Long Haul. The main thing I spend my life doing and the one thing that I still don’t have any much control over. However, over the years I have found that I have got myself into quite a nice routine to help alleviate the strain of jet lag and assist in getting back on UK time as soon as possible. Although my job means I am constantly battling the time zones, I hope that this post can help those of you who may be taking a long haul holiday soon and help in getting yourself back to normal when you get home before you go back to work.
I can’t offer you much advice for whilst you are on the flight, as I am on my feet for the majority of the flight making sure everyone is fed and watered. I make sure that I drink at least 2 litres of water on any flight over 7 hours and up to 3 litres if I can manage it. I also try to steer away from drinking caffeinated drinks and stick to peppermint tea. I find that peppermint tea really helps with my digestion so I don’t get as bloated or suffer with any tummy troubles after nine hours in a metal tube. Honestly, this job is so glamorous its untrue! I have read so many posts about people doing face masks, hair masks and a whole beauty routine on a flight, however I can hand on heart say I have never witnessed anyone do this, but if you feel that a face mask is needed, then go for it! Try and get some sleep, rest up and relax. The hard work starts when you get home!
Once I’ve got back to the comfort of my own home, I generally tend to remove my make up, usually with a wipe as I’m that exhausted and climb straight into bed. I aim to get around 4 hours of sleep so I can start to feel a bit more human later. I also like to change my bedding once I’ve woken up so its all fresh when I go to bed as normal that evening.
The trick is to force yourself to get out of bed as soon as your awake and not fall back to sleep. You need to get a full uninterrupted night of sleep that first evening, and I tend to go to bed around 9pm. I use a sleep aid such as a strong anti-histamine like Nytol, or sometimes Night Nurse, just to make sure I sleep right the way through. I don’t advocate the use of these medications nor recommend them however I have to get back in my sleep pattern as soon as possible.
During that first day back from your long haul flight is the time to treat yourself and help your body start feeling normal again. I fully cleanse my face and take a long warm shower using my favourite shower gels, and wash my hair with Lee Stafford Oily Roots, Dry Ends to detoxify my hair and get rid of any build up. After my shower, I like to use Sunkissed Gradual Tan to intensely moisturise whilst giving me a hint of a golden glow. I use Charles Worthington Moisture Seal Hair Healer Leave In Conditioner on the ends of my hair, and start a treatment of Renunail as my nails always feel damaged after work, especially lugging around those metal cannisters and heavy carts. Just before I go to bed that evening, I follow my usual skincare routine however instead of a night cream, I use Origins Drink Up Intensive to fully hydrate my skin before the next morning.
The following days are when jet lag is most likely to occur. I tend to be awake until 4am on the second day of being home and on the third day, I fall asleep early and wake up at 4am. I try my absolute best not to sleep throughout the day and try to go to bed when I’m tired and at a reasonable time. This is the area I can’t control but as I have my little routine, it seems to be getting better. My life is generally lived in a state of jet lag, and when I’m feeling like I can take no more and I’m truly exhausted then I take myself of to bed, whether it be 7pm or 2am. I’m sure it differs for everyone but what I will say is that as soon as i have gone back to work and have worn myself out, then sleep comes naturally. And on that note, I need to go to bed!
I hope this little air hostesses guide to getting over long haul helped you. If there is anything you’d like to know the answer too, please leave me a comment below!