Earlier this week I shared on stories about how my anxiety has been getting progressively worse recently. I was prescribed buspirone a few weeks ago, which I’ve been taking three times a day, but unfortunately haven’t had much luck with it yet. So I’m hopeful that I’ll find a good medication regimen in the near future but right now my anxiety has gotten to the point where I need to take Xanax in order to not have a panic attack going alone to the grocery store, driving on the highway or going to the airport/flying. It’s definitely been a frustrating few months but hearing your stories and experiences with anxiety does make me feel better. Not that I want anyone else to feel how I’m feeling but knowing that other people are experiencing similar, or have experienced and are now on the other side of it gives me hope. Sidenote – I share in this blog what my anxiety stemmed from if you’re not familiar with some of the backstory. Also, if you use the search tool and search “anxiety” I have several other blogs on the topic as well.
Anyways! After sharing all this the other day, a lot of messages asked if I could keep you all updated with everything going on and also if there is anything I’ve found that helps my anxiety with being in the airport and flying especially (since I just flew to LA for my sister’s bachelorette). So today I figured I’d share some things that I feel like help with the airport and flying process. Hopefully they will be some tools that can help you as well.
- No caffeine the day of! I love my coffee just as much as the next girl, but I don’t need anything to spike my heart rate more than it’s already going to be lol. So skip the coffee/caffeine that day or grab a decaf.
- Before even leaving for the airport, this is what I do – I get packed and everything ahead of time so I’m not rushing around before the flight. And if the flight isn’t at the crack of dawn, about an hour prior to the flight I do something that distracts me from the upcoming flight. Like, I don’t want to be just sitting there thinking of how I’ll potentially feel when I get to the airport. So maybe that’s immersing myself in work, or prior to this past flight I watched an episode of Summer House lol. I feel like anything that is a distraction and/or relaxes you is a good option.
- Medication. If you have anything whether it’s Xanax like I’m taking, CBD, a beta blocker – take that and have additional with you if you need another dose when you get to the airport. At this point, I’m needing something as strong as Xanax in particular moments but I have friends who beta blockers, and CBD used to help me before my anxiety reached the level it is now.
- Download tv shows, movies, and podcasts ahead of time (on your phone, iPad, computer). This goes back to the distraction part. When you get to the terminal or the plane, it helps to have something you can automatically dive into and you’re not focusing as much about all the (anxious) thoughts running through your head.
- Bring a book. So reading on the plane is another great distraction but I know a lot of you (me as well) get anxious when you’re standing in a line (grocery store, airport security, etc). Earlier this week one of my friend’s suggested getting out my book and reading in line/security if I have too. That way you have something to focus on. Again, anything you can do to help distract yourself so you’re not able to focus as much on the anxious thoughts and feelings that could start to come up.
- Download airline app ahead of time so you have access to WiFi and can text on the plane. If you do feel anxious during the flight, being able to text your SO, friends, family etc. may help calm you down. You can access the WiFi on planes and get access to free messaging if you just download the app ahead of time and connect to their WiFi through it once you take off.
- Get snacks or food you can look forward too. Try to think of something that you actually look forward to when you get to the airport. For me, I love the La Farm bakery at RDU so mentally I try to look forward to getting a “treat” from there.
- Meditation. The calm or headspace app are great tools to use to meditate. You can do this before you go to the airport, while standing in line, in the terminal or on the plane. Just pop in your AirPods and focus on the directions from the app.
For any of you that are struggling with anxiety, my heart goes out to you. It’s honestly one of the worst feelings BUT know that you are not alone. That is why I want to share about what’s going on with me right now because I know so many of us are in the same boat and it can feel very isolating. So please don’t feel alone, or ashamed. Also know that for as many of you that messaged me saying you are currently feeling what I’m feeling, there are just as many people who were feeling this way and are now on the other side of it (largely thanks to finding a medication that works for them). And I’m not saying medication is the only answer but for so long I tried to handle if on my own and with other coping mechanisms and then it became debilitating – where I wouldn’t want to drive alone, wouldn’t want to grocery shop, wouldn’t want to go to workout classes etc.
All that to say, there is nothing wrong with needing medication and in general there is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. But I know it just requires more patience than probably any of us feel like we can give in the moment. And for whatever it’s worth, you can always DM me about it if you don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to or just need to vent! Xx