I recently boarded a plane for the first time in 7 years… it was quite a big deal for me and yet I got through it. I have anxiety and travelling by plane really was something I thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with. I thought therefore that I would share what I found useful and hope it helps you too, if you too struggle with flying.
Be A Bit Extra
This may not be the right option for you, but it REALLY helped me to book extras with the flight there and back such as additional leg room, priority boarding, the use of the lounge area and premium passport control. Queues are a massive anxiety trigger for me. I hate confined spaces, people pushing into others and the general feeling of being trapped. This made my life so much easier. On the way back we travelled from Santorini (which is a tiny airport) and so we couldn’t use some of these features but travelling out from the UK was lovely.
Tell People What You Need
Often people don’t know how to help you. Try to travel with other people who will get your point of view. Tell them when you need quiet and time just to read your book and forget about the world.
I suffer from excruciating pain in my head from the pressure on descent of aircrafts, so I packed things to help like decongestant tablets, earplugs designed for airplanes, and sweets. These made travelling so much better for me and I didn’t cry of pain like I had done previously.
I found myself making up my own stories about the clouds and imagined a family of cloud people living in the sky. This helped travelling high up in the air more comforting and gave me something to do. I also took a lot of magazines and a notebook in case I wanted to jot down any ideas. I really recommend story writing if you are a creative person like me! I also debated trying to solve some maths equations (if I can remember any maths from my degree…). This might not be for you, but I love to be busy and distracted and problem solving helps, as does being creative. I could have also planned some blog posts if I ran out of other options. Music is also a great distraction so take some headphones with you.
Try To Focus On The Good Things
Unfortunately, on the way home, we had to queue quite a bit and people were generally rude and pushy. A woman actually pushed into me just to get somewhere quicker and this upset me. However, after a mini emotional moment, I tried to focus on the good things like my boyfriend being there and not having to sit next to her on the plane. It got me down how rude people can be, but I guess you just have to focus on yourself and not letting it ruin things.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! I’d be interested into hearing what advice you would give to those travelling or flying abroad! Feel free to add any ideas in the comments so we can all help each other!