I’m not going to beat around the bush, but I’m a very anxious person. I get anxiety from a lot of different situations, but very few things get me quite a badly as flying does. Which does beg the question as to why I do it, but there we go!
Even though I’m mega excited to jetting out to Disney World later this week, my feat of flying is reaching those peak anxiety levels, so I thought I’d share my tips and techniques to overcome the anxiety:
- Voice it! Say it out loud, write it down or draw it out. Once you’ve done that, it won’t feel quite so bad, purely because it’s not completely trapped in your mind (where your pesky imagination can make it seem 193471 times worse that it really is).
- Get organised. I could get an award for my organisation skills, so I’m always the one who makes sure there are itineraries, schedules and all sorted printed out ahead of my trip. The tickets are filed in order, and I know what I’m doing. There’s nothing worse than waking up on the day of your trip not knowing where you’ve put your flight details and panicking that they’re lost forever.
- Check-lists and to-do lists. This kinda links up with point 2, but if I’ve made a list of everything you need and check if off as it goes into the suitcase, you don’t need to worry that you’ve forgotten anything.
- Music – I find that music has an unbelievably calming influence, as it distracts me from my thoughts, and by singing along I can regulate my breathing. Ensuring that my breathing is calm, without short, sharp intakes allows the rest of my body to relax. Once on the flight, though, it suddenly becomes unacceptable to sing aloud (goodness knows why, I’d love it…you know, so long as whoever it was, was in tune and singing something I liked…), so I just make sure I’ve got some of my favourite artists stored away on my phone or iPod to listen to. Books are also a great distraction, to make sure you’ve got one in your bag, or download a few onto a Kindle and lose yourself in someone else’s world.
- Dress for comfort. There’s nothing worse that settling yourself in for a long flight or train journey just to have the waistband of your jeans digging in as soon as you sit down, or that bardot top wrinkling around whenever you move. I would go for leggings or joggers (anything’s acceptable at an airport apart from pyjamas!), with a baggy t-shirt and a cardigan. I know it doesn’t look glamorous, but unless you’re Kim Kardashian you can get away with the slouchy look for one day.
- Kalms or Rescue Remedy! I think I may have only been on one or two flights max. without taking Rescue Remedy with me, and it’s just not worth it! Whatever the herbal ingredients they’ve used, they’ve concocted the right thing, and it’s great for calming the nerves and relaxing you ahead of a flight. I’ve currently got a packet of Rescue Remedy, orange flavoured lozenges, which I’ll be rationing as I make my way through the airport and onto the plane.
- Do your research – if you know what’s coming, that eliminates the fear of the unknown, and as soon as you know what you’re facing, it’s not quite so scary.
- Make use of the airport. Despite what people think, the airports weren’t actually set up to confuse and freak you out. There’s always plenty of signage so you know where you’re heading and the restaurants and shops are just set up to ease you into the holiday mode.
- Keep hydrated. If you start to panic, then your breaths shorten and you can quickly become out of breath and dehydrated. So make sure you have a big bottle of water stashed away.
- Think ahead. This isn’t going to last forever, and in most cases you can think that ‘this time tomorrow it will all be over’ and you’ll be able to relax into your holiday. A lot of the time, you just have to ride the emotions out, and it will all be over much quicker than you think.
I’m always on the look out for more hint and tips, so let me know what works for you.