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How To Handle a Holiday Hangover as a Mom

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For moms everywhere, the holiday hangover is very, very real. 

Considering we’ve all been living through a global pandemic for umpteen months, we’re guessing you’re well aware of what a hangover is. However, we often bypass the toll the holiday hangover takes on our minds and bodies. 

You know the feeling — you’re tired, you’re run down, you’re overwhelmed, and you are struggling to find something festive to look forward to now that the holidays are done. 

You’re also probably suffering from a regular hangover, considering Americans seem to double their drinking during the holidays, and that was true even before the pandemic (which we all know probably tripled our consumption rates). 

After all, there is a reason that January 1st is the annual National Hangover Day.

So here we are, battling a nasty case of the post-holiday hangover that has us wondering why we feel so crappy and overwhelmed at what to do next. 

The good news is there are simple steps that moms can take to ease the pain of a holiday hangover, and it gets a little easier each day. Even better, soon, you’ll be obsessing over your New Year’s goals and counting down to summer so that the holidays will feel like a distant, blurry memory thrown into the already hazy past two years.

Hydrate

If you are struggling with headaches, you’re feeling run down and just plain old gross, you’re most likely super dehydrated. All of that wine and indulging in super salty/rich foods during the holiday weeks leads your body to be seriously dehydrated. 

“Since mild dehydration is one of the main causes of hangover symptoms, ideally sip 8 ounces of a sports drink before bedtime; it’ll help replace lost electrolytes, like potassium, and normalize blood sugar,” Jackie Newgent, RDN, culinary nutritionist and author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook told NBC News

Another option is to drink a sports drink loaded with electrolytes to help replenish what is lost when you feel hungover. It is essential to rehydrate with non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated, and non-sugary beverages, especially after the holidays when you overindulged, and you need to help your body normalize itself.

Rest

You’ve been running around like a crazy person since long before the holidays began. Preparing for holiday meals, wrapping presents, hiding gifts, stressing about family reunions, worrying about the spread of Covid, staying up late, weighing out the pros and cons of holiday gatherings — it’s no wonder you’re exhausted and feeling like crap. 

Give yourself a chance to rest and re-energize. Take naps. Breathe. Meditate. Read. Go to bed early and sleep late. Do anything you can to give your body and mind a break and cut yourself some slack. After all, you’ve been through physically and emotionally, and all you’ve done to make the holidays memorable and successful, you deserve a chance to rest and let your body reboot. 

Make To-Do Lists

Feeling overwhelmed after the holidays is totally normal. Everything you postponed until after the holidays are over is now creeping up and haunting you in your sleep. 

All of the bills, the work, the thank you notes, the unreturned phone calls and texts, the gift returns, the schoolwork — it feels never-ending, and it can certainly weigh you down. But don’t be discouraged; it will all get done if you tackle one thing at a time. 

Make to-do lists, start with one item, and make your way through the list. Staying organized will help keep you sane, and it feels really good to see what you have accomplished as you check off your list. Also, give yourself time; not everything needs to be done today, and little progress is still progress.

Set Realistic Goals (Not Resolutions)

If you’re one of those people who set resolutions each New Year and never seem to deliver on those grand promises, then it’s time to try something new. 

Instead of setting yourself up to fail by making huge sweeping resolutions about a new you and a new life, set yourself up for success by setting realistic goals and making small, feasible changes. 

“The main problem with the New Year’s resolution is that it’s built on a foundation of guilt. You start with the premise that you’re flawed in some way and conclude that the only way to feel better is to make a significant change in behavior,” CJ McClanahan, an executive coach, told Forbes.  Instead, he suggests, focus on two things: first, the positive traits that define who you are today. Second, think about what you have accomplished in the past year. 

Focusing on these two categories instead of grand resolutions will help you feel confident and motivated to start the year with purpose. 

From there, you can set goals for short-term and long-term plans of who you want to be in the next year. And even if you don’t accomplish everything on your list by the next New Year’s Eve, at least you’ll be able to see what you have achieved and how far you’ve come, no matter how small those changes may be.