Guest Post – Airplane Jitters

This is a guest post by my good friend Nadia.  She loves to travel but she still gets a bit anxious taking an airplane.  Nadia offers up some great tips on how to handle those airplane jitters.

My list of favourite things to do is vast, but high up on that list is travel/vacation.  However, on the other end of the spectrum, airplane travel ends up on my list of least favourite things to do.  Unfortunately the two generally go hand in hand.  I guess I get what you call the airplane jitters, it’s not enough to prevent me from traveling, but just enough to build a little anxiety, and a tightened stomach especially as the trip approaches.    So over the years of constantly battling my mind, here are a few tips that have helped me coping with the airplane jitters:

1. Prior to the trip I do a little mind work. I force my mind to focus on the actual trip itself, I remind myself that I am not currently on the plane, and I will worry about that when I’m on it.  This isn’t always easy, but when I work really hard at it, it helps keep the anxiety at bay and prevents me from worrying and helps me re-focus to my favourite thing – the actual vacation!

2. I bring plenty of magazines and books.  I have a favourite book that I can read over and over, and I find that the familiarity of it makes me feel more at ease.

3. Last year I actually brought a puzzle book, filled with Crosswords, Sudoku, Word Searches, etc, I found that it helped me phase out my surroundings, and helped me focus on something other than the plane.  Bring something that isn’t overly easy for you, but not extremely difficult either.  Work on puzzles that are challenging enough to keep you distracted, and help kill time!

4. If you have an Ipod or Laptop, download your favourite shows or music and bring it along that way you can listen and watch the same things you would at home that help you relax!

5. If I have a travel buddy, I generally let them have the window seat, because sometimes I’d rather not look.  If I travel alone, I do request the window, but more for comfort than anything else, and just kept the shutter down (luckily my seat partner didn’t mind!)

6. Last year I was on a short flight to NYC, my travel buddy was aware of my airplane jitters, and helped me out by asking me about my favourite show and kept me talking about it to keep my mind focused elsewhere. We then flipped the conversation and I started asking the questions in return. So don’t be shy about telling the person you’re traveling with that you experience some anxiety, they can be a great support, and help you settle and become more comfortable!

7. For long flights, my doctor actually recommended to take gravol, it helps calm the stomach flutters, and actually helps me sleep.  For short flights, I do not take gravol as it can leave you feeling groggy if you haven’t slept it off.  Again I checked with my doctor, so I highly recommend you do the same, as everyone is different.

Thanks Nadia! Great Tips!  If you also share Nadia’s airplane jitters, what do you do to help you cope?

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