Traveling Abroad with a Mood Disorder: First International Flight

In my last post, “Traveling Abroad with a Mood Disorder: The Devastating Delay”, the Terrible Ten got stuck in LA for 24 hours due a delay. Emotions were running high and there was a decent amount of negativity going around due to the delay. I was successful in not allowing myself to get sucked into the negativity during this delay but unfortunately this was not the only instance where I had to actively work to not allow myself to fall into the negativity.

It is 10:00 PM and we are getting ready to board our flight from LAX to Sydney. I am excited because it is FINALLY time to head to Sydney but I’m also nervous because I was going to be on a plane for 14 hours over the ocean. In preparation for the trip, I researched some mindfulness techniques since it is the biggest components of my treatment plan and utilized these techniques during the travel process.

United Air Lines - Boeing 787
United Air Lines – Boeing 787: Image by Malcom Muir


During take-off, I was seated next to my boyfriend, who is fearless and strong, and held his hand to help with the nerves I was feeling. He is always very helpful when my emotions are getting the best of me and helps me re-center myself. While holding my hand he reminded me how safe the plane that we were on was and about all the cool features that are put into those planes to ensure that it was a comfortable flight. The scientific reasons behind why the plane was so safe definitely helped and I used them throughout the flight anytime I began to feel nervous.

Luckily for me I was asleep for the vast majority of the flight and only felt nervous once or twice after take-off. When I did feel nervous however, I utilized on of the techniques I had researched prior to the flight. This technique was a silent mantra from the article “In-Flight Mindfulness: 5 Meditations to Try When You’re Traveling”. This technique is a type of silent meditation that follows the below steps:

  • Inhale, silently saying the words “I am safe.”
  • Exhale, silently saying the words, “I am calm.”
  • Inhale, silently saying the words, “I am happy.”
  • Exhale, silently saying the words, “I am at ease.”

Each time I did this meditation for about 5 minutes and was able to calm myself down.

This flight didn’t seem to be the full 14 hours, and before I knew it we were touching down in Sydney. The process of going through customs was pretty painless; which was incredible since I had filled out my Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) with the incorrect birthday on accident. After collecting our bags and getting through customs we met up with our tour guide who had some unfavorable news for us. But that story is for another post!

If you ever feel uncomfortable or nervous on flights, how do you deal with it? Comment below with your techniques on how you deal with those feelings! Until next time, check out my other posts in this series:

Traveling with a Mood Disorder: An Introduction

Traveling with a Mood Disorder: The Devastating Delay

2 thoughts on “Traveling Abroad with a Mood Disorder: First International Flight

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