It’s the morning after the night before. You walk into the office, a few minutes late because somehow your usual five-minute walk took fifteen minutes. The sun is targeting your retinas directly, and your mouth is drier than the Sahara desert.
The pounding in your head makes you wonder if your brain has been replaced by a trance party when you weren’t paying attention.
You’ll never drink again, not even for Holy Communion — and this time you mean it. The next nine hours of work might as well be the Comrades, that’s how likely it is you’ll make it to the end.
This is your punishment for thinking it would be a good idea to go out for “just one drink” on a weekday, and you have to pay your penance. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to lessen your suffering and, most importantly, hiding your suffering from your colleagues — and especially your boss.
So… what can you do to lessen your suffering and prevent your colleagues from finding out?
First things first, splash some cold water on your face to wake yourself up. If necessary, put on some makeup to cover any redness or puffiness (just remember to make sure you’ve removed last night’s makeup!). If your eyes are red, consider using some eye drops to reduce the redness. As an added bonus, eye drops will help you be less sensitive to the light, so you’ll be able to survive without your sunglasses!
Next up, make sure you don’t smell like a brewery. If you were out in a smoky bar, definitely wash your hair before going in to work! And don’t forget about your breath! Make sure you brush your teeth properly and pop some bubblegum or a few breath mints throughout the day to keep you fresh.
It also helps to make an effort when getting dressed. Don’t go for your comfiest yoga pants and a hoodie, this will come across as a surefire sign that you aren’t feeling great. Instead, try to dress a bit nicer than usual, if you look good, you’ll probably feel a bit better too! Top tip: Don’t hide out and avoid all human interaction all day. This will make it super obvious that you’re not feeling well, unless you have a very good excuse as to why you’re holed up in your office all day.
Now that you’re looking like a million bucks, it’s time to feel like a million bucks, or at least more than R5. Everyone has their own special hangover cure, whether it’s a greasy breakfast, a slap in the face or some disgusting raw egg concoction. Science has shown that cooldrink, especially Sprite or Creme Soda (there’s a reason why it’s called the green ambulance) can alleviate hangover symptoms. Once you’ve downed that sweet, sweet nectar, it’s time to make sure you stay hydrated. Drink a glass of water and when you’re done, drink another.
What do you do once you’ve finished your two glasses of water? Drink more water! Make sure that you drink water throughout the day to help clear out your system. A good way to know when you’ve had enough water is when your pee becomes clearer. It isn’t recommended that you drink coffee when you have a hangover, since the caffeine can dehydrate you further, but if you’re one of those people that can’t face work without coffee on their best days, you definitely shouldn’t skip your morning cup. If you need an energy boost but the mere thought of coffee makes your stomach churn, have an Energade or Powerade, which will help replenish your electrolytes — and for heaven’s sake, stay away from energy drinks like Red Bull! The inevitable caffeine and sugar crash will make you feel even worse than before.
Finally, and most importantly, refuel your body with food. HEALTHY food. No matter how much you might want it, McDonald’s will probably just make you feel worse, and the same goes for any other greasy or carb-laden foods. The carbs will weigh you down and make your stomach feel worse, while greasy food will irritate your stomach even more. Instead, opt for fruit, eggs or oats, which are packed with amino acids and vitamins and will help you on the road to recovery.
So there you have it, the next time you have a hangover at work, put on a brave face, smile at your colleagues and use these tricks to recover sooner. Or, you know, you could just not drink if you have work the next day — but who am I to tell you that?