You're waiting for your flight to board and you receive an unexpected text that sends you to an emotional tailspin. Lucky for you, if you book it the nearest bathroom and compose yourself before heading up in the air. But what if you find yourself unexpectedly sobbing at the ending of a rom-com mid flight? Or you find yourself in the middle seat between happy families and newly engaged couples going to Disneyland and you can't help but replay the conversation in your head.
Here are some steps you can follow to make sure your emotional episode is kept in check and airport security is not called upon landing:
1. Dry tears quickly: Avoid drawing attention to yourself by using tissue that you may have on hand, a napkin, the side of your fingers. The pages of the inflight magazine are too rough for anyone's face. Blot your tears only. The rubbing of your face will cause friction and make your face and eye area red, thus drawing more attention. Inflight hack -- if you don't have anything to dry your tears, face the overhead fan towards you to help.
2. Hydrate: Take a pass on the alcohol or beverages (coffee, black tea) that would otherwise dehydrate. When the food cart comes around, get an extra water and extra tissues (just in case). Replace the tears with water. This is also a great flying tip in general, wether your on a three-hour flight to LA or a 22 hour-flight to Sydney. Another option is to use a facial mister mid flight to hydrate.
3. Be kind to yourself: If it's a song or a movie that has set off your tear ducts -- shut it down. Owe it to yourself to move on. And as much you would like to finish the movie, watch it when you are in a different headspace. Think twice about replaying sad songs on your iPod. It will only make you fester and relive the moment -- on repeat. Put something positive (or at least upbeat) on. Beyonce's Who Run the World (Girls) or Pharell's Girl works nicely.
4. Own it: If you can't suppress it, own it. Sure the kid in the aisle down from you might stare and whisper (in loud voice), "what's wrong with that girl Daddy?" but such is life. Ignore the child and focus on yourself. If you are the aisle or middle seat face forward. Avoiding eye contact will not invite engagement from close passengers and inquiring minds.
As soon as the waterworks stop and you feel ready, try and make your way to the bathroom to recompose yourself further. Brush your teeth, reapply makeup, grab more water. If you don't feel ready, don't leave your seat until deemed necessary. Overnight flights are helpful in this regard as the plane is usually dark and people are sleeping. If you don't leave your seat, head to the washroom once you land. This will be helpful during customs checks and in case you don't want your ride home knowing you spent your flight from Hong Kong crying after the ending of La La Land.
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