Of all the things I have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, top of my list is not having to fly anywhere. Much is media hype, but there’s just so much collective stress about security screening and pat-downs, horrendous crowds and over booked flights. I feel for those of you stuck in the muddle of airline travel, for as much as I love traveling, just as with rush hour driving, I avoid peak periods whenever possible.
Airport stress busting tips once you’ve survived security:
Rewards: You made it to the gate and may feel like you’ve earned a medal. Avoid reaching for a drink in one of the airport bars as alcohol will dehydrate you and stress your system when you’re facing a long flight. Also if you’re already exhausted, alcohol may strain your immune system, making you more prone to catching someone else’s cold. How else can you reward yourself?
Eat consciously: Look for healthy foods and avoid fried or spicy entrees, especially with beans. You don’t want an upset stomach or embarrassing gas when you’re sitting cramped in your seat. Some coffee shops feature chopped veggies and nuts (or bring them from home in a baggie). These are a great snacks that travel well even when squashed in the bottom of your carry-on. Splurge on a big bottle of water to carry on the plane and refill it if you’re in the air for more than two hours.
Don’t be shy about stretching – It’s tempting to just slump in a boarding lounge chair and tune out the world. Find a few minutes to stretch while you have the space to do so. Carry your flight plan for travel ease, the illustrated Flytime Yoga booklet. Available at www.DrivetimeYoga.com
Avoid the moving walkways and trek through the concourse. Some airports have circuits for exercising once you are through security. Create your own, enlist a friend and take turns leading a brisk walk. Find out which airports have exercise programs online with the ACSM Task Force on Healthy Air Travel.
Remember this fact: Airports are filled to capacity over the holiday weeks.
Option 1: Plug in and tune out. Create your own personal bubble. You can usually find a relatively quiet corner if you don’t mind sitting on the floor and cocoon, meditate, catch up on Facebook.
Option 2: Open up and check out who’s there. Listen. Look. Commiserate. See who else is open and connect with a smile. We’re all in this together and sharing a moment, a story, can make delays more interesting. You may meet someone who will enrich your life or at least make the wait more interesting!
Copyright 2010, Elaine Masters, RYT, Trip Wellness Specialist, Award-winning author and Speaker, www.DrivetimeYoga.com