Ni Hao! Hello from Shanghai, China! I feel like the past two weeks I could not have been thrust into two completely different worlds. Italy was a whirlwind of love, history, pasta and a sense of home that I will talk about as soon as I am back in the states. After returning from Italy I spent 48 hours in New York before I met the hubs at the airport to embark on our 15+ hour journey to the far east. Upon arrival we found ourselves on the other side of the world in the midst of skyline taken right out of the future. We are staying on “The Bund” and have one of the best views of the Shanghai financial district with one sky scraper taller and more outrageous than the next. Upon landing around 5 AM Cory and I were able to check into our hotel, take a much needed power nap and actually booked a massage to help with the jet lag. During this trip I will definitely be sharing some fun things about travel, health and wellness that I pick up along the way. Today my thoughts are all about helping you battle the dreaded time change/jet lag during your next trip for business or pleasure.
Over the past five years of travel here, there and everywhere I have created my list of requirements that help me to kick jet lag to the curb ASAP!
So here goes:
- Take a minimal nap or no nap at all: When we first started traveling abroad a nap was inevitable, but taking only a 1-2 hour nap or forcing yourself to stay up late enough that you can sleep through your first night for 8+ hours will set you up for a successful trip and hopefully kickstart a decent sleep schedule for the remainder of your travels. Although you may have disrupted sleep here and there I find that it truly does help get you get into a rhythm in your new time zone.
- Hydrate: Airplane food can be jam packed with sodium. Take it easy on the alcohol and increase the H2O. After a flight, dehydration can make you feel even more exhausted, headache prone and leave you feeling achy all over. I suggest you downing as much H20 as you can take in every day, but over the course of the flight and the first day of your trip it is absolutely crucial that you increase your intake! Your body and digestive system will thank you.
- Eat a balance breakfast/meal: Upon reaching your final destination, have a healthy, fresh and balanced meal to help fuel you through the rest of your day. Stay away from crash-inducing heavy processed carbs and too much coffee or caffeinated tea. Opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, minimal whole grains and lean protein. I know it is vacation, and indulging is a MUST; however, the first meal of the trip will make or break your energy on your first day.
- Check in, take a shower and unpack before you head out: Unless you have any urgent appointments, I suggest you take the time to unpack and shower ASAP. Even if we are only staying in one place for a couple of days a hotel room is to be enjoyed and made your “home away from home”. So take advantage!
- Sweat and Pamper Yourself: Getting a quick half hour workout in to get your joints lubricated, muscles warm and your heart pumping can help give you the boost of energy you need to kick the nap to the curb. Cory and I like to stroll our new neighborhood for a little while to get the lay of the land and get our bodies moving. If you have time, sit in the sauna to kill any lingering germs from your flight and/or get a massage to work out the kinks after sitting couped up on those planes, trains and automobiles.
- Always Set an Alarm: Cory and I made the mistake of not setting our alarm and basically wasted 1/4 of our time in Vienna by sleeping late into the night on the first day. As hubby always says: “Suck it up buttercup”. Seeing the world does not happen every day! Get on out there and “Carpe that diem!
- Start a daily probiotic stat! Hopefully you take a probiotic supplement regularly, but if you don’t be sure to take one on vacation! Start a supplement about a week or two before you leave. Your gut can be affected by everything from the airplane and time change to water and cuisine. Your gut is the powerhouse of the body and keeping your digestive juices flowing and immune system in tact will make the trip that much more enjoyable!
FYI..I will never ever complain again about the three hour time difference when I go to Las Vegas or California for work EVER AGAIN! Cory has been working on his MBA and is here for school and we decided it would be a great opportunity for me to tag along. Thankfully, a friend from his cohort actually lives here in Shanghai and speaks the language and has been our saving grace. As you may have seen on yesterdays insta-story we had quite a bit of trouble getting from point A to Point B…even with access to our cell phones. In Europe you can really squeak by using a few small phrases. In China….that is a whole different story.
I am having fun learning more about the culture, customs and cuisine and look forward to sharing it all with you! If I missed any awesome jet-lag tips feel free to share them below. Happy Humpday everyone!