Periods and hangovers. Just one of these can be enough to entirely ruin your day, but both at the same time?! It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. Last night’s happy hour might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but this morning’s mixture of nausea and cramps probably has you feeling a little less than happy… Hold tight, though, because help is at hand! We’ve assembled a five step guide to help you feel human again, so hang in there – you’re on your way to sweet, sweet relief.
If you’ve spent the night hitting the bar as well as the dance floor, then you’re likely to be pretty parched. Alcohol is a notorious diuretic, making you pee even more liquid than you’re taking in. Period hormones can also cause dehydration, and if you have a heavy flow the blood loss can actually deplete your fluid levels. Replenish yourself with a steady stream of that all important H2O, and if you prefer your water flavored, add a vitamin C-packed lemon slice, or grab a sports drink. Although you might not be hitting the track, these drinks contain electrolytes and salts that will help your poor body retain the fluids it so desperately needs. Just try to avoid anything caffeinated, as this will dehydrate you further.
2. Power up!
You’re getting there girl! You’re (hopefully) hydrated, but you’re probably still feeling a bit iffy. Now it’s time to nourish that exhausted body. If you’re feeling up to it, eggs would be an ideal meal. They’re packed full of protein, as well as amino acids that will boost liver function and break down leftover toxins. Wholegrain toast is full of the B vitamins that you lost the night before, and will raise your blood sugar without upsetting your delicate tummy. Add some iron-rich spinach to remedy period blood loss (and maybe a kick of spicy sriracha, just for fun) and you’ve got an ultra healing meal. Some potassium-filled coconut water on the side and vitamin-packed watermelon for dessert – and both your hangover and period symptoms should have abated in no time.
3. Sweet relief
So now you’re well on the way to hydration, it’s time to talk pain relief. Whether your head is pounding or your cramps are killing you, there’s no shame in popping an over the counter painkiller like ibuprofen or aspirin. This anti-inflammatory will reduce pain from cramping, as well as bringing down the elevated body temperatures that a boozy night can cause. Just make sure not to take these pills on an empty stomach, and to make sure they won’t interact with any other meds you might be taking. If your ibuprofen isn’t calming your cramps, then crack out your best hot water bottle. The heat actually blocks pain transmitters and is a proven pain reliever. Phew!
4. Beat those blues
So you are fed, watered and (hopefully) pain free. What a perfect time for a case of the blues. PMS is notorious for causing anxiety and depression – as are hangovers. At least 4 in 10 women suffer depression, anxiety, mood swings and body dysmorphia around their periods. Similarly, a hangover both lowers your serotonin levels (leading to low mood) and raises your cortisol levels (leading to stress). Exercise might not sound like particularly appealing while you’re under your duvet having an existential crisis, but it is one of the most powerful (and easily accessible) mood boosters going. A brisk (or maybe not so brisk…) walk and some much-needed endorphins could be just what you need. If you can’t face moving, then treat yourself to whatever usually cheers you up, whether it’s your favorite movie, chatting with your best friend – whatever. Ride it out, this slump won’t last forever!
5. If all else fails…
Just go to sleep. Seriously. Your body is physically exhausted from dealing with all those alcohol toxins, as well as all the negative effects of period cramps. Beyond giving your body some much needed time to recover, sleep will also allow your overworked brain a moment of rest. Both alcohol and menstruation are known snooze killers, so if you’re having problems nodding off, try some soothing chamomile tea, or get super cosy with that hot water bottle. So, if all else has failed, just go to sleep. After all both period and hangover snoozes are SO satisfying. So it’s almost worth going through all this… right?
Please note that advice offered by Tips For Healthy Living may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.