My name is Laura and I am a recovered aerophobic! (That is someone who is afraid of flying, and yes I googled that, y’all.) I used to be really terrified of flying. Like when I was 14 my mother had to shove me on the plane type-of-terrified. I would literally feel sick thinking about walking onto a plane and my stomach would be in knots. I suffer from generalized anxiety and it is heightened during our travels. I have figured out how to manage it pretty well though, and I want to help you get through it too.Here are my tips for flying with anxiety!
Ask for help.
There is absolutely NO SHAME in asking for help. I went to the doctor and asked for medication to help me. I let them know I didn’t want to be completely knocked out, but I also didn’t want to be pacing the aisles! My doctor helped me find the perfect medication for me. It worked great when we flew to France. I was cool as a cucumber, but I wasn’t a zombie. (When I first got put on medication this was one of my huge fears!)
Fly with a friend.
Of course, my husband is always my travel partner in crime, but if you can fly with a friend you are gonna feel so much more comfortable. Also, letting your flying partner know how you’re feeling can help them, help you! My husband always knows I’m going to be squeezing his hand on take off. Once we are in the air, I’m good to go!
Know why you are afraid.
Think about why you are afraid of flying – like really get into it – what is the real reason you’re afraid of flying? I think for most people it’s a really not a matter of a fear of flying but a fear of death. Or maybe you don’t like that you are not in control of yourself – that’s what it is for me! Once you establish the WHY of your fear, then you can figure out the HOW of treating yourself and talk yourself down.
Positive self-talk to yourself.
This may sound kooky to you, but hear me out because I’m telling you it works! One of the best tips I’ve ever read about anxiety was a tip to use when you’re having a panic attack. It honestly is the only thing that has ever worked for me! Really get into your mind and realize what is happening. Realize that you are panicking and that you are actually okay.
The first question to ask yourself is “am I safe right now?” The answer is yes! Flying is a perfectly safe mode of travel. The second question is “in this moment, am I actually okay right now?” The answer is yes. You are perfectly healthy and okay.
Think about your destination!
Sometimes it helps me to picture my destination and think of all the fun things we’ll do there. OR picture my sweet Husky giving me kisses when I pick her up on the way home.
You got this!
These are just some of the tools I have used flying with anxiety, and I hope they help you. I do still get nervous, but compared to how awful I felt before – well, let’s just say it feels like a walk in the park now! YOU CAN DO THIS.
Life is too short to stay in your safe little bubble. There are too many beautiful places out there for you to see, girl!!