The Gist on Jet Lag

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Traveling with families can be some of the fondest memories we make, however, it comes with a fair amount of work. If you're interested in making your process easier, you should really check out my digital download travel guide.

 I've traveled to over 40 countries and over 40 US states to date and in all my years of traveling, if there’s one thing that was the hardest to defeat, it was definitely jet lag. It didn’t matter what time you told me it was, my body had override over it all.  I spent many nights awake attempting to adjust to new countries, sometimes leaving before I ever adjusted.  

** Our family secret: After a long travel day, we want to pass out the minute we get to a bed. If we arrive in the morning or early afternoon, we do a 1-2 hour nap max. But if we arrive in the evening, we muscle it out for an early bedtime. 

So what can you do to facilitate traveling with little ones going up against the same difficulty? Try one (or all) of these approaches…

1.) JET LAG MATH
My general rule of thumb is 1 day for every hour of time difference between the new location and your local time. For example, Los Angeles is three hours behind New York, so when we travel there, I assume 3 days for the adjustment to happen. I try to shift an hour or so each day until the third day to have them fully adjusted. Arriving on a Monday would hopefully have us fully adjusted by Wednesday. This formula starts to get harder when you're dealing with 8-12 hours of a difference, but still holds true in how you may feel. I try to adjust two hours a day for each day in adjustment time for larger time differences, but sometimes you just have to submit to the crazy hours. 

2.) FLY STRATEGICALLY
I am not a fan of red eye flights because if you don’t get to sleep for any reason, the arrival day is a brutal one. Additionally, children are generally better travelers and adjust to let lag better when they are well rested. So if you or your kids do not sleep well on planes, this will exacerbate the jet lag issue. If you know your child will and loves to sleep on planes, then red eye flights may be the perfect resolve. However, unless you're flying first class, it's tough for the parents to feel well rested sleeping in those seated positions. Take into account your arrival time and be strategic on the physical rest needed upon arrival. 

 

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3.) STAY ON LOCAL TIME
If you are traveling to locations within 3-5 hours of your home time, don’t adjust! Let them wake up whatever time their body feels good and adjust your days accordingly. Maybe you start your days earlier now, catch those sunrises! Or perhaps you’ll finally get to stay up late with them and explore the stars. Adjusting to new time zones are not a necessity unless you have strict scheduled events in your itinerary, like weddings or business meetings. 

4.) SUPPLEMENT
Melatonin supplements are a natural option to help the body adjust and get the rest our bodies need to function optimally. I have heard of many parents having good experiences using dramamine or benadryl as well, though I have no personal experience with any of these, so do your research. ;)

5.) HYDRATE
While jet lag may hit us hard no matter what precautions we do, one sure fire way to dissipate it’s attack is to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help how the body feels the symptoms. 

6.) ADJUST YOUR MEALS
Shifting the times when you eat helps your body adjust to a new schedule. Be as gentle with this adjustment as you would the sleep. Changing it by 1-2 hours is suggested. Making larger drastic changes can bring more frustration than adjustment. 

6.) GO OUTSIDE
othing helps you acclimate to circadian rhythm more than getting in touch with the sun. Let them energize from the sun and exhaust outdoors before each nights rest and you’ll be beating jet lagbefore you know it! 

7.) LIGHTS OUT WHEN THE MOON IS OUT
It is so tempting to turn on the lights at 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning when we wake in the middle of the night, but this hinders our ability to stay in sleep mode. Keep the lights off or as dim as possible during night wakes and let the dark be the indicator to the body to rest. 

Did I mention downloading my travel guide would help? Here's the link again if you don't feel like scrolling ;) DOWNLOAD TRAVEL GUIDE NOW!

Do you have any tip or tricks that have worked for time zone adjusting?
Share with us below! 

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The Perfect Sign to Post on Your Door Once the New Baby Arrives

Congratulations! You're expecting a new arrival to your family. 

The socially norms of what to do when a baby arrives and how to act during a visit are so vastly different for every culture and family. But when our baby arrived, I was grateful that my midwives posted a sign for us that highlighted the treatment and care they felt that a new mother and family deserves.

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I added some mama love and possibly more boundaries and drafted one for your personal use here... Download My Welcome For New Baby PDF  
New sibling being born... this one should do ;) 
Download My Welcome New Sibling PDF

If you wanted editable versions in Word you can find them here:
Download My Welcome New Baby WORD
Download My Welcome New Sibling WORD

Feel free to download and modify as you need, but all in all try to remember that this is a sensitive time for you and your family and that you have every right to set kind boundaries and limits, regardless if your family members like that you set them. Remind them they can set whatever boundaries they wish when they've extracted a human from their body. Cheers!

Victoria Gracie

 

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Talk to Me.

My children can understand everything… and so can yours. 

