Travel

How I Unwind After A Longhaul Flight

relax after a long haul flight travel tips

Let’s just say one of my first adult experiences of jet lag following a long haul flight wasn’t the best. It’s hard to grasp just how much sitting on a plain thousands upon thousands of feet up in the air for 14 hours affects your body.

I hopped off the plain and was picked up by a friend at Singapore airport, and initially, I was fine. Then I went to bed and my body was totally confused, what time was it in the UK anyway? In summary, over the next few hours and all through the night, I thought I was coming down with a horrible fever.

The panic started to set in, you know, the ‘oh crap I’m going to be ill on holiday’ type fear. I kept trying to tell my mate I was ill, and she was like, ‘hun, you’ve probably just got jetlag.’ I was like yeah, sure, whatever. Turns out I recovered by the next morning, and it was, most likely, jet lag. I’ll never live that story down.

So I guess it was this story that has inspired me to write this post. Because these days I’m a bit more of a long haul pro. Sure, my stomach still balloons to the size of a melon and I sit in my seat wishing I could do cartwheels along the aisle to stretch my muscles, but I guess that’s all part of a normal flight.

You know what really helps jetlag? Doing something relaxing and properly taking care of your body upon arrival. I’m going to share some post long haul flight recovery/relaxation tips with you lovely people. Here’s how I unwind after a longhaul flight.

Yoga

Oh Yoga, you are quite literally the best thing ever. Aside from attempting to do yoga at least three times a week (I use Yoga Studio on my Ipad), I also make a big effort to do a good old yoga sesh after a long haul flight. What better way to awaken your body again, stretch out those stiff muscles and clear your mind for the trip ahead? Get that circulation going again and both your mind and body will be back on track in no time.

Herbal tea

Dear internet, I’m addicted to herbal tea. I confess, I’ve currently got a bout twenty packs of teabags all fighting for space on my kitchen shelf. For me, choosing herbal tea is like choosing sweets in a sweet shop. Because, well, there are so many incredible flavours, and you can pick one to suit your state of mind.

Herbal teas have loads of benefits, from improving your digestion to helping you unwind. So, why not have a massive cuppa after your flight? Not only will it hydrate you, but you can select teas that can help with jetlag. Ones that are reviving and refreshing, like lemon and ginger, or calming, like lavender and elderflower. I usually stuff a fair few mint tea bags into my hand luggage, because god help me if I get to my destination and can’t have a cup of herbal tea.

I got sent some lovely loose leaf herbal tea by the guys at Destination2.co.uk, so I’ve been enjoying the different flavours (including orange and vanilla, and nettle) whilst mulling over this blog post. Thanks guys for the inspo!

Walks

When you arrive at your destination after a long haul flight, it’s tempting to sit on your arse and chill for a while, or try and catch up on some sleep. But I like to try and get out for a walk first, both to get some fresh and also to get my bearings and take in my new surroundings. You will be more likely to drift off soundly to sleep that evening if you’ve been for a decent walk, and putting one foot in front of the other gets your body moving and helps you relax a little after being cooped up on a stuffy plane.

Hydration

Not much to say here, other than drink as much as you can when you get off the plane (and whilst you are on board), coz it’s easy to get dehydrated after a long flight. And if you don’t make up for it afterwards with plenty of H20, your jet lag will be oh so much worse.

Mental grounding

So your body has set foot in new territory and tends to adjust by itself, but what about your mind? Some mental grounding can help get your brain in gear and therefore beat that pesky jetlag.

When I say mental grounding I mean meditation, mindfulness and just generally some down time to process your arrival. You can do this however you like, but I like to spend ten minutes meditating and doing some mindfulness where you listen to your surroundings, mentally point out things you can see and just generally notice stuff.