So you have hangover anxiety, now what? Well, you’re not alone. Now that summer’s officially here and the streets are open, it’s easy to get caught up in partying, drinking, and whatever you think is fun. This is normal. We repeat…this is normal. There’s nothing wrong with having fun as long as you’re doing so safely, and sometimes we drink more than we anticipated to. For some, alcohol makes being in social settings a little easier. For others, having a few cocktails with friends is just a typical Saturday night. In either case, hangover anxiety is possible and it’s more common than you think. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you wake up after a night of drinking.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over It
You shouldn’t feel guilty over going out and having fun. If you slipped up and had more drinks than you planned for, it happens. The overarching thing to think about is whether you enjoyed yourself or not. If you had a great time, then you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it. If you didn’t have such a good time, that’s also okay. You have the power to reinvent your definition of fun and whether that involves you drinking less or not. If you’re worried or upset due to your behavior as a result of drinking, we’ve all been there. One thing we’ve all learned from this in the past is to apologize, move on, and most importantly, forgive yourself. If your behavior is a cause for concern, be willing to listen to your inner circle and determine the next best steps for future outings that involve alcohol.
Having hangover anxiety doesn’t mean that you have general anxiety disorder. When we drink alcohol, our bodies tend to feel less tense, our thoughts change, and we’re on a different wavelength. The next day we’re feeling symptoms of ‘coming down’ from this, which include typical hangover side effects like nausea, headaches, dehydration, etc. In more extreme cases, anxiety and depression are also side effects, but they’re exactly that, side effects. This doesn’t mean that you suffer from anxiety and depression throughout your everyday life, but if you think that you might, then that brings us to our next point.
Speak to a Mental Health Professional
If you’re convinced that something bigger is going on and this isn’t just a result of hangover anxiety, then it’s best to speak with a mental health professional. Plenty of psychologists work closely with clients who have anxiety surrounding drinking, socializing, and hangovers. However, it’s possible for anxiety and depression to be triggered by drinking and alcohol is often a coping mechanism for both mental health conditions. Either way, these scenarios require further attention and the help of a professional.
Preventing Hangover Anxiety
Below we’re listing some simple steps you can take if you’re dealing with hangover anxiety.
- Practice breathwork
- Go for a long walk
- Binge-watch your favorite shows
- Chat with a friend
- Try something creative
Keeping yourself distracted rather than harping on the fact that you’re not feeling your best is the best way to get through those post-drinking feels. Again, it’s more common than you think and you shouldn’t blame yourself for having fun.