These Self Care Rituals Are Something To Consider Before Your Next Flight.
There you are, settling into your seat on the plane after getting through security and rushing to find your boarding gate. You’re eager to get to Italy – after all, you’ve been dreaming of this trip since lockdown and booked the tickets 4 months ago.
You’ve packed a daily schedule of bikini changes and have a list of restaurants lined up to find the best spag bol you’ve ever had.
Back in reality, you’re blank-faced, staring at your laptop screen, forcing yourself to get some of your work done just because you can on a 22-hour flight.
If this is you… you’re travelling wrong.
While the hours you spend on a plane sitting sounds like the perfect time to get productive and meet some deadlines – it doesn’t hurt to indulge yourself in R & R before the actual R & R.
Use these free hours to pamper yourself with these self-care rituals you often neglect or don’t get the time to do on the ground… and they’re not just “drinking water”. And in these disrupted travel times, read this before you fly, so you ready for lost luggage and other catastrophes that are an expected part of travel right now.
Travelling with essential oils is easy – generally coming in 10mL bottles, you can easily take them with you as airlines allow up to 100mL of liquids on carry-on luggage.
On the ground, using essential oils can help improve sleep, boost your mood, increase energy and mental alertness, kill bacteria, funguses and viruses, reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation, relieve headaches and reduce nausea.
In the air, they do just the same.
If you’re an anxious flyer, feeling incredibly fatigued, or are looking to alleviate jet lag symptoms, muscle tension and headaches triggered by flying, make essential oils your partner in crime.
Some of the recommended scents for flying include eucalyptus which promotes a clear respiratory system to relieve coughing and allergies while simultaneously mitigating headaches. This oil is ideal to travel with as planes are notorious for harbouring bacteria and germs.
A study in 2015 revealed that tray table surfaces contain more than 8 times the amount of bacteria per square inch than the lavatory flush buttons.
Lemon and peppermint essential oils are perfect for flyers who tend to get hayfever or allergies on
planes. Lemon and peppermint essential oils foster steady breathing, and at the same time, can
comfort a sore throat and clear sinuses.
Lavender essential oils are highly sought out by flyers who suffer from airsickness. Frequent flyers often rub lavender on their feet, temples and wrists to counteract the feelings of motion sickness.
In addition, lavender is most commonly known for its calming, sleep-inducing properties, so parents who travel with their children often apply lavender and chamomile, to ease their children and incentivise a more relaxing, cry-free, in-flight experience.
2. Wear acupressure slippers
Though you may not be doing loads of walking on a plane, wearing acupressure slippers is something you should consider.
That phrase used to describe pressuring or stressful situations – ‘you carry the weight on your shoulders’ is most definitely true – but what the phrase also misses the fact that the weight is also carried by the feet.
Taking care of the feet is important as it keeps them strong and flexible for longer, but sometimes, there’s just not enough time to pencil in a 10-minute massage. This is where acupressure slippers come in.
Acupressure slippers are advantageous – they soothe your feet and allow the entire body to relax and unwind. This guarantees a restful sleep. The pressure felt from the slippers also helps to balance hormones, which reduces anxiety.
So, flying-tip: bring acupressure slippers on your flight. Whenever you get up to go to the lavatory or simply want to get some movement in by strolling down the aisle, put on your slippers – even 2 minutes of walking can help. If you’re not used to the pressure, wear them with socks, and if you’re loving the sensation, wear them around the airport too.
3. Heatless scrunchie curls
Silk hair curlers are all over TikTok at the moment. It’s a new way to get heatless curls.
Main benefits? Looking put together and fab after a long-haul flight in an instant without damaging your hair, for an affordable price.
All you need is a scrunchie – preferably one that is silk, a brush and water to dampen your hair – however, this is optional considering the length of your flight, for example, you may not need to spritz your hair on an 8-hour flight to the Philippines as the flight duration is long enough for the curls to take shape.
4. Put on a sheet mask
The Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask – La Mer
If you’re all about prioritising your skin health at the expense of looking a little funny, try putting on a hydrating sheet mask while you’re in the sky. Especially if you are in business or first.
Sheet masks are a staple, quick-fix beauty product to add to your carry-on if you want to brighten,
moisturise or firm your skin on the go.
For flying, hydrating sheet masks are suggested. This is because the air that you breathe in a cabin comes from outside of the plane. This air is incredibly dry and has little moisture. As a result, passengers are often dehydrated which can lead to fatigue.
Of course, drinking water is a no-brainer, but why not do a little more for yourself and pop a mask on.
If you’re afraid of raising too many eyebrows, opt for a cooling eye gel mask to lock in moisture and
reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eye area. Alternatively, you can easily massage the gel residue onto the skin, without putting the sheet mask on.
Not to forget, you can also bring a lip sleeping mask to soothe those chapped lips. This one from Laneige is super lush.
5. Dry brushing
You need to do this before you step on board, ideally in the bathroom an hour beforehand or during your stop over. Despite being brought into the social media limelight very recently by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr and Elle MacPherson who swear by it, dry brushing has been part of the self-care space for centuries as an essential and deeply relaxing pre-bathing ritual.
Dry brushing removes unwanted toxins from the skin by draining the lymphatic system. ‘Lymph’ is a type of fluid that circulates the body in blood vessels. It carries immune cells which encourage the body’s cells to be active and survive.
However, lymph also carries metabolic waste. This is where the magic of dry brushing happens.
Dry brushing helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite and exfoliates and sheds dead skin cells. This
leads to brighter, younger-looking and firmer skin.
Just to note, while obvious, many make the mistake of brushing the skin when damp – this is not the case with dry brushing.
Begin by brushing your dry skin upwards towards the direction of your heart (this follows the natural lymph flows), applying light to medium pressure, depending on the part of the body.
Start brushing from the feet, to the legs, arms, stomach, chest and bottom area. Then afterwards, jump in a warm to hot shower to discard the dead skin cells. Follow up with body oil or lotion to replenish moisture, softness and radiance.
Dry brushing is not a practice that has to be done daily, especially if you have sensitive skin, which is why it’s productive to do both before getting on a plane and during perhaps even during, however to a lesser extent. When you’re on the plane and planning to dry brush, apply a light force to massage the body instead – this way, it is guaranteed that no excess dry skin particles fly around.
More importantly, sitting in confined quarters for hours can affect blood flow throughout the body. This is partly why the feet and ankles tend to expand and swell up during a flight.
By dry brushing, the body’s blood will return to circulating, and right when you land at your destination, you may even notice yourself glowing.
6. Fill Your Mind With Positivity
Whether you want to learn the language of the country you are flying to, listen to an audio book or listen to motivational speeches, pre-load your ipad or phone before you leave and listen to these mid-flight. It will make the time pass and be a real life bonus if you are delayed.