So, you did it again. You went out on Thirsty Thursday knowing full well that you have class on Friday mornings. Side note: If you have Friday classes and you aren’t an engineering major or a freshman, you seriously need to reevaluate some of your life’s decisions.
Fridays aren’t the only days when this can happen, however. Wine Wednesdays inevitably lead to Throbbing-Headache Thursdays. At some point, each of us partakes in a regrettable Tuesday Booze Day. Some people may even start their weekends as early as Monday because, you know, Mondays…
Consequently, there will come a morning when you are startled by the sound of your 7:30 alarm, blink in confusion at the clock, and wonder why on earth anyone would be so cruel as to schedule a class before noon.
Unfortunately, professors tend to not be too sympathetic when you have a “24-hour flu,” or whatever fake illness you might have come down with. That’s why, even though you believe it might actually kill you to do so, you know that you have to magically transform into something slightly resembling a person and drag yourself to class. (Staying awake while there is not mandatory.)
With a few years of practice in the matter, I have perfected the art of overcoming even the worst of hangovers, getting myself to class, and fooling others into believing I actually had a restful night of sleep.
Step 1 | Just Get Up Already
I know that at this point, you aren’t even positive you are capable of moving your limbs anymore. Sure, if you didn’t have a class to attend at some point today, you might stay in bed for the next 24 hours, eating leftover pizza and loathing sunshine. Sadly, you do have class, and the longer you stay in bed, the less time you will have at your disposal to actually pull your life together.
So, as much as it might hurt, as much as you will absolutely hate doing it, just get out of bed, even if it means literally rolling your body onto the floor. You may think the covers are your friend, but they are a cruel, deceitful enemy.
Step 2 | Hydrate and Replenish
This should not come as a huge shock to you. In fact, water was most likely the first thing you thought about after waking up and coming to the sad realization that you have responsibilities to deal with. Now that you’re up and out of bed, dragging yourself into the kitchen shouldn’t be much more difficult.
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, so drinking plenty of water after the fact is a crucial step in restoring your body. Depending on how much and how many different types of alcohol you consumed, you may want to pour yourself anywhere between two glasses-worth to all of Niagara Falls-worth of water.
Alcohol also flushes the electrolytes (which help regulate how hydrated your body is) out of your system, so, after chugging all of that water, reach for either a sports drink or all-natural coconut water, both of which are ample in vital electrolytes. Alternatively, I’ve known some to swear by Pedialyte, an electrolyte-packed drink designed to rehydrate children after they’ve experienced severe illnesses. In addition to downing these electrolyte-filled drinks, consider eating a banana. These potassium- and magnesium-filled fruits will aide in your body’s ability to restore necessary hydration, while its natural vitamins will give your immune system and energy levels an extra little boost.
If, after consuming all of this your stomach still feels off, have a small bite to eat. Many argue that the best cure for a hangover is to eat greasy foods. While I love a good morning In-N-Out run as much as the next person, the truth is that greasy foods put a strain on your digestive system, and can actually make your hangover even worse. Instead, opt for a lighter, more balanced and easy-to-digest breakfast, like avocado toast with eggs. It might not seem all that appetizing at the time, but your stomach will thank you later.
Step 3 | Energize
Staying out late while drinking wears our bodies down for a few different reasons. The first, and perhaps most obvious reason, is that we simply aren’t getting a good night’s sleep by staying out late. Our body typically needs between eight to ten hours to feel fully rested, so if you’re out doing tequila shots at 3 in the morning on a Wednesday, you’ve already taken away precious sleeping time.
Second, the process of metabolizing the sugars in alcohol can actually be very draining on your body. So, not only are you getting less sleep than normal, but, in order to rest your body properly, you actually need more sleep after drinking than you would on a normal night.
Finally, in case you haven’t noticed, drinking in college isn’t something you typically do while sitting idly on a bar stool. No, you’re likely standing, talking, laughing, dancing, singing, yelling, hazing, competing, and participating in a number of antics that go along with the initial act of drinking. Though you may not feel it at the time, all of this physical activity is very draining on your system.
So, depending on how much time you have and what you find to be the most effective method, make sure to energize yourself the morning after drinking. If you have some time to spare, get a good workout in. Nothing helps a hangover like getting your body moving; so go for a run, hit the gym, downward-dog your way through a little vinyasa yoga, or even whip out 100 jumping jacks. I won’t lie to you — this will feel terrible at first, but don’t give up. I promise that you will feel immensely better after you’ve sweated out all those toxins.
If you’re running short on time, or simply “don’t do exercise,” have a quick fix of coffee or green tea. Some say that coffee makes hangovers worse. Personally, I’ve never had any issues with it, but you should get to know your own body and what works well for you. If you’re sick of taking in so many fluids, try eating an apple instead, as they’re known for providing sustainable energy.
Finally, don’t skip on the vitamins! Consuming multivitamins is essential to our overall well-being, and will ultimately help your body recover from those eleven kamikaze shots you had last night. Regrettably, only time will help you recover from the shame you now feel from performing Bon Jovi karaoke last night.
