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Surviving holiday excesses

During the holidays, many of us throw caution to the wind. You might drink a little too much, eat a lot of naughty foods or deprive yourself of precious sleep because of the fun you’re having — all of which might leave you feeling pretty horrible.

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Making yourself feel better takes just a bit of time and a little effort. Here’s how to handle three common conditions you might experience.

When you have a hangover

Drinking alcohol leaves you dehydrated, so drinking lots of water to rehydrate yourself is what you should focus on. If you feel like you can’t eat a proper meal (perhaps you’re a bit nauseated and unable to keep food down), consider having a smoothie. Blend one with fruit (including a banana, a good source of potassium) to replenish your body with natural sugars and antioxidants. If you can manage to eat a proper meal, one that’s nutrient-rich and loaded with vegetables (to replenish vitamins and minerals) is a good choice. Include eggs if you can — the cysteine in them will help break down a by-product produced by your liver due to alcohol consumption.

When your stomach’s upset

Meal after meal of rich, heavy foods may eventually bother your belly. Though you may want to curl up into a ball in bed, try to get up and about. You might find you feel better after taking a stroll, for example, as standing up and walking will help ease some discomfort. Do yoga, meditation or whatever your choice of stress-busting is. When you ease your body of stress, you’ll feel more comfortable, and that will help alleviate stomach upset. As with a hangover, drinking plenty of water to stay well hydrated will help somewhat. Give your stomach a break by eating lighter meals until you’re feeling better.

When you’re exhausted from lack of sleep

You’ve been burning the midnight oil, hopping from one party to another, and you’re starting to feel its effects. You’re irritable, quick to snap back at people, and you’re just plain tired and feel like you could fall asleep at any moment. Before it gets worse, take the time to get some quality sleep. Help yourself to get the rest you need by cutting out caffeine (or at least aim to not have any in the afternoon). Leave your cell phone, book and TV remote control out of reach so that your bedroom is focused on being a sanctuary for sleeping. If you’re not used to going to bed early and find yourself tossing and turning, don’t force yourself to lie there. Get up and return in half an hour or so, and try to fall asleep again. Hopefully you’ll soon be snoozing rather than counting sheep.

More ways to rest and recover

Natural ways to cure a hangover
5 Simple ways to improve your sleep cycle
Relief from insomnia

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