I don’t know about you, but for us leaving on a trip is usually stressful in one way or another. When we travel, I could be a bit intense. Snapping and yelling at everyone:
- “get your stuff together”,
- “bring your bag to the car”,
- “hurry up we have to get on the road”,
- “don’t forget your toothbrush”,
- “I said I wanted to leave”!
It’s not pleasant.
If we’re planning to leave at 8:30am, I expect we’ll be pulling out the driveway by 8:35, 8:40 the latest.
The stress of getting six humans and a dog out the door
It’s chaotic with four kids and a dog too. By the time we’re all packed and driving off the energy is tense, hair is frazzled and someone has to run back in for one more thing we forgot.
After a collective deep breath, I feel victorious that we made it out the door in time. But my family wants to muzzle me. Not a great way to start a trip.
This plays out several times a year with our extended family in New Hampshire, New York, and DC. We’re in a rush wanting to see everyone, or to beat the traffic.
Subtle changes when I started meditating 5 minutes daily
This past Thanksgiving, we had plans to leave for NH by 8:30 am. And this trip we had to put the roof rack on, which is a new dynamic to the packing and leaving situation.
The morning started off as usual. Everyone buzzing around shoveling in some breakfast, dressing, going to the bathroom one more time, and packing last minute toiletries and chargers.
Doug and I put the roof rack up, then I packed it as everyone brought me their bags. (I’m the packer. I’m sure you have a packer in your house. Things seem to fit better when we do it.)
All went well and we were pulling out by 8:32 am.
As we were reversing out of the driveway, Doug looked at me and said, “Wow that was the calmest we’ve ever packed up and left. I don’t think you even yelled once! Maybe it’s the meditation you’ve been doing that’s working.”
After scoffing at the fact that I may have been pleasant in the past, I realized he’s right.
Meditation before coffee
I’d been meditating at least 5 minutes most mornings with the Insight Timer app. That little bit was adding up to make a difference.
On the days I meditate and take a breath in the morning, I am a little slower to freak out. And apparently it’s helping with the “travel Catherine” as well.
I resisted meditation for a long time because it seemed so hard. But once my friend Cindy told me that I could use guided meditations, it’s been a game-changer.
I have a handful of short meditations bookmarked in my Insight Timer app. And while my coffee brews every morning I pick one to do.
Need help with stress? Start meditating
The benefits of meditation are many. Meditation doesn’t only help mood and pleasant travel, but it also shows benefits for:
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine promotes meditation as a tool for treatment through its’ stress management pillar. Even showing research that meditation and mindfulness can change your epigenetics!
Where in your life are you less than pleasant to be with? Are you ready to “take the edge off” and be more resilient to stress in your life? Consider 5 minutes of daily meditation, or even 3 to start!