Traveling around the world is one of the most exciting opportunities many people ever have. Unfortunately, far distances mean long flights and spending a mind-numbing amount of time sitting on a plane. Anxiety and stress are the last feelings you want creeping up on you when you're stuck for hours. Here are some ways to reduce anxiety on long-distance flights and to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Get Everything Ready Beforehand
The last thing you want to realize as you're entering the airport is that you've accidentally left your wallet or passport at home. The stress alone of thinking you've forgotten something can keep you on edge the whole time you're on the plane. Avoid any fears of leaving something important behind by coming up with a checklist in the days before your flight and laying everything out in an easy-to-reach spot. Try to avoid packing your bags the night before if you can help it.
Dress as Comfortably as Possible
There's no reason to dress to impress when you're sitting in a tube full of strangers for a whole day. Wearing tight-fitting clothing or packing on extra layers can become bothersome very quickly, especially when you're sitting in one place for an extended period. Sitting still for prolonged periods can also trigger adverse reactions for people who are prone to hypertension or heart disease. Wearing loose layers and compression socks on your feet can keep your blood moving and give you room to stretch.
Hold Off on Drinks
For flights that last through the night, there's a temptation to relax with a couple of stiff drinks to help you drift off to sleep. However, drinking right before falling asleep can disrupt your REM cycle, causing you to get bad quality sleep. These disruptions can leave you feeling groggy and irritable when you wake up. The same is true of having coffee or other caffeinated beverages, so try to put off drinking alcohol and coffee until you've gotten a good rest.
Grab Some Snacks
Typically, airlines will serve you full meals and snacks on long-distance flights. Sometimes, however, you might feel pangs of hunger and there's no flight attendant to be found. Hunger can contribute to feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Try to locate some of your favorite snacks in the airport to bring with you on the flight. The added expense of buying from the airport will be worth it when you can throw back a handful of trail mix at 3 AM.
Your vacation should be filled with relaxation and fun. Don't let stress from a long-distance flight start it on a bad note.