In August 2020, I decided to stop drinking and work on myself for the rest of the year and it was the best decision I’ve made. In 2021, I’ve had a few drinks on two occasions and I do not miss the hangovers.
What I REALLY don’t miss, is the hangover anxiety. Suffering from anxiety normally is hard enough, but hangover anxiety is a whole other ball game and was one of the main reasons I stopped drinking in 2020.
I have noticed on the two occasions that I have drank, I’ve not let myself get to the point of no return because I know it’s not worth it.
Sadly the “fear” still happens.
I thought I would share my nine best tips on how to deal with hangover anxiety and what has worked for me over the last few months.
Don’t drink every weekend
This is an obvious one, but I’ve noticed that my hangover anxiety isn’t as bad as it used to be because I’m not drinking two nights a week, every week.
I now have one day each month that I’ll have a few social drinks if I want to.
Binge drinking had some long term mental health effects for me and by month three of being sober, I started feeling like myself again.
Give yourself the mental break you deserve. I understand completely that drinking seems like a fun option for the weekend. To help this feeling, I replaced it with a hobby that I genuinely loved doing.
Blogging played a large part in going sober. I wanted to invest in my blog but couldn’t afford to along with drinking every weekend. I decided that blogging was more important and could result in long term goals, instead of alcohol providing the short term fun.
Like this post? Pin it for later!
Drink a lot, I mean a lot of water
I know this is a general hangover hack, but it really helps clear my head. Drink double the water you normally would.
Do not drink fizzy juice or sugary drinks, this is one of four main groups that increase your anxiety. If you’ve already had alcohol, don’t mix it with sugar as well, as you’ll only make it worse.
Check out this great article which explains why sugar increases anxiety!
Don’t google any symptoms
This is basic anxiety 101, but do not google your symptoms because you’ll just make the anxiety worse.
Looking back I feel so stupid, but when I was really hungover two years ago, I was convinced I was going to die. Sounds dramatic, but that’s how I felt. I ended up going to A&E to then realise all it was… was a really bad panic attack, I felt terrible for wasting everybody’s time.
Something I like to remind myself is, my body has taken a bit of hit. The alcohol needs to come out of my system and I need to allow my body the time to heal from it because in short, alcohol is a toxin.
Social media detox
Social media can be toxic at the best of times, but when you’re brain is in over-drive, it’s best to put the phone away. This is a great life hack on how to deal with hangover anxiety!!
A bad habit of mine would be looking at photos, videos and anything else I had done and it made me panic in case I embarrassed myself.
A good tip I would tell myself is, we cannot change the past no matter how much we linger on it. Another one is that I’m probably not the only one who done something or said something embarrassing and that’s okay!
Staying off social media helps, have a Netflix and chill day instead and turn your notifications off, then face it all when you have a clear head.
Complete your self-care routine
Focus on yourself on your hangover day, allow your mental health to recover. Try following your self-care routine and doing things that benefit your mind. Such as:
- Positive affirmations
- Self-care workbook
- Taking a bath to relax your body
This is a great time to take a self-care day!
Get down to the basics
Anxiety can make it hard to do basic things. If your anxiety is overwhelming, start with the basics.
- Cold shower to wake you up
- Brush your teeth (hangover teeth is… something else)
- Make your bed, even if you get back in it later
- Change your PJs/clothes
I understand how much anxiety can affect your daily tasks and sometimes it’s just too much, don’t pressure yourself for not completing a marathon when you feel like that, take it one step at a time.
Meditation (breathing exercises)
Meditating when you suffer from anxiety is very beneficial as it allows you to practice breathing techniques.
My favourite technique is the balloon technique. Imagine you have a deflated balloon inside your stomach. Close your eyes and with every breath, you take, imagine you are blowing your balloon up. When you breathe out, imagine the balloon deflating again. This is really effective but a simple method for controlling your breathing.
Take ten minutes to turn off your devices, block out the other noises in the house and start practicing your breathing.
Eat healthy foods
This is a tough one… a takeaway is usually the result of a hangover, but try to eat some good foods throughout the day as well. Along with eating throughout the whole day.
I notice a HUGE drop in my mood if I’m hungry, I then eat and suddenly I can think straight again.
Prepare for it the day before and buy in some healthy snacks, you’ll feel better eating them than you would a greasy takeaway.
Reassurance (Reassure yourself)
Hangover anxiety doesn’t last forever, remind yourself that it will pass. Remind yourself that it will get easier. Use health affirmations to remind yourself that you are healthy.
This is where the statement “I’m never drinking again” comes into play because the feeling we feel, is so horrible that we never want to feel like this again because that’s how we feel right now.
Once the feeling pasts, that’s when you need to learn to say no. Just because the feeling has gone away, doesn’t mean you should go through the whole process again the next night.
How to deal with hangover anxiety
Anxiety is sh*t, but accepting it and learning hacks to reduce and manage it, is the best way I’ve learned to handle anxiety. Alcohol can be fun. But also in moderation, you can drink and still manage your mental health in a positive way, it’s finding the balance for your body.
I know my body, one drinking night a month is more than enough for me and I would rather have one fun night a month that I look forward to than two nights a week where I dread the rest of the week.
What are some ways you deal with your hangover anxiety?
Like this post? pin it for later!