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Reducing the impact of Jet Lag on Wellbeing & Health: Tips for Busy Working Women on the Go

As businesswomen, travelling for work is often essential, yet frequent flying can take a massive toll on your well-being. I know this because last year I had to fly to Australia for an event and having been healthy all winter, I was struck down with a sinus infection that lasted WEEKS!

Lets talk about the jet lag though …. Jet lag, disrupts your body’s internal clock, and whilst travelling for work is essential, jet lag can significantly impact your health, affecting everything from sleep to digestion and even cognitive function.

But it can be helped and here is my advice:

Understanding the effects of jet lag is the first step towards managing it. Symptoms include fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. These can hinder your performance in high-stakes meetings and reduce overall productivity. But don't worry; there are strategies to help reset the balance and keep you at your best, even when you're constantly on the go.

1. Prioritise Sleep: Aim to sleep on the plane according to the destination's time zone if you can. If you’re travelling east, try to get some sleep during the flight. For westward flights, stay awake and sleep upon arrival. Use earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones (these are a MUST for nervous flyers) an eye mask, and comfortable clothing or whatever it takes to to enhance your in-flight sleep quality.

2. Hydrate and Nourish: I understand that glass of wine might break up the boredom of a long flight or even make you feel less anxious (until it wears off and you feel even worse). However, dehydration exacerbates jet lag symptoms. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can interfere with sleep. Opt for light, nutritious meals rich in protein and fibre to keep your energy levels stable. I tend to take my own food on the plane, a nice salad with lots of protein, you will thank yourself for this!

3. Move Regularly: Exercise helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. Try to get some physical activity soon after arriving at your destination. A brisk walk around a new city, or a quick hotel gym session can do wonders. When my clients travel I always make sure that I upload to their programmes some light in-room workouts they can do whilst they are away.

4. Expose Yourself to Natural Light: Natural sunlight is a powerful cue for resetting your internal clock. Spend time outside during daylight hours to help your body adjust to the new time zone faster.

By incorporating these simple yet effective strategies, you can mitigate the impact of jet lag, maintain your health, and continue to perform at your peak. Remember, taking care of your well-being is not just about managing jet lag—it's about sustaining your energy and productivity, ensuring you lead with confidence wherever your business travels take you.

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