How I (sort of) cope with a (sort of) fear of flying

How I (sort of) cope with a (sort of) fear of flying

Despite having flown about 8,763 times last year, I still have a bit of a fear of flying. It’s not so bad that I’m terrified for the whole flight, and it weirdly only happens on shorter journeys, but it does mean that whenever a bit of turbulence hits I can turn into a tense, anxious, and fidgety mess. Here are some of the ways I try to ‘relax and enjoy my flight’, like the cabin crew ambitiously tell me to do every single time:

Read a new book

I went about two years after university without reading a book (I think words stopped making sense for a while after my dissertation) until last February, when I decided to take one on my flight home from Dublin in an attempt to distract my anxious mind. Unfortunately, my plan backfired a little when I started reading it during some turbulence and this was the first line:

Listen to my favourite Spotify playlist

Spotify Premium is one of my absolute essentials for travelling (and life in general). I always try to update my offline playlists before a long journey to include the stuff I’m currently listening to, or specific songs to calm me down, like this one:

Watch something funny

Comedy is my favourite genre and I watch it when I’m stressed out by life in general, so it made sense to try the same thing with flight anxiety. (All well and good until I burst out laughing and almost give the poor bugger sitting next to me a heart attack, woops).

Use a fidget spinner

I used a fidget spinner to try and calm myself down during a particularly windy and turbulent descent to Leeds Bradford airport last year, but I’m not sure if it really worked as I almost broke the bloody thing.

Have a beer

I probably shouldn’t be putting this down as one of my coping mechanisms but it’s definitely the most effective. (Only one though, any more than that and I’d probably end up reenacting that scene from Bridesmaids and end up on the news).

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