Party ’til you drop. Photo: Yuri_Arcurs (Getty)
On some level, everyone realizes the easiest way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from drinking. However, sometimes the path of least resistance is not for party people. Trust me. I know. This time of year, I was a sucker for what I considered to be my “Mourning Routine,” which was a shower beer and cold pizza with a fried egg on it, which started as a fun treat but really began to weigh me down.
Now that I don’t drink anymore, I know better than anyone how a carefully orchestrated self-care regimen can do away with the nasty side effects of, say, a poorly timed, middle-of-the-week bout of Fourth of July drinking. Unfortunately, since the Fourth landed on a Wednesday, many of us will be returning to our regularly scheduled routine (i.e. work and school) and can’t really afford to schlep through the day. Thankfully, I’ve curated a lengthy list on how to manage something as unfortunate as a workday hangover. These tips and tricks will not only up your self care routine, but also dull any unsavory side effects from something as American as getting wasted to celebrate.
First of all, like almost anything, you want to prepare for drinking by consistently hydrating. Nothing makes people look more haggard than being dehydrated. It’s why you look like death the morning after a fun night on the town. When you can hardly recognize the dehydrated, sleep-deprived party god looking back at you, it’s time to increase your daily water consumption. On average, you’ll want to consume 7 to 10 ounces of water (or coconut water) every hour.
Another self-care trick that always works for squashing hangovers is spending time in a steam room or sauna. If you don’t have one at your gym, try your local Korean Spa. Not only are they a great post-workout treat for sore muscles, they’re amazing remedies for a night of heavy drinking. Sweating out the toxins won’t just clear your head and speed up the hangover process, it will also relax you. Time in a steam room or sauna warms your muscles and tissues, while easing your mind of anxiety and stress. This allows your entire body to go into a sort of post-hangover stasis. Make sure you bring cold water in a vacuum-insulated water bottle like the Hydro Flask, because sweating so much will dehydrate you. You want to avoid that at all cost.
If you’re going to slip into your gym to use the sauna or steam room, utilize the facilities to help dull your hangover symptoms. Doing a low impact workout like light yoga or some other form of cardio like the exercise bike or elliptical will release endorphins to combat the depressant effects of alcohol that make you feel useless and gray. You don’t want to do anything too strenuous, though, because it might make hangover symptoms like nausea even worse. No matter what physical exercise you do, be sure to listen to your body. If you need to slow down or stop, do it. The point of self-care is to make yourself feel better, not worse.
Sometimes, taking care of yourself is as simple as being good to your skin. Make sure you wash your face with something that will really wake you up like Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash. It’s gentle menthol tingle will wake you up so you can get your day started. If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, another great option is the Daily Wonders’ What Happened Last Night Revitalizing Face Mask. This inexpensive at-home spa treatment will put an end to any of the physical effects leftover from a night out. Its blend of Artemisia and ginseng extracts will soothe, calm and hydrate your poor skin.
The best offense is a good defense, so whenever I knew I was going to be doing any amount of day drinking, I’d start mine with a hangover prevention tool like Drinkwel. Thanks to this pretox, I made it through the most arduous drinking sessions without feeling like death the next day. If I still imbibed, I’d probably still be using it. Drinkwel is marketed as a multivitamin, but works like magic. It’s special formula was created by two U.C. Berkeley graduates to replenish nutrients, support healthy liver function and help process alcohol induced toxins (a.k.a. nixing your hangover before it starts).
Even though you’re a party god, it probably wouldn’t hurt to add these things to your self-care routine. Going forward, I hope your hangovers are easier to deal with and your life is simply better because you made it through Thursday without barfing at work.