One of the challenges I have when I travel is sticking to the routine I have conscien- tiously put in place for my highest well-being. That includes my water intake, nutritional
supplements, meditation and exercise, to name a
few. When you travel, particularly on business, and
things get increasingly hectic, the first things that
typically fall by the wayside are self-care related.
First order of business: Set the intention to make
“you” a priority and plan ahead.
Hydrate with quality water. The water will keep
your systems moving and nourish your cells.
Before you get to your room, pick up the best-quality water you can get: spring, PH-balanced
or whatever is the optimal offering you can find.
In most cities, staying away from tap water is a
Take supplements. Pack your nutritional supplements and set your phone alarm to remind you
to take them. Set two reminders if you are one
of those folks that will just turn off the alarm
and dismiss your self-care. If you do not take
supplements, invest in a quality natural vitamin
C to help boost your immune system. Vitamin C
is a winner every time.
Breathe. Most of us are shallow breathers and
when stress is added it may feel more like a
canine panting. Use your phone to set a timer
for five minutes of deep breathing before you
get in the shower in the morning and before you
retire to bed. The breathing will relieve tension
and energize your cells.
of business and networking at hand over the next few days. Though as we closed our eyes
and purposefully took in the words of our trainer—hyperfocusing on one breath in and
one breath out, paying close attention to the rise and fall of our chests—the sense of calm
throughout the room became contagious. We were learning to let go of the inherent struggle to juggle a million messages, thoughts and tasks, and just joyfully be—in the moment.
And it was liberating.
As the principles of well-being become increasingly prevalent in our society, they are
also finding a restful place in the meetings industry and the hospitality industry overall.
Major shows like IMEX (its Be Well Lounge, spearheaded by Lee Papa, described above)
and PCMA are staging initiatives to teach planners how to incorporate wellness into their
daily lives and into meetings agendas. It often begins with mindfulness meditation, learning to be in the moment—the one moment.
Monotasking is not a word that’s ever associated with event planning, let alone anyone’s
life nowadays. It has become our nature to multitask, or at least attempt to, with thousands
of stimuli pinging us and vying for our attention from the moment we open our eyes in
the morning. Yet can anyone, including meeting planners—a position that has been in
the top 10 on the Forbes’ list of the most stressful jobs for three years, right up there with
police officers and firefighters—keep it together without multitasking?
The Power of One
Ask Deepak Chopra, world-renowned physician, New York Times best-selling author
and wellness expert, and the answer is a resounding “yes”—being mindful and focused on
one task, one moment, is the key to being less stressed, more productive and ultimately
“If you have a mindful, healthy approach, you’re less likely to be anxious,” Chopra told
Meetings Today. “There’s a lot of anxiety that comes with event planning and what can
go wrong, so you’re less likely to focus on that. It helps you stay centered in the moment,
which means more efficiency.”
Multitasking gets worse with practice, Chopra wryly noted.
“I tell event planners it’s very important not to succumb to the temptation of multitask-
ing,” he said. “It’s impossible for a conscious mind to do more than one thing at a time.
Your subconscious mind does that, so you cannot worry about that. So when you’re plan-
ning anything or doing anything, focus on it and be mindful about it.”
Meanwhile, mindfulness meditation in a group meeting, whether at the office or at
larger conferences, can be a game-changer.
“I have been doing mindfulness meditation practices before meetings for the last three
decades or more, and what I have found is everybody doing the practice together in
some way starts to open up to each other,” he said. “They have a sense of bonding in the
Tips to Stay
Well on the Road
THE CHOPRA CENTER, CARLSBAD, CALIF.