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STEP 5: Take supportive actions

There are many other small changes you can make to increase your comfort.

  • Start by reducing your caffeine and sugar intake on the day before and the day of your flight.
  • Drink lots of water or fruit juices -- even if you're not thirsty -- to avoid dehydration from the dry plane air.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol before or during the flight.
  • Pack a bag of pastimes for the flight: a good book, crossword puzzles, your favorite music and snacks, and so forth.
  • Get to the airport early; don't rush. Watch planes takeoff for a while to get an idea of the motions you might expect.
  • As you board the plane, greet the Captain and look in the cockpit. Consider mentioning to the crew and the flight attendants that you sometimes get afraid on flights.
  • At your seat, get comfortable; do some quieting exercises, talk to your neighbor. As others board, watch faces, notice relationships, greet people as they go by.
  • During takeoff, wiggle your toes for those 30-50 seconds, or take 3 Calming Breaths.
  • During the flight, ask the flight attendants about any sensations on the plane that bother you.
  • Pull out your pastime bag and get occupied with a project.
  • When the seat belt sign goes off, stand and stretch or take a walk.

In other words, get involved; don't sit and quietly concentrate on your worries while checking your watch. When you get anxious, review the major points of this section: remind yourself you can trust the airline industry, accept your feelings, handle your worries, breathe, relax, and again take new supportive actions.