A little jet lag is nothing when compared to the experiences I gain while traveling, but it can seriously dampen my energy and mood if I’m not careful. I used to not pay much attention to trying to prevent or deal with it, but now that so much of my schedule (and job) revolves around travel – and through different time zones a lot of the time – I’ve made kicking jet lag a priority. It’s made such a difference in how I feel on trips, and even when I return home to LA.
Here are the 3 tips I swear by:
Pulling out a laptop or throwing on a movie is tempting while on a long flight, but I’ve found that tech doesn’t do me any favors when it comes to jet lag. Instead, I try to give my body the chance to rest and restore itself so that I can hit the ground running.
First up, I treat myself to a nice glass of wine, then settle in for relaxation. I bring a cashmere scarf and drape it over me, find my sleeping mask, throw on noise-canceling headphones if needed, then close my eyes. I love a little lavender lotion or oil on my hands and temples, too. So relaxing!
If possible, try to sleep the entire flight. But at the least, rest with your eye mask on. Even if you’re not sleeping, the darkness of the eye mask will help your Circadian rhythm (aka a normal sleep schedule).
Eat for the time zone you’re in
Meaning if you take a red eye and arrive early AM wherever you are, you may not be hungry, but having a banana or croissant will wake your metabolism up and help with the exhaustion. I follow this up by chugging an entire bottle of water or warm lemon water. This helps to awaken your entire system (and your metabolism) and leads to an energy boost.
Fight every urge to nap during the day! The first day is especially crucial and usually the hardest. You may be foggy, but the first day sets the tone for the remainder of your trip. If you nap the first day, your body will expect it the next, and you’ll get yourself into a bad habit of not working through it.
Find an exciting activity that’ll keep you awake, go for a long walk, do a workout—don’t even tempt yourself with a rest in your hotel bed. Also, lay off alcohol or any especially heavy meals mid-day, as these will make you even more tired. Eat for energy, stay hydrated, get moving.
How do you kick jet lag?
Photos by Fred Cipoletti.