Do you want to see places but dread long flights? You're not the only one.
Almost everything about flying is unpleasant. Even worse, anticipating the unpleasantness means that the agony of the flight experience starts days before the actual flight.
So, developing a strategy to get yourself sorted, as the English say after a flight is becoming critical.
Remember, once you arrive, everyone expects you to be at a hundred percent. If it's a business trip, you're to produce. If it's to visit family, they are excited and looking for happiness. If it's a vacation, you are the lucky one.
Your high hopes can help you resuscitate. But given the new realities, here are seven things you can do to recover your composure and reenter the world as humanly as possible.
1. Give your body time to deal with jet lag.
Jet lag can whack you out for days if your travel makes you cross time zones. Some trips may be longer, but as long as you don't cross times zones, you will feel better after a good night's sleep.
Despite people's claims, you can't escape the impact of a long trip. You can minimize it and make yourself not to stress over it.
Observe how jet lag affects you. Some people take a long time to recover from flights because of the disruption of your sleep-wake cycle. It can take a day or a week.
The body will get back to its cycle, so don't worry about a bit of jet-lag in the form of headache, constipation, tiredness, and disorientation. Relax, you will recover. Remember, once you arrive, everyone expects you to be at a hundred percent. If it's a business trip, you're to produce. If it's to visit family, they are excited and looking for happiness. If it's a vacation, you are the lucky one.
2. Fight jet lag while you’re still in the air.
Drink lots of water and do some light exercises, especially rotating your toes and walking in the aisle whenever possible. Add to this a constant supply of moisturizer for your skin, and more likely, you will feel less tired and stressed after your long flight.
3. Stress not over it.
A long flight is quite a challenge when your body’s internal clock takes time to adjust to a different time zone. It takes the body approximately one day to change its internal time clock one hour, a problem alien in the past when travel was not in jet speed.
With aircraft crossing several time zones in a matter of hours, jet lag has become a significant issue. But to agonize over it will just make you feel terrible.
Try a walkabout at the airport and on the plane. Look forward to your destination. Think of the success you will get at the end of your journey, and the places and experiences you will enjoy when you get to your destination. Think of your joy when you see the people you are visiting. If this is going home, think of how great it will be to stretch out in your bed.
4. Work around time zone changes.
If you can, schedule your meetings to match time at home when your body is still awake, not at 2:00 early morning when your brain has shifted to neutral, and your propeller is just spinning in the air.
5. Go easy with yourself.
Don't turn your carry on into a cement truck. If you have a checked bag, put all of the weight there. Your meds, a change of clothes, power cords, computers, and phones, your essential shaving and make-up are all that should be there. Keep it as light as you can, so the long trip from the plane to the exit doesn't become a mountain climb.
When the plane lands, slow down. Do not sprint to get your luggage.
Upon arrival, do not do a million things like attending a cousin’s wedding, drive your mother to a ten-hour destination, and visit your uncle who lives hundreds of miles from the airport.
We did this once, and my husband, who was driving, and I, fell asleep. Our car swerved into the middle of the road. Luckily, there were no cars around, and my husband instantly woke up to correct it. We landed on the sloping side of the road with some damage to the vehicle.
Instead, take a walk to get a few basic groceries, check out a park close to the hotel and while your time there, go to a spa and have a great moisturizing massage or hang out with your favorite person.
Unwinding is a do it yourself ritual, one must learn, and if you don’t have one, this is the time to learn.
6. Tuck into the fluids.
Long flights often leave you dehydrated, and this contributes to feeling as if cotton wool fills your head. Drink plenty of water or anything non-alcoholic.
As well, moisturize yourself. Long flights make your skin dry and itchy. A good soak in the bath and a slather of your favorite moisturizer will make you feel better.
7. Go out and walk.
Check out the closest street if you just arrived in a new place. Find some sunshine, so your body can start adjusting its circadian rhythm. Walking is a bit difficult, especially when you feel tired. However, a breath of fresh air is what you most certainly need.
The walk distracts you from dwelling on your tiredness and stretches your legs, allowing better circulation in your system. If you happen to be in Bangkok or Phnom Penh, go to one of the hundreds of places in the streets offering foot massage. Give this a try.
There are times when arriving in a place after a long flight, all I can bother to do is lie flat on the bed. I listen to my body and lie down for an hour or so. After my body has rested, I go out and take a walk.
For other tips on your flight, check these out: