The key to curing any hangover, emotional or otherwise, is sleep. That’s it. If you’re stressed and feeling mad uninspired, a big part of it is that you’re probably exhausted. Go have the busiest day of your life, but make sure that you have everything set up for it to end at 10 PM. Make your bed. Spray some damn linen scent. Turn the light off, leave your room, and close the door behind you. Now re-enter. Damn! Who knew you were posted up at the Westin! Slide into that heavenly bed, close your eyes, and sleep like a champion.
Yeah, sure, you can drink real water and have it be good for your skin and prevent cancer and whatever, but I also need for you to hydrate in the ~emotional~ sense of the word. Your emotional hangover is due, in part, to dehydration. You’ve been consuming things that are sucking the life out of your cells. What’s up? Maybe you need to purge some negative friends on social media. After those harsh substances are gone, it’s time to hydrate. Add some realness to your Netflix queue, stop watching the same things ad nauseum. Ask your friends for book recommendations. Get a damn Goodreads account. It’s time to nourish your soul with the stuff it needs so that it won’t shrivel up and make your head hurt.
3. Get fresh air
When’s the last time you sat outside with no distractions for more than two minutes? Same! I know, we’re so sad and millenial! Put your phone on airplane mode and get your Walden on. The transcendentalists were tru re: nature’s healing powers. Pro tip: you don’t need to grow a beard or stop shaving your armpits for this. Stop being dramatic. Just go sit on a bench in the park and chill. You’ll feel better afterwards, and you’ll probably see a cute dog or five, trust.
4. Good distractions
The sound or vibration of a new alert on your phone is like the Pavlov’s dog bell of our time. They condition us to expect relief and happiness from our phones. I can’t tell you how deeply I resent group iMessage notifications for constantly making me think I have a new text from some dude and letting me down when I see it’s just my best friend telling me she thinks she left her flat iron on when she left her apartment last. You have to be willing to distract yourself with some worthwhile stuff too. Hook up a journal to jot down the thoughts that feel like non-sequiturs, you’ll be surprised how many of them become…sequiturs?
5. Structured mindless consumption
All cleansing aside, you’re gonna need to binge to get over this thing. The key to doing it right is doing it in structured bursts. Plan to set aside three hours this Sunday just to watch Hitch two and a half times. It could be anything, really, but I do recommend Hitch. Gets me every time.
6. Greasy nourishment
Hangovers demand grease. Your mother, best friend, and doctor will all tell you this. Emotional hangovers demand your comfort go-to’s. Revisit your favorite movies, TV, music, books, and, yes, snacks. Who cares how bad they are? I will never tire of ‘Birthday’ by Katy Perry or Ashlee Simpsons magnum opus, ‘Pieces of Me.’ These things are the bagels of my hangover recovery process; I devour them shamelessly, and you should too.
7. Get delivery
Order Seamless. Amazon Prime that dope laptop stand that will help you not be a hunchback, whatever. Bring one new treat into your life that will help you be your best self, and then leave your apartment, because this isn’t an excuse to be a couch person.
8. Make plans
Hangovers demand a light at the end of the tunnel, a reason to go on and actually leave your bed. Whether its something as involved as a road trip or as small as meeting a friend for a drink, make sure that you’re not letting yourself fade into the anti-social ether. Make plans to get out and do things, not just to rest and lay in waiting for your life to start.
9. Take medicine
You might have a very real headache that demands ibuprofen, sure, but you also might be in an emotional state of awful that requires you to take your medicine. It’s the stuff that tastes gross, you know it exists and you’ve been avoiding it. Maybe it’s a phone call with your parents or a bunch of undone things on a to-do list. Whatever it is, you need to follow your life’s doctor’s orders and just do it. Get it over with. Your life will improve, your stress level will drop, and you’ll be, in general, more of a boss. Now swallow.
10. Talk through it
If you’re feeling like you haven’t been yourself lately, the truth is that you probably haven’t. Sorry. Phone a friend. They’ll be eager to tell you what your problem is; we are all giant flesh LiveJournals with a bunch of opinions and emotions and stupid trash thoughts, we love to tell each other about life. Talk this one out. Your friends are there to remind you who you are when all you feel like is garbage.
11. Clean your space of triggering grossness
When you have a real hangover, the simple act of stepping on a wrapper and hearing its faint crunch can be enough to make you vomit. Emotional hangovers are similar, in the sense that seeing the same filth or ugliness every day will make you ill. Clean up. Purge. Do a bleachtastic cleaning of your space, buy some fresh flowers, and be inspired. This is basic science.
12. Take a soul-cleansing shower
I do all of my best thinking in the shower because I am a unique and beautiful unicorn pegasus lady who is floating into your life with this uniquely original concept. You’re so lucky. Take it from me, intentionally long showers are the source of all good things. You might get in that shower a sad, single lady and come out a powerful woman who is not going to talk to Dave anymore. Let the steam tell you exactly how much you do not need Dave. Or Anna. Or that shitty professor. Whoever.
13. Touch yourself
LOL, am I really bringing up masturbating right now? Kind of. In general, self-care is crucial to getting out of your persistent sad state. This could mean getting sexual with your damn self, but it’s mainly about doing the things that mean you care about your own body and soul. Buy nice lotion, give yourself a dope pedicure, groom for hours, whatever. Take care of yourself and your emotional hangover will take care of itself in no time. Feel better, babe.