There's lots of ways to make travelling easier. There's a lot of things that can go wrong but lots of things that we can appreciate, that sometimes go unnoticed. Practising mindfulness is very simple. It's all about breaking useless, negative habits and replacing them with productive, positive ones. Being more aware of our actions and taking control of our daily habits is a great start in making for smoother adventures.
10 Ways To Practise Daily Mindfulness While Travelling
1. Do Some Form Of Exercise In The Morning
This could be anything! A walk, yoga, some stretches, a mini workout or a full gym sash! Something to get you up and going. Start your day by being physical aware. Aware of how you move, how you feel and how strong and beautiful your body is! You'll be more conscience of how you move and hold yourself for the rest of the day.
This is a great way to kickstart your immune system while travelling. Fight off those nasties and feel less guilty about all the pizza and gelato you're going to eat on the days adventures.
2. Make A List
Do this either the night before or first thing in the morning. This allows you to get into a productive frame of mind. Decluttering your brain, feeling more in control. You then eliminate the chance of being distracted as you now have a goal, a direction and the steps to get you there right in front of you.
This is especially great while travelling to new destinations. Make a full list of what to pack, all the companies contact information, arrival and departure times, prices and budgets.... Get in the rhythm of putting everything thats knocking around in your head, down onto paper. It will make for smoother travels with less stress.
3. Eat More Real Food
Be aware of everything you put into your mouth. Think about each ingredient. Think about where it originated from and how it got to your plate. Our lifestyle of buying everything from a supermarket with no concept of how it got there and what is actually in it, leads us to make choices based on price, colour and flashy marketing, rather than the benefit it actually provides to us. Start reading labels and packaging. If you can't pronounce an ingredient or it looks like there's more chemicals than real ingredients, put it back on the shelf.
Yes, this can be difficult sometimes when travelling. You want to try everything new and delicious looking! Try by setting yourself a goal of one meal a day being made from fresh, wholesome ingredients only. This can be done by buying fruit and salad, heading to a vegan restaurant or heading to a local farmers market.
4. Say Thank You Instead Of Sorry
I am the absolute worst culprit when it comes to this bad habit. I'll step in front of someone, 'sorry!', I'll be running late somewhere 'sorry, I got caught up', I make a mistake at work 'sorry, i'll do better.'
Turn these scenarios into 'Thank You' oppurtunities. 'Thank you for your patience', 'Thank you for showing me my mistake and leading me to do better'
Anything done with confidence, a smile and consideration is a soul-enriching interaction.
5. Listen To Good Music
This certainly does not include Cardi B's Bodak Yellow.... How did that reach number 1....
Listen to lyrics, tones and beats that make you happy, make you smile and heighten your vibe. Listen to music from other cultures, listen to music that makes you dance carefree!
One way I was able to get rid of pop-radio in my life was downloading and listening to Podcasts. You can find a podcast for anything! Check out my ultimate Podcast list for travellers here
6. Stop Watching TV
Whilst I was living in Cambodia, I only watched the TV around 3 times. The only TV in my apartment building was up 12 flights of very very steep stairs. I opted instead for walks around my suburb or a new place I hadn't explored yet in the city.
I haven't been able to sit and watch TV the same ever since. Curtis and I never watch the News anymore. Western media portrays so little of the right things yet so much of the wrong things! We instead watch series on Netflix. This way we choose exactly what we watch and don't sit through all the distracting advertisements.
We as travellers see the world in a far broader and brighter sense from others already, don't numb yourself down. Maintain that higher level of thinking by entertaining your mind in greater ways.
7. Be More Grateful
Every morning and every night, write down 3 things you are grateful for. These can be small, large, seemingly insignificant or a grand event. The purpose of this practise is to train your brain to see the better side of life throughout the day. You'll find yourself searching for positives instead of negatives. Praising instead of complaining. Transfer your energy to productive, good thoughts.
Next time you're sitting in an over-crowded airport, waiting for your already 4 hour delayed flight, take a deep breathe and look around you. What can you be grateful for instead of stewing in a rage of resentment, stress and blame? Are the seats comfortable? Is there wifi? Is this is a great chance to knuckle down and edit some photos? Can you write a letter to a loved one? Can you check out some new books at the store? Can you research some more easy, on-the-go vegan recipes for your next destination?
Be more aware of your thoughts, are they for the better?
8. Stay Humble
Nobody likes a know-it-all, done everything on the bucket list, budget crazy, show off. Travelling should humble you. It should show you how insignificant the little worries can be and also how grand little positivities can be. Respect the cultures and people you come by. Just because you come from a developed country does not make you, your life or money any better than others. If you find yourself feeling a bit complacent with your circumstances or privilege, take a step back. Look at how hard you've worked to get there. Look at where you were 12 months ago. Let your own journey inspire you to keep moving forward. Learn new things everyday, jump on new adventures and be challenged regularly!
9. Drink More Water
Water does the world of good for your body! Our body is approximately 60% water - your body relies on this simple chemical to function optimally. Your health, mind, fitness and immune system all rely on water.
Remember that caffeine, sugar and alcohol all dehydrate your body. So thinking a beer or few at the end of a big hiking trip is going to replenish your aching muscles is just dumb.
Stress, exercise, certain medication, climate conditions and illness can all lead to water loss in the body. You should be drinking at least 2 litres everyday. And when one of these factors is contributing to your day, you need to be drinking even more.
I always travel with a tube of Hydralyte Effervescent Tablets. These are an electrolyte solution to help replenish the important salts and fluids you loss through travelling.
10. Write Down Your Dreams & Goals
A lot of the time, a goal, that's kept in your mind can seem incredibly large, impossible and too far away. Simply write down your goals. Look at them on the paper. They're not so large now are they?
Now, working backwards, write down the steps you need to take to make that dream come true. Are there less steps than you initially thought? Does it now seem much less scary, more possible and even exciting?
For example: I've been dreaming of working with Highland Cows for years now! But with it bouncing around in my mind, the constant fears of how? When? and panic of finances overpowered the dream itself. January saw me right down my goals for 2018. Simply, I wrote: 'Work with Highland Cows'. Next I wrote how I was able to do that: 'Volunteer on a farm through Workaway'. Then I looked at my biggest fear of finances: 'Accommodation & Food - Free, Plane Ticket $1000-$2000'
Now with that simple jotting down of what was bouncing around in my mind, freaking me out, making my dream seem so so far out of reach, I can confidently say that I believe I can accomplish this goal in 2018.
See how much easier, relaxed and exciting your goal seems now? This activity can be done for any goal - big or small! Even if you're on the road and are not sure how you're going to fit that particular activity in. Jot it down backwards.
This is also a great task for when you haven't actually considered all the fundamentals around a plan. It may seem super close, easy or cheap. Jotting it down in this simple form can show holes in your plan or costs that you hadn't previously thought of.
How do you maintain mindfulness while travelling?
Do you have any secrets to travelling smoother and more relaxed?
Let me know in the comments 🙂