- August 13, 2019
- Posted by: Bethan Port
- Category: Career Advice
So, you messed up. You only meant to go out for a quick drink, but before you know it your mate Kelly is buying another round and you just can’t refuse. Now it’s 2am, you’re countless drinks down and buying a greasy box of chips from your local. Let’s face it, tomorrow you’re going to have a hangover at work.
Cue your 6:30am alarm and instant regret for all last night’s bad decisions; suddenly you realise that you have to drag yourself to the office. Head pounding, throat drier than the Sahara Desert, you stumble to the shower and wonder how you’re going to make it through the day.
While it’s not ideal to get ‘turnt’ on a school night, it will happen to most of us at one point. And as long as it’s not a regular occurrence (and you don’t work as a driver where you can’t have any alcohol in your system) it’s pretty easy to cover your tracks to make sure your boss is none the wiser.
Once you make the mistake, you simply have to suck it up and get yourself through the day. While we might not approve of turning up to work hungover, we’re not here to tell you off! We recognise that everyone’s human and it’s in our nature to never learn from our mistakes. No matter how many times we say ‘I’m never drinking again’.
While it might not be your most productive day, here’s some tips to help you survive a hangover at work.
Have a shower
We’re assuming that most people shower before they go to work, or at least the night before. But this step is absolutely vital. The smell of alcohol tends to, shall we say, linger. It’s asking for trouble if you walk into the office reeking of last night’s Pinot Grigio.
So, make sure you wash off every last drop of alcohol from your skin before leaving the house. Even if you’re struggling on the inside, at least your outside will appear fresh and squeaky-clean! Plus, we all know that shower time is the best place to do some thinking. Use these last few minutes of peace and quiet to psych yourself up for the day ahead; you’ll need it.
Wear comfortable clothes
If you’re nursing a hangover at work, you’re probably going to get the sweats at some point. And when they arrive, you don’t want to be in restrictive clothing; whether you’re being thrown off balance by impossibly high heels or being suffocated by a super tight-fitting shirt.
We’re not saying you should dress down entirely. After all, this can appear unprofessional. However, some sort of soft, breathable fabric is a must. Although you don’t get to stay at home on the sofa, curled up in the foetal position, at least you can create some sort of comfort in the workplace.
Try and repair the damage
Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. Hopefully, you remembered to drink plenty of water alongside your alcoholic beverages. But if not, then you may want to switch to sports drinks with electrolytes in, such as Lucozade or Gatorade to replenish your energy levels. Alternatively, try a rehydration formula to avoid the pains of dehydration to help survive your hangover at work.
Avoid the temptation to reach for the coffee. Sure, the caffeine will give you a temporary burst of energy. But soon you’ll have to deal with caffeine withdrawal on top of your hangover. Not ideal.
Look at the bigger picture
Too many of us are quick to criticise ourselves when we mess up. Especially when the harsh reality of the office hits; so, you might start to panic. Before you give yourself a hard time for finishing that bottle of prosecco, ask yourself if you would say the same to a friend. You’re not a terrible person for having a good night out!
Anxiety after drinking, or ‘hangxiety’, is all too common. Even a funny look from Sandra in accounts can induce the irrational fear that you’re being judged by everyone. So it’s important to not let yourself get into an anxious spiral. Otherwise, it could affect your ability to do your job and then you’re in real trouble.
If the pressure of work is getting too much, take a step back. Look at pictures of cute dogs or reassuringly homey pot plants on Pinterest, whatever tickles your fancy. Perspective is key to breaking out of the paranoid cycle when nursing a hangover at work!
Keep a low profile
One of the biggest problems of drinking is the sleep deprivation that follows. Even if you get in at a reasonable hour, alcohol messes with your system and leads to fragmented sleeping patterns. This, along with the booze in your system, affects your ability to make decisions.
Try and find dull, administrative tasks that you’ve been avoiding for ages to keep you occupied. Beware though, these can make you even sleepier. Break up the time with short walks around the office.
Where possible, avoid making any big, important decisions which might make you hate your life the next day. Just keep telling yourself that everything’s under control and you’ll start to believe it. Mind over matter, as they say.
Avoid the office gossip
Especially if you’re worried about what your colleagues might say! Keep your indulgent night out to yourself. This is easier said than done, especially if you’ve got co-workers on social media (already a risky move).
If it’s not too late, block your co-workers from seeing your social media posts if you’ve decided to document the whole night. Nobody needs to see a hazy boomerang of glasses clinking or you shouting ‘DOWN IT’ in your friend’s face.
Even if this is your first and last time drinking on a school night, people are always quicker to remember the times that you slipped up than the times you did well. In which case, your professional reputation could be damaged. Solution: keep your head down and mouth shut.
Congratulations, you’ve survived a hangover at work
Today was probably absolutely awful. Perhaps you finally understood Gemma Collins screaming ‘I’m CLAUSTROPHOBIC Darren’ in the Celebrity Big Brother House. Unfortunately, you brought it on yourself and now you’ve had to deal with it.
The good news is, 5pm has struck and you’re free! Which means you can head straight home, order a takeaway and reward yourself for making it through the day. Whatever makes you happy, you deserve it for being a trooper. Hopefully, this experience was enough to put you off drinking on a school night ever again!