There’s nothing better than spending the festive season with friends and family, wearing paper crown hats and telling bad jokes (What does Miley Cyrus have for Christmas lunch? Twerky!). At the same time you might also be looking at your calendar and thinking, “How in Santa’s name am I going to get through all those parties and celebrations without being permanently hungover in December?”
Now, I’m’ not saying you should be knocking back jugs of eggnog at every get-together you go to over the next few weeks, but I know there’s one or two of you who will celebrate a little bit too hard before having to crawl out of bed the next morning to go to work (or another party).
If that sounds like you, here are a few hangover hacks that will hopefully guide you through the festive season without too many trips on the porcelain bus.
While you’re drinking…
1. Have a glass of water every time someone mentions how ridiculously early the shops started selling Christmas decorations this year. Before long, you’ll be way too full to finish that pint of stout sitting in front of you (not to mention, planning your escape from the party).
2. Remember to eat every once in a while. But don’t treat the tubs of orange slices, olives and cherries behind the bar like your own mini buffet – that’s a surefire way to get kicked out and end your night early (which ironically will also prevent a hangover the next day).
3. Ask the bar staff to mix your drink with things like activated charcoal, spirulina and goji extract, and tell them about the health benefits you’ll be missing out on if they don’t. They’ll be sure to ignore you for the rest of the night, meaning no more drinks for you and no chance of a hangover tomorrow.
4. Only order top-shelf spirits. A couple of drams of a 25-year-old single malt from some place in Scotland you can’t pronounce will have you handing over $50 bills faster than a hipster in an op-shop. Before you know it your wallet will be thinner than Woolworths’ profit margins.
5. Go easy on sugar-loaded mixers like lemonade, energy drinks and tonic water (yep, tonic has almost as much sugar as Coke), and opt for soda water or OJ instead. If you need the soft drink to mask the burning sensation from those house spirits, refer to Hack #4 above.
6. Try and pick up someone early in the night rather than playing the long game and waiting until the lights come on at Mooseheads. The sooner you go home, the less you’re drinking, and the better you’ll feel tomorrow… and tonight.
7. Start early, finish early. Christmas parties kicking off at lunchtime or the early afternoon are ideal – you’re (usually) in bed by midnight and still get a full night’s sleep.
8. Stick to clear spirits like vodka, white rum and gin. They contain lower levels of congeners (byproducts and impurities from the fermentation process), which have been shown to contribute to hangover symptoms.
The next morning…
9. Rehydrate. Water. Berocca. Powerade. Hydralyte. Coconut water. Raw coconut water. Organic raw coconut water. Whatever you can reach without getting out of bed. Just get it into you.
10. Roll over and go back to sleep. Chances are you’ve been drifting in and out of sleep through most of the night, so give your body more time to recover and sleep off the rest of that hangover.
11. Go on a banana bender. Bananas have high levels of potassium and B6/B12 vitamins, which are depleted from your body while you’re drinking.
12. FROZEN COKES. If you’re not fit to drive, post a job on Airtasker and get someone to deliver them to you.
13. Go for a swim. Nothing cures a hangover like a day at the beach, but if the thought of zig-zagging down the Clyde to get to the coast has you reaching for the bucket, fill up the kiddy pool in your backyard and use your imagination.
14. Have a coffee. Caffeine withdrawals on a normal day are bad enough – so don’t make your hangover worse by skipping your morning coffee! It’ll also re.uce the swelling of blood vessels in your head, potentially easing that headache.
15. Watch this video of penguin bloopers and remember that things could be much, much worse.
16. Get some fresh air. Even if you’re not in the mood to go outside for a walk, open up the windows and get rid of the stale ‘alcohol/sweat/fast food/smoke’ fumes that have clouded up your room overnight.
17. Does your room still smell? Well, yeah, that’s you. So hop in the shower and wash off the bourbon and coke you spilled all over your arms while you were trying to carry a tray of them to your mates on the dancefloor. You’ll feel better for it.
18. Have someone explain to you why the Kardashians are famous. You’ll be so confused and angry that you’ll forget about your hangover.
19. Suck it up and make the most of the day. After all, this is the best time of the year!