December 2002 Ageless herbal newsletter
I am a great believer that one should be kind to oneself, yet I myself do not always follow my own advice, but when I got to the time where burn-out was knocking on the front door I realized that it was time to get away for a while.
It is not only the over-tiredness, irritability and lethargy that gets to you, but you also get to the stage where you do not pay enough time and effort to your diet, your grooming and your general well-being.
So, for two weeks I jetted off to the world-famous Jeffrey's Bay in South Africa - the Mecca of all surfers and hip holiday makers.
Although I spent most of the time just relaxing and not doing much, it was time that I needed to re-charge my batteries and see life in the correct perspective, as we all need to do from time to time, especially after a busy draining and difficult year.
We sometimes think that holidays are just there to have one great party and to do as much as possible, yet I believe that during our holidays we should have enough quality time alone to relax, re-charge our batteries, sort out the things in our minds that worry us, and to plan ahead.
In our everyday life we so seldom have time to kick-back and look at things in perspective, yet if we don't, life just seems to pass us by and we get caught up in the whirlwind of everyday problems and hassles and in doing so very seldom feel in control.
So, if you are taking time off at this time of the year - take some time just for yourself - let your family do their own running around, and try to spend some time alone even if it takes the form of reading your favorite book, or taking long solitary strolls on the beach.
With the holiday season around the corner, a lot of people will be doing holiday air travel to friends and family, or other holiday destinations, to spend their well earned rest. Most of the time it will include air travel, and in some cases even long haul or international flights, which cross different time zones, with resultant jet lag - more on beating jet lag later on.
Since so many people feel out of sorts, even when traveling relatively short distances by air, we have decided to discuss this matter in today's newsletter, in preparation for a great holiday season.
When most people board a plane while on holiday, they are normally relaxed and in the mood to enjoy themselves - this normally includes having alcoholic beverages at times when they would normally not have anything alcoholic. But alcohol is not the only culprit - the seemingly innocent cup of tea or coffee can also influence you negatively.
Because of the increased air pressure while traveling on board a pressurized aircraft, alcohol sometimes has strange effects on people who normally are not affected by it. One of the worst "side effects" of having a drink prior to your flight, or while on route, is the diuretic effect on your body.
The pressurized air in the aircraft is already devoid of moisture requiring your body to compensate for this lack - but with increased urination, the problem gets worse.
Remember - if you feel thirsty, you might be slightly dehydrated and need to take in fluids to balance the fluid in your body. DO NOT ignore it if you feel thirsty - but keep away from the drinks trolley and rather opt for a bottle of spring water. It might not be as interesting as having a drink - but your body will love it.
It is also reported by people who drink excessively when flying, that they have a worse hangover than normal - the reason for this is the extra dehydration that they experience.
Coffee and tea also can have this effect to a smaller degree, and the best fluid to take while flying is pure bottled water with no added carbon. Having carbonated fizzy drinks can make you feel bloated and could in some cases cause a stomach upset.
And talking about stomachs, try and keep your food intake to a moderately light meal - although most air carriers are not known for unforgettable meals, people are more prone to snack while waiting for their plane to depart, as well as during the flight.
Some people are also extra tense before and during a flight, and since we do not advocate the use of tranquilizers, it might be worth your while to look at taking some St John's Wort. But keep in mind - if you take St John's Wort, you might become photosensitive, as a small amount of people do show signs of being far more light sensitive while taking this herb.
When we start looking at the negative effect that flying has on our skin and general looks, we must first realize that it is the drying effect of the air, which causes our skin to react that way. That is why cabin attendants with a bad skincare routine, start to show aging far quicker, since they are exposed to the drying cabin air far more regularly.
When flying try and keep make-up to a minimum and follow a good skincare regime before leaving for the airport.
Spend time to properly clean, tone and most importantly moisturize your skin. While flying the moisture is stripped from your skin, and although the body gallantly tries to keep it moisturized from the inside, it can do with some help from the outside.
It is of paramount importance to keep your skin hydrated at all times. It might be good to look for a "heavy duty" type of moisturizer, or to regularly re-apply a lighter type of moisturizer. With a heavy type of moisturizer you could look at something like your regular night cream, since it is normally richer than your day cream.
You should take great care keeping the sensitive areas, like those fragile areas around your eyes, well protected, since they are the areas to show winkles and dehydration first. Our eye gel at http://www.ageless.co.za/eyegel.htm is great at keeping this area hydrated and for fighting wrinkles.
As soon as I get off a long haul flight, I normally treat my skin to a good exfoliation, to get rid of any dirt or grime that might have become lodged on my skin.
When you fly through different time zones, your body cannot adapt quickly enough to the new local time, and still tries to function on its internal body clock.
This normally does not happen when you only cross two time zones, or if you fly longitudinally, as the sun rises and sets at the same time - you for instance do not suffer too much from flying from South Africa to London, but feel the jet lag when traveling from London to Los Angeles or New York.
To combat jet lag, many different types of remedies are put forward, but an interesting web site can help you beat jet lag - please look at http://www.bodyclock.com.At this site they discuss the body's problem to adapt, and a novel way is put forward to beat it, by increasing your exposure to light at different times, to help your body get into sync again.
I personally prefer to take a daylight flight when traveling through different time zones, and when arriving at my destination treat myself to a good stimulating body scrub followed by a long soak in a warm bath with a selection of perking-up essential oils. (For more on essential oils have a look at http://www.essentialoils.co.za)
My body's ill timed wants, like wishing for breakfast when it is supper time, I go with, if it is a short stay-over, or for a longer stay, try to, as soon as possible, fit into the daily rhythm of my new location as soon as possible - even if it means to stay awake when I am very tired, and rather go to bed at bedtime at the new location.
Another common problem when flying is the retention of fluid in your tissues and muscles as well as developing cramps.
Aircrafts have extremely limited space, and to start walking the aisles for hours on end will disrupt the work of the poor cabin staff, so try and rather keep your muscles and joints limber while seated.
Before doing the following exercises during your flight, please check with your medical doctor if they are suitable for you.
Please note - these exercises must be done gently, and if sore, stop. Check with your medical doctor before doing the exercises, or if in doubt about any aspects of your health.
When you head into the sunny parts of the world - be careful about burning in the sun. Use a sunscreen, or a moisturizer combined with a sunscreen, and should you pick up a bad sunburn - please consult a doctor if in doubt, but if you just wish to soothe your sun burnt skin, look at a cream, like our great healing cream at http://www.ageless.co.za/reconstr.htm
Remember - your vacation should be a time for sun, enjoyment and relaxation. Plan your holiday well to cut out any stresses of a badly planned holiday, and if applicable, use some of the tips above to make your trip an enjoyable one.