With the holiday season now upon us, we generally accept that a hangover or two is likely. There are office parties, family gatherings and drinks with colleagues to consider. Not to mention that the festive atmosphere will give us an excuse to go to the pub.
We usually think about the physical impact that this will have on our bodies. We promise ourselves one drink with a gym session tomorrow, knowing that a bacon sandwich and a lot of coffee are more likely. But what about the emotional impact; do we consider the emotional hangover?
A recent Global Drug Survey suggests that the UK comes 5th in the world for its drinking capabilities – the Republic of Ireland being 1st. So being experienced in dealing with hangovers, we all know that a couple of paracetamol and an early night usually helps. The physical side is easy; it is the emotional hangover that hits us hard.
The emotional hangover that appears the next morning – usually lasting more than a day, causes us to hold our heads in shame as we relive every detail that we can remember from the night before. That voice in our head reminding us of the drink we knocked over at dinner, or the small stumble on the way to the loo. Did we embarrassingly tell our boss exactly what we think of them? Even worse, did we flirt and ask for a raise?
Relentless in its attack, our minds play these thoughts over and over, making us feel humiliated and ashamed. But guess what, we’ve all done it. Most of us have woken up with these excruciating feelings at some point in our lives.
What if we changed the game? Instead of beating ourselves up about everything we say or do this Christmas, we decide to fully accept our behavior on a deep, emotional level. We cut ourselves some slack, accept full responsibility for what we’re doing and change our perspective.
If we want to party, we make an informed choice to do so. Give ourselves permission to gain a few holiday pounds. If we’re at the office party, we don’t bash ourselves over the head the next day, constantly replaying the moment when we thought that doing the conga with the managing director was a good idea. Alternatively, we no longer wake up with our first thought being “oh my god,” or “oh crap”.
Let’s choose not to tear ourselves apart bit by bit, going over every conversation or unseemly act. If we awake to negativity, smile and remember that we are human, all the while enjoying our bacon sandwich on white bread. Any feelings of disgust towards our lack of willpower and self control are pushed away and obliterated.
Take responsibility, fully accept what’s happened and be content with the consequences that occurred during our celebrations. This surrender results in us experiencing less stress and more fun.
Tis the season to be jolly and show kindness, not only to others but to us as individuals. Whatever you find yourself doing tonight, enjoy it fully. Just keep in mind that moderation and balance are essential for a healthy mind, body and spirit. However, a little overdoing on special occasions is good for the soul.