Fight or flight?
If you are anything like me, you hate the thought of getting on a flight. Yes, there are in-flight entertainment and lots of free time to do things…and some people love that. But if you are flooded with symptoms of nausea, dizziness and headaches, that throws everything out the (plane) window.
Over the years, I have learnt to suffer through the excruciating flight journey and have learnt a trick or two how to combat (or at least minimise) motion sickness in the air, so that you can land and feel somewhat respectable.
Without further digression, here is a list of tricks that I’ve found pretty helpful personally to combat my motion sickness. I am vigilant in following this list every time I board a long-haul flight. Some of them are obvious, some of them are downright unexplainable (and I certainly am not a medical professional, so take these up as you see fit!). And speaking of which, if motion sickness is something you experience severely and frequently, it certainly is a good idea to seek medical assistance.
Before the flight:
- If you have a morning flight, make sure you have a good night’s rest. This one is pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised how many people don’t achieve this. If you have a flight during the day or in the evening, it would be good not to be overly exhausted before boarding.
- Minimal caffeine. As a coffee lover, this is a toughie. It’s also a subjective one. I find that if I’m in my normal daily routine, I can have a coffee or two, no problems. But if I’m flying, as soon as I down my piccolo, my heart starts doing star-jumps and I feel jittery for hours and hours. So, now I try to avoid it before a flight or have it weak.
- Avoid fast food. This is another subjective one. I try not to eat anything terrible before a flight. And I always under-eat. This is because once on the flight, our bodies are mostly stagnant the whole time and long-haul flights also mean they feed you. So, overeating and eating junk food before a flight is a no-no for me as I feel horrid and bloated.
- Okay – this is a wacky one. I once read somewhere that if you stick a band-aid over your belly button, it really helps with motion sickness. Having nothing to lose, I gave it a try. It really works for me. Maybe it’s psychological or placebo effects, but I have not stopped doing this ever since. No medical explanation perhaps, but I find it helpful for me.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Nothing too tight or too warm. And make sure you wear comfortable shoes too.
During the flight:
- Chewing gum – this apparently helps pop your ears, which is often the reason why people experience motion sickness or headaches. I always chew some gum just as we take off.
- Motion sickness tablets – nuff said.
- Avoid orange juice – could be another crazy one but I think it has to do with the smell and acidity of citrus juice. Makes me want to throw up more.
- Drink fizzy – I like drinking soft drinks on flights (and in life generally) as it helps me burp. For some reason, that makes me feel a lot better. I dunno, it might sound gross but it works.
- Don’t read – Everytime I read on a flight, it accelerates my motion sickness. Instead, I watch movies on in-flight entertainment to take my mind off things.
These are all the things that I do for every flight and it really does help me immensely so I hope you get something out of this too. Happy flight!!