8 ways to beat jet lag, naturally

jet lag
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Anyone who has ever travelled long haul knows how taxing air travel can be on your body. Our circadian rhythm is disrupted as we cross time zones, while the high altitude, sitting for long periods of time, and air quality in aeroplanes can put physical and mental stress on our bodies.

Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, none of us want to spend the first few days of our trip feeling less than ordinary, do we?

I’ve learned a few really helpful tips and tricks over the last few years that really helped me on my recent trip to Vietnam. I was amazed at how just a few simple self-care rituals when I arrived in Saigon, were able to get me feeling good again on day 1 and ready to enjoy my adventure…

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate… I used to avoid drinking too much water on planes particularly if I was in an aisle or window seat for fear of annoying those next to me, but the air inside the aeroplane is dry and and dehydrating and golly gosh increasing your water intake can make a difference to how you feel when you arrive at your destination. Now I’m the person you don’t want to get stuck sitting next to if you’re in the aisle seat! I love to add a drop of lemon essential oil to my water during and post-flight. If you’d like to know about the benefits of lemon essential oil and the studies that have been published to date, click here

2. Ditch synthetic sleep aids for a natural alternative – our bodies know how to metabolise natural ingredients much better than they do synthetic chemicals. We are nature, so it makes sense our bodies are going to thank us for supporting it with ingredients it recognises, than those it doesn’t, right? Lavender essential oil is my go-to oil before sleep – when travelling you can pop it on the soles of your feet, temples, behind your ears, or down your spine. Numerous studies have been conducted on lavender oil in relation to sleep, which you can check out on PubMed, the world’s leading medical database). Lavender also comes in handy in those inevitable situations when you travel that lead to frustration and angst – which for me, was at Sydney airport with very few customs officers and a ridiculously long queue of people needing to board their flights – I pulled out my bottle of lavender and took a few deep breaths to bring about some much needed calm.

3. Increase your intake of antioxidants to support your body’s ability to respond to environmental stress – take healthy snacks to fuel you when you fly, like fruit, veggies and nuts. I also take my OnGuard protective blend, which has clove and cinnamon – the two most potent antioxidant compounds on the planet. I make up a 10ml glass roller bottle with 5 drops of On Guard and top it with fractionated coconut oil, rub it on the soles of my feet, down my spine and across my chest when I am flying. Or you can simply pop a drop in your water.

My Life Long Vitality Pack Supplements are a non-negotiable fixture in my travel wellness kit too (you can read more about these, here). Alpha CRS+ Cellular Energy Complex (one of three supplements in this pack) is a powerful combination of antioxidants to support cleansing of cells and energy production, and for protection from the damaging effects of free radicals that build up in our bodies as a result of exposure to environmental toxins. A super strength Vitamin C for immune support always comes with me when travelling too.

Once you land, here are a few really simple things you can do to get yourself feeling good and ready to enjoy your time away…

4. Sweat, baby sweat… whether it be going for a run, a gym session, or a sauna, sweating out the toxic build-up in your body is one of the quickest ways to get yourself feeling good after a long flight.

5.Go play outside – when we make contact with the earth’s surface (known as ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’), we soak up its negative charge, which helps neutralise the build up of free radicals in our bodies which can happen when we travel, this can help increase energy, blood flow, reduce inflammation, help regulate our circadian rhythm, and improve sleep. Go to a park or beach or any lawn you can find and stand/sit barefoot, while soaking up Vitamin D.

6. Dry body brush – this is a favourite self-care ritual that I only thought to bring travelling with me on this trip and I am so glad I did. Dry body brushing before a bath or a shower stimulates circulation and the release of dead skin cells and toxins from your body. This is one of a number of things I do to help stimulate the lymphatic system, which is really important for immunity. Start at your feet and move in a circular motion up your legs, towards your heart. I then add a few drops of lemon oil to fractionated coconut oil (you can use any oil you like) and rub it all over my body before a shower. Not only does it help me feel invigorated but means I step out of the shower with my skin feeling lovely.

7. Apply Cilantro oil to the bottoms of your feet – this is a great little trick I use to help rid the body of substances that can make you feel slow and heavy. (If you’d like to know more about this and other benefits of Cilantro oil click here to see what Dr Axe has to say). You can apply it neat or take a roller bottle on your travels with you (add 5 drops to a 10ml roller bottle and top with fractionated coconut oil, roll it behind your neck and on soles of feet before you go to bed).

8. Have a drop of peppermint oil when you need a natural ‘pick me up’
My bottle of peppermint oil does not leave my hand bag these days – especially when travelling, it’s so empowering to know that if I feel tired or foggy, just one little drop of this powerful mother nature extract will have me firing on all cylinders in minutes – one drop on the back of your neck, under your tongue, or in your water. It’s also great to have handy when travelling, for head tension for tummy upset.

Note: the quality of the essential oils you use is super important if you want to experience the therapeutic benefits, which is why doTERRA essential oils are the only ones I use and recommend – click here for more on why and how you can purchase, or reach out to me directly and I can place an order for you (this is the much easier option).

There were three other oils that came in very handy on my trip, that I also recommend including in your natural travel first aid kit…

Easy Air – my nose started running like a tap when I boarded my flight to Saigon, I applied Easy Air respiratory blend to the bridge of my nose and it stopped it in a minute flat, for a good 45 minutes to hour at a time, I was so thankful to have this as I did it on repeat throughout the flight. It’s also a great one to have handy when you’re sleeping in hotel rooms with air con – because stuffy noses and scratchy throats when you’re travelling are no fun, are they?

Digest Zen for any tummy related upset – there’s nothing worse than having an unhappy tummy when you travel, is there? My tummy felt pretty rotten after my flight to Saigon, so I applied my digest zen to my tummy before bed (with a few drops with fractionated coconut oil, or you can have a drop under your tongue, or in water) and woke up feeling like a new person, I used it throughout the trip any time I felt bloating or discomfort.

Clary Calm – doTERRA’s monthly women’s monthly blend really saved the day. If it hadn’t been for Clary Calm it’s highly likely I would have had to miss the most memorable day of the trip, a visit to an orphanage to build bikes (with 100 other members of the doTERRA Austlralia and New Zealand community), which, alas, coincided with the first day of my cycle – a day that has usually meant debilitating pain that would have me in bed all day.

I felt so grateful to have this potent and powerful toolkit of mother nature weaponry to help keep me feeling good throughout this amazing adventure – which is pretty remarkable given my medical history and environmental sensitivities, given I was in one of the world’s most polluted cities (the travel doctor looked at me as though I was mad!).

I hope these tips help you feel the best you can on your travel adventures too.

The information I share on Oh My Goodness is based on my own personal experiences and beliefs and what I do may not be right for everybody.  I encourage anyone with health concerns to consult a healthcare professional and do your own research too.


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Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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