I have been to Australia four times in the last 10 months. Yes I am fully aware that makes me a little insane, lol. The things we do for love, am I right?! Over 110,000 km of flying later, I have a few tips to share but the most common question I get is “how do you handle the jet lag?” … what a great question!
Jet lag can be a real bugger. Especially if you’re like me and you can’t take another day off to recover. Because my holidays (other than summer) are limited I maximize my time away forcing me to return the night before I work. I’m not going to lie it frickin sucks but that’s just life. Anyways, because I’ve done it a fair few times, I seem to be getting better at adjusting.
5 Tips to Help Kick Jet Lag’s A$s
1.) The moment you step on the plane, pretend you’re already in the time zone you’re entering. So for me when I fly to Sydney it’s always always out of Vancouver and it’s always the red eye. The flight typically leaves around 11pm my time, which means it’s 4pm Australian time (depending on the time of year). So, when I step on the plane I make myself stay up for a least 5 hours this takes me to 9pm Aussie time. I typically grab a coffee in the Vancouver airport, some LEGIT snacks, and settle in for a couple of good movies. After that, I take a Gravol (obviously use your discretion with this… it’s not for everyone, maybe consult your doctor!) and I try my best to sleep the rest of the way. I do the same thing for the way home except the exact opposite (sleep at the beginning of the flight and then try to stay awake the second half of the trip) which is really hard. It is hard to fall asleep when you’ve just slept but try your best. I’m gonna be honest this last trip home was rough. I didn’t sleep as much as I normally do.
2.) Try your best to get a workout in as soon as you can. My favourite thing to do when I arrive in a new city is go for a walk or run. There is literally no better way to get yourself familiar with a new place than to stroll the streets. I find the jet lag much easier to handle on the way to my destination. For obvious reasons, I am on a high when I land in Sydney so it isn’t typically that hard to stay awake, but let me tell you the way home is a totally different story. I am legit exhausted from sobbing most of the flight home (LOL -long distance probs) and trust me it’s a lot less exciting coming home to -40 and work. I love what I do, but vacations are awesome. In order to force myself to get a workout in the day after I land I try to schedule it before I leave. That way it is less than 24 hours to cancel and I am forced to go. I try to go to a class right after work, which is SO hard, but if it’s too close to bedtime it just wakes me up. I don’t push myself too hard because I am literally exhausted, but trust me when I say it feels amazing to be able to move and stretch your body. It will also make you that much more tired at night when your body clock is ready to wake up again. If you’re not big into fitness or going to workout classes try a yoga class or even just a big stretch on your own.
3.) Drink a tonne of water before, during, and after the flight. Not only does this help give you energy it also adds the hydration back into your skin, keeps your immune system up, and hell drinking a little extra water is never a bad idea.
4.) Get lots of sleep the night before you fly out. I find this hard to do as I want to stay up late and spend as much time as I can with AB before I go, but it really does make a difference. With any luck you’ll be able to get some sleep on the plane but it just isn’t the same. If you’re able to get a good sleep the night before you’ll be playing less catch up when you get home.
5.) Whatever you do, don’t let yourself sleep during the wrong time. You’re going to want to take a nap but just don’t… and if you absolutely have to make it 20 minutes, max. Keep yourself busy, especially right after you get home from work. For me anyways, I want to crawl into bed as soon as I get home on a normal days as I am exhausted so you can imagine the feeling when I am jet lagged. Drink a coffee (no later than 4pm for me- you know your body best), hang out with your friends, get groceries, cook a good meal, clean your fridge lol, whatever it takes just make yourself stay away until at LEAST 8pm but also not too late. I almost always get a second wind around 9 so right before then I start to get myself ready for bed. A hot bath, some melatonin (these are my favourite), and some reading usually does the trick.
Again, these are just the tips that help me! Honestly, I am typically over jet lag in a few days. I hit the ground running when I get home and it works for me!
Am I missing any tips? How do you deal with jet lag?