How I Manage My Flight Anxiety
I love traveling. Hopping on a plane, train or car to a new destination is one of, if not my favorite thing to do. Whenever I get buckled in on a flight, a rising feeling of heat and anxiety builds in my chest making me so nervous to take off.
I don't recall call when I first experienced this sense of anxiety while fling but know I didn't have it when I was young. I know the irrationality if this fear yet somehow it always pops up just before and during takeoff. When I've travelled with various friends, it seems like certain people get nervous at various times - either during turbulence, takeoff, or landing. If you've ever experienced being a nervous flyer, continue reading the ways I cope with mine. I say cope because the anxiety never truly goes away, but these tactics definitely help me, and I hope they'll help you!
Get TSA Precheck
Whizzing through the security line at the airport means that you can arrive a tiny bit later and ultimately spend less time going through the hassles of an airport. Arriving with definitely enough time, but being able to go straight to the gate to board makes traveling a whole lot smoother and ultimately keep your stress lower to start. I typically only really do this when I know the airport, not at a brand new airport where I won't know if there will even be a Precheck line.
Fly a Consistent Airline
It's the small things, but flying a consistent carrier helps me know what to expect as far as timing of service etc. I typically fly Alaska Airlines so know there will be a ding when we hit 10K feet, there will always be a Mediterranean tapas box and generally feel like I can trust the pilots more. It may seem silly, but sticking to a routine when flying makes me feel more comfortable.
Watch TV As Soon As You Board
I use to just listen to music before we take off, but I recently started watching a TV show as soon as I get to my seat and that's helped me de-stress a lot during take off. I prefer watching TV shows over movies since they're typically quicker paced plots, so I can get into them more quickly, taking my mind off my least favorite part of the flight! If I watch guilty-pleasure shows such as the Bachelor, the drama definitely helps distract!
Talk to a Friend!
Whenever I can, I try to fly with friends. I can confide in them that I'm nervous, and talking to someone you know can really help calm nerves over flying alone. I can't say it's their favorite part of flying, since I'm probably annoying, but it helps give me piece of mind during the flight.
Bring on The Treats!
Bringing my own food on board is fun and takes up time! Whether it's an actual lunch or just a snack, taking some time to enjoy food (that's not from the plane!), helps calm me down a bit and gives me something to look forward to on a flight. I find it a great way to break up the long hours.
Fly First Class
I know this sounds obnoxious, but flying first class truly helps me relax more since I can watch a flight attendant more closely. If you can afford it or have the miles, it's a great way to fly in comfort with less nerves! When I'm able to watch the flight attendant up close, I can notice if they're going about their job as usual, or if there's something actually to be nervous about. It's an easier way to get cues from the professional on board. Also, back to the food thing, having more meals (and champagne!) throughout the flight helps pass the time quickly, meaning there's less mental energy to go towards nerves!
There have been countless other things I've tried to calm my nerves, such as listening to meditation tapes, but the ones listed above are the only ones that have calmed my nerves in the moment, and event made the dread of flying less. Are there things you've tried that work for you? Comment below, I'd love to hear!