I realise I’ve probably never really experienced true jet lag until I got back from Peru last month. Our journey home involved an internal flight, a 6-hour wait in the airport, then a 12.5-hour flight to Gatwick (and that was after just a week in the country with two more internal flights.) Then I was in work the next day, my mind and body still on Peruvian time. I felt pretty screwed up for a good week: exhausted physically and mentally, and yearning for infinite amounts of sleep. The most annoying bit though was that everyone around me was saying, ‘Well it cant be jet lag, you got back a week ago?’, but it seemed to frustratingly completely consume me.
Though I did very much realise you kind of just have to ride it out, there were a few things that made me feel way better, so I thought I’d share for when you find yourself in a similar mind state…
When you’re falling asleep at your desk the obvious thing to turn to is coffee, but I found it tend to make me feel so sick after one or two cups, and I was force-feeding it down me which made me feel worse. The solution: matcha. I swear by the stuff anyway, but it’s perfect for getting through a day at work with jet lag because of the high-caffeine content.
You’re too tired to make it to the gym in the morning and running feels like a fight against the devil. The answer: cycle. To work, to the pub, a few times round the block.
In my 1.5 weeks of jet lag, nothing fixed me up more than yoga. I felt compelled to hug my yoga teacher after the session because I felt so awake and alive…after um-ing and ah-ing whether I actually had the energy to do the class. Take it easy, enjoy lying on the mat with your eyes shut, stretch out every muscle in your body, let your head hang, and I promise you, you’ll feel more awake and energised than ever.
Chances are your eating habits are somewhere between holiday time and home time, so nothing ever feels right. ‘Til you’re back feeling your usual self, eat little and often. Or split one meal into two Tupperware posts that way you know what’s your normal amount.
Hydrate! I always roll my eyes when people remind my how dehydrating flying is, but when it’s long haul and you’re sky high in that stuffy cabin for hours on end, I kind of get it. The more water you drink, the more energised you’ll feel. Plus, all that getting up from your desk to go to the bathroom will help keep you awake. Win!
Okay, this probably isn’t great advice, but stock up on Pro Plus as a last resort. If your job is the sort of job where you get fired for falling asleep in a board meeting, you’re probably going to need it. They work like magic.