When traveling to a completely new country
, a long flight is mostly unavoidable. Dealing with jet lag and adjustment problems after the flight can be particularly frustrating. In this article, we will explore the causes of jet lag and provide practical methods to help you adapt better and more quickly to the new environment and customs
Jet lag is primarily caused by prolonged travel across different time zones, leading to a significant difference between your body's biological clock and the local time at your destination. The following are the main reasons for jet lag:
Causes of Jet Lag
Difficulty in adjusting the body's biological clock: The human body has an internal biological clock that regulates sleep, wakefulness, and other physiological functions. This clock is influenced by daylight and environmental factors, gradually aligning with the local time. However, traveling across time zones disrupts this synchronization, requiring time for the body to adjust to the new time zone.
Disruption of sleep cycles: Different time zones have varying sunrise and sunset times, which can cause a misalignment between your biological clock and the external environment. When you arrive at your destination, your body's biological clock may still be adjusting to the time at your departure point, making it difficult to fall asleep or waking up too early.
Changes in external stimuli: Long-haul flights often involve changes in climate, food, and environment. These changes can further exacerbate the symptoms of jet lag, including fatigue, changes in appetite, and digestive issues.
Practical Ways to Overcome Jet Lag
As an Au Pair, adapting to a new country and establishing a connection with your Host Family
are essential. To do so effectively, we recommend you to overcome the discomfort caused by jet lag in a short time. Here are some practical tips to help you overcome jet lag:
Dear Au Pair friends, jet lag can be a challenge, but by implementing these practical measures, you will be able to adapt smoothly to the new environment. Remember, adaptation takes time, so remain patient and optimistic. Embracing your Au Pair experience will lead to valuable friendships and life lessons.
Adjust your biological clock gradually: In the days leading up to your flight, try gradually adjusting your sleep schedule to align with the local time at your destination. During the flight, adjust your eating and resting times to match the local time as closely as possible.
Make good use of your flight time: Long-haul flights provide ample opportunity to engage in productive activities. Take advantage of in-flight entertainment by watching interesting movies, reading books, or learning about the local culture and language. This will help pass the time and enrich your knowledge simultaneously.
Stay hydrated and nourished: It is crucial to maintain proper hydration during the flight to prevent discomfort caused by dehydration. Choose a healthy diet on the plane and ensure you consume enough vitamins and minerals to strengthen your body's resistance.
Adapt to the local climate and cuisine: Upon arriving at your destination, make efforts to adapt to the local climate as quickly as possible. If the climate significantly differs from your home country, dress accordingly to stay warm or protect yourself from the sun. Additionally, gradually adjust to the local cuisine while respecting their eating habits. Communicate with your host family to understand their dietary preferences and inform them of any specific dietary needs you have in advance.
Engage in regular exercise: Moderate physical activity will help adjust your biological clock and alleviate jet lag discomfort. Explore suitable ways to exercise in your new country, such as morning runs, swimming, or joining local fitness activities. This will enhance your body's resilience and adaptability.
Maintain a positive mindset: While adapting to a new environment comes with challenges and difficulties, maintaining a positive mindset is essential for overcoming jet lag. Engaging with locals, making new friends, and participating in social activities will accelerate your integration and ease feelings of homesickness.