Tips for stress-free flying

Flying anxiety is very common and can affect you at any time, no matter how often you board a plane. I personally feel that anxiety between taxi-ing along the runway and resting at 30,000 feet in the air. But it used to be much worse—staying awake at night, clammy hands, pounding heartbeats all day before a flight.

Everyone has their own tricks for calming their flying anxiety—taking note of the calm demeanor of the flight attendants, watching the takeoff out their window, or distracting themselves with noise cancelling headphones. But I want to share with you a few additional tips to help calm flying anxiety that you might not have thought of.

Get your workout in before your flight: Many people find serenity through their workouts, whether that be hitting the weight room, powering through a cycling class, or breathing your way through yoga. Making sure to fit in your go-to workout before a flight can put you in a peaceful mindset.

Charge all of your devices: What is more anxiety-inducing nowadays than getting a low power notification right before boarding a flight? Making sure your devices are charged before boarding can take some worry off your mind and allow you to focus more on using those devices to read, listen to music or even watch shows during your flight. Pro-tip: Most airlines will tell you if your seats have USB charging units, but it is always good to bring a (fully charged) portable charger with you as flight changes can be unpredictable.

Make a list of things you need to do before the flight — AND DO THEM: The overwhelming sense that you have a million and one “to-do” items running through your head during a flight can make your anxiety worse. A good habit is to make a list of what absolutely needs to get done before leaving for your trip: Fold laundry, pay bills, finish your final paper, organize your desk—any task that will bother you if left unfinished should be tackled pre-flight. Besides, do you really want to be thinking about that final paper while you’re on Mykonos Island in Greece?

Have your favorite meal before boarding: Nothing is quite as comforting as comfort food and what a better way to kick of your trip with your all-time favorite dish. Imagine how great you feel after indulging in your most-loved meal. That will definitely put you in a relaxed state of mind that is perfect for flying. And if you can find it in the airport, you can even bring the leftovers on the flight with you!

Lastly, treat yo’self: Planning a post-landing reward for yourself is another trick I use often. After getting off the flight I tend to run to the nearest coffee stand to grab a sickeningly sweet caramel macchiato. Whether it be a salty treat or a few extra zzz’s the next day, a post-flight reward can actually make you look forward to your flight.

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About The Author

Fueled by yoga and coffee, Francesca D'Annibale has traveled extensively both with work and for leisure. Her favorite destinations are Rome and Budapest.

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