How to Survive a Hangover

The fact that I’m still alive today seems like a miracle, considering yesterday I was struggling to remain vertical for more than 5 minutes.

The night before had started as a classy affair, a (plastic) glass of cheap red wine at the Degree Show, followed by a bottle of white wine with dinner… a few cheeky pre-drinks at the flat… before it all morphed into a crazy, body-popping, shot-slamming blur. . . that ended up being one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time! The next morning however, wasn’t quite so entertaining, and was a harsh reminder of why I usually steer clear of the booze. The day was spent lying on our sofa, groaning in pain like a wounded zombie and pathetically sipping my ‘hangover-busting’ smoothie.

So here are my tips to surviving a hangover…. based on the fact that I am still alive.

1) AVOIDANCE – It goes without saying that when it comes to hangovers, prevention is better than cure. Unfortunately the only sure way to avoid a hangover is to not drink. And where’s the fun in that when you’re out celebrating? However if you’re an extreme lightweight like me there are certain things you can do before going to sleep that might help you out the next morning…

  • Stay awake, drink water – the longer you can stay awake and drink as much water as possible, the better. If I really need to be up and about the next day, I usually aim to stay awake for 3 hours when I get back. If that means I only get 2 hours sleep, so be it!
  • Pile on the carbs – eating loads of carbs before going to sleep soaks up some of the alcohol and makes your hangover less severe. Actually, I don’t know if this works. But it’s a good excuse to indulge in a greasy takeaway pizza and half a loaf of bread. Unfortunately not having carbs to hand, I ended up microwaving and eating 3 salty kippers with butter. Delicious yes, but they definitely failed to soak up any alcohol, and left me with a slightly fishy taste when I woke up.
  • Take off your eye make-up – in the morning, nothing emphasizes how horrible you feel than having your eyes stuck together. And don’t even get me started on contact lens. TAKE THEM OUT.

If only I looked this good when I woke up… picture nicked from google. She looks like a hangover princess.

Right, so you’ve woken up the next morning feeling like death incarnated. So what do you do now?  Smash your head against the wall in the hope that you will pass out again? Call your mum and cry down the phone? Well, I suppose you COULD do those things, and who knows maybe it will help. But as for a few more sensible suggestions…

2) DRINK LOTS (… non-alcoholic, obviously) – Water is good. ‘Oral re-hydration’ is better. Irn bru is probably as good as it gets. Sadly I had to make do with water yesterday so it took about 3 hours before I could even get out of bed. But whatever you can get your hands on, you want to re-hydrate as fast as possible. Or as fast as you can without making yourself sick.

3)  EAT LOTS (of good food) – Good food has a slightly different meaning when in hangover mode. Good foods are high fat, high grease, high salt, and high processed cheese. On a healthier note, fruit smoothies are also a great shout as they are packed full of vitamins and a load of other stuff that is meant to make you feel better. When me and Rachel had finally mastered enough strength to walk from my flat to the shopping centre across the road, we headed straight to Fuel smoothie bar.

We then stumbled to Burger King as fast as I could manage (ie not very fast). One Double Cheeseburger later I was definitely feeling a little more alive… all that delicious processed meat and cheese, grease and salt, with a huge helping of ketchup. Yuuuummmm.

Oh, and ready meals are always a good shout. Always have some stashed in your freezer for hangover-food emergencies.

3) SLEEP LOTS – if possible, have everything close to your bed for when you wake up. That way you can put off moving for as long as possible, which is always a good thing. If you are brave enough to venture outside (as we were – such warriors) then return to your bed often for naps. If you want to feel slightly more sociable, the sofa will do. Either way the longer you can stay unconscious, the less time you have to spend trying not to throw up while the room spins and a small man smashes a hammer inside your head. The world is much more pleasant horizontal.

4) RELIVE THE NIGHT BEFORE – Well, to some degree anyway. It goes without saying that there must be NO mention of vodka, wine, rum, or any other alcohol beverage consumed the night before. But if you can open your mouth without being sick, discussing the gossip of the previous night is always fun. Also it reminds you that there is life beyond this pathetic-pajama-clad-bedridden-state. If someone had a camera, you can always look back at how lovely and sober you looked at the start of the night, and wonder where it all went wrong. Sure, you’ll probably still hate yourself a little bit. Or a lot.

5) MAKE FAKE PROMISES TO YOURSELF – I am never drinking again. You can convince yourself that never, ever again will you have to make it through a hangover day like this one. This is quite a comforting thought at the time. Until the next day you wake up feeling peachy fresh, and suddenly the previous day doesn’t seem so bad. It fact, it was almost funny! Right?!

6) The following, beautiful, sparkling hangover-free day – Make cupcakes. Cupcakes make everything better. (Especially licking out the bowl.)

Oh, and the reason I was behaving like such a wild child after months of being a recluse in my bedroom? I PASSED MY EXAMS!!! Hell yeah!! That plus a visit from the fabulous Rachel and a brilliant night out dancing with my flatmates… I think I can say, as terrible as this hangover was… IT WAS WORTH IT.

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