You're rolling around in bed like a worm giving birth. Your head is pounding like a jackhammer as you repeat to yourself 'NEVER...DRINKING...AGAIN!'
You celebrated a bit too hard or maybe if you are like me, you just had a 'lads weekend'. No, no strippers and debauchery. Just hitting the ethanol a little too hard and mixing it with little to no sleep. You've done it before and you'll do it again and you know what? That's ok.
But now it's Monday morning and getting back to your otherwise healthy life is now the priority. So here are my best tips to jumping back on the horse after a big weekend.
First, Take Stock...
As you look out the window and contemplate why you wasted the most beautiful weather day so far this year, it's easy to get the 'beer fears'. You start questioning your life and logging into your CommBank app certainly does not help you feel any better. But take stock my man, all was not in vain.
It's been ages since you spent time with just the lads. Watching the footy and cracking a few beers together was indeed good for your mental health. You took a break from the rigours of daily life and invested in the wealth that is your friendships. These friendships need nurturing and whilst the banter between boys might get a little loose at times, you know these gents have your back.
Establishing a strong social network is one of the most important things you can do as you get older. We know that people who stay connected are much more likely to experience better health outcomes. Consider this time a chance to wind down and enjoy the simple things. As long as this blow out is the exception and not the rule, I believe it to be doing more good than harm.
Drink, Drink and More Drink!
Of course we're talking about the clear stuff here! No, not gin ya dope! Water! There is no question that after a big weekend, you'll be substantially dehydrated. Your face and hands feel dry and your mouth's like the Sahara. Replacing lost fluids is priority one and it's going to take 2-3L of slowly sipped water to do it.
Restoring your hydration status helps to boost blood volume and thus blow flow to the brain and muscles. It clears out your organs by giving you a flush. Try to resist the urge for your morning coffee right now - it's only going to give you a short, false hope that you're feeling better.
I like to complement plain water with either coconut water or a sports drink for ultra-rehydration. It's a little more expensive but I find these more easy to get down and thus, the perfect supplement to help get you back to beautiful!
Now Sweat It Out!
Getting back to exercise is key for me. There's no doubt that doing cardio on a Monday after a big weekend is last on the wishlist however blowing out the cobwebs is the best thing you can do. I am writing this post whilst still sweating after a massive gym session. Do I feel great now? No! Do I feel better for having done it? Yes, especially in a couple of hours.
Exercising helps to improve the clearance of toxic alcohol by products and improves circulation. The means more oxygen and nutrients getting into your brain where you need it most. The "feel good" endorphins that are released with exercise may not be as noticeable as normal but you'll feel thankful by midday.
And if like me, you punished some pretty poor pub food with those beers on the balcony, a solid session will help you clean back some of those calories you gorged down.
Don't Skip Breakfast.
When you are feeling crappy, the tendency is to avoid all eating. This is mistake number one. Mistake number two is thinking than a greasy breakfast will make you feel better. Nope, that heavy, oily bacon and sausage fry-up is only going to prolong your hangover.
When you have bombarded your body with crappy food, your focus should now be on correcting your nutrient deficit. It's likely that the your weekend eating binge lacks the key micronutrients that keep you sailing so I recommend something light and healthy. Perhaps a porridge with bananas, honey and skim milk or my favourite - rye toast with avocado and lime then topped with two poached eggs. That's the breakfast of champions!
Ensure you are getting some fibre into that brekky meal to try and aid the clearance of the weekend's consumption through your body. Go for the least processed carbohydrate options for maximum good times.
But if you're like me right now and at work, a stop past the grocer for some low fat greek yoghurt and a punnet of strawberries after the gym makes an easy, tasty, healthy and stomach-able brekky! Make sure you don't over-eat until you are bloated again.
Go Outside At Lunch.
Rather than sitting slumped at your desk all day trying to convince yourself that a 15 hour day will make up for your weekend menace, stop! Take a 20 minute break on your normal lunch time and head outside for some fresh air. Maybe this is the time to allow yourself a coffee. If you have rehydrated well through the morning, a gentle caffeine hit right now will do you no harm.
Bombard Yourself With Veggies.
Continue the revitalisation with an early dinner that is at least half to two thirds vegetables. The intention here is to bombard yourself with the fluid, fibre and vitamins that are plentiful in veggies like broccoli, green beans, carrots, capsicum and squash.
I like to select a range of colourful veggies to ensure I get a cross-section of vitamins. Yep, you can use colour as your guide to covering all bases because certain colours are associated with a typical nutrient profile. Thus, eating a range of colours ensures a range of nutrients. For example, green veggies like broccoli tend to contain loads of vitamin K and folate where as orange goodies like carrots are packed beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.
Accompany the veggies with a palm sized piece of grilled chicken or beef, add a handful of roasted sweet potato for low GI energy and you've got the perfect replenishment meal.
Wind Down and Go To Bed Early.
Due to your party hours, you're most likely in severe sleep debt and the only way to correct this is to sleep. Like borrowing money on credit, if you have skipped on sleep, you have to repay your sleep debt in order for the body to repair itself.
After dinner, chill down with a book and a cup of camomile or greentea. This will help to relax you and prepare you for the ultimate snooze. Make sure your darken the room as much as possible and switch your phone to silent so you are not woken by alerts.
My favourite way to drift off is to a guided sleep meditation on YouTube. Put the volume to low-medium and slowly drift off to the sounds of sleep. These are my two favourite channels:
Just Take Action.
So when you decide to lash out for the occasional big weekend, enjoy it. After all, that's what we are all here for hey! Just ensure you take action to get back on track afterward so the beer fears don't follow you into Tuesday morning. The above is my blue print and I guarantee you that following these quick tips will have you ready to rip apart your week.