How to survive your hangover

If you get caught up in the festive spirit - literally - here's how to cope with the morning after effects and save your job

Katie Byrne

Your eyes flicker open and for a few blissful moments it's just like any other morning.

And then it dawns . . . Oh dear God NO! You survey the evidence: a kebab wrapper, an empty wallet and a stamp on your wrist from a nightclub you've never heard of. Your tongue is stuck to the roof of your mouth and your head is throbbing so intensely that your sight is mildly impaired.

You check your call register: two missed calls from your boss, one from your mother and one from your ex-boyfriend (probably because you tried to call him, oh, 36 times between the hours of 4.15am and 5.20am).

Your attempts to reconstruct the night stall at the abyss between the tequilas and the taxi ride home. A flashback of you dancing on a table looms and you pray it's a case of False Memory Syndrome.

You decide that you are never going to drink again, while you wonder how you are going to phrase your text to your boss.

You worry over whether you've found your life purpose and if you left the immersion heater on all night, the state of the global economy and the thank-you card you didn't send your neighbour last year.

You now have two options: to indulge the navel-gazing or indulge in the finer things in life. You're sick, you're out of action and -- assuming this isn't a regular occurrence -- your body deserves the downtime. So forget the diet, get someone else to pick up the kids from school and take the rest of the day off . . .

What did I do?

So you slagged off your boss, kissed the guy in accounts and volunteered a little bit too much information to your work colleague.

Psychotherapist David Kavanagh talks about getting over the psychological effects of a hangover.

We tend to bury the things we're ashamed of. But these things can resurface and manifest as stress and panic attacks. If you can't remember what happened, ask people. If they tell you if wasn't your finest moment, then apologise to whoever you offended.

However, don't repeat what you said. Very often when you say something you regret to another person, they don't want to be reminded of it because it doubles the offence. Even if you're repeating it to apologise, it's still just a repetition of what you said in the first place

Reaffirm with yourself that you are still a good person, even though you called the boss a plonker. Say things such as "It was a Christmas night out. I was drunk. I'm allowed to be drunk. I've had a hard year."

Don't get into a situation where you actively plan to lose control. If you're handed a Jägerbomb and you know you can't drink them, just put it down and ignore the peer pressure to knock it back in one.