I wrote a blog at the end of June talking about all my travels coming up this summer, and right now I'm in the thick of going back and forth between the East Coast and other countries! The craziest part of the whole summer is my back-to-back international travel, from a week in Slovenia to a few days in Italy to Japan just a couple days after that. I knew jet lag would be a big factor in my exhaustion, but thankfully I have handled plenty of travel before so I am starting out on the right foot.
For those who are new to any kind of travel, though, I have plenty of advice for staying alert, awake, and high energy even when time zones change and sleep doesn't happen. So in light of all the travel that is coming up for me (and you!) this summer, here are my best tips for overcoming jet lag.
1) Stay hydrated.
I think this is my number one tip for everything - living life, working out, traveling, and anything in between. Drinking water is the absolute best way to overcome exhaustion, keep your energy high, and feel better in general. It will keep you from snacking when you're not hungry while still giving your body what it needs. This is especially important on long flights. Besides, if you have to get up to go to the restroom you will get some much-needed exercise as well!
2) Stay awake as long as possible.
Not everyone will agree with this or be able to do it, but I usually try to stay up for 24-36 hours straight, depending on the timing. Basically, my goal is to stay awake from the beginning of my first flight until nighttime at whatever time zone I land in. If I can keep my eyes open until about 9pm and fall into bed completely exhausted, my body will much more quickly reset itself.
3) Set an alarm.
Again, this is not my favorite piece of advice to follow, but I have found it to be so beneficial. Besides sleeping at odd times, not keeping a schedule as close to your normal rhythm as possible will throw everything off. At home I get approximately 7 hours of sleep per night so I try to stick closely to that. Sometimes this means I am awake before everyone else, but my body actually has to make fewer adjustments since I'm not getting far more or less sleep than is normal.
4) Give yourself time to recover afterwards.
If I'm being honest, this is still a huge work in progress for me. I can usually power through a few days with no issues. And then all of a sudden EVERYTHING catches up with me and, almost without fail, I will contract strep throat or something equally awful. This time I am vowing that, no matter how 'good' I think I feel, I will intentionally take lots of time to rest and recover after I am finally back home. It will be good for my body, my health, and even my marriage.
So where are you going this summer, friends? And what are your traveling tips?