How To Survive Work When You're Hungover

There comes a time in every adult person's life when it's necessary to get out of bed despite feeling sick, tired, or (worse) hungover. After all, it was your decision to stay out late and drink the night away, and now you must suffer the consequences like a true grownup. Thankfully, there are ways to survive the day when you're hungover, so you can get up, go out, and even make it to work.

Of course this is easier said than done, since a workday hangover is way different than a weekend hangover. On the weekend, my advice is simple: one part sweatpants, two parts Gatorade, and ten parts Netflix. (As in, all day long.) Going to work with a hangover, however, is the tiniest bit trickier. It involves putting on clothes, covering up the signs of the evening, and doing something about that pounding headache.

When you don't have the luxury of sleeping the day away, the hangover cure becomes all about feeling better as fast as possible. After all, you're about to contend with blinding fluorescent office lights, coworkers, and quite possibly some responsibilities (gross). Here are some ways to survive the day, and maybe even feel a little bit better.

1. Go The Comfy Route

Now is not the time to put on a fashion show. And thank goodness, because you probably wouldn't be able to match up an outfit if you tried. So give yourself a break, and head to work in your comfiest attire. I'm talking about leggings, a relaxed skirt, or even a dress so you don't have to think about separates. Then kick back at your desk, and relax.

2. Or Dress Up To Feel Better

Keep in mind there's a fine line between comfort, and falling asleep at your desk. If you think a comfy outfit would do you in, then go the opposite route and dress up. Put on your brightest lipstick, your favorite heels, or your fanciest dress. (OK, maybe not your fanciest.) It may just perk you up, and help you get through the day.

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

One of the easiest ways to get yourself feeling normal again is with fluids, and lots of them. I'm talking about glasses of water, sports drinks, orange juice — whatever you can get your hands on. As Anne Harding said on Health, "... replacing the fluid you've lost will likely help you feel a little less miserable." Here's hoping.

4. Fix Your Blood Sugar, ASAP

The liver can get pretty backed up as it processes your $2 well drinks, leading to low blood sugar and some serious crankiness come morning. So do yourself a favor, and fix things with a bit of fructose. "While most any food can help spike up sugar levels in the body, in small studies, fructose has been shown to speed up the body's ability to metabolize alcohol," said Michele Foley on Finally, the perfect excuse to splurge on a freshly pressed juice.

5. Calm Things Down With Bland Foods

I hope you aren't to the point of nausea, but if it's that bad, there is something you can do. "Start with some Alka Seltzer, and eat bland and easily digested foods like bananas, saltine crackers, or broth," suggested Foley. This combo may help settle things down.

6. Grab A Sprite

Why such a specific soda choice, you ask? "Sprite increases the activity of ALDH, an enzyme that alleviates pesky symptoms by turning acetaldehyde (the cause of your hangover) into acetate, which is attributed to many of the health benefits of drinking," explained Tara Fuller on Keep one at your desk, and sip on it throughout the day.

7. Try To Smell Nice

Booze has a way of leaking out of your pores long after your last drink. It can even show up on your breath, despite brushing, flossing, and gargling, according to Fuller. While this isn't pleasant for anyone, you certainly don't need to taunt yourself with a near constant reminder of your over-the-top evening. So freshen up with your favorite scent, some extra deodorant, and a pack of gum.

8. Keep A Good Attitude

As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to sit at your desk and groan away. Not only does it not help your hangover, but broadcasting your agony may even damage your rep at work. As Rhymer Rigby noted on The Telegraph, "... people tend to 'over-remember' colleagues’ hangovers and that widely advertising your suffering (or falling asleep at your desk) is the kind of thing that can tarnish your reputation and even affect your promotability." Yikes. Best keep the whining to yourself.

9. Try To Focus On Work

It may seem like an impossibility, but focusing attention away from your pounding head and onto some work may help you feel better. "If you’re gregarious, you might find work that involves talking to people or meetings; if you’re an introvert, you could look for a detailed, absorbing piece of work," Rhymer said. If the distraction doesn't work, hey — at least you got something done.

10. Take It Easy

If you have the option, take it slow and easy at work. And definitely don't follow up your day with a trip to the gym. "While the endorphin rush can counteract the pain (albeit momentarily), the dehydration that comes along with an intense exercise session can worsen symptoms," Foley said. It's much better to simply call it a day, and head home to relax.

11. Call It A Day

By the end of the day, your hangover will likely be on its way out. But depending on how bad it was to begin with, that thing may stick around for a while. If that's the case, don't be afraid to leave work early, or head out exactly at five. Save the over time and extra hours for when you're feeling better.

Once you get home, follow the aforementioned weekend hangover cures. Put on those sweatpants, curl up, and plop down in front of the TV. And oh, remember to take it a bit easier next time.

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