As I write this I'm just off a plane to Singapore after traveling 22 hours plus to get to the other side of this beautiful planet. I'm excited for the week and working with some amazing people, and I'm also curious about how this week will "hit" my body, and when. I've noticed when it comes to jet lag, a couple of things are certain:
1) it's no joke, 2) it seems to have a mind of its own, 3) it hits everyone differently and my equation for working with it likely won't be yours, 4) you can partner with your body to set yourself up as well as possible, and 5) regardless of where you land, and no matter how jet-lagged you are--you still have to Show Up. Wherever you've traveled to, you're there for big reasons, and whomever you're with needs you, your brain, your heart, and your spirit to be there... fully. So what to do?
Here are 5 things I've found helpful in gearing up for impact on the road. Find your own combo, share what's worked well for you, and whether you're hitting a time zone that's 3 hours off, or 17, enjoy!
1. Decide to have a good trip and to feel good. Most of the people I talk to when they talk about big travel, speak of how hard it is and how lousy they expect to feel for the first couple of days they're there. Fair enough. I've also noticed this expectation can make things even worse as whatever we hold and expect, we often create more of. So, yes, be ready for fatigue and not being yourself and feeling a bit like pixels for a while, AND also, decide to feel well, to take great care of yourself, and to have a good trip. This little decision and intention makes a big difference.
2. Partner with your body. It's easy to get into resistance when our bodies don't show up as we want and need them to. In London last year for a series of events on stage I was frustrated my body didn't just get up and go as usual the 3rd day. This frustration, and the internal resistance it created in my body, helped zero, instead making it worse, prolonging my pain and fatigue. I've found appreciating my body, listening to it, and taking extra care serves way more, allowing me to process travel better. Rather than resisting, know that your body has just gone through some big stuff. So be nice, love it up, surrender a bit, and take on the mindset of care, partnership, and listening, vs. pushing through. You, your body, your impact, and whoever you're traveling to see will be all the better for it.
3. Pack intentionally to set yourself up well. Pack with intention; What will you need throughout your trip to set you up well on the road? Taking a bit of extra time is worth it. Here are just a couple places to look... Food--bring "emergency food" you can eat that will serve your body well in case you can't get good food in transit; supplements--bring vitamins and supplements, extra probiotics, anything you know will serve you on the road; self-care products--lotion, skin care, a toner mister (wonderful on the plane), bath salts, that special eye cream, anything to make you feel good in your body; beauty--bring your favorite crystal or totem, a candle, and anything you intuitively grab to support your environment away from home; clothes--pack for comfort and power, stuff you feel great and strong in.
4. Eat well and let your body know you're "here". On the way over, and when you land, make sure you eat well, stay hydrated, move with care, create space for rest, and "partner up". When you hold your body as partner, and decide to take exceptionally good care of yourself, you'll more intuitively know what to eat and when, as well as when to workout or move, and how. I had soup for "breakfast" this morning, hit the swimming pool, went for a 20-minute run, showered, and then crashed for a 20-minute nap before my first meeting. None of these are my norms, but my body asked for them.
5. Say "No". It's okay to say "No thank you!", especially when in service of. You're going to want to do a ton of stuff over there, see a bunch of people, and go out for meals, drinks, and all sorts of good. Awesome. Peer pressure will be high. Do it. Have a ball. And listen to your body. If you feel that "pull", that call, that "whisper", that says, "Hey, enough, I need some rest!" Listen up, let go of "FOMO" (fear of missing out) and "FOLPD" (fear of letting people down) and give it a "no" for now. Go home, nurture up, reboot, and come back stronger than ever to serve... tomorrow.