As if moving to a new country for 12 months wasn’t enough of a challenge, as a new au pair in America you’ve also got to deal with the nap-inducing, makes-you-feel-and-look-like-a-zombie and ‘I need caffeine now’ challenge of jet lag!
If you are one of the lucky ones who can bounce from time zone to time zone without yawning, then congrats…we’re really happy for you! 🙄 But, if you are like the rest of us, then you are probably going to experience jet lag at the start of your au pair year. But do not fear, as always, we are here with some (hopefully) helpful tips to help you knock jet lag on the head!
#1: STOCK UP ON SLEEP ON THE ✈️
We know, this is easier said than done. Airplanes are potentially one of the hardest places to sleep. You can’t really get comfy, someone may need you to move so they can get to the toilet, and just as you are nodding off, there’s an announcement on the speaker telling you that breakfast is being served! However, if you can sleep on the plane, it’s a really good idea to try and get as much rest as possible. Snuggle up in your favorite sweater, stick those earplugs in and that eye mask on and take a few deep breaths.
#2: NO NAP ZONE 😴
Again, easier said than done, right? Jet lag has a wicked way of making you want to sleep at the worst times of the day. Try to fight the urge to nap and if you can, stay awake until a reasonable time in the evening. This will help your body clock adjust to the new time zone and will help you adapt to a new sleeping routine.
#3: STRETCH IT OUT
Whether it’s yoga, jogging or just getting outside and going for a walk and a chat with a friend, exercise and being active can definitely help fight the temptation to sleep at all hours of the day and will make you feel more awake.
#4: DON’T PANIC…
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It’s 3am. You should be sound asleep but instead, you are staring at the ceiling, panicking because you are wide awake and have been for the last 72 minutes and 34 seconds (and counting!). If you are in this situation at the start of your au pair year, try to keep calm. Pop your phone into night mode to avoid bright lights late at night, maybe try a mediation app or some calming music and, breathe in, and breathe out, breathe in, and breathe out.
#5: IF IN DOUBT… COFFEE! ☕
Just kidding…. but seriously, whether it’s keeping yourself busy, doing exercise or keeping yourself well-caffeinated. We are all wonderfully different and will deal with jet lag in different ways. Find what works for you. Sooner or later, you’ll be saying bye to jet lag and hello to new time zones and new adventures! ❤️