I try not to have conversations about my daughter in front of her without letting her know that we both know who I’m speaking about. I don’t speak about her as if she can’t hear me and I don’t appreciate it when others do either. 

“your daughter is so well behaved”
“thank you, feel free to tell her yourself.”

“your daughter really speaks well for her age.”
“thank you, would you mind telling her that?” 

I am flattered and in awe of the lovely things that parents say to one another about their children and I realize at times it’s an attempt to start conversations with other parents and find a common ground, but I would love it if those parents could also direct those comments to the person they are speaking about, and I imagine my daughter would love it to!

Similarly, I find it to be “poor form” to talk about a child’s downfalls, mishaps, etc right in front of them. If they were adults, you would never see people doing this, but for some reason it’s okay with children?? My mind is boggled that we don’t recognize that children can hear, understand and comprehend the things we are discussing about them… and then break conversation to tell them how to do something or to stop doing something. Including your children in conversations about them will only help their greater understanding of themselves and how to converse with others. 

I find myself quite often at the dinner table with a guest or my husband, talking about something that happened that day, only to be interrupted by my two year old daughter by either, “Talk to me mama,” or “Tell a story about a big boy and the big girl…” I quickly realized that I was treating her as if she couldn’t comprehend what I was saying and even worse, leaving her out of the conversation. Cue old saying of parents telling the children, “Do not speak unless spoken to…” Ugh, I hate even typing that. I realized quickly that it’s so important to keep your child engaged. How would you feel at a table if everyone talked around you and never included you? It’s no wonder so many children feel the need to go down the dark rabbit hole of cell phones and ipads.

Children are constantly suppressed in this large world and look at as incapable or too young, but are we just giving them that title or doing things to keep them at that level? The number of families I see eating out at restaurants with all four kids on iPads is fascinating. There is no judgement here as I have many times needed to use my trusted iPad buddy to allow myself some moments of sanity… it’s the constant use of this, the true replacement of teaching your child to be present and communicating with other humans… of CONNECTING. 

How can we as parents expect our children to learn how to connect with others when we haven’t connected with them or shown them how to connect with us.

Challenge yourself to take your children out to dinner, like you would another couple, and talk to them freely. Speak to them and not just about them. Learn to have everyone have a pause or moment of brief silence. Ask them about things that intrigue them. Tell them jokes and make them laugh. Play rock, paper, scissors while you wait. Do a magic trick or have them show you one. Still assist in the parental duties if they are throwing food or limits are need, but bounce right back to connecting. Show them how to connect, how to love and interact in a way that will behoove them with others but most importantly, with you.

I invite you to connect with me and leave your experiences on how you feel about the way others may connect with your children or how you've become successful at connecting with your own. 

Gratitude & Love
~Victoria Gracie~ 

 

How to Heal in Motherhood (And Beyond)

TIME
People expect a quick fix when things happen. The want to heal and they want to heal now. Or the want instant change. Sorry to burst a bubble, while taking steps to a better situation are huge progress, the biggest factor is time. You need it because you are deprogramming old habits and mindsets and creating new ones. This is imperative for a long lasting change. Time can heal everything.

TRIGGERS
Imagine you are cut and bleeding and trying to put a bandaid on and want to let it heal, but then get cut again, and again, and again. This is how triggers work. They will continue to affect you until you’ve taken the time to live without them and do the heavy work to heal and then come back and face those triggers again. I am not telling you to run from adversity. I am telling you to get yourself together first before taking on things that take you down.

AWARENESS
You can’t change what you don’t know is a problem or even exists. Identifying and bringing awareness to problems in your life will give you the insight and want to change them for the better. Awareness also facilitates your ability to make a change while a habit continues to persist in your life. Bring awareness to the habit, make and effort to change after you’re aware that you keep repeating the same thing.

EFFORT (Reprogram)
Make an effort to change. Go the extra moment to try and take that effort. Reprogramming your life is the constant effort of doing something different, of having a different response, of creating a life you want rather than continuing to live in what was. 

COMPASSION
Bring compassion back into existence. Suffering in any realm usually stems from the lack of compassion… for the those around you and for yourself. It’s forgetting that we all have a narrative and stories that made us who we are and that we are all probably suffering from something that needs healing as well. Not saying this is an excuse from anyone to treat you poorly, but you may take it less personal when you have compassion for where they may be coming from.

SELF LOVE
Pour it all over you. Imagine this world in abundance, that we have endless supply of all the things and moments that fill you with joy. Relish in your uniqueness and know that you were made from love and exist in love and thrive with love. And if you can’t find it anywhere else in the world, create it within yourself. Give yourself the love you so freely give to others.

I welcome you to please comment on ways you've found healing or where you struggle in case me or a reader can assist!

WARM MOTHERLY LOVE
~Victoria Gracie~