7 Ways to Restore Your Well Being After a Long Flight
Do you want to see places but dread the long flights? You're not the only one.
Almost everything about flying is unpleasant. Even worst, anticipating the unpleasantness means 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 really becoming important.
Remember, once you arrive everyone expects you to be at a hundred percent. If it's a business trip, you're paid 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 7 things you can do to recover your equanimity 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 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.
2. Fight jet lag while you’re still in the air.
Drink lots of water, do some light exercises especially rotating your toes and walking in the aisle whenever you can. 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.
This 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.
Now, with aircraft crossing several time zones in a matter of hours, jet lag has become a major issue. But to agonize over it will just make you feel terrible.
Walk about in the airport and in the plane and think of the success you will get at the end of your journey. Think of 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. Or, if this is going home, think of how great it will be to stretch out in your own 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 basic shaving and make-up are all that should be there. Keep it as light as you can so the long trip from plane to the exit doesn't become a mountain climb.
When the plane lands, just slow down. Do not sprint to get your luggage.
Upon arrival, do not do a million things like attend a cousin’s wedding, drive your mother to a ten-hour destination and visit your uncle who lives hundred of miles from the airport.
We did this once and my husband who was driving and myself, 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 car.
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 just 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 the feeling that your head is filled with cotton wool. 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. This is a bit difficult especially when you feel tired. However, a breath of fresh air is probably what you 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 in one of the hundreds of places in the streets offering foot massage. Give this a try.