June 4, 2018

HOW I DEAL WITH ANXIETY WHEN FLYING

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past 2 years or so then you know that I deal with anxiety from time to time. You can read a but more about it here. One of the triggers to my anxiety is flying. Anytime I go away, I get super nervous the week of the trip and for the past year I’ve developed some kind of ritual that I do whenever I have to travel.

The first thing I wanted to point out is that for me it’s very important to face my fears. So even though I no longer enjoy flying I (clearly) do it anyway. But it takes me foreeever to book a flight and I do major research on flight times and always try to stay under 4 hours... but I book the trip anyway. I used to LOVE flying… and unfortunately for the past couple of years I do fly but a lot less. I force myself to fly twice a year so that the fear doesn't build up. No matter how scared I am I don’t want it to put my life on hold and hold me back but mostly wear off on my children, that’s actually my biggest fear because I want them to travel the world…. like I used to. Ben is actually my nervous flyer but whenever I am with him, you would never guess I am uneasy in that flight. I honestly think it's just in his genes, thanks to me. It makes me feel awful, trust me.

In the past few years I've tried so many different things to get over my fear of flying. So I put together a little list with description of what I use and how I use it. I actually make a little “anxiety kit” with all my needs and keep it inside my purse whenever I travel. It's work wonders for me.
ESSENTIAL OILS

I’ve been using a Calming Oil from Descentuals about 6 months now. I love it because it truly does relax me and of course it's natural. I rub it on my wrists and behind my ears and I also inhale it with a nice deep breath. The first time I used it was when we went to Disney in January and I swear it was like magic. I recommend 100% going the natural way if you're feeling anxious about flying. If for whatever reason you've tried it all and nothing is working then you might consider speaking to your doctor about it.

BACH DROPS

A few weeks before booking my trip to Puerto Rico I was talking to my cousin and she recommend I get these stress relief drops called Bach Rescue Remedy Drops. I bought mine at Whole Foods but they are half the price on Amazon, here is the link. I love that they are natural too and all you do is put 4 drops on your tongue and that's it. I used it during this trip both ways and I felt super calm and relaxed. I recommend them 100%... they are even good for daily stress. Read on them, they are awesome!

HOLY (BLESSED) ROSARY

Whenever I fly my biggest source of peace is God. So whether I am praying, reading one of the daily verses from my Jesus Te Llama book or simply holding a rosary in my hand, I rely on God the most, who is my pilot wherever I go. So I carry a blessed rosary in my "anxiety kit", it honestly makes me feel better and safe. I actually wrap it around my wrist like a bracelet and wear it the whole flight... Call me crazy but it gives me a sense of peace. I even carry a little bottle of holy water lol. When you are dealing with anxiety, whatever helps, do it! Don't worry about what anyone thinks. This is about you and overcoming your fear, trusting God and letting Him lead your life.

HILLSONG

About 2 1/2 years ago, during my first trip out to California for the We All Grow Summit, it was my first time flying "alone" - meaning without my family - and it was the hardest thing I had to do. That was around the time my anxiety had just begun and it was pretty bad back then. That year I visited 5 different churches (true story!) and one of them was Hillsong United in Montclair, NJ. I went with a really good friend of mine and she told me about this song she loved Oceans Where Feet May Fail and you guys you will get goosebumps when you hear it. That song has helped me in ways I never knew possible. During the flight out to LA I played that song in my headphones during the bit of turbulence we hit and it honestly calmed me sooo much. It's a beautiful song with such beautiful words. Please hear it. Until this very day, I listen to that song during take off. God is so good.

BIBLE VERSE

During that same year that I traveled to California for the first time, I happened to be browsing through books at Walmart looking for books for the kids and I stumbled upon a book called Jesus Te Llama or Jesus Calling. It's a book of daily bible verses and it's so beautiful and always speaks to me. You may have seen me share some verse on my Instagram story. You can find the book here. It always has exactly the message that I need and speaks to me on so many levels. Normally I screenshot the days I am traveling and read the verse daily.


XANAX

So of course one of the resources that no ever wants to admit to would be prescription drugs. I find it wild that so many of us don't speak about it causing this conversation to become so taboo. Going back to that same year when I traveled to California for the very first time, I spoke to my doctor and she prescribed Xanax to me. I have to be honest I was super against the idea at first, I felt like taking Xanax would be like admitting to failure. And by failure I mean having anxiety. Having anxiety made me feel like I was failing at something and it was very hard to finally admit it and talk about it back then. A very good friend of mine (thank you Betty) told me once: "If you had diabetes, you would take your meds right? So when you have anxiety, you can take meds for that too" - Anxiety is a mental health issue and it's so taboo 'till this day.

My doctor assured that she would prescribe the very lowest dose and for recommend I take just half. I trust my doctor like no other and she reassured me to only take it if I felt like I needed it. So I did. I took it on my flights to California (I've flown there twice). And it helped and I am happy I took it because it eased my 6 hour trip. That was the last time I took it and after that I told myself I would bring the pills with me in my bag but I would only take them if I really truly needed it. Somehow it made me feel at ease to have it in my bag but I didn't need to take it. I am sure my oil, my holy water, rosary, song and bible verse were more than enough peace to my mind and soul, lol.

FRIENDS + FAMILY

Last but not least, most of my close friends and of course my family, know that I don't like flying. This time around I was leaving the kids behind so it was extra hard for me to leave. I am a big believer in prayer and good energy so I asked my cousins and close friends to say a little prayer for that I would have a smooth flight both ways. And they lovingly prayed for me... I even posted on Twitter asking you guys to send me all the positive vibes and love and you did. All of that is also part of how I cope. Being reassured that I have God and all the good vibes surrounding me makes me feel like nothing can break me. Not even stupid anxiety.
I know this all may seem like a lot because I wrote it our in detail but honestly it's not a lot at all. It's become such a ritual for me and it makes me feel at ease. Normally I read my bible verse the night before the flight. I take my Bach Drops during the TSA line, rub my oil while waiting for takeoff and that's when I wrap my rosary on my wrist and listen to my song. It's actually super simple and super powerful for me.

I really hope that at least a small part of my "ritual" can help you. Whether it's the spiritual aspect or the crazy oils and natural drops... or even the Xanax. Please know that you are not alone, so many people struggle with fear of flying but not many speak about it. That is exactly the reason why I wanted to write this post. I want to be sure I am sharing my truth and helping others. Anxiety doesn't define me, it's just a temporary enemy in my eyes. I hope that if you are reading this, you would take something priceless from it and that is a sense of peace.

Sending you love and light,

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