Step 4 | Go Through the Motions
Perhaps the easiest step of them all — after everything you’ve just done to counteract the negatives of drinking, you need to allow time for your body to stabilize. As you go through the motions of your daily routine, your body will begin to absorb all of those vitamins, and you will slowly feel yourself return to (semi) normal. So, brush your teeth, scroll through Twitter, or do whatever you would normally do on a school morning. Doing such mindless things may even allow you to forget how you felt when you woke up, as well as all of the embarrassing things you might have done last night.
Step 5 | Beautify
Gentlemen, just because this section reads, “Beautify,” does not mean it does not apply to you. This is the time for all of you to pamper yourselves in order to look and feel your best!
Start with a steamy shower. If your previous workout didn’t get all of those toxins out of your system, a nice, hot shower certainly will. Steam also helps to open your pores and give you a nice glow. Besides, nothing is more motivating than the feeling of being clean.
If you’re really running late at this point, and you had to forego your shower (I won’t tell anyone, I promise), at least make the time to wash your face. You won’t believe the difference that it makes on the way you look and feel when you have a fresh, clean face in the morning. This is especially true for the ladies whose mascara is now on their chin because they were too lazy to remove their makeup before falling asleep. No judgment here; we’ve all been there.
Just as alcohol dehydrates your insides, it really takes a toll on your skin, as well. After getting cleaned off, don’t forget to use a gentle, natural moisturizer on your face and a mild lotion for the rest of your body.
If you’re currently suffering from baggy, puffy eyes, combat it with a de-puffing eye roller, like Clinique’s. Ladies, when it comes to looking fresh and clean after a night of drinking, just remember, in regards to makeup: less is more. Stick to your basic foundation and mascara, then dust highlighting powder under your eyes, and outward onto the tops of your cheekbones. This will allow light to reflect off of your face, creating the illusion of a healthy glow.
Nothing gives away a hangover quite like a head of messy hair. Regardless of how you choose to wear your hair today, please be sure to run a brush through those locks first.
Finally, don’t skip over the details! I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to deliver an important presentation in front of my professor, only for my sleeve to bunch up, exposing the stamps on my wrist from Tuesday happy hour. This should be a given, but double check that there is no incriminating evidence on your person of yesterday’s shameful run of events. (Ahem, wristbands).
Step 6 | Dress for Success
The logic behind this step is reasonably straightforward: no one is going to assume that the sharply-dressed student sitting next to them is hungover. Seriously, it’s that simple.
Fortunately, your professor is likely to have the same mindset. So, if you truly want to trick others into believing that you got a full night of beauty sleep, wear an outfit that doesn’t make you look like a slob. I’m not suggesting that ladies wear floor-length ball gowns and gentlemen wear tuxedos to class — though, if you do, bravo my friend. I am, however, encouraging you to overcome your strong current desire to slip into your baggiest, comfiest pair of sweatpants. Not today, sweats, you do not win today.
If you’re not quite sold on the idea of getting gussied up today, consider what it was like being a five-year-old child in your dress-up phase. Think of how happy you were when your mom let you wear your favorite princess or superhero costume while you ran errands with her. Research suggests that your attire can actually affect your mood, so, depending on how you feel about particular articles of clothing, you may be able to compose an outfit that makes you both look good and feel like a million dollars.
Step 7 | Finishing Touches
It would be a shame if you managed to get all ready for class and arrived, only to realize that you forgot your homework or notebook at home. Double check that you have all your necessities before you walk out the door.
This may prove particularly difficult if you happened to lose your phone, wallet, or keys at some point last night. If that’s the case, put them out of your mind, and opt to worry about their whereabouts after class. They will still be missing in a few hours, and your mental state will be much better suited to strategically search for them at that point. Your mission at this point is to simply make it to class on time and prepared. So if, say, your car is still parked blocks away at your friendly neighborhood bar, well, it looks like you’ll be getting a second workout in this morning. Knees to chest, champ.
On your way out, grab a water bottle so that you can continue to rehydrate while sitting in class. Nothing is worse than getting dry mouth while trying to pay attention to a lecture about John Winthrop and the English Puritans. If you still feel like you need to, consider popping two or three ibuprofen before class.
If all else fails, remember the old saying about the hair of the dog; grab a buddy and stop into your local watering hole after class. Hey, it’s Friday. You earned it.
This post has satirical elements. Please keep in mind that there is a chance alcohol could still be in your system, and evaluate whether or not it is safe for you to drive. If you do continue drinking while hungover, remember that “the hair of the dog” is an expression, and will not actually cure your hangover, but rather delay the negative symptoms until a later time.
The best way to cure a hangover is to prevent yourself from getting one in the first place. Before you start drinking, have a light, well-balanced meal and two glasses of water. Keep track of how many drinks you’re consuming and try to stick with just one or two types of alcohol in an evening. Alternative alcoholic beverages with glasses of water throughout the night, and have another glass of water before bed. Taking a B vitamin and eating a light, easy-to-digest snack before bed will also help to thwart a hangover.
I am not a scientist, esthetician, or life coach, and I do not claim any of the above methods to be scientific or fool-proof. I have simply found the above methods to work for me, and hope they will help you as well. I do not recommend attempting to use this method the morning of a big exam or presentation. Please get to know your own body and limitations, and always drink responsibly!
Remember, don’t let prior obligations prevent you from going out on a weeknight. Life is short. Cheers!
Is there anything I missed? What are your go-to remedies to cure your nastiest hangovers? Tweet them at me, and I might retweet you!