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Travel Anxiety

I wish I had a concrete answer to this question but travel anxiety is something I’ve always struggled with and something I’ll most likely continue to struggle with.  I’m sure that’s not the answer you were looking for, but I’ve learned a ton of techniques that help me out on travel days that I’m excited to share.

For some background, I’ve always been afraid of anything I don’t have complete control over, so naturally, flying through the air in a metal tube became one of my biggest fears. Any time I had travel scheduled on the horizon, the days leading up to my trip would be filled with anxiety, clearly because of the upcoming flight. I would have trouble sleeping, especially the night before the trip. Think: no sleep at all!

Once I got myself on the plane, I would dread takeoff, as it is the absolute worst part of the experience for me. When we were safely in the air, any bump or movement would cause my heart to feel like it dropped down to the bottom of my stomach and my entire body would start to shake. And this happens every single time!

Even though I’m not the best flyer, I’ve learned a ton of methods that help ease the process for me (and whoever is sitting next to me).

  1. I try to take afternoon and evening flights so I can have a big glass of red wine to help me relax. I was always hesitant about drinking on flights because I’m nuts about staying hydrated, but drinking red wine goes a LONG way for me and makes turbulence much more bearable.
  2. I like to have a list of airplane safety facts printed out or written in the Notes section on my phone. Reading through the facts about how safe flying actually is really helps me get ready for takeoff and while we are in the air. Once, I even wrote them out and posted them on my Instastories and I noticed that the rewriting and rereading process helped too!
  3. I recently learned breathing techniques that have been a lifesaver for my travel days. I never knew much about meditation or deep breathing methods, but I was desperate to overcome my anxieties and gave it a shot. My acupuncturist taught me to focus on my breath in counts of 4, so right before takeoff or whenever there is turbulence, I breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and breathe out for 4 seconds. It sounds crazy but it really, really works!

If you’re like me and get intense travel anxiety, try some of these methods to help ease your pain. I swear, in some moments, I can actually relax and appreciate the beauty of flying.

Featured image by: Molly Keene

By Arielle Charnas

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