While there’s no one better suited to provide travel advice than a flight attendant, I’ve had several of you jet-setters contact me about how to stay healthy on the job. It is not easy to get into a routine when traveling – I’ve learned that firsthand this year – and when your career requires more time in transit than anything else, it’s even more challenging.
But not impossible! Here are my top tips to stay healthy as a flight attendant.
Pack a yoga mat. It’s easy to practice yoga and mat-based Pilates poses in your hotel room – or even at the airport. Some have special yoga rooms now! This is a great way to reconnect with yourself and stay centered in such a demanding job. Or – use it to catch a quick nap before boarding!
Pack snacks, too. Bring a variety of travel-friendly items like raw nuts, homemade trail mix, almond butter, homemade granola bars and protein bites. Fresh fruits and veggies are great, too, and you can often stock up on these at airports and little cafés during your stops.
Stay hydrated. This is a common theme in traveling period, but it’s especially important for those of you who are working while you’re in transit. Drinking plenty of water will not only help you focus and stay alert, but it will help you adjust to jet lag too. Bring your own ginger and peppermint tea to aid digestion.
Bring your supplements. I recommend a B vitamin complex for energy, stamina and recovery (it also helps with jet lag), zinc to keep immunity strong, and spirulina tablets, which are packed with amino acids, nutrients and antioxidants to stay healthy. I also encourage you to take a digestive enzyme, since it can be difficult to maintain good bacteria in the gut with so much travel.
Sleep – but not during the day. This is a tricky one for flight attendants trying to adjust to jet lag. Surprisingly, one of the best things you can do to get on schedule when you reach a destination in the morning (quite common) is to sleep for about 3 hours, then get up and try to carry on in the current time zone. If you can then plan to go to bed at 7pm, you should acclimate more easily and are then on track for the rest of your trip. From there, make 8 hours of sleep the priority!
Research your destination. Look for local cafes, drop in yoga classes and parks near the hotel and airport so that you’re ready with options nearby, even if it’s a quick turnaround. Another tip: walk and explore for fun, easy exercise! This is also a great way to get back onto a schedule and help with jetlag, both when you’re traveling and when you want to get turned around at home.
Take time for you. You’re in a job that demands a lot of time, attention and care-taking – take a moment to acknowledge all that you do! Make it a priority to spend at least 10 minutes a day alone. Switch off and practice some deep breathing. Consider journaling about your experiences – not many people have the opportunity to see the world the way you do! Not only will this help you relax and focus, it will be fun to reflect back on.
My upcoming travel eBook will provide you with all of my top tips for traveling happily and healthfully, plus some of my favourite spots that get the JSHealth tick of approval. Look for more details soon!