This is something that I have wanted to talk about for a while, just never got round to doing. I feel extremely blessed that ever since I was small I have travelled with my family, going on holidays and seeing lots of places in the world, but it doesn’t mean that I have everything down to a tee. Something that I struggle with a lot is flight anxiety – I cannot even put into words how much it terrifies me. When I was a child I didn’t really blink an eye lid about it, but as I have got older it has got a lot lot worse. I never let it stop me from flying, but it is becoming less manageable to cope with. When I went to Copenhagen in February, that’s when I felt it at its worse. The night before, we went to sleep reasonably early, as we knew we had to be up at 2am for the flight. At 9pm we went to bed, and at 1am I was still tossing and turning. My body wouldn’t stop, I couldn’t relax and couldn’t stop thinking about all the awful things that could happen. I was so unbelievably anxious, and was the closest I have ever been to saying I genuinely didn’t want to go. Since then I have been to Venice and Rhodes, and felt the impact of my fear. It wasn’t as bad, but I still felt extremely terrified walking through the airport doors.
“Although anxiety is part of life – never let it control you”
I know that this is not a problem that only effects me, in fact it effects so many people that I know alone. It is a common problem, and something that I fear is getting worse in the modern world. With everything going on, it wouldn’t be normal to not feel a little anxious, so it is okay. There a few small things that I can do to make myself feel a little better, but trust me, I have by no means figured out a solution. If i’m being completely honest, I doubt I or anybody else ever will.
Organised and Prepared
Anxiousness is often down to a number of things and not just one. I am naturally a very organised person, who likes to know what is going on and be in control pretty much all of the time. I don’t care about controlling other people, I just like to be in control of myself. Flying is still something new that I do on my own, aka not with the family, so I still get a little worried. I like to make sure I have got everything I need and nothing important has been forgotten. To help with this I create a tick list weeks before, and have a plastic folder to put everything in. This includes:
Accomadtion confirmation emails
Insurance confirmation emails
Having all of this in one place, ready to go will make you feel so much better, as you can rest assure that you have everything you need. For Copenhagen I think I worried about this a bit too much, as I was so worried that I had forgotten something. In actual fact everything was perfect! The worse thing happened a few weeks ago when I went to Rhodes, went to pay for a mascara in duty free and realised I had forgotten my debit card… I had a MAJOR panic!
Travel Sickness Tablets
When I am flying I always take some tablets to settle my nerves. The ones I use are Stugerons, which are just simple travel sickness medication that you can chew or swallow with water. Obviously I am not a doctor so cannot recommend any to you, but if you are looking for some good ones, I would recommend asking about these in your pharmacy. They are an over the counter drug, so easy to get hold of.
Facing your fears
I like to think of myself as I pretty brave person, but seeing as I scream at the sight of a spider, I probably can’t say so. Anxiety is something really quite serious, so shouldn’t never be thought of as something to just ‘get over quickly’. There are a lot of things that make me anxious about flying, all of which I need to face and address. I thought I would just share with you the main things that scare me, to see if we’re all on the same wavelength!
Height – I wouldn’t say that I am someone who despises heights, but when they tell you how far up from he ground you are mid flight, I do suddenly feel shit scared. It just is so not right to me that you are that far above everything and everyone, and the thought of something happening and everything falling down that far makes me feel really quite ill.
How does the bloody thing stay in the air?! – I know this is such a blonde thing to say, and it is something that has been explained to me over and over again in terms of physics and science, but I don’t understand how it works. Growing up all I learnt about in science was gravity – if you throw a ball up in the air, it comes back down. Planes go against gravity, and that really just confuses me. I know that they have massive jumbo engines and very big wings, but to me it doesn’t make sense. I worry that something will go wrong with the plane, or that gravity will fight back and agree with me about the fact that it is just not natural! *sorry for the dumb moment*.
Terrorism – This is a topic that can be very controversial when you speak about it, but it is becoming harder for me to ignore with everything going on in the world at the moment. I am not saying that this is just with flying, because it scares me with other big events etc, but it seems to be much more common on flights and in airports. I know that you have as much chance of winning the lottery as you do getting caught up in something like this, but it does happen, and it scares me. I am very wary when walking around airports and do worry about it during flights. It is something that I can’t get over, but there is nothing you can do, so you just have to try to ignore it.
Landing up in the wrong place – This seems strange, but I do worry about smaller things going wrong with the flights. I worry about landing up in wrong place, I worry about losing my luggage and I worry about not knowing anything when getting off a flight. These are small things, but all the small things do add up.
The best way for me to make myself feel better is to distract myself. Before flying I keep myself busy at the airport, having some food, looking around the shops and catching up on my phone. I keep busy so that I don’t think about anything! During the flight I can get very anxious, so try to make the time pass by listening to music, reading magazine and talking to whoever I’m with. I haven’t yet done a flight on my own, so I don’t know how I would cope!
The best thing when feeling anxious is the support from your loved ones. Everyone in my family are always there to support me when I am feeling anxious, as well as my boyfriend. None of them seem to feel it like I do – they just sort of have a ‘well if it happens it happens’ attitude. It is good that they feel like that, as it would be a bit of a nightmare if we were all like me, but I wish I felt the same! I just can’t get over it. It really helps me that they help to distract me, because I hate people who just disregard peoples feelings when they are anxious. It is so unkind and unfair.
Have a prosecco…
If I am being completely honest, the thing that I enjoy most when flying is treating myself to a prosecco when the drinks cart comes around. I have one every time, and oh my god I feel better when I do! I enjoy the drink, and there is something about the bubbles that just makes me incredibly happy and care free. I always manages to have a little sleep, and usually find the rest of the flight a breeze. I am not suggesting that turning to alcohol is the answer, but one prosecco is definitely the answer for me 😉
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