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5 Ways to Handle Jet Lag as a Traveling Consultant

iStock_000002260665_SmallCaffeine might be the typical way you start your day, but you may need stronger methods to greet the day when traveling to a new location as a traveling IT consultant.

Changing time zones can present you with serious jet lag. Jet lag symptoms can vary, but if you'd like to avoid the flying-related feelings of moodiness, sleepiness and fatigue, follow these five sensible ideas to fight back against jet lag.

Reset your clock. Starting a few days before your departure, gently reset your body's internal clock by adjusting your sleep schedule. Set your alarm one hour earlier each day, and go to bed earlier, even if you don't sleep right away. Compensating for changes in sleep schedules will help your body prepare for a new time zone.

Acclimate yourself to your destination. Use a process called gradual acclimatization and mimic what you would be doing at your destination. If it's lunchtime at your destination, eat a snack or take advantage of the in-flight meal. If it's night, embrace the white noise of the jet engines to lull yourself to sleep. Watch a movie to stay alert if it's daytime in your new time zone. This gentle method prepares your body for the time change.

Stay hydrated. The dry air inside an airplane can leave you dehydrated. To counter this, drink extra water before and during your flight. Keep meals light, too, as a full stomach will only make you feel uncomfortable. Try to avoid alcohol and carry a refillable water bottle to help you feel your best.

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Exercise, which will help your body wake up when you need to, digest airline meals and keep circulation flowing in your veins. Take advantage of layovers and walk as much as possible in the terminal. On the plane, get up when it's safe to do so and walk. Refer to the airline's magazine or video tutorials for exercise options. After you arrive, go for a run or walk to explore your new location, or log onto the Internet and work out to online exercise videos. A little exercise can go a long way in helping you feel bright-eyed after a flight.

Seize the day - or night. No need to get stressed out if you forgot to reset your clock or exercise. If you find yourself wide awake and hungry at midnight because it's lunch time back home, order room service! Up way too early on the west coast? Take a stroll on the beach and watch the sunrise. Embrace the special moments that come when jet lag surprises you.