How to Survive a Hangover at Work: an Illustrated Guide

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We are human, are we not?

This post originally appeared on Girlboss.

Listen up, let me be very clear when I say that getting munted on a school night is not something to be actively encouraged and is a practice unlikely to lead to your career dreams coming to fruition, or an effervescent complexion.

But be that as it may, we are human are we not? And to get utterly banjaxed on a weeknight from time to time is merely the behavior of a human. And so let’s get down to the important business of how to survive a day of work when the hangover of perdition rears its throw-up-inducing head.

Firstly: Don’t get utterly tanked on a weeknight. It’s the smart arse solution, isn’t it? Like that passive-aggressive boss who fake smiles and pointedly says “good afternoon” when you’re five minutes late for work because some arsehole side-swiped your Hyundai this morning.

The deed is done, there’s nothing that can reverse this situation, so let’s shuffle on to the actual tips that will actually help you in your hour of need.

Surviving a brutal hangover at work

Before work

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Sit in the shower

You just woke up and the struggle could not feel more real, but if you ignore every other step in your pre-work routine, you at least need to sluice the tang of alcohol off your flesh before leaving the house. And you know what makes EVERY situation easier? Sitting the f*ck down. Whether you plonk your butt straight onto the shower floor or you upgrade with a water-resistant piece of patio furniture, harness those few precious minutes of rest and store energy reserves for when you really need them.

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Beauty flash balm

Look, I’m sure there’s some kind of placebo effect associated with the aesthetic claims of beauty products, but I swear a generous slathering of Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm can take you from Mayor of Hagsville to Renaissance oil painting in 30 seconds. It keeps your moisture-starved skin looking dewy and radiant, and it’s basically the holy grail skincare for hangover survival.

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Wear soft clothes

If what you’re wearing feels like pyjamas, it’s almost as though you’re still in bed. According to some faux-sperts, your environment is critical to success, so if you can recreate the comfort levels of your couch at home, hopefully you’ll manifest a happy place too.

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Try honey, honey

There are various food-based formulas for hangover recovery. Some swear by the greasy bacon-sandwich-with-extra-bacon route. Some are all about that hair of the dog (you’re delaying the inevitable). But there are a few foods that science recommends and one of them is honey, honey.

Honey helps with a hangover. It’s high in fructose, so it can top-up the sugars depleted during alcohol metabolism. Honey can also improve digestion and provide your system with sodium and potassium – all of which deliver you from hangover hell in a much speedier manner. Bees rule!

At work

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Drink every liquid imaginable. Then, when you feel you’ve maxed your quota of liquids, drink at least three more.

Unquenchable thirst is the cornerstone of hangover byproducts. You’re going to need a combination of legitimate hydration (still or sparkling water by the gallon) and suspiciously high-flavored drinkable stimulants – Gatorade, coffee, Coca-Cola, liquids drunk from cans on which words like “BOOST” or “SURGE” or “TURBO” are loudly emblazoned.

Still thirsty? Get an overpriced organic pressed juice in attempt to find some kind of health equilibrium. Still thirsty? Try this vowel-adverse fruit drink. Still thirsty? A young coconut. Still thirsty? I know. It’s hopeless.

Sub-tip: Spirit your delicious drinkable stimulant-of-choice into the workplace undetected, then pour it into a nondescript ceramic mug. Necking a can of Coke before 10am is an unequivocal giveaway that you got cabbaged last night. But a mug? Why, you’re simply enjoying a civilised warm drink while perusing emails.

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Change your email background to grayscale

Speaking of emails: That endless stream of correspondence causes a headache at the best of times, let alone when you got hella-fied not 12 hours earlier. Your suffering will reduce considerably if your emails appear amid a tranquil gray hue, instead of a skull-piercing white hellscape.

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Have an anti-spiralling mantra

Work invites stress, and crippling anxiety and/or guilt are particularly debilitating hangover side-effects (which get worse as you get older. Trust.) So getting into a tidy mental zone can be the most demanding challenge to overcome. A meaningless side-eye from a colleague can throw you into a paranoid spiral. “Why did I have a third espresso martini?! I should have gotten a lift home with Georgina. I’m failing as an adult…”

Even though you might feel like a terrible person, you most certainly are not one. You are a real and wonderful person who just happened to get supremely turnt last night. Have a list of mini mantras to pull yourself back from the brink. This is a technique you should use any time you feel stressed or pressured at work. It’s about finding perspective and calm, and being good to yourself.

After work

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Reward yourself

Sure, today was a torturous episode of Survivor which you brought on yourself – but you made it and that is no mean feat. Luxe face mask? Delicious takeout option? An uninterrupted hour of browsing dating apps? Whatever makes you happy, you go ahead and do it. Till next time!

Art by Barry Patenaude

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