It seems that everywhere you turn you can read about a blogger’s anxiety and, to be honest, to me it’s been helpful. I had never realised until talking with a friend with anxiety that I also had anxiety, I always called it overthinking or even fear.
I believe I function very well with my anxiety, but that was until last year, when I had a panic attack on a plane. It has since been very hard for me to travel. It’s not something I’ve mentioned much on the blog, because as a ‘travel blogger’ or ‘wanderluster’ it always seems like such a fail to discuss these things, but today, inspired by my fellow courageous bloggers, I’m sharing that part of me.
Context: Last year, I received my spouse visa and had to fly the very next week back to the UK. Of course, I woke up on the day of my flight to a huge snowstorm in Montreal. Flights cancelled. Nightmare. I managed to make it to Toronto and, running and sweating my way to my gate, I caught the one flight a week back to Glasgow.
Sitting down in my seat, I was so happy and started to relax, I was fine. Until I wasn’t anymore. We hit a huge patch of turbulences. And whilst I’ve never liked them, I’ve never had such an adverse reaction to them. I starting panicking and the only thing I could think of was that I needed to leave that plane, right now! It lasted for nearly one hour, flight attendants sitting and some people even yelling by how intense the rauckus was.
When I arrived in Glasgow, I had never been so happy to reach the ground. I was reunited with my Brit and, after sharing my experience, he explained I’d had a panic attack. Not thinking much of it, I soon forgot about it.
That was until we flew to Denmark in June and I had another panic attack. Every little bump we hit, I braced myself for the worst. We’ve since flown to the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland and I’m anticipating my reaction at every flight, giving me anxiety before and during the flight now. But, I’m slowly getting better!
I thought I would compile some tips to travelling with anxiety:
>> Good thoughts is the best way to start.
>> If that doesn’t work, go with the facts, apparently 2017 was the safest year yet in aviation! That’s been my motto!
>> Carry some water. Personally water is the only thing I can ingest in the midst of a panic attack so better be ready.
>> Carry a face mist or mist moisturiser. I’ve found that they help me sooth myself into a more relaxed state and they refresh you if you tend to heat up with anxiety.
>> Have some appropriate entertainment. The Brit has amazing relaxing music on his iPod, which helped me on our way to Denmark. I also make sure to have some Netflix episode or book to read, if I need to distract myself a bit more.
>> If push comes to shove, try taking a motion sickness tablet. It helps relax your body, stop feeling sick and may make you drowsy enough to sleep through the flight.
>> This one didn’t use to work, but lately, it’s helped me relax : Tell yourself you can’t control what happens so may as well relax. The Brit kept telling me this and it made me worst in the middle of a panic attack, however, it’s good to remind myself of that before the flight. If something happens, you literally cannot do anything so why worry about it. It sounds terrible for those control freaks (like me) out there, but it’s a state of mind to have about flying. And about life – it’s helped me a lot lately.
How do you deal with anxiety? Do you have a fear of flying? How do you deal with that?xx