All the time I spent travelling around the world in my younger years has really come in handy as I've grown older because I've learnt from experience and picked up some pretty handy tricks along the way. 

Start as you mean to go on:
The first thing I do whenever I board a plane, no matter how long the flight may be, is to change my watch to the time at the destination. By doing this, you're giving yourself extra time to start to adjust to the time difference, which means that you shouldn't be affected by it for as long when you get there. They key to this is not just to change the clock, but start to live by it as well - try to sleep and eat when you should according to the watch, not your biological clock. This can be a bit tricky, but the earlier you start the transition, the earlier you'll adjust.

Listen to your body, but know when to ignore it:
One thing that I've learnt time and time again along the way is knowing when to push your body, and when to reward it. I know this sounds bad, but if you're fighting jet lag then sometimes you have to go against your bodily instincts and keep trucking - especially when it comes to sleep. It's super important when travelling to make sure that you're constantly fed and hydrated, so if you're feeling hungry or thirsty then top up whenever you need (but stay clear of alcohol as it is dehydrating and can mess with your energy levels). This is when you need to listen to your body - it's better to keep yourself fuelled than try to limit yourself. So what if you eat an extra few calories? You can burn it off by following my next point. The only thing that you need to be strict with is sleep - if you give in then you can add days to your adjustment period, so if you're dying for a nap then make sure to keep it under an hour (as hard as it may seem) or better yet, try to forgo it all together and push yourself to restrain until it's an appropriate time to sleep. Trust me, the stricter you are, the quicker you adjust! One thing that usually helps is exercise, although it's probably the last thing you want to do. Exercise will help top up your energy levels immediately and will help to tire you out in the long run, helping to aid sleep when you are eventually allowed to go to bed. I'm not talking marathon training or anything, but even a 30 minute routine at the gym or walking to lunch and back instead of taking the metro will help. 

Keep busy:
One of the things I found the hardest when I was younger was flying from HK back to the UK for Christmas because the adjustment was just so difficult. First off, we would usually land at about 4 am, when made the day SO much longer, and when you add that to the eight hour time difference and the shorter days, you can imagine how tired I felt once it got to about 4 pm. This is where keeping busy comes into play - no matter how tired you are, you'll always feel it more if you're sat doing nothing. If you get out and about, keep yourself occupied with a shopping trip or a dinner with friends, you're much more likely to keep yourself awake. Same goes for if you've flown from west to east and you're up late at night with jet lag - if you're not doing anything during the day you won't be that tired, but if you go out and keep busy you're much more likely to wear yourself out and are therefore more likely to get a good nights sleep.

What are your best tricks for dealing with jet lag? Have I missed any out? Let me know!

I x

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