Counteract Overindulgence and Feel Better
Eat, drink and be merry, as they say. Food, drink and beautiful days are some of life’s greatest joys, but if you overeat, drink too much alcohol or stay out in the sun too long, you won’t feel much like celebrating tomorrow.
Counteract overindulgence in alcohol, food, all-nighters, work, exercise, caffeine and sun exposure by giving your body some much-needed recovery time. See below for how to fight off too much of any good thing.
Too Much to Drink
If you’ve had more than five cocktails in a four- to six-hour period, you’ll probably have a hangover the next day. Symptoms are worsened if you didn’t drink enough water, eat much or sleep much or if you danced and dehydrated yourself even further. Feel better by taking two aspirin (if your stomach isn’t sensitive to it), drinking lots of water, drinking a little fruit juice (which speeds up the rate your body gets rid of toxins), eating a banana or kiwi to replace potassium lost and sleeping it off if you can.
Too Much to Eat
We’ve all eaten to the point of discomfort, especially on Thanksgiving. If you overdid it at the buffet, Grandma’s table or your favorite restaurant, try not to lie down. Stand up, stretch a little and take a relaxing walk to encourage digestion, or perform a light task around the house, such as folding clothes or washing dishes. When you feel a little better, slowly sip ginger ale, ginger tea or ice water and relax for awhile.
Too Much Fun
In this case, too much fun equals too little sleep. Whether you couldn’t sleep because of unfamiliar surroundings or because you were up working on a project all night, you begin to feel the effects of it immediately. Instead of guzzling an extra-large cup of coffee, drink smaller doses of coffee or black tea every hour, and try to stop around 4 p.m. Eat five small meals containing protein, evenly spaced throughout the day, to provide energy, and avoid sugar and fatty foods. Try to take a 20- to 30-minute nap sometime throughout the day to recharge.
Too Much Work
This may seem like an easy one, but working too much can be as addictive as gambling, drinking or taking drugs and produce similar side effects, such as stomach aches, irritability and muscle pain. Try to carve out time for yourself by becoming more effective when you are at work. More productivity equals less hours working. Reach out to friends and family to schedule time spent with them, and turn off your phone, laptop, iPad and Blackberry when you get home each day. If you can’t turn it off completely, set up “office hours” for yourself, where you will only check and respond to emails between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. In extreme cases, take a personal day to recharge and reprioritize – or just to spend time with family and friends.
Too Much Exercise
If you’re experiencing extreme muscle pain, headaches, fatigue, a loss of appetite and a decrease in athletic performance, you may have overdone it at the gym. Recovery time is important to your body’s muscle development, so rest each muscle group a day after lifting weights or doing crunches. Stretch or attend a yoga class, and soak in a warm bath with Epsom salt added in. Take two ibuprofen to reduce muscle inflammation, drink lots of water and take an easy walk if you can to help combat muscle stiffness.
Too Much Caffeine
Are your fingers shaking as you type and are you sweating more than usual? You may have had too much caffeine. While you can’t do anything to speed up metabolizing caffeine, you can participate in activities that calm you. Refrain from putting yourself in stressful situations, which combined with the caffeine, may cause you to snap at others.
Too Much Sun
We probably don’t have to explain what a sunburn feels like – if you have one after spending too much time in the sun, you’ll know. First, lie down in an air-conditioned room, and apply cool cloths to sunburned areas. Take frequent cool showers or baths, apply aloe vera lotion or a cream with 1 percent hydrocortisone to the affected areas and drink lots of water to help hydrate your skin.
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Martin Allinger