By Michelle Heffernan
Whether you’ve been on the session in Stradbally or actually just had a hard weekend knocking back Guinness in Nicky’s,we all know heavy binges can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional health. Try our Guide to Recovering from Electric Picnic/Major Sessions to navigate your way back to the human you once were
Restoring the Body
The way you’re feeling right now can basically be blamed on enzymes and dehydration. Your body uses an enzyme called dehydrogenase to break down alcohol; when you flood your system with too much booze, the enzyme can’t keep up, so the alcohol lingers longer in your system, dehydrating you more and causing those foul headaches and nausea. Needless to say drinking fluids cannot be done too much at this point. If you can’t manage to drink enough water, fruit juices are a good alternative to restore H2O and vitamins. Though you’re tummy may be delicate at this point, try not to skip meals. This will only result in a heavier binge later in the day, creating more abdominal pain and general fatigue. If you can’t stomach much food just eat very lightly at regular intervals. Oh, and stay away from the sports drinks and painkillers. The former are not proven to be any more beneficial in rehydration than water, and are usually loaded with sugar (which will likely result in a sugar crash), while the latter will only create more work for your liver.
Set the bar low
This is not going to be an easy week, but that’s absolutely ok. Now is not the time to be hard on yourself for the indulgence of the weekend. So you had a heavy weekend, so what? Isn’t that an amazing thing to have experienced? Didn’t you deserve a weekend of grabbing life by the sixpack in some way? Ditch the self-flagellation and set the bar LOW for yourself this week. After a weekend like that, its actually an achievement to make it out of bed and into work each day. Hey, it’s even an achievement to even be making conversation with other humans at this point. So, let yourself off the hook in terms of food, exercise, or work of any kind. Male or female consider this PPS(post picnic syndrome) as oppose to PMS, and go easy on yourself as you would anyone who was genuinely not well.
In the same vein, doing as little as possible requires asking a little more of others. So delegate whatever it is you absolutely have to do this week. Invoke the Benjamin Franklin effect, and ask people for favours; research has shown it can actually make people like you more, not less. So, ask a friend or partner to cook/hoover/wash clothes/collect kids. You will make it up to them when you return to planet earth. Ask for help, honestly, you’d be surprised how much people actually enjoy giving it.
The Mindfulness Approach
“Mindfulness” is a word that confuses a lot of people. It sounds a bit like minding yourself or minding your manners. Mindfulness is neither of these really; its’ actually the simple act of “paying attention to something, on purpose and non judgementally”. According to Waterford Mindfulness Expert Ciara Hudson
“Mindfulness is a way of being and we can be mindful anywhere, anytime in our daily lives. It’s about noticing what’s going on in your mind and body right now, without criticising it or wishing any of it was different.”
So, when I suggest using the mindfulness approach, what I’m really speaking of is an ACCEPTANCE of how you’re feeling . Take the time this week to just notice what’s going on in your body. Do your feet hurt? Do your arms ache? Does your chest feel heavy? Take deep breaths in these moments and just notice everything you are feeling . Become aware of what’s going on with you and accept your feelings, physical or emotional as valid. It’s ok to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Don’t fight any of those sensations. Just breathe, and accept. It’s all about acceptance and kindness to yourself this week.
Ask for help
Lastly,and most importantly, if you are feeling overwhelmed by what the weekend has brought on, know that it is absolutely ok and indeed recommended to speak to someone about it. Mixing alcohol with drugs, dehydration and lack of sleep can bring on very difficult bouts of depression, anxiety, paranoia , confusion etc. If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in a friend or partner, there are many services to avail of, in person or over the telephone. Shine Discovery at 1, Barronstrand Street, is a community based mental health resource centre, where staff are available to offer advice and support to anyone experiencing mental ill health. The Samaritans Waterford on 16 Beau Street is also available to receive callers at the door or over the phone on 051 872114. And , needless to say, if symptoms of ill health, physical or mental, persist, do not hesitate to contact your GP to check in with yourself and your wellbeing.