It’s Christmas Eve! You know what means? Last minute flights home for the holidays!
Once my plane has touched down, I’m through immigration and I have my suitcase I can feel my body unwind and relax. I’m not a nervous flyer, but I’m a stressed traveller, with dreams of arriving at the airport without my passport plaguing me in the run up to my flight.
I’m also not one of those (super annoying) people who bounce off a flight looking fresh as a daisy – everything shows all over my face and I’ve gone as far as taking an awful passport photo because it’s a true representation of someone who simply doesn’t travel well. I feel like the human equivalent of a soggy lettuce leaf.
Add jetlag into the mix and I’m more or less brought to my knees.
via GIPHYWhat is jetlag?
Jetlag, AKA desynchronosis or flight fatigue, is a basically a circadian rhythm sleep disorder. It is temporary and causes fatigue, insomnia, and brain fog, among other symptoms. It’s tiredness unlike any other and for me it feels like being sucked into quicksand.
Since jetlag smacks me in the face each time I take a flight where my time zone shifts more than three hours, I’ve had to get pretty darn creative with ensuring I can bounce back ASAP since I usually don’t have the luxury of a day each end to rest up.
My tips for dealing with jetlag are:
1. Prepare in advance as much as possible
Try to sleep a few hours earlier or later in the days before your flight, if you are flying east or west respectively.
2. Set your watch to the new time zone
This is the first thing I do on the plane once I’m in my seat, and the same goes for my phone otherwise it’s very jarring to land at lunchtime but it’s 8pm back home. Setting your devices before take-off helps you prepare for the new time zone.
3. Drink water
Sure it may be tempting to take advantage of the available beverages but keep in mind that on-board dehydration is a very real thing. Make sure you drink enough water at regular intervals.
4. Stay moisturised
Sometimes I really battle with how dry the cabin air is and I've touched down feeling scaly and puffy so I generally travel with a saline nasal spray (thank me later), eye drops, and a small tub of really rich moisturiser – I like Nivea, personally. If the flight is really long, I’ll take a mask with me and whack it on mid-flight. I like The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask – I’ll scoop a bit into a small tub and apply it liberally. It’s an overnight mask so there’s no fussy removal.
5. Dress comfortably and move around
Make sure your clothing is loose and comfy since you can experience swelling and you need your circulation to keep moving. So try to stand and walk during the flight if you can.
Granted these tips are not the be all and end all and if you’re like me, you’re going to experience jetlag regardless but I guarantee this make the whole ordeal less horrific!