Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just getting your feet wet, chances are you’ve noticed it sooner than later. Flying is not always easy, and that’s especially true when facing the prospect of sitting behind a stranger for an extended period of time. The truth is, air travel can be downright isolating. For some people, this isolation manifests itself in different ways. Some might see their trips to the airport as an opportunity to escape from their hectic lives for a little while, others might use their commutes as an opportunity to catch up on some much-needed reading and still others may look forward to unwinding in front of some relaxing films or music as they wait for their plane to take off. No matter how isolated you may feel while waiting for your flight though, there’s no need to mask your true feelings with outwardly cheerful appearances. Here are a few tips on how you can stop putting a mask on (or off) the plane in one fell swoop:
Bring your own entertainment
If you’re going to be sitting for a long period of time, you should make sure to bring some form of entertainment. You can choose whether or not you want to watch your favorite show or listen to your favorite music, but it’s important not to let yourself get too into it. That way, when the time comes and you finally board the plane, you won’t be stuck in an awkward position where it feels like everyone is staring at you because no one else is doing anything. This is especially important if you prefer reading on planes instead of watching movies.
Talk to your seatmate
The best way to get over any awkwardness is to talk to your seatmate. It’s a great opportunity for you to break the ice with someone who is sitting right next to you, and might not have a clue what they’re in for. This is also an excellent opportunity for people who are good at small talk or just looking for a little company to get acquainted with a fellow passenger. If you don’t know how much time you will be spending on your flight, it can also be an easy conversation starter about what everyone does for work, where everyone is from, and more!
Try a game of Scrabble or cribbage
If you are standing in line, use that time to catch up on some much-needed reading. If you’re flying alone, take a moment to call your loved ones and let them know where you are; they may be worried about you.
Bring along some mindfulness techniques
One of the best ways to keep yourself calm and collected while waiting for your flight is to bring along some mindfulness techniques. Whether it’s using a guided meditation app like Headspace or listening to a calming playlist, these methods are sure to help you feel more at ease.
Just breathe and be present
There are a lot of different reasons why people might be on the plane, and sometimes it can be difficult to know how to best behave. But one thing is for sure: no matter what you’re going through, please remember that this is not your home. Air travel is overrated in general, but especially so when you have no control over where you sit or who you sit next to. Remembering this fact will help keep things in perspective and allow you to act more calmly and with more clarity than if you’re trying to make the best of an otherwise unpleasant situation.
How to Stop Putting a Mask on the Plane
First and foremost, it’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. No matter how much you smile when you get on the plane, there will be those passengers who just don’t seem like they want to be there. If you find yourself in this category, what can you do about it? First of all, give yourself permission to feel however you feel. It doesn’t mean that you have to go into a depression or anything of that sort; it just means that it would be healthy for your mental well-being if you acknowledged your feelings and allowed them to come up without being suppressed by smiling and pretending everything is okay. If these people around you are disrupting your ability to enjoy your flight by being negative or loud, tell them politely that their behavior is not appreciated. From there, the best course of action is likely going to be avoiding them altogether. If they persist in their bad behavior though, then make sure that your complaints are made known either before boarding or as soon as possible after boarding. This will allow anyone at fault for the disruption – whether it’s the person who was yelling or insulting others – to take note and attempt a change in their behavior before causing more damage than good. You can also speak with airline personnel about how someone so disruptive might be removed from the flight so that everyone else can enjoy themselves without being subjected to someone else’s bad attitude.
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