My head hurts, my eyes hurt, I feel withdrawn, slightly manic almost going from a momentary high to back down into the wallowing blah that is. It’s hard having an emotional hangover. They can last for days, up to a week. For some people they get so used to being in that emotional hangover state that it consumes their life and months go by, even years before they really bounce back. I guess I’m lucky. I have a high tolerance because I’ve gone through a lot of unnecessary crap in my life. I guess that make me lucky in some regards, I know it passes, it always does.
The emotional hangover can be caused by a number of things. It doesn’t have to be solely around losing a loved one, or breaking up. It can be not getting the recognition for a job well done after you spent months working on it. It can be not getting thing you’ve been dedicating time and energy into only to be turned down, not given the chance, or just ignored all together. It can be trauma as well like after having a baby, or having a car accident, falling and breaking a bone, it can all cause this feeling. It’s almost like life gets put slightly on hold so that you can reconcile what has happened and then move forward.
Some positive points about an emotional hangover include learning how to look after and love yourself. This is only if you have worked on it. The easy way is to indulge in some escapism with drinking too much, getting high, binging on Netflix, overeating or fantasising about the old glory days. None of this really helps, but it seems to, at least momentarily, and when you are feeling low, anything that makes you feel even a little bit better seems like a great option, at the time.
As I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve learned that I need to do the opposite of the negative indulgence. I really need to feel the feelings before I can let it pass, and then I focus on me. What really cures the emotional hangover is a whole lot of self love, self nurturing, and self compassion. This includes getting some body work done such as a massage, or acupuncture. There are many other options, but for me, this really helps get everything back in order. I know I need to eat well, as in healthy good foods that make me feel nourished. I normally don’t eat meat, but when I am feeling like I need something extra, I don’t even hesitate getting some salmon or some kind of beef, it just helps everything in that moment. Moving my body is a key upper as well. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the neighbourhood, or doing the stairs more. I also have a sauna at home, so letting my body sweat a bit definitely helps get it all moving which helps me move through the emotional hangover. I also find that if I groom myself, even if it’s a DIY mani/pedi, and a DIY facial and DIY hair mask, it all makes a world of difference. I also make a point of putting on makeup because when I look in the mirror I see a more perky version of myself and it holds space for me to move back into that, even if I don’t feel that way right then.
Sex can be a great aid for the emotional hangover. Orgasms and releasing in that way specifically helps to reduce stress in a major way. This can even be effective without a partner but oh boy it’s so much nicer when it’s with the one you love.
Expressing the feelings or the even what happened in a factual way can be helpful. Writing it out, painting it, speaking it all helps. It can be very harmful to keep it all in, just be sure not to hurt anyone’s feelings when you do share. Also taking responsibility for your own feelings is essential. Working out how to avoid another emotional hangover is also awesome if you can do that too.
Sometimes, in life, you just have to understand that things will go the way they do. Control is often out of your hands, and all you can really do is manage your own self, your own reactions, and seek help if you need it. Use every experience as an opportunity to grow more into who you really are, to learn what you can from it, and move on.