Tips For Jetlag On A Work Trip

Happy Thursday everyone! Lately I’ve been M.I.A because I currently have millions of deadlines. It’s deadline season at work, I have finals coming up and I just came back from an overseas work trip about a week ago. Just trying to stay afloat, balanced and engaged is proving challenging right now. Dealing with jetlag during the trip and afterwards was exhausting, especially when you return back to work right away. I was up at 4:00am-4:30am and fighting to stay awake around 7pm. I tried my best to use as many travel tips as possible, however when travelling for short bursts of time, having a full seamless transition proves to be almost impossible. Below are some of my tips for dealing with jetlag for a work trip!

BEFORE

1. Make a TO-DO List

Life doesn’t stop when you travel, so it’s important to make a list of everything that needs to get done before you leave. This means finding time to clean your home, pack, find a dog sitter, make sure bills are paid, submit assignments beforehand, and all the work projects and deadlines that need to be done before the trip. Having a to-do list make the list feel less daunting and more manageable. Also, every time something is crossed off, it feels so good!

2. Try to start adjusting your sleep schedule

The week before I left to Europe, I tried to set my alarm earlier to slowly adjust to the time difference. I was going to be 6 hours ahead in Europe, so I wanted to make the time difference as seamless as I can. I usually wake up at 7am, but throughout the week I gradually put my alarm earlier and earlier, from 6:30am to 6am then to 5:30am. I found the slow transition helpful for the trip!

3. Make sure everything else is prepared

I’m one of those people who can only operate and think straight if my environment is clean and tidy. One of the worst things to come home to after a trip is a dirty house! The best way to reduce the chance of feeling overwhelmed is to clean everything beforehand. It’s a wonderful feeling jetting off knowing your home is in order and clean when you come back! Since I was going away for a week, I made sure to throw out any old food or eat everything that was about to expire, that way I don’t need to worry about coming back to a moldy fridge (gross!).

4. Be realistic

As much as we’d like everything is to be perfect and accounted for, sometimes there’s just not enough time! But if you can prioritise the most important tasks over smaller less important ones, that’s what matters!

DURING

1. Drink tons of water & coffee

It’s so important to stay hydrated and drink lots of water while travelling. My skin always breaks out when I deal with large time differences, so I try to drink as much water as possible. Coconut water is also another good alternative for electrolytes. I’m not going to lie, during the first few days of work, I drank 2-3 coffees a day to try to stay awake. It’s not ideal, but I try to balance drinking coffee with drinking lots of water as well.

2. Take care of the skin

As mentioned before, my skin takes a major toll in the first few days of travel. I break out a ton and my skin becomes overly oily when I get little to no sleep in 1-3 days. I brought some special face masks and face oils on the trip to give myself a mini spa day every night.

3. Exercise

Another thing I did to get as much energy as possible was workout every morning. When I struggle with sleep deprivation, I always try to make sure everything else in my routine is on point so I don’t feel as groggy. Exercising in the morning is a great way to get a big energy boost and it makes you feel wide awake and productive for the day ahead.

4. Eat light meals

Light meals such as salads or fish for lunch on a workday overseas is highly recommended when you’re still struggling with staying awake or feeling groggy. The worst thing to do is to eat a super heavy meal during lunch because you’ll return to work feeling too stuffed and sleepy from itis. Eating lighter meals during lunch makes staying awake during the work day a lot easier and more manageable.

5. Don’t stress too much

The last thing we want to do during a work trip is to add additional stress by stressing over how crappy our sleep schedule has been. Patience and care is what your body needs to ease into the time difference.

AFTER

1. Ease back into the natural schedule

Once back, I kept waking up at 4:30am in the morning everyday and start crashing at work around 3:00pm-4:00pm. Everyday, I’d try to stay awake and go to sleep at a regular local time, however, if you feel exhausted and are struggling to stay awake at 7:00pm, just give your body the rest it needs. Overtime, your body will slowly adjust back to normal.

2. Take it easy

When back, sometimes we just want to jump back into our normal schedule and be productive again, but it’s important to give our mind and bodies the rest it needs after a long trip. Limit yourself to only a few important tasks per day and slowly add more tasks if you feel like it’s doable.

3. Have a relaxing and “catch up” weekend

Following up on the previous point, during the first week back to work right away, it’s important to give your body time to relax and transition back to it’s normal routine. Save the house chores and catch up tasks for the weekend. Give yourself a slow-paced weekend to catch up on everything and give yourself a nice pamper session to feel back to normal and refreshed for the next week ahead!

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