Airplanes, Anxiety, and Ativan.

I’d never sat in the *Plus* section on a plane so my initial reaction to this free upgrade was excitement!  It didn’t occur to me that I wouldn’t have a TV in front of me.  WHAT?

Sitting down in Row 1, Seat C unveiled a slight catastrophe. I don’t like flying and watching the TV is a huge coping mechanism for me.


My anxiety began to slowly surface and I had to take a deep breath.  Take off was smooth, but turbulence ensued within the first few minutes.  I remember getting warm, and starting to fidget.  The next 30 minutes in my head played out like this:

“Where’s my emergency Ativan!?  Oh, good, good…. It’s in the secret pocket of my purse!…”

(Secret pocket = Inside pocket that ripped and drops items down to the very bottom of your purse that you generally don’t even know exist anymore.)

“Expired!?  What the fuck? ….I’m taking it anyway.”

A few minutes pass…

“Oh yeahhhhhhh…. I’m feeling good now….what was I even worried about?”

“4….3…2…1…Earth beloooow us, drifting falling, floating weightless, calling, calling HOOOOOO…”

“Wait?  The booze is FREE in the *Plus* section?  Throw me one of those cute little bottles of liquid confidence, Lady!”

*Sip Sip Sip Sip Sip Sip….*

*looks around*

“Wow, everyone drinks in Plus!  Cheers to the woman beside me with the vodka.  She looks really put together.  I bet she shaves her legs every single day.  Who has time for that?”


Alright, alright, it wasn’t my classiest moment, but at least I got my feet back on the ground without freaking out.

So, basically, you can do what I did, or you can ask: “What if I need to get on a plane and don’t want to drug myself?”   Valid question.

I could -and maybe will- write an ebook on how I got my nearly 20 year anxiety disorder under control, but for now I’ll just offer you one simple tip: Skip the caffeinated coffee or pop and drink a cup of tea.  I realize this isn’t ground-breaking information for people with anxiety, but you would be surprised how often people need to be reminded to do simple things like this.  ….heh-hem…. obviously from my internal dialogue above, sometimes I need these reminders as well….

Most restaurants in airports offer tea, they might not have much choice when it comes to herbal nervine teas, but they usually carry Chamomile so you can get yourself a cup of that.

Chamomile Tea

Most of you know that Chamomile is a commonly known herb that helps to calm the nerves, and aid digestion (great for those who carry stress in their stomach).  So if you’re getting a little fidgety, start sipping this relaxing drink and take a few deep breaths.  Sure, this may not rid the anxiety completely, but it’ll help relax your nervous system so you can remain in a calmer mindset.

I’m about to hop another plane this weekend, I’ll definitely be better prepared this time: Seat with a TV to watch the Food Network, headphones for music, and calming tea in full force.

Good luck in your airplane travels!

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