacing mindless scrolling on your phone. Also take care to practice mindfulness during travel, especially in new environments where you’re discovering new places and people. Observe, listen and practice being present.
If daily habits aren’t enough to trigger you to remember to meditate, try setting a reminder on your phone. You can also make use of meditation apps, which can be helpful guides if you’re new to meditation and don’t know where to start.