|Stirling Castle, Scotland|
After enjoying December with family and friends, cuddles with grands, making and sending handmade ornaments and Christmas greetings across the United States and beyond, lunches with friends, and just being with my husband, it was bitter-sweet to return to my second home in Wales. I was prepared for the journey but was not prepared for the ravages of jet-lag nor did I understand what jet-lag was beyond sleep deprivation. Okay, so as a researcher I set out to discover what it really is.
It's different for each person but the overall response is 24 hours adjustment for every time zone travelled, a bit more if you're over fifty but who's counting! The UK is 8 time zones different than Oregon. The adjustments to our circadian rhythms can result in inability to sleep as well as depression, anxiety, eating and elimination issues. Makes sense when one considers all that is involved, as the body doesn't necessarily follow where the brain leads. Case in point, I look at the gymnasts in the Olympics and say I can do that; and then I look in the mirror and realize that it's probably not going to happen soon. So for those of you planning a trip from West to East (takes a longer adjustment) or East to West (takes less time to adjust for most), here are some tips. Set your watch to the destination time zone when you get on the plane. Bring Melatonin with you (natural sleep aid). When it's night, do NOT stare at the computer screen to go back to sleep. It will actually do the reverse and tell your body it's morning and wake you up. Drink plenty of fluids. Exercise through the day and try to avoid late afternoon naps for a few weeks. Above all, stay busily engaged in seeing and enjoying your trip or your home. Understand that there is nothing wrong with you, your body is just trying to catch up to your adventurous travel plans.
scheduled presentation, I began to enjoy life again and journeyed with friends to Scotland where we stayed in Sterling and visited Edinborough.
Stirling Castle is being beautifully renovated and the colors used were truly remarkable. Opulent is the only word that quite covers the interior royal chambers. One wishes to lie upon the floor and just observe the ceilings.
January saw the completion of my doctoral in-class classes and the freedom to work intensely on my research and novel, which has passed 22K words. I'm not sure what adventures February will offer but I do promise to keep you posted. Until then learn to laugh while you live and don't forget to dance.