Leading a nomadic lifestyle is nothing short of exciting. However, at one point or another, many of us have felt delighted to return home after an exhausting journey. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a year long sabbatical, traveling can take its toll on our physical and mental health. Many of us travel for various reasons, but more often than not, we’re in search of a meaningful experience.
In order to make the most of our experiences, we must first be present and live completely in the moment. Likewise, mindfulness meditation involves focused breathing and drawing our minds’ attention to the present without drifting our thoughts to concerns of the past or future. Meditation encourages spatial awareness and will inspire you to become more perceptive of your environment all the while leaving you relaxed and feeling energized. The greatest part of meditation is the ability to do it anywhere at anytime.
Meditation & Time Adjustment
Many of us fall victim to jet lag, especially after particularly long flights. Unfortunately, it’s fairly inevitable. Our circadian rhythm controls our biological clock, which helps regulate our sleeping and eating patterns. Daylight and temperature are both contributors to our body’s 24-hour cycle. Queue jet lag’s entrance. As if a long flight didn’t make you tired already.
Instinctively, your first thought might head straight for a nap once you’ve arrived to your cozy Airbnb. Don’t! It will only disturb jet lag even more. If you have the chance, jump outside and sunbathe for an hour or two. The sunlight will help reset your biological clock.
While you’re at it, take advantage of this time to meditate. Remember, meditation encourages self and environmental awareness. Although, our circadian rhythm is mostly endogenous, our bodies cheat by conforming to our external cues like daylight. Meditation brings together mind and body through self awareness. When we become more aware of our surroundings, we become more aware of ourselves.
Take a few minutes practicing mindfulness meditation. You will leave feeling relaxed and energized for you journey ahead.
Mindfulness & Sleep
Although, we embrace new cultures with open arms, they’re still new and still unfamiliar experiences. As creatures of habit and routine, unfamiliar experiences can be overwhelming. At times, the fear of the unknown is stressful enough to keep us awake throughout the night. Racing thoughts can be difficult to stray away from, especially when you’re alone with them.
One study by JAMA Internal Medicine mentions that meditation helps break the train of everyday thoughts, which evokes a relaxation response. Meditation that elicits this type of response counteracts the body’s fight or flight response caused by stress. Rest assured, meditation will bring balance to your sleep.
We invest a lot time and resources while adventuring the world, which is why it’s also important to invest in ourselves while we’re at it. While abroad, make sure your nightly accommodations are suitable for your needs. Everyone sleeps differently. In the same way, different meditation techniques are more effective for different people. Like meditation, sleep also has a lasting effect on our long term memory. Between sleep and meditation alone, we’ll have more energy to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Article written by Alex Leaf, a native to the coast of North Carolina and passionate about adventures and experiences, which is why he loves to write.
If you’re new to meditation, or simply keen on making it an integral part of your travel experience, SwellWomen’s here for you. From sunrise meditation to moving with the ocean waves, being present and mindful is a part of every SwellWomen Retreat. Find Your Bliss!