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Your Holiday Hangover Game Plan

Your Holiday Hangover Game Plan
Rebecca Howard

The new year brings a fresh start, along with resolutions to be a better you, live a cleaner life and enjoy its simple pleasures. But you’re not going to be able to follow through with any of that if you look and feel on January 1 like that big shiny ball from last night dropped right onto you. So before you head out to party like it’s 1999 again, keep these tips in mind to head off (or recover from) that holiday hangover and make starting your new year a little less painful.

1. All Things in Moderation

Drink moderately, if at all. I’m sure you’re already well aware that’s what you’re supposed to do. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, follow it with a glass of water, and never drink on an empty stomach. Now is the time to indulge in all the cocktail weenies, cheese cubes and peanuts you can carry. After all, that booty boot camp starts tomorrow, right?

2. Light is All Right

Of course, what we’re supposed to do and what we actually do don’t always seem to match up, do they? After all, you’re young, you’re wild and you’re free, as the song goes (and if you think that’s a Triumph lyric, rather than Lana Del Rey, then you’re actually not that first thing. Go to bed, Gramps). If you’re going to drink, stick to light alcohols like vodka and gin, but beware of the devil that is champagne. Bubbles are fun going down, but not so much coming back up. The fizz can lead to a splitting headache, and so can drinks containing congeners, like red wine, brandy and whiskey.

3. Believe in Magic

Want a magic pill that will let you drink and party till dawn? It may actually exist. Scientific studies have shown that the extract of the prickly pear cactus, taken before drinking, can help reduce the severity of your hangover by up to fifty percent. If you don’t live near the desert, you can get your hands on some at Lucky Vitamin.

Ah, young grasshopper, I see you paid no heed to my wise advice. No offense taken, I’m still happy to help when you wake up looking like an extra from the Walking Dead and feeling like you’ve eaten Chewbacca, hair and all. Fear not, velveteen bunny; I can make you human again.

4. Water, Water, Everywhere

Start by rehydrating. Lots and lots of water is good, and electrolyte-filled fluids like Pedialyte and Gatorade are even better. In a pinch, make your own remedy by adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a drop of raw honey to a cup of water.

5. Stuff Your Face

Once you’ve emptied your stomach (ooh, how did that confetti get in there?), or if you’re trying to avoid doing so, you need to fill it up again. It sounds counterintuitive, but truly, the greasier fare the better when it comes to hangover recovery. I recommend a heaping plate of barbeque with sides of mashed potatoes and beans. I swear, it works. Alternatively, a big old cheeseburger, or some huevos rancheros will do. Just try not to look at them while you eat.

6. Beautify the Beast

Now that you’re feeling better, we’ve got to get you looking alive again. Your face is likely to be redder and puffier than Ronda Rousey’s after her smackdown. Keep a cooling gel mask in the fridge to depuff the day after, and use an extra-rich night cream instead of your usual daytime moisturizer to rehydrate skin. A few drops of Visine work wonders on red skin, as well as your eyes. You can score these lifesaving goodies at Drugstore.com.

7. Snoozefest

Sleeping it off is truly the best way to feel normal again. Draw the shades or wear an eyemask, keep a bucket handy, and turn on Martha Bakes at low volume. There’s just something about Martha Stewart’s voice that is incredibly soothing. Trust me.

8. Tough It Out

If you must face the world, pop a couple of painkillers with some “hair of the dog” and go out with a brave, if slightly shaky and greenish, face. Don’t forget your most important post-party accessory - the darkest possible shades. Head over to Sunglass Hut to pick up an inky pair, and don’t forget to use the money-saving codes you can find at UltimateCoupons.com, so your wallet doesn’t suffer from a post-holiday hangover, too.

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