One becomes two, a happy hour because a bar hop, and your promise to be home by 9 p.m. seems like an afterthought when the clock strikes midnight.
Whether you were celebrating a friend’s success, nursing a breakup or you simply lost track of the booze and the hours, an alcohol-filled work-night gathering can be difficult to resist sometimes.
And hey, we’ve all made the mistakes of having a bit too much to drink — and paid the price the next morning in the office. For the sake of your professional reputation, it’s not recommended to let your manager know about your margarita mayhem, if you can help it. Your deliverables and meetings are still a requirement, even if your head isn’t exactly in the game. Load up on the water, take a deep breath and follow these surefire hacks from experts on how to remain productive and focused, even if you’d rather be in bed:
Consider CBD oil.
You’ll need to check the local laws in your state or country to understand if CBD (cannabis plants) are legal, but if they are, consider trying career expert and podcast host Gwen Wunderlich’s secret weapon: CBD oil. “It takes the bite out of a nagging hangover like nothing I’ve ever tried as it acts like a regulator for your internal systems,” she explains. “CBD works especially great for curing headaches because it reduces inflammation, which causes headaches.” You can try a bit on its own or infuse into a hot tea or coffee for a quick fix in the A.M. before it’s time to commute into your 9 to 5.
… but sadly, not coffee, according to registered dietitian and nutrition professor Keith-Thomas Ayoob, EdD, RD, FAND. Instead, your main focus should be water or other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages to help your body reset. “You’re dehydrated and replenishing with both liquids and electrolytes will really help get you back on your feet,” he continues. “You need potassium, some sodium, and fluid.” Some options he recommends? Fresh orange juice, milk and good ‘ole fashioned H20. It may be annoying to run to and from the bathroom all day, but the more you go, the faster you’re removing toxins from your body.
Don’t go greasy—go green.
You peek from under the covers and even the sliver of sun shining from behind your curtains hurts your eyes. Your noggin’ is spinning, your tummy definitely isn’t happy and you’re in desperate need for water. Your college-self would instantly pick up a bacon-egg-and-cheese or a slice of pizza from last night, but now that you’re ‘adulting’—Wunderlich warns against the temptation. While it’s often believed greasy foods soak up the alcohol lingering in your stomach, what your system needs more is vitamins to fight through the pain. Because your body is depleted, it’s smarter to choose a hearty, nutrient-rich breakfast that’ll give everything a boost. This might be a green smoothie or juice, an egg white omelette or oatmeal with fruit, all of which are effective, balanced choices.
Try to stay still.
Looking at a computer screen could be painful with a throbbing headache, but if you swivel in your chair, you’ll make it that much worse. Ayoob recommends sitting up straight and resting your feet firmly on the ground so you avoid too much shaking. Not only will this fight against an upset stomach, but when your focus is on remaining unshakable, you’re more likely to be productive, too.
Get through your most difficult tasks firsts.
Once you’ve showered, eaten, got dressed and somehow made it to your desk, your energy levels are likely at their highest. Though you’d rather poke around Facebook or discuss last night’s adventure with your office best friend, Wunderlich recommends getting to work pronto. And more specifically: tackle the most difficult items on your to-do list first, before your enthusiasm and attention span wanes throughout the day. This will ensure you aren’t anxious around 3 p.m. when you #justcant anymore.
Make sure your lunch has sodium.
When you go overboard with your affection for G&T’s, you are not only thirsty for water the next day, but sodium too, according to Ayoob. When it’s time for your lunch break, he recommends being strategic about what you put in your belly, since it can impact how well you’ll function until it’s time to head home. He recommends a broth-based lunch that’s rich in salt, aiding digestion and assisting in your detox. He also adds soup has a way of settling your stomach too, so avoid a spicy concoction and stick to basics instead.