Managing Anxiety on Long Trips

Tips for Surviving a Long Flight with Anxiety

When it comes to anxiety, travel can be a big trigger. I have found that one of the best ways to combat my anxiety is to be prepared. I was able to survive a 15-hour flight followed by a 10-hour flight to Australia because I was prepared. If you suffer from anxiety and are worried about an upcoming long flight, read on for tips on how to combat that anxiety and have smooth flying.

General Tips for Long Travel

  • Pack intelligently. Here is a complete list of what you may need.
  • Get up and walk around or stretch frequently. It will help with your circulation and prevent blood clots. You will find that your legs will start to feel swollen and heavy after so many hours of sitting.
  • Drink a lot of water throughout your travels. It will also help with your circulation. Pack your own empty water bottle and ask the flight attendants to fill it for you. You can also pack powder drink packets if you want something other than water.
  • Preset alarms for any timely medications you need to take. This will prevent you from having to do any headache-inducing math while you are traveling. Also make sure you pack enough medication for a few days in case your checked luggage gets lost.
  • Brush your teeth right before you decide to sleep on your flight. It will help keep you in routine and trick your brain into thinking it is bedtime.
  • Load up on vitamin C, multivitamins, or airborne a few days before you leave. Not only will it hopefully keep you from getting sick (no one likes to travel sick), but also it could help prevent you from getting ill from your travels. (You are stuck in a chamber of stale air and germs for many hours.)

 

Managing Anxiety on Long Flights

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packing for a long flight

What to Pack for a Long Flight

When I discovered I was going to Australia, you can bet I was ecstatic. But before I could have my summer down under, I had to get there. When I booked my flight, I was so excited about the price that I didn’t realize how much I would hate myself later. My travels plans were as followed…

  1. 1.5-hour drive to Orlando airport EARLY in the morning (thanks to my boyfriend for driving me)
  2. 2.5-hour flight to Chicago
  3. 3-hour layover
  4. 15-hour flight to Shanghai
  5. 7-hour layover
  6. 10-hour flight to Melbourne

My flight back was close to the same except I went from Shanghai to JFK and then down to Tampa. In total I spent almost two days traveling each time, but I survived. As someone with anxiety, such a long flight did make me worry. I have found that a good way to combat my anxiety is to be prepared, so I would like to share my wisdom with others.

What to Pack in Your Carry-On

Hygiene

  • Wipes- for when you want to shower but can’t or for those dirty planes/airports
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Mints/gum
  • Chapstick
  • Makeup- Personally, I don’t wear makeup when I travel, but if freshening up will make you feel better, go for it. 
  • Deodorant
  • Advil, ibuprofen, tums, etc- Carry any medications you may need to help with anxiety, headaches, upset stomach, or any other common ailments you suffer from.
  • Prescription medicines- Make sure you have enough for a few days in case your checked bags get lost.
  • Extra clothes- This is for both if your luggage gets lost and if you want to change. 

Continue reading “What to Pack for a Long Flight”