You’ve had a long day of packing suitcases and commuting to the airport. You left early to make it through security in time, only to discover that your flight has been delayed. Now what? Use Mindful tips to get you through the long wait.
How Common Are Flight Delays?
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics keep records on American flights. According to their findings, there are fewer airline delays now than there were in 2012 or 2013, but plenty of Americans are still playing the waiting game in airports.
Going by last year’s stats, many holiday travelers will experience some flight delay this holiday season. During Thanksgiving 2017, 11 percent of departure flights and 10 percent of arrival flights experienced some delay. And during the winter holidays of 2017, 24 percent of departure flights and 23 percent of arrival flights were delayed.
If you get caught up in airline delays use these seven tips to help pass the time.
7 Things to Do When Your Flight’s Delayed
Get Some Exercise
Finding out that your flight has been delayed can be a very aggravating experience. If you’re feeling very stressed and restless, go for a walk. Take a stroll through the airport to stretch your legs. This little bit of exercise can produce feel-good chemicals, endorphins, which can help you relax.
Tackle Your To-Do List
As the saying goes: when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Use this unexpected delay to knock something off your to-do list. Obviously, you will be a bit limited (there’s only so much you can do in an airport), but you’d be surprised by how much you can get done. For instance, when’s the last time you cleaned our your email inbox and spam/junk folder? An airport delay is a good time to tackle that problem. If you have the resources (laptop, Wi-Fi, etc.), you can also get some work done for your job.
Expand Your Mind
Use this unexpected time to expand your mind and better yourself. For instance, you can read a book from your book bucket list. If you didn’t bring a book with you consider downloading an ebook to your phone or tablet, or you can check and see if there is a bookstore in the airport.
Don’t feel like reading? Consider using smartphone apps to brush up on a foreign language or play brain exercise games. Your brain will appreciate the stimulation.
Get Something to Eat
Hunger can lead to stress. Fortunately, most airports are full of restaurants, cafés, or food stands. So, if you have the time, consider getting a bite to eat. Ask someone who works at the airport which food place they recommend—chances are they’ve eaten at most of them and they’ll know which ones are best.
Write in Your Travel Journal
Do you keep a travel journal to document your adventures? If not, you definitely should! Travel journals are a unique way for you to plan your trips and record special moments during your travels. While you have some free time, consider doing some writing. Jot down your feelings and thoughts on paper. Consider some of the writing topics listed below:
- What new things will I try (food, activities, etc.)?
- What am I learning from my travels?
- What was my favorite part of my trip? What was my least favorite part?
Have a Meditation Break
If you start feeling tired and stressed, rejuvenate yourself with a five-minute meditation. Simply quiet your mind or use gentle music or nature sounds to transport you to another location. Monitor your breathing—inhaling and exhaling slowly. Straighten your posture as you meditate so you can feel more alert. This can help you relax even in the busiest of airports.
Get Some Rest
If you’ve done some work, taken a walk, had a meal, and still have some time to kill, consider taking a nap. A power nap, 15 to 20 minutes long, can recharge your batteries and help you feel more alert. Just remember to set your alarm so you don’t miss your flight!