Mental Health

“Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” – this is the World Health Organisation definition of wellbeing. Flight attendants often find themselves in high-pressure situations (emergencies, difficult passengers), so looking after your mental health is very important. Improved mental wellbeing = increased resilience to cope in tough times.

  • Love yourself!
  • Say “No” to things you don’t want to do
  • Have a positive outlook and be an optimist
  • Learn how to manage stress. I feel like everyone manages their stress in different ways, but I like to talk about my feelings and do things that help me to relax
  • Stay true to who you are
  • Celebrate your successes
  • Never stress over something that you cannot change - if you can’t change it, change your attitude towards it. Some things, like delays, are out of our control, but focus on changing and improving what you can control
  • In our job, there are certain situations in which we need to seem happy even if we are unhappy or scared (take turbulence or an emergency situation for example – cabin crew must appear calm even if they are not). Please don’t do this off the aircraft -  be authentic with your emotions and reach out for help as and when you need it
  • Be grateful. Practising gratitude is something that I absolutely swear by - it boosts self-esteem, strengthens the immune system, improves productivity and lowers blood pressure
  • Be yourself, be honest and be authentic
  • Mental wellbeing includes feelings of happiness, contentment, enjoyment, confidence, engagement with the world, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Don't just adapt to change, but embrace change. For example, rosters and service manuals change regularly. Understand that any changes that your airline makes are to improve the airline - there is a lot of competition in aviation!
  • Always report safety-related incidents. This is a requirement in airlines to help stop the same incident happening again, but it is also beneficial for your mental health as you will feel better for getting it out of your system and sharing it with your employer
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself
  • Find something that you're passionate about outside of flying (club/society/volunteering) and go do it
  • When someone asks “How are you?”, answer honestly. This creates a culture of openness, hopefully encourages other crew to be honest when asked how they are doing, and helps tackle the stigma of discussing mental health
  • Conversations around mental health need to be normalised, and people should feel safe and comfortable to talk about it. It’s all well and good saying “We need to break the stigma” but I believe that every single person has a part to play in this. Be the change you wish to see in the world
  • Have positive social relationships and surround yourself with people who make you feel good
  • Perform random acts of kindness for other people