Tips to Relieve Stress among Cabin Crew

A survey in 2005 found that 21% of cabin crew described their jobs as ‘quite ‘or ‘very’ stressful.  There is a large amount of stress that pilots and cabin crew face during their duty time which is not apparent to the public.

The pressure for commercial airline pilots is extremely high as they are not only expected to guarantee the safety of passengers on a smooth and turbulent-free journey but also to keep their flights on-time. 

There are many factors that contribute to flight and cabin crew stress which can be classified into three categories: physical, physiological or psychological.

  • Physical stressors include changes in temperature and humidity, noise and vibration from the aircraft or reduction in oxygen levels in the aircraft, being on your feet and walking a lot
  • Physiological stressors include tiredness, lack of good sleep, thirst or hunger
  • Psychological stressors relate to such emotional factors as personal relationship issues or work issues related to demands from passengers or colleagues or time deadlines

Here are some tips to help you cope with stress:

Pre-flight

  • Familiarise yourself on the management for difficult passengers
  • Establish relaxation techniques that you can call on when you need them
  • Ensure you have enough sleep, exercise and avoid alcohol before starting work

In-flight

  • Take slow deep breaths and be aware of your breathing rate
  • Identify which muscles are tense and try to relax them
  • Change your mind from negative to positive thoughts
  • Remind yourself that no matter how difficult a passenger may be, it is not personal
  • Ask a colleague to help if things get out of hand or you cannot cope

Post-flight

  • Have a wind-down relaxation ritual after landing
  • Prepare yourself with enough sleep, exercise and healthy foods
  • Write down things which stress you on a stress diary
  • Ask for feedback from your colleagues or supervisor
  • If you find yourself replaying stressful incidents, contact and chat with a counsellor

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