Monday 6 February 2012

A Cure for Jet Lag

I have a French friend who's convinced that in fifty years time they're going to discover that air travel seriously damages your health and airlines will have to issue warnings like on cigarette packets.

I wouldn't go that far, but I do sometimes wonder if jet lag isn't the universe's gentle hint to go back to the gentler era of trains and ocean liners.  It's not just the lack of sleep (or on the other end of the spectrum, sleeping too much); it's the feeling woozy and disconnected from your surroundings.  I find myself getting a bit melancholy too (just when my energy levels drop) and also ravenous at strange times of the day (like two o'clock in the morning).

In the past, I have tried to drown the jet lag with lots of coffee (even more than I usually drink) and usually ended up feeling worse than when I started.

So what's a jet lagged lady traveller to do?

The answer - and I almost hate to say this, because it makes me sound like one of those annoying people they interview for the last page of glossy magazines who swear that they only travel with rose water, cashmere blankets and scented candles - is ... go running.  Or at the very least, brisk walking.

Find a park, a river, a seafront; plug in some music, lift your face up to the sunlight (exposure to sunlight is supposed to help reset your body clock) and go for it.

Yesterday, just when my energy levels were lowest, I put on my running things and headed for Fitzroy Gardens, one of my favourite green spaces in Melbourne.  It was a beautiful golden evening and there were lots of other runners, so I could pretend to be a local again.

(Photos taken on the run, with mixed success.)

Afterwards - afterwards I felt restored, full of energy.  Even better, I stayed awake until after ten and slept through the night, waking up, refreshed, at seven this morning.

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