The Delicate Art of Being Hungover

If you are serious about drinking, the occasional hangover is inevitable. If you wake up with one, don’t try to defeat it. You won’t succeed, only waste energy and make yourself feel worse. No. Instead, you must learn to embrace the hangover, so she will leave on her own terms. It’s like the old legends about death, yeah? Oh, did I say old legends? I meant the Tales of Beedle the Bard. Still. Here’s how.

When you wake up, do an assessment. How bad do you feel? If you know you have drunk a hangover-inducing amount and yet you feel fine, do not celebrate. You are still drunk is all.

My personal hangover pro tip is to have a wee and then weigh yourself. You may notice that you are a couple of pounds lighter than normal. Again, do not rejoice! Each pound represents a pint of fluid that is no longer inside you. You will have to drink double that to replenish, at least. If you are heavier than normal that means that you probably foraged some fried chicken on the way home and so you win.

Your first priority must be to rehydrate. If leaving the house is not an option then you are going to have to make do with what you have. If you can drag yourself out though, or maybe there was a party and you still have mixers kicking about, this is what you do. Array all the available liquids before yourself. Stare at them deeply for a few seconds. Then, close your eyes and look deep inside yourself. Which liquid do you want? You can have more than one. I like to alternate Rubicon Mango and diet Dr Pepper myself, but you must make the choice that is right for you. Buy 3 pints of your chosen liquid at the very least.

Now, collect your liquids, your laptop and some very comfortable clothes and take all of them to your bed. Surf about the internet until you find something comforting to point your eyes at. I like to watch documentaries about really hateful young women, which I see is an acquired taste. Maybe you like cartoons or perhaps old episodes of Friends. Doesn’t matter. Now sit sipping your liquids and watch them. That’s right. Shhh.

The very worst thing about hangovers is the sneak paranoia stabs. You will be sitting there, minding your own business, idly wishing death on a woman who only eats rice cakes and the humiliation of other females, and POW. Everything is shit and you are an idiot and oh my god why did you say that and no no no nonononononononnoo.

Don’t panic. This will happen, and it does not mean that you actually did anything of higher than usual stupidity. It is just a physiological reaction to loads of cheap white wine. Once I got drunk with the type of friend who knows all my secrets anyway and we didn’t leave her flat, so I was unable to feel embarrassed about my exploits, because there weren’t any. Didn’t save me. The next day I still burst into tears because I was “really worried about Greece”.

To get rid of the feeling, I like to use a skill picked up in meditation. You just count ten breaths. For those ten breaths, you must try to concentrate only on the breathing, and the feeling of air going into and out of your lungs. This is surprisingly hard, but if your brain starts biting at you again, just gently remember that you’re not thinking about what a twat you are at the moment, and start from the beginning. The paranoia stabs only last about a minute, so if you can get to ten, they should have fizzled out.

One final tip – If you are extremely hungover, you may want to adopt some sort of small animal. I often feel this. There is so much pain in the world, but if you just had something to snuggle and love then … DON’T.

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