One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “how do you deal with jet lag?!”
As a performing artist and avid traveller constantly crisscrossing multiple time zones, I’ve learned a few tricks to handle jet lag over the past years. Travel is increasingly an important and essential part of our lives, and I’d like to share with you my top tips on staying ahead of jet lag:
1. Switch your watch/phone to the local time of your destination as soon as you get on the plane.
Doing this enables you to be in the mindset of your next time zone, even before you land. If possible, try to eat a meal at the airport before boarding so that you can achieve tip #2, below.
2. SLEEP on the plane.
This is crucial. Traveling is tough on the body, so getting as much shut-eye in the air as possible is the goal! It’s the perfect time to do so without interruptions like phone calls or messages. Eat before boarding, so that you’re not hungry for the meal on the plane (airplane food is generally not worth staying up for anyways!), tell the steward that you don’t want to be woken up for the meal(s), and hit that recline button as soon as the seatbelt sign turns off! If you’re a light sleeper, try using an eye mask or ear plugs.
3. Once you’re there, don’t think about it.
This is definitely the hardest, but most important trick for me. I switch my mind to the new time zone I’m in and don’t let myself think anymore about the time zone I was previously in. We tend to calculate how many hours difference there is and often talk about how difficult the change is. I find that to be counter-productive when trying to adjust my body clock ASAP. The mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy – use it wisely!
4. Power through the first day.
Keep yourself busy on the day of arrival. It’s so easy to collapse on the bed after a long flight (yes, even after all that sleep from tip #3!) but try to power through the day as much as you can. It’s good to schedule something light on the arrival day so that you’re obliged to be up and about. Getting your body moving is also very beneficial after being seated for so many hours. Hit the gym, do some yoga, go for a walk, or do some sightseeing. Plan an early dinner with a friend and then hit the hay to recharge for the rest of your trip!