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5 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Long-Haul Flights

5 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Long-Haul Flights
View from flight window

Flying long distances can be a great source of tiredness – if you’re only going somewhere for a week, you don’t want two or three days of that week to be spent recovering from that experience. Here are some handy pointers to make sure you hit the ground running after that marathon flight:

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1. Less worry, less fatigue

A lot of flight fatigue comes from unconsciously (and often consciously) worrying about things that might occur during flight – where your passport is, can you get your connecting flight and so forth. Much of this worry can be alleviatedby keeping all flight essentials in one place so you know where they are at all times. One tip which helps is to keep a special over-the-shoulder bag which only gets worn on flights – your mind automatically comes to associate this storage place with flying, and you easily form the habit of returning your passport or tickets there every time they are handed back to you.

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2. Arrive in plenty of time.

Those looking to make the most of every moment might try to time arriving with minutes to spare, but with experience, you soon come to know that the aggravation and worry that comes from standing in a check-in queue wondering if you will get there before it closes just isn’t worth it. You can easily think of something productive to do once you are safely relaxing in the departure lounge.

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3. Master your sleep patterns

If you have that much-sought-after ability to sleep on planes, you can time your sleep patterns to reduce jetlag and adjust to your new time zone. For example, if you are flying westward on a morning flight, you can considerably reduce or even eliminate your sleep the night before, and then sleep on the plane. Or if you are going eastward on an evening flight, you can again reduce your sleep the night before and this time try to stay awake until the time strikes that would usually be your bedtime in the destination that you are traveling to. Of course, it all varies with the flight arrivals and departure times – with experience, you learn to form a ‘strategy’ for optimal sleeping during flights.

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4. Don’t overindulge in food or alcohol

Excess consumption of either food or alcohol can definitely add to the ‘transatlantic blues’ – headaches, tiredness and irritability can all be amplified by the mixture of sudden timezone change and food and drink intake. Keep plenty of water handy, and of course the hard-boiled sweets if your ears are sensitive to pressure changes upon takeoff or landing.

5. Hunt down that privileged traveler status.

There is a common perception of ‘gold member’ status that one has to practically spend half one’s life on a plane to get the air miles necessary to achieve it, when in fact 2 or 3 transatlantic flights a year could put you on that road. The real benefit comes when you have time to spend in between connecting flights: a shower, good food and a place to lie down can make all the difference in the world.

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Last Updated on September 15, 2020

7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

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2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

Give yourself more credit than that.

You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

In the end, you were fine.

Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

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When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

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5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

6. Effort Matters, So Use It

It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

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Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

7. Start With Something Manageable

You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

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