Ali in the Sky with Anxiety

*note – I sang that title in the tune of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles*

Above the clouds on our flight to Townsville, January 2019

At some stage in my life, something flicked, and I became a nervous flyer.

I specifically remember being 21, flying to Brisbane to see LadyGaga with my BFF Shannon, and I was calm as a farm while my boyfriend at the time was edgy as anything. I was calming him! To this day, I have never had any bad experiences *touch wood* and I’m so grateful for that. But something triggered in me a distaste for being closed into a floating fart bubble (let’s be real, by the time you get off that plane it is FULL of pop-offs) for X hours in transit.

During the flight I’m generally quite fine, every now and then I might feel a bit of a wave of ‘oh my goodness are we there yet I need to get out of here’, but I keep myself entertained and I’m alright. The bit that gets me is when everybody is seated and accounted for, and they close the cabin door. Because to open that door again requires a pretty big ordeal if it isn’t arriving at our destination. I like to be in control of the doors in which allow me to enter and vacate a premises as I please. Taking away that control is just plain rude.

Obviously there are reasons and plenty of procedures which explain why the door needs to stay closed, a major one being all of the lives onboard, but I just want to be in control of it. Is that so much to ask? I even asked the Air Hostess on the way home from Thailand to tell me that they’ve got contact with ‘ground control’ the entire trip, just because it makes me feel better to know we aren’t just off the grid while we are floating in mid-air. I’m happy to take whatever I can get to calm my nerves for a flight. And so with that, if you are also a nervous/uncomfortable flyer, below are some of my tips and tricks to get you through;

  • Ask for a cup of ice before take-off – I get hot when I get anxious, and that makes me even more anxious AND uncomfortable. Sucking ice cubes is also a great way to pop your ears while you’re ascending.
  • Tell the air host/ess that you are a nervous flyer – this will keep you in the front of their minds, and they will generally come to your aid very quickly if you press your assistance button overhead. They will also usually come & check on you when they are doing their rounds.
  • Prepare a music playlist and make sure it’s actually on your phone, not on your iCloud! Also make sure your headphones are attached to your phone before you even leave the house, this way you can’t possibly forget them. I have music which is fun, happy and/or motivating, no screamo or depresso songs allowed.
  • If your airline doesn’t have in-flight entertainment, download a movie or some episodes of your favourite series from Netflix to your iPad – by the time you’re halfway through your movie you’ll be well into your flight and realise it’s not so bad after all.
  • Lavender Essential Oil – sniff it, put some on your temples or your wrists, and just let it relax you. There is a lot of science behind it which I won’t go into – just trust that it WILL calm you.
  • When all else fails – buy a trashy magazine and distract yourself with the creative nonsense some of those journalists come up with!

Perhaps most importantly, before you even get on that plane, repeat some positive affirmations to yourself. Mine is usually something along the lines of “I am calm, happy and excited to see (insert name of person you are visiting)”. You can say whatever you want that makes you feel better, but remember that if it’s not positive it will still be an affirmation, it will just be a negative one. So be MINDFUL of what you’re telling yourself in the hours or days leading up.

In the end, we can’t let these fears of ours stop us from living our lives. There has been one occasion where my panic attack on the tarmac stopped me from taking the flight to see my family, and it is something that I’ll always be upset about. I let it beat me. But now that I have, I’ll never let it happen again. And I don’t want you to ever be in that position either.

Let me know if these tips were helpful for you, and if there is something else you do please share with us!

If you’re struggling to find methods to get through day-to-day tasks, reach out – I am the mindset queen! Click here and let’s work together to get you happier & healthier.

A xo

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