A Balanced Approach to Wellness!

Archive for the ‘Airplane travel’ Category

Airport kindness


I am on my way to the airport, sitting in a van that is collecting more people as we go. A good time to receive information.

I will write about the airport staff that work at the reception desks and how to deal with them.

The staff who will enable me to fly are bored. Day after day, they are sitting at a reception desk with the same people checking in—different heights, different passport numbers. The people checking in are excited or indifferent or worried or short-tempered. Same people—different expressions. Sitting at the reception desk and expected to be receptive to all who ask a question and to all who want a change. Same questions, different phrasing

How can I (we) connect to the staff sitting at the reception desk:

  1. Wait for the instructions before talking.
  2. Follow the instructions precisely.
  3. Complete this short person-to-person connection with a smile, with a thanks, and with a kind thought. The kindess will be absorbed and the boredom will be ever so slightly lifted.


Each connection in our day-to-day, less regular, and once-every-so-often encounters is an opportunity for balance.

Traveling on airplanes—tips and explanations

Post 114 airplane travel

In my last post “Airplane interactions”, imbalance problems caused by airplane travel are presented. In today’s post, I am presenting tips for lessening the damage and issues to think about. Some of the tips should be familiar to you if you have previously researched this topic.

Preparations before a flight


  • If you eat fried foods as part of your regular diet, be sure not to eat anything fried for the two days preceding the flight and don’t eat fried food on the day of the flight.
  • If you eat sugared foods at most of your meals and in your snacks (foods containing sugar or foods that you add sugar to) and you will be traveling for more than five hours (travel to the airport + processing and wait at the airport + flight + and travel to destination), on the day of your flight eat half the amount of sugared foods.
    If you eat sugared foods about twice a day and you will be traveling for more than nine hours, start limiting your sugar intake to once a day for two days before the flight. On the day of the flight, try not to eat any sugared foods.
  • If you eat well—balanced meals and controlled portions, but you sometimes binge or eat large portions of fried or sugared foods, take nutritious foods with you on the plane to help you resist snacking on the fare provided by the airline.


  • If you drink more than two cups of coffee daily and you will be traveling for more than seven hours, start limiting your coffee intake to one cup a day for four days before the flight. If your flight departs early in the morning, wait to drink your cup of coffee on the plane. If your flight departs in the afternoon, drink your cup of coffee at the normal time you drink the first cup. If your flight departs at night, drink your cup of coffee 1 ½ hours before landing. The next day you can resume your regular coffee drinking habit unless you will be flying again within three days, in which case, you should limit to one cup of coffee a day until your next flight.
  • Drink water, and no other drinks, for 12 hours before the flight. This tip applies even to short flights. If you regularly drink coffee or caffeinated tea, limit them to one cup during the 12 hours before the flight.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages for 24 hours before your flight.

Information intake

  • Because of stress that usually accompanies flying, try to avoid reading or watching disturbing information for at least 24 hours before your flight.
  • Even if you have work to do on the flight, bring light reading or entertainment that you can turn to if you feel too stressed during the flight.

Preparations optional

These tips lead to well-being when flying.

  • The following supplements can be helpful if you already take them: Vitamin C, elderberry, and zinc. A small dose of these supplements six hours before a flight can boost your immune system.
  • Exercise before a flight is helpful as long as the exercise is not overdone.

Well-being on the flight

  • If your flight is longer than ½ hour and less than three hours, stand up and move a bit once every ½ hour.
  • If your flight is longer than three hours, your need for movement is much greater; however, if you sleep during the flight, then your need for movement is reduced. Aim to walk and stretch for several minutes between sleeps, movies, meals, etc. The more walking and stretching, the better.
  • Talk to the person sitting next to you, even if you have work to do. The connection on a plane is important for well-being.
  • Airplane food can be nutritious if you eat the nutritious offerings. Try to avoid the processed foods. Bring nutritious snacks with you.
  • If you drink only water on the flight, your body will be very appreciative. Avoid the carbonated beverages and sweetened juices. Limit alcoholic beverages to one.
  • Smile at the flight attendants and feel compassion for them. Their work is harder than it seems.

Layovers in airports

  • If your layover is longer than two hours, make sure to walk around to loosen your muscles and stretch your spine.
  • Avoid eating fried and sugared foods.

After the flight

  • Immediately after the flight, drink a cup of water.
  • Wait a day before resuming eating the foods discussed above, unless you have another flight within three days, in which case, wait until the day after the second flight.
  • Walk for at least 15 minutes to release tension in your body.

Airplane interactions

Post 114-aiplane window

I just spent 14 hours on a plane. Plenty of time for reflection on airplane interactions.

The environment on an enclosed and unnatural airplane is interesting. It is exclusionary because it excludes those who cannot afford the entry price. It is dictatorial because all who enter know they must follow the rules set by the airline and the various ruling bodies that set guidelines for airplane behavior. It is grueling for the attendants because of the fragile state of many of the passengers.


Airplane travel is stressful. Stressful for all who cross the passenger entryway.

Parents of young children are stressed because they worry that the other passengers will be annoyed by their children, they worry about the state of their children during the flight, they worry about what awaits them on the other side of the flight (visit to relatives, return to home, move to new destination, etc.), and they worry about regular worries (finances, health, etc.).

Business travelers are stressed because of deadlines, expectations from the employer and from family members (if they live with family) or other close people, worry, tiredness, and so on.

Vacationers are stressed from the preparations before, anticipation of what’s to come, and other personal concerns.

People with major health concerns (real and imaginary) are stressed from thoughts of what could happen to them during the flight.

People who fear flying are stressed on top of normal stress.

Lack of movement

“People are meant to move—at all ages, no matter the occupation, no matter the location. Restricting movement is a mistake.” … from Pond a Connected Existence.

If a flight is longer than 30 minutes, then people are not moving enough. The longer the flight, the more the suffering from lack of movement.

Sleep confusion

The body requires a certain amount of sleep, and airplane travel can significantly disturb this requirement. If time zones are crossed, the body doesn’t know how to process the time differences. Flights that depart during sleeping hours confuse the body and guarantee irregular sleep.

Choices presented

Traveling on an airplane presents many choices that can cause imbalance. Sitting by a person who is unlike oneself can be unsettling. Eating food that is not usually consumed can cause digestive issues. Sitting still when the body calls to walk around is a mistaken choice (except when the fasten seatbelt sign is on).  Going onto the plane with negative emotions can lead to disruptive behavior during the flight, digestive upset, and unbecoming behavior towards other passengers. Rudeness towards other passengers is a choice that can lead to discomfort physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Electronic device undutifully influencing

Before electronic devices were so proliferated, passengers had more interaction with one another. Parents were forced to provide entertainment to their children (with help from some airlines). Passengers were forced to take breaks from work, notice others, and think. The electronic devices add some positive aspects, but they mostly distract from connection to others.

The connections that are created on flights may seem irrelevant, but they are not. Short encounters are often enriching and intellectually stimulating in ways that electronically delivered information is not. Yes Wikipedia is intellectually filling, but it is not enriching in the way that connecting with a plane-ride companion is. Being forced to encounter others of different backgrounds and experiences in a shared environment of stress, imbalanced choice possibilities, and regulations develops people in ways that are enlarging and without possibility in normal living.

How to remain balanced when flying

Tips for maintaining balance, even when the flight was started from a state of imbalance, will be presented in the next blog post.

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