Every year, we like to take the autumn season as a time to look inward and reflect. We also like to take it as the perfect season to stay home and cosy up. After a summer chock full of vacations, outdoor dinner parties and socialising in the sun, it’s time to come home.
That being said, sometimes it’s just not possible to stay home. Whether it’s work obligations or travelling to see family, sometimes, you just can’t avoid taking a trip (and often you are actually very excited about it!). Unfortunately, the flying part of travelling is very hard and stressful on our bodies, whether or not you’d rather be nesting at home or are jazzed about the trip. It throws off our schedules and can leave us tired, irritable, bloated, swollen, lethargic or constipated.
So, what can you do about it? Lots of things actually! Here we’ve got a list of our top tips for flying healthy when staying home isn’t an option.
Fasting: Though nibbling your way through a jar of our sprouted buckwheat granola as your hurtle through the sky can be a great source of joy and an even better form of distraction from your in-air boredom, eating on planes can actually cause your system to get really backed up. Your body is already under stress whilst in the air, and adding food to digest into the equation just makes that much more work for your body to do. Start with fasting on shorted flights and work your way up to those long-haul flights. It will help ease bloating, gas, constipation, dry skin and IBS as well as help you fight jetlag, as eating when you land can help regulate your circadian rhythm.
Water: Just because you’re fasting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be gulping water like it’s your job. Even if you’re not thirsty, you should be drinking. It will help you balance your hunger, hydrate your skin and regulate your digestion. Bring a reusable water bottle with you when you fly and refill it at the airport. If you finish it on the plane, just ask the flight attendants to refill it!
Essential oils: Headaches and stress are other common complaints people have whilst flying, but essential oils can actually help with both, as well as with bloating. Apply sage, lavender and peppermint oils to your belly, wrists and temples, respectively, to banish headaches and be lulled into a sleepy calm. We like to pick these up from Health Quest on the Spiegelgracht, as they also have lovely natural moisturizers that you’ll want to take with you.
Opt for the aisle: Though it can be tempting to choose the window seat so you can sleep, the aisle is actually the best spot to be in to ensure you can get up and walk around as you please without disturbing your neighbours. You have to get that blood flowing!
Compression socks: Speaking of blood flow, it’s incredibly important to wear compression socks, particularly on long flights. Your feet will stay warm, sure, but the compression will increase circulation and decrease the chance of blood clots. Bonus! It also helps keep your feet from being so swollen you can’t fit them in your shoes!
Get moving: Remember how you chose that aisle seat? Perfect. Make good use of that prime spot to get up and walk around every 30 minutes or so. A little bit of light stretching is also good. Take your foot behind your bum to lengthen your quads. Stretch your calf against a wall. Bend over and touch your toes. All good options.
Lock the moisture in: If it’s a long flight, certainly start with a hydrating face mask. You’re stuck in this tin can flying through the air for a long time, so you might as well perform a little self-care! After the face mask, or instead of it if you’re on a short flight, make sure to slather on some super hydrating moisturizer. The air in those planes is incredibly dry so you have to replenish what’s lost.
Eye mask: The light in planes is not flattering nor is it calming on the eyes. Slip on a silk eye mask and let your eyes rest a bit from the harsh lighting.
Noise-cancelling headphones: They might be a bit pricey, but if you can swing it, noise-cancelling headphones will do wonders for drowning out the constant noises of the airplane’s engine and will also help stifle the sounds of those screaming babies who always seem to populate long-haul flights.