I get asked time and time again what to do when trying to get through the hell that can be jet-lag... and to be honest I'm yet to come up with something that actually works besides riding the waves, getting into the local time zone and sleep times as quickly as you can, drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine after midday.
However when it comes to preventing jet lag, that's a different story. It's also the most effective way to avoiding it in the first place. And one I can help you with.
Now before you read this, here's a reminder for you that most of this is easy, simple and does not take much if any preparation. So it's not like this is going to be a massive To-Do List for you. Think of it more like a friendly reminder. After all, you don't want jet-lag now do you? Here's what I do...
Before you fly:
// Hydrate!! Hydrate!! Hydrate!! This is super important! Literally drink as much water as you can, but not all in one go or you'll just pee it all out half an hour later. Try aiming for 3-4 litres the day you fly. And if possible, avoid all alcohol on the flight as this is dehydrating (unless of course it's your secret to falling asleep and if so, keep it minimal and continue the water intake)
// Prep a few snacks to take. If you're used to eating a certain way, airplane food is probably not your cuppa tea and eating it might not make you feel your best. I usually eat half of it and leave anything that looks like franken-food, and take boiled eggs, nuts or nut bars, a little dark choccie and depending on the country, some fruit with me.
// Get a good nights sleep before. Again, prevention is better than playing catch up.
// Avoid caffeine after midday. This is particularly if like me, you tend to not be able to sleep on flights, and you have an evening flight. You want to stack the odds in your favour and any additional caffeine that may hinder your sleep is not going to work in your favour.
// Amp up vitamin C and zinc intake. Two antioxidants that also boost and protect your immune system which will get a beating on long haul flights. Ensuring you take these prior to flying, or double your doses if you take them regularly, should ensure you don't land feeling under the weather.
On the plane:
// Get yourself some noise cancelling headphones. Those dodgy little airline earplugs hurt! And sure you can hear the movie you are watching but when you try to sleep, all you hear is the plane engine. Invest in some noise cancelling headphones and plug in the relaxation music channel and hopefully drift off to sleep... They also minimise stress levels due to noise as well.
// Meditation. Instead of watching 7 movies back to back, try plugging in a meditation, visualisation or relaxing music. You can cleanse your chakras whilst in the air and get off with much healthier energetic field.
// Compression socks. If you haven't tried these before, they are tight. But for good reason. They essentially keep circulation in your legs better than without them so for long flights they can have you feeling better on landing, and with a spring in your step!
// Glutathione. Your master antioxidant this stuff is gold! I'm currently all out otherwise I'd be double dosing right now. In lieu of that, I have a herbal liver detoxification supplement with me.
// Hydration facial spray. I fill a small (less than 100ml remember) glass spray bottle with water and 6-8 drops of an immune essential oils blend. This is a life saver! My skin gets so dry on flights it hurts! This keeps it fresh, dewy, moisturised and also helps me feel alive! An added bonus is you don't feel like Frankenstein when you eventually land.
// Water. It goes without saying. Before, during and after flying, Water, Water, Water!
// Vitamin C and zinc. Again. Take another dose.
In transit at Airports:
Again, use this as your "prep-time".
// Vitamin C and zinc
// Walk around as much as you can. Do some stretches. Brush your teeth. Have a shower. Change clothes. You'll feel like a new woman!
This is when we can easily slack off thinking it's all over red-rover, but we couldn't be further from the truth! Both energetically and physically, we need to LAND where we are. So get home, dump your bags, and leave the house - unless of course, it 8pm t night - and follow all my recommendations below.
// Barefeet on the earth
// Jump into fresh or salt water if possible
// Walk outside and get in the sunshine
// If it's morning, and you feel the need to, grab a coffee
// If it's after midday, stay away from the coffee. I don't care how tired you are now. You'll thank me later. You've gotta ride this one out sista!
// If local sleep times are way off where you just came from, try and stick it out all day in the fresh air, have a light dinner and hit the sack at 6pm
// Set an alarm for the following day at 9am - if you wake up before that's great but if you oversleep here, you'll be wreaked for days longer
// And again, hydration
On that note... CAIRNS HERE I COME! I'm sitting at Rome Fiumicino typing this and will arrive back in Cairns on Wednesday. With doing everything I have listed above, and ensuring I manage to get some sleep on my flights, I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed when I land, ready for that coffee come the following morning when I'm back to work! Arrivederci!