Wouldn't it be great to teleport, to do a Captain Kirk and just arrive where you want to be? Well, not yet, and the Dream Liner giving you more fresh air and a quieter ride is still a year or so off. And, even more, the discomfort doesn't end upon arrival. 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 prepare yourself not to stress over it. So...what to do? Here are some measures to take after a long flight.
Relax...don't stress over it. This is quite a challenge when your travel makes you cross several time zones. 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.
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.
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 a.m. when your brain has shifted to neutral and your propeller is just spinning in the air.
Go easy with yourself. Do not do a million things upon arrival 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. Instead, take a walk to get a few basic groceries, check out a park close to the hotel, 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. 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.
Go out and walk. 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 massages. Give this a try.
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.
Give your body time to deal with jet lag. 